Is An Oral AntiViral Drug The Answer To COVID-19 Treatment?

Scientists have found a new experimental antiviral drug MK-4482, which could help in the treatment of the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

It significantly decreased the levels of virus and disease damage in the lungs of hamsters treated for the infection, according to a new study from National Institutes of Health scientists, Science Daily reported.

MK-4482, delivered orally, is now in human clinical trials.

In their study, published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’, the scientists found MK-4482 treatment effective when provided up to 12 hours before or 12 hours after infecting the hamsters with SARS-CoV-2.
These data suggest that MK-4482 treatment could potentially mitigate high-risk exposures to SARS-CoV-2, and might be used to treat established SARS-CoV-2 infection alone or possibly in combination with other agents.
The University of Plymouth in the United Kingdom collaborated on these most recent studies. The project involved three groups of hamsters: a pre-infection treatment group; a post-infection treatment group; and an untreated control group, the report said.
For the two treatment groups, scientists administered MK-4482 orally every 12 hours for three days. At the conclusion 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 the two treatment groups also had significantly fewer lesions in the lungs than the control group.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics are now jointly developing and evaluating MK-4482 as a potential COVID-19 treatment. The drug is in Phase 2 and 3 human clinical studies.

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