Molnupiravir 3.0

This post is updated to include a link to the http://www.nature.com article on this drug’s development history.

A planned interim analysis of 775 patients in Merck’s study found that 7.3% of those given molnupiravir were either hospitalized or had died by 29 days after treatment, compared with 14.1% of placebo patients. There were no deaths in the molnupiravir group, but there were eight deaths of placebo patients.

Merck to Seek FDA OK for Its COVID Pill After Trial Stopped Earlyhttps://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/960089?src=rss#vp_2

What we know — and don’t know — about Merck’s new Covid-19 pill

https://www.statnews.com/2021/10/04/what-we-know-and-dont-know-about-mercks-new-covid-19-pill/?utm_campaign=rss

Molnupiravir, on the other hand, gets incorporated into burgeoning RNA strands and, once inside, wreaks havoc. The compound can shift its configuration, sometimes mimicking the nucleoside cytidine and sometimes mimicking uridine. Those RNA strands become faulty blueprints for the next round of viral genomes. Anywhere the compound gets inserted and that conformational shift happens, a point mutation occurs, Plemper says. When enough mutations accumulate, the viral population collapses. “That is what we term lethal mutagenesis,” he adds. “The virus essentially mutates itself to death.” And because the mutations accumulate randomly, it’s difficult for viruses to evolve resistance to molnupiravir — another plus for the compound. But the compound’s mutagenic potential in human cells — the possibility that it could incorporate itself into DNA — does raise safety concerns, some researchers say.

How antiviral pill molnupiravir shot ahead in the COVID drug hunt — https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02783-1

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