Governor DeSantis considers development of new anti-COVID drug from Merck

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The investigational COVID-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir, a potential COVID-19 treatment. Credit: Getty Images

The drug, molnupiravir, developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics of Miami and manufactured by Merck, reduced the risk of hospitalization by about 50% compared to placebo in test subjects.

The drug, molnupiravir, developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics of Miami and manufactured by Merck, reduced the risk of hospitalization by approximately 50% compared to placebo in test subjects with at least one risk factor for complications severe COVID, the company said on Friday.

The participating patients were confirmed to have mild to moderate infections. Researchers have not reported any deaths among patients receiving molnupiravir. Each patient joined the study within five days of symptom onset.

Although federal authorities have not yet granted an emergency use authorization for molnupiravir, Merck has already manufactured doses and plans to produce 10 million by the end of the year, said the society.

In an email response to a question from the Phoenix, DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw noted that regulatory approval has yet to take place, so the drug is not available to consumers. patients. The governor “is monitoring the results of clinical trials as well as the actions of regulators,” she said.

“The governor was a pioneer in raising awareness and expanding access to early treatment for COVID-19. He has yet to comment specifically on the drug Merck, but he has always said that Floridians who test positive for COVID-19 should have access to safe, effective and clinically proven treatments, ”Pushaw said.

“With the growing reports of groundbreaking infections, Governor DeSantis’ position – that vaccination and treatment are not mutually exclusive – has proven to be correct. Early treatment saves lives, and Floridians deserve treatment options that will reduce their risk of complications from COVID-19. Most experts agree that the virus cannot be eradicated, so the more effective the treatments, the better for all of us. “

At various points throughout the pandemic, DeSantis toured the state distributing vaccines and monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID, although the Biden administration now has resumed distribution of this latter therapy.

According to a Report from the associated press, molnupiravir works by interfering with the virus’s ability to replicate, similar to how Tamiflu is used to treat influenza. Patients would take eight tablets a day – an easier regimen than for monoclonal antibodies, which require infusions or intravenous injections.


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