Brazil to contribute to research into new drug against COVID-19

The medicine is called Molnupiravir, manufactured by MSD

Published in 07/10/2021 - 14:36 By Vladimir Platonow - Rio de Janeiro

The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) will be part of an international phase-three study into drug Molnupiravir, manufactured by pharmaceutical company MSD. The goal is to ascertain its efficiency in preventing the spread and transmission of COVID-19 among people exposed to the coronavirus. The announcement was made Wednesday (Oct. 6) by Fiocruz.

Set to start next week, the research will be carried out simultaneously at seven centers in Brazil, two under the responsibility of Fiocruz, in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio de Janeiro. Researchers Julio Croda and Margareth Dalcolmo will work as coordinators.

The drug serves to block viral replication and may be active in a number of RNA viruses—including Sars-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. To verify the efficiency of Molnupiravir as post-exposure prophylaxis, scientists will assess individuals recently exposed to the virus—i.e. people who live with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours and show at least one symptom linked to the illness.

The treatment consists in administering the drug orally twice a day for five days in a row. The study will last six months.

Molnupiravir is developed by MSD in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Recently, MSD released the interim phase-three results of another study, in which Molnupiravir was used as treatment in the first five days of symptoms and displayed a reduction of approximately 50 percent in hospitalization or death risks in non-hospitalized adults with mild to moderate COVID-19.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fernando Fraga / Nira Foster

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