According to U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co Inc., initial results of studies on the experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir it is developing with Ridgeback Bio suggest a reduction in the required duration for a negative COVID-19 indication from nasopharyngeal swab tests applied to study participants with early symptomatic COVID-19.
Sheba Medical Center was the first hospital in the world to collaborate with Merck & Co, Inc. and conduct a clinical trial of Molnupiravir on COVID-19, which was originally designed to combat the flu. Molnupiravir works by causing mutations in the enzyme responsible for replicating the virus.
Presently, Molnupiravir is in Phase II/III clinical trials, set to be completed by May.
“We are very pleased to share our initial Phase II infectivity data. At a time where there is an unmet need for antiviral treatments against COVID-19, we are encouraged by these preliminary data,” said Dr. Wendy Painter, Chief Medical Officer of Ridgeback Bio.