What is Molnupiravir? All you need to know about oral anti-viral drug for treating COVID-19
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MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five established Indian generic manufacturers—Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Emcure Pharmaceuticals and Hetero Labs—to contract manufacture the covid-19 drug Molnupiravir.

While the government of India has already approved DRDO's 2DG drug for covid-19, now Molnupiravir's addition in the list will make it easier to treat the virus.

Let us know what is Molnupuravir:

Molnupiravir drug is an orally effective prodrug of the manufactured nucleoside evolved N4-hydroxycytidine. It prompts errors in the viral RNA grouping, stopping the viral replication, lessening the contamination, and restricting infection transmission during the viral RNA replication. While COVID-19 is causing worldwide destruction, numerous specialists have directed preliminaries and studies to track down a reasonable medication to treat COVID-19, and one of its parts is Molnupiravir capsule which showed great viability.

Who developed Molnupuravir?

Molnupiravir is being developed by the biotechnology firm Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in collaboration with pharmaceutical firm Merck. The research team repurposed MK-4482/EIDD-2801 against SARS-CoV-2 and tested it on ferrets. This is the first demonstration of an orally available drug to rapidly block SARS-CoV-2 transmission and it can be a game-changer.

How does it work against COVID-19 in ferrets and why was it experimented on them?

In ferrets, the drug was shown to completely suppress transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in 24 hours. Researchers infected ferrets with SARS-CoV-2 and initiated treatment with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 when the animals started to shed the virus from the nose. Ferrets are a popular model for influenza and other respiratory infections because their lung physiology is similar to humans and researchers hope they will mimic aspects of Covid-19 in people such as its spread.

Clinical trails of Molnupiravir in India:

The Indian pharma giants have now decided to enter into a collaboration agreement, wherein the parties will jointly sponsor, supervise and monitor the clinical trial of Molnupiravir in India.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories will conduct the clinical trial using its product as per the directive of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has already approved the clinical trial protocol for Molnupiravir.

At the same time, the other four companies will be required to demonstrate equivalence of their product to the product used by Dr Reddy's Laboratories in its clinical trial.

The clinical trial will be conducted in an outpatient setting. It is expected to take place across India between June and September this year with the participation of at least 1,200 patients diagnosed with mild Covid-19 infection.

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