A New Treatment for COVID-19? – All You Need to Know

Merck & Co. announced on Friday its innovative COVID-19 medication cut hospitalizations and fatalities in individuals who were recently contaminated with the coronavirus by 50%.

The group then said it will shortly ask health authorities in the United States and around the world to approve its use.

This will be the first-ever COVID treatment

If approved, Merck’s medicine will be the first to treat COVID-19, marking a significant step forward in the fight against the pandemic. All COVID-19 medicines currently approved in the United States need an IV or injection.

Participants receiving the medicine (termed molnupiravir) after five days of COVID-19 indicators had nearly half the rate of emergency room visits as patients who received a placebo pill, according to Merck and its collaborator Ridgeback Bio-therapeutics.

The researchers followed 775 persons with slight COVID-19 cases who are at a higher risk of developing serious illnesses, due to health issues like obesity, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.

Just at the end of 30 days, 7.3 percent of individuals receiving molnupiravir were hospitalized or deceased, opposed to 14.1 percent of those using the dummy tablet. As per Merck, there have been no fatalities in the medication group after that timeframe, opposed to eight deaths with the placebo.

The findings were not peer-evaluated, but were published by the corporation. Merck plans to exhibit them at a future healthcare gathering, according to the company.

Because the intermediate results were so promising, an independent organization of medical professionals overseeing the experiment suggested it be stopped early. Executives from the company said they are in talks with the FDA and aim to submit the data for assessment in the days ahead.

The medication breaks all expectations

Dr. Dean Li, vice president of Merck development, remarked, “it’s beyond what I imagined the medicine could be able to do in this clinical study. A 50% decrease in hospitalization or mortality is a significant clinical impact.”

In the Merck study, both categories reported side effects; although the group that received a dummy tablet experienced them slightly more frequently. The issues were not specified by the company.

Patients who have already been hospitalized with serious sickness did not benefit from the medicine, according to previous research. The United States has authorized redeliver, an antiviral medicine particularly for COVID-19, as well as the urgent use of three antibody therapies that aid the immune system’s battle against the virus.

However, all of the medications must be administered via IV or injection in hospitals and care clinics; meanwhile, stocks have been depleted, due to the delta variant’s recent increase.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the “top communicable diseases specialist” in the United States, long advocated for a simple pill people may take when COVID-19 symptoms first arise, similarly to how the decades-old flu medicine Tamiflu fights influenza.

Such drugs are viewed as critical to limiting subsequent waves of infection and decreasing the pandemic’s damage. Merck’s tablet works by inhibiting with an enzyme that coronavirus employs to copy and replicate its gene sequence. It has exhibited similar antiviral activities in the past.