Covid-19 – Day 627: Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Covid-19 Oral Antiviral Treatment

Teatro Amazonas. Manaus/AM. 20/09/19. Foto: Rafael Zart/Ascom/Cidadania

(E) The beautiful city of Manaus, full of history about the Amazonas, reached natural herd immunity in the Fall of 2020 when around 75% to 80% of its population had been infected by the SARS-CoV-2. And, then came the Delta variant in 2021. And, people started to massively die again. Natural antibodies protect from existing threats but not always from new ones.

Fortunately, we know now that Covid-19 vaccination is 90% effective in preventing death in adults.

So it is still important that we find a treatment against Covid-19 in particular since a large portion of the worldwide population do not have access yet to vaccination in developing countries, or does not want to be vaccinated in developed countries.

So yesterday’s announcement from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics about the results of the phase 3 trial of their oral antiviral treatment molnupiravir will hopefully not be a minor event. Results showed that molnupiravir can reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by around 50% in Covid patients.

Molnupiravir was initially developed to treat influenza at Emory University. The intellectual property was then acquired by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, who later partnered with Merck to develop and commercialize the drug announced yesterday.

Hopefully, molnupiravir will not disappoint as did both hydroxychloroquine and remdivisir, and will be sold at an affordable price.

Note: The picture above is the Teatro Amazonas from Manaus (picture from Wikipedia by Rafael Zart).

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Categories: Coronavirus