The drug molnupiravir, which has hitherto been celebrated as a «game changer», does not protect against severe Covid-19 courses as well as previously thought. Manufacturer MSD had to correct the effectiveness down by 20 percent.

Molnupiravir is significantly less effective than stated – this has now been announced by the manufacturer, the pharmaceutical company MSD. Instead of halving the risk of being admitted to hospital, it only reduces the risk by 30 percent.

Covid drug Molnupiravir is significantly less effective than hoped

The antiviral drug reduces the ability of the coronavirus to multiply in the body's cells and thus slows down the further development of Covid-19. The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has developed a similar agent. At the beginning of November, Pfizer announced the effectiveness of its drug Paxlovid with 89 percent.

Covid drug Molnupiravir is significantly less effective than hoped

In view of the Omikron variant, the US biomedical scientist Eric Topol considers the Pfizer medication to be more suitable. He calls on Twitter to mass-produce “these small molecules”. “In particular paxlovid, which switches off the upstream Mpro processes and is much more effective than molnupiravir (so far),” says Topol.

That's what it's all about

  • The pharmaceutical company MSD has corrected its data on the effectiveness of molnupiravir in Covid-19.

  • Instead of the risk of severe courses as previously stated halving it, it only reduces the risk by 30 percent.

  • In view of the new Coronavirus variant Omikron, US doctors recommend using another viral drug: Paxlovid from Pfizer.

According to the manufacturer, the new corona drug Molnupiravir from the US pharmaceutical company MSD is significantly less effective than previously stated. According to Merck Sharp & amp; Dohme (MSD), the pill, also known as Lagevrio, reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by 30 percent in a clinical study. At the beginning of October, based on preliminary figures, the company had spoken of a 50 percent reduction. At that time, however, data on all participants in the clinical study were not yet available. That is the case now.

Molnupiravir was the first country in the world to be approved in the UK in early November. The EU Medicines Agency (EMA) is currently examining approval and, according to its own information, could give an opinion “within a few weeks”. On Tuesday, a panel of experts from the US FDA will also deal with molnupiravir.

Does molnupiravir change the genetic makeup?

So far, the drug Molnupiravir has been celebrated as a «game changer» in the Covid-19 pandemic. Ultimately, it was said that it halved the risk of serious disease courses with Covid-19. But for a long time there has been concern that an ingredient in molnupiravir can damage the genetic make-up. Because that cannot be ruled out at this point in time: An active component of molnupiravir – β-D-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) – has at least the potential to damage the human genome. Because NHC can not only be built into the RNA, but also into the DNA. This was shown in an earlier study by researchers at the University of North Carolina in cell cultures from hamsters. If this also applies to use on humans, it would be “a dangerous thing, because you don't want to intervene in the DNA in the human body because that can lead to all sorts of consequential problems,” BR.de quotes Patrick Cramer, molecular biologist and Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen. Only if this is ruled out can one go into broad application.

Competitor Pfizer is ahead at Omikron

The antiviral drug reduces the ability of the coronavirus to multiply in the body's cells and thus slows down the further development of Covid-19. The US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has developed a similar agent. At the beginning of November, Pfizer announced the effectiveness of its drug Paxlovid with 89 percent. The pills have the advantage of being easy to take at home. On the other hand, other drugs, such as the antiviral drug Remdesivir, must be administered intravenously.

Last week the US government announced a bulk order for ten million packs of the Pfizer drug for $ 5.3 billion. The order was placed subject to FDA approval.

Only at the weekend, the US biomedical scientist Eric Topol commented on the antiviral Covid-19 drugs on Twitter in view of the new coronavirus variant from South Africa: “If it turns out that Omikron can bypass the immune system to a significant extent, the pills become one form an important defense layer. ” He calls for “these small molecules” to be mass-produced. “In particular, paxlovid, which switches off the upstream Mpro processes and is much more effective than molnupiravir (until now),” says Topol.

Do you or does someone you know have problems with the corona time?

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By Teresa Tapmleton

Teresa Tampleton has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh TEkegram, Teresa Tampleton worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teresa@ntelegram.com 1-800-268-7341

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