A major US pharmaceutical company announced that it will seek a license for the first antiviral pill treatment to treat the Corona virus, after its drug, known as molnopiravir, appeared in a clinical trial to halve the risk of hospitalization or death when given to people at high risk early. of their infections.
According to a Bloomberg report, the treatment could become the first in a wave of antiviral pill products, which experts say could provide a powerful new tool in efforts against the epidemic, as it could reach more people than the antibody treatments that are already being treated. They are widely used in the United States.
“I think that would translate to many thousands of lives saved around the world, as there is less access to monoclonal antibodies,” said Dr. Robert Schaeffer, an infectious disease specialist and expert in antiviral therapy at Stanford University.
The results of a late-stage study of two other antiviral tablets, one of which was developed by Pfizer, is expected to appear within the next few months, and the new drug designed to prevent the reproduction of the Corona virus is scheduled to be taken in four capsules twice a day for five days..
Antiviral pills could have a greater impact by reaching more people, said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist and research scientist at the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Organization..
“If this continues at the population level, that will translate into more lives potentially saved using this drug, objectively,” she said, adding that she might not do the same numbers as monoclonal antibodies, but it would still be huge. “.
It may initially be approved for a limited group of patients eligible for monoclonal antibody therapies, possibly the elderly and those with medical conditions that put them at high risk for poor outcomes from the coronavirus, but experts said they expected the drug could eventually be used more widely, in many countries. People who have tested positive for the virus.
If licensed, this drug will be the second antiviral treatment for corona in the form of pills, other than remdesivir, which is taken intravenously.