Novel drug for oral treatment against Covid-19

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Nature Microbiology reported on an orally efficacious ribonucleoside analogue inhibitor of influenza viruses, MK-4482/EIDD-2801, that was repurposed for use against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and is currently in phase II/III clinical trials (NCT04405570 and NCT04405739). In the paper of Cox et al. [1] explored the efficacy of therapeutically administered MK-4482/EIDD-2801 to mitigate SARS-CoV-2 infection and block transmission in the ferret model, given that ferrets and related members of the weasel genus transmit the virus efficiently with minimal clinical signs, which resembles the spread in the human young-adult population.

Therapeutic treatment of infected animals with MK-4482/EIDD-2801 twice a day significantly reduced the SARS-CoV-2 load in the upper respiratory tract and completely suppressed spread to untreated contact animals. This study identified oral MK-4482/EIDD-2801 as a promising antiviral countermeasure to break SARS-CoV-2 community transmission chains.

Chemical structure of antiviral drugs (

MK-4482/EIDD-2801 is a promising drug as approved antiviral treatments such as remdesivir and reconvalescent serum cannot be delivered orally, making them poorly suitable for transmission control. 

Looking at the chemical structure cyclodextrin chemists can consider the formulation with cyclodextrin.

Cox, R.M., Wolf, J.D. & Plemper, R.K. Therapeutically administered ribonucleoside analogue MK-4482/EIDD-2801 blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets. Nat Microbiol (2020).


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