Experimental antiviral effective against Covid: study

New York, April 18 (IANS): An experimental oral antiviral drug has shown potential in the prevention and treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19 infections, researchers say.

Antiviral – MK-4482 – Dramatically Reduced Levels of Virus and Disease in Lungs of Hamsters Treated for SARS-CoV-2 Infection, New Study by Scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health Finds . MK-4482 is currently in human clinical trials.

In the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists found the MK-4482 treatment to be effective when given up to 12 hours before or 12 hours after hamsters were infected with SARS-CoV- 2.

Treatment with MK-4482 could potentially alleviate high-risk exposures to SARS-CoV-2 and could be used to treat an established infection with SARS-CoV-2 alone or possibly in combination with other agents, Heinz said. Feldmann and the NIH team.

The project involved three groups of hamsters: a pre-infectious treatment group; a post-infection treatment group; and an untreated control group.

For both treatment groups, scientists administered MK-4482 orally every 12 hours for three days. At the end of the study, the animals in each of the treatment groups had 100 times less infectious virus in their lungs than the control group. Animals in both treatment groups also had significantly less lung damage than the control group.

Scientists determined the MK-4482 treatment doses for this study based on previous experiments in mouse models of SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV. In these studies, MK-4482 was effective in preventing viruses from replicating.

The Drug Innovation Ventures group at Emory University in Atlanta developed MK-4482 (also known as molnupiravir and EIDD-2801) to treat influenza. MK-4482 is being developed by biotechnology company Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in collaboration with Merck as a potential Covid-19 treatment. The drug is in phase 2 and 3 human clinical studies.