By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Phase 3 clinical trials in nearly 2,400 people in India have begun to test the efficacy of experimental antiviral drug Molnupiravir against Covid-19, following regulatory approvals by the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation.
This drug, developed by Merck originally, is an oral broad spectrum antiviral agent that has shown promise in treating mild and moderate Covid cases in early-stage trials in some countries. In India, five companies have entered into voluntary licensing agreements to produce generic versions of it. And MSN laboratories has received permission to conduct the trials.
Dr Suneetha Narreddy, senior consultant, infectious diseases, at Apollo Hospital in Hyderabad, which is one of the 40 sites in India where the phase 3 trials will be held, said that the drug is showing promise.“Data from early stage trials and preliminary analysis of phase 3 trials from outside India looks very promising but we should wait till the trials are concluded in India to say something definitive,” she said, adding it is being given to non-hospitalised patients with mild and moderate disease.
“Final analysis will depend on how many of the patients with or without this drug in the placebo and treatment arm go on to develop severe disease or needed hospitalisation.”