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Molnupiravir: A Drug for Covid-19

  • 05 Nov 2021
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Recently, it is claimed that Molnupiravir, an oral drug, can cut the risk of hospitalisation in Covid-19 patients by half, in phase 3 trials.

  • In India, the Optimus Group recently announced the results of phase 3 clinical trials, which found 91.5% of patients given the drug tested RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) negative.

Key Points

  • Molnupiravir:
    • It belongs to a class of broad spectrum antiviral drugs called nucleoside analogues.
      • They act by interfering with the function of viral RNA (Ribonucleic Acids) polymerases – which are enzymes that make new viral RNA in infected cells.
      • RNA is a polymer of ribonucleotides and an important biological macromolecule that is present in all biological cells.
        • It is principally involved in the synthesis of proteins, carrying the messenger instructions from Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which itself contains the genetic instructions required for the development and maintenance of life.
    • It works by causing viruses to make errors when copying their own RNA, introducing mutations that inhibit replication.
  • Mechanism:
    • These drugs work by preventing the process of replication of the virus inside human cells.
      • A virus is a biological agent that can self-replicate inside a host cell. The infected cells by viruses may produce thousands of new copies of the original virus at an extraordinary rate.
    • It alters critical enzymes that were necessary to the virus for replicating in the human body cells.
      • As of now, the Emergency Use Authorization is awaited for the drug but currently, it can be administered as a pill in a 5-day regimen.

Source: IE

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