S'pore to gain access to oral drug molnupiravir to treat Covid-19

The drug can potentially reduce number of Covid-19 related deaths and hospitalisation.

Zhangxin Zheng | October 06, 2021, 12:44 PM

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American pharmaceutical company MSD announced its supply and purchase agreement with the Singapore government for molnupiravir on Oct. 6.

MSD added that Singapore will gain access to the drug once "certain regulatory milestones" are achieved.

Molnupiravir is a drug that can be taken orally every 12 hours by adults with mild-to-moderate Covid.

It was previously reported to have reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death of Covid-19 patients by about 50 per cent for 775 patients, in their late stage Phase 3 study.

These participants of the trial are all adults, with mild to moderate reaction to Covid-19 infections and are not hospitalised.

MSD also said in their earlier press release that they plan to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, with plans to submit marketing applications to other regulatory bodies worldwide.

If authorised, molnupiravir could be the first oral antiviral medicine for Covid-19.

How it works

Molnupiravir is the chemical name for a medicine originally developed to treat influenza that is given orally in a capsule, Bloomberg reported.

It inhibits replication of Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19, by a mechanism known as “lethal mutagenesis”.

In simple terms, it causes the machinery that reproduces the virus’s genetic material to make mistakes, thereby rendering the copies defective, Bloomberg reported.

Mothership has reached out to the Ministry of Health and Health Sciences Authority for their comments.

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