Doctors have some medications they can use to treat the effects of COVID-19, but developing a drug that targets the virus itself is a complex and costly procedure. More than a year into the pandemic only one antiviral treatment — remdesivir — is currently recommended for use in the U.S., and experts say it is not nearly effective enough.
“Vaccine manufacturers are making next generation vaccines to try and stay one step ahead, but it is unpredictable. So you need other interventions to address the potential evolution of the virus,” [researcher Daria] Hazuda said.
She and her team, along with researchers at Miami-based Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, worked seven days a week in the spring of 2020 to find a possible treatment for COVID-19… Their drug, molnupiravir, is one of two powerful medicines to treat COVID-19 that are nearing the end of clinical testing.
The idea is that molnupiravir could be taken as an oral pill by symptomatic patients who test positive for COVID-19, before their illness is severe enough to require going to a hospital. The hope is that it can stop the virus in its tracks, before it can replicate uncontrollably and cause a person to become more sick.