The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
Переклад цього матеріалу українською мовою з російської було автоматично здійснено сервісом Google Translate, без подальшого редагування тексту.
Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

A very effective drug for COVID-19 has been created in the United States: just a few pills are enough

An experimental drug prevented half of the COVID-19 infections that would otherwise have resulted in hospitalization. This study offers the prospect that the disease could soon be treated with pills. The edition told in more detail USA Today.

Photo: Shutterstock

The antiviral drug molnupiravir, manufactured by Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, based in Miami, received 385 people within five days of being diagnosed with COVID-19. In addition, 377 volunteers who tested positive received a placebo.

All participants had at least one risk factor for severe COVID-19. The companies said they were over 60 years old or had diabetes, obesity, or heart disease.

Molnupiravir, originally created by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, is taken as four tablets twice a day for five days.

Of the participants receiving molnupiravir, 28 (or 7,3%) were hospitalized during the one-month trial. In the placebo group, 53 people (or 14%) were hospitalized, 8 of them died.

The study was supposed to include another 750 participants, but an independent review board decided that the drug was so effective that it would be unethical to keep giving someone a placebo.

On the subject: Pfizer has created a cure for COVID-19: how it works and when it goes on sale

Since the beginning of the pandemic, public health officials have hoped for effective antiviral drugs that could help prevent severe infection in people exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Several pre-existing drugs were tested against the virus early on, but they turned out to be of no benefit.

In June, the administration of US President Joe Biden pledged $ 3,2 billion to develop an antiviral drug and said the drugs would be an important part of the fight against the virus.

“An easy-to-administer oral antiviral drug will be an important part of our therapeutic arsenal, complementing the great success of our vaccine efforts,” said Dr. David Kessler, chief scientist for the Biden administration on COVID-19.

Of this funding, $ 1,2 billion was used to purchase 1,7 million doses of molnupiravir if the drug meets FDA safety and efficacy standards.

Antiviral drugs are designed to prevent the virus from multiplying and spreading in the body. They are effectively used to contain HIV in infected people and are often recommended to reduce the severity of influenza.

For example, Tamiflu, a widely used antiviral against influenza, has been found to shorten the course of illness and to protect people exposed to the influenza virus.

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These data on molnupiravir suggest that it is even more effective against SARS-CoV-2 than Tamiflu against influenza, noted Dr. Ding Li, president of Merck Research Laboratories.

“This is a significant effect that has not been seen in other situations,” he said of the new test results.

Another study is still investigating the effectiveness of molnupiravir in preventing disease in people who have been in contact with the sick.

The FDA agreed that it would be wise to discontinue the trial, Lee said.

The volunteers who agreed to the experiment came from all over the world, including Latin America, Europe and Africa.

The study showed that the drug was effective against the viral variants gamma, delta and mu.

“We have incomplete data, but viral sequencing rates indicate that the drug crosses the viral barrier,” Lee said. - It is very interesting".

It is unclear how much molnupiravir will cost, but antiviral drugs are generally inexpensive, and Presidential Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci wants antiviral drugs to be available to people on low to moderate incomes.

The companies are in talks with the FDA and plan to apply for an emergency use of the drug as soon as possible.

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