Molnupiravir is an antiviral pill by pharmaceutical giant Merck that aims to prevent mild to moderate cases of covid-19 from becoming severe cases that result in hospitalization or death. It has been shown to reduce the risk of death among people infected with the coronavirus.

Currently in discussion for emergency use authorization request, Molnupiravir is set to be available by the end of the year, becoming the First Oral Antiviral Medicine for COVID-19

1. About Molnupiravir

Molnupiravir (EIDD-2801/MK-4482) is an investigational, orally bioavailable form of a potent ribonucleoside analog that inhibits the replication of multiple RNA viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19

Molnupiravir has been shown to be active in several models of SARS-CoV-2, including for prophylaxis, treatment and prevention of transmission, as well as SARSCoV-1 and MERS. EIDD-2801 was invented at Drug Innovations at Emory (DRIVE), LLC, a not-for-profit biotechnology company wholly owned by Emory University. Since licensed by Ridgeback, all funds used for the development of EIDD-2801 by Ridgeback have been provided by Wayne and Wendy Holman and Merck

2. How Is It Different?

Molnupiravir stands out from other covid-19 treatments for its ease of use. The use of monoclonal antibodies, a treatment that is infused or injected, did not take off widely in the United States, as medical experts say that the treatment is costly and difficult to deliver, and it had unclear results on other aspects of covid-19 infection, such as severe illness or death.

In contrast, Molnupiravir can be prescribed like other pills, taken at home and stored easily. The simple process to deliver, store and administer the drug could prove particularly useful in poorer nations. Vaccine distribution efforts in countries that lacked a robust medical infrastructure struggled to get shots in arms, even if they had an adequate supply, as the vaccine doses require extremely cold refrigeration and people trained to administer the shots.

3. Current Approved Countries

  • Brunei
  • Malaysia
  • Burma (Myanmar)
  • The Philippines
  • Every African Nation
  • Pakistan
  • Iraq
  • Iran
  • Cambodia
  • Timor-Leste
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia

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