US experts assess Merck's anti-COVID pill

American experts assess Merck's anti-COVID pill

MISE & Agrave; DAY

A committee of scientists met on Tuesday in the United States to decide on the anti-COVID pill from the American laboratory Merck, which could, if approved, be quickly available to patients. & nbsp;

This drug, molnupiravir, marketed under the name Lagevrio, has already been approved in early November in Britain. & nbsp;

This type of antiviral treatment represents, according to experts, a major advance in the fight against the pandemic, by making it possible to reduce the serious forms of the disease using simple tablets taken quickly after the onset of symptoms in the event of infection. & nbsp;

The United States Drugs Agency (FDA), which convened Tuesday's meeting, will have the final say on granting emergency clearance for the drug after the non-binding vote of the committee. & nbsp;

In documents released Friday ahead of the meeting, she noted some adverse effects on fetal development during animal testing. The drug may therefore not be recommended for pregnant women.

Observations made on pregnant rats and rabbits have indeed shown that some litters had experienced more cases of malformation than in the control groups.

Children are not affected by the decision to Friday, and pediatric testing is not considered until the results of ongoing tests on young rats.

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States, on Friday released the full clinical trial results for the tablet, which said the drug would reduce hospitalization and death rates among patients with 30% by 30%. risk. Preliminary results, which only included a portion of the trial participants, initially put forward a figure of 50%. & Nbsp;

The full results come from an analysis carried out on more than 1,400 patients.

For its clearance request, Merck relied on this clinical trial it conducted with its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in people with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 and at least one aggravating risk factor. They received treatment within five days of the first symptoms.

According to Merck, the results support “the efficacy and overall favorable assessment of the benefit/risk ratio of molnupiravir” for the treatment of Mild to moderate Covid-19 in high-risk adults.

Antivirals like molnupiravir work by decreasing a virus's ability to replicate, thereby slowing the disease. Merck, along with its compatriot Pfizer with paxlovid, have developed oral treatments that are easier to administer than, for example, injections of synthetic antibodies.

In addition to the American health authorities, the European Medicines Authority is also reviewing Merck's molnupiravir.

The United States has already ordered, subject to the green light from health authorities, 3.1 million treatments from Merck and 10 million from Pfizer.

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