Stimulating the innate immune system with defective viral genomes (DVG)-based strategy provided broad-spectrum protection against RNA viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory diseases in animal models, according to a U.S.-led international collaborative study reported in the Nov. 17, 2021, edition of Cell.
While the FDA’s reaction to the results of the Nov. 30 advisory hearing for the COVID-19 therapy molnupiravir is difficult to predict, demand for rapid antigen tests may jump considerably when this or any such product is approved. That increased demand could crunch supplies of these tests due to the convergence of any such approvals, the upcoming holiday season, and the 2021-22 flu season, a convergence that could hamper efforts to roll out these new therapies.
Ildong Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. inked a partnership with Shionogi & Co. Ltd. to co-develop S-217622, the latter’s orally administered 3CL protease inhibitor treating COVID-19 and has obtained an IND for a phase II/III trial in South Korea to enroll more than 200 patients who are asymptomatic or suffering from mild to moderate COVID-19.
A divided FDA advisory committee voted 13-10 Nov. 30 that the known and potential benefits of the Merck & Co. Inc.-Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Inc.’s antiviral drug, molnupiravir, outweighs its known and potential risks. If granted an emergency use authorization (EUA), molnupiravir would become the first take-at-home oral drug in the U.S. to keep mild and moderate COVID-19 infections from becoming severe in high-risk adults.
While the world grapples for a clear picture of the Omicron variant and how to handle it, Moderna Inc., Biontech SE and Adagio Therapeutics Inc. stepped out with stock advances, building on momentum from the end of last week, while eyeing 2022 as a launch date against the variant.
With Omicron all the COVID-19 buzz right now, the FDA’s concern that the antiviral drug molnupiravir might enhance SARS-CoV-2 evolution might take on added weight when the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee meets Nov. 30 to advise on Merck & Co. Inc.-Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Inc.’s emergency use authorization (EUA) request for what could be the first take-at-home oral drug authorized to treat COVID-19 infections.
Molnupiravir, the take-at-home pill from Merck & Co. Inc. hailed as a potential game-changer against COVID-19, is not as effective as previously thought, according to newly released trial data from the company.