Pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. and biotechnology partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced preliminary results from Ridgeback’s Phase 2a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA of a drug called molnupiravir.
Molnupiravir was originally developed for the treatment of influenza.
The drug would function as an at-home, five-day treatment, similar to Tamiflu, to stop the virus from reproducing before causing major damage.
Results announced Monday showed a reduction in days to negativity of infectious virus isolation in nasal swabs from participants with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The study enrolled 202 non-hospitalized adults who had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within seven days and confirmed active SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Dr. Marc Siegel said on “Fox and Friends” on Sunday that the drug could be the “holy grail” of the COVID-19 pandemic and could come to market in as little as four to five months.