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An oral drug is supposed to stop the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 – a healing exercise


Molnupiravir is said to completely block SARS-CoV-2 infection

In the past few days, there have been a number of positive reports about new corona vaccines that should be available soon. An American research team is now reporting another success in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic: The team apparently developed an antiviral drug that completely stops the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus within 24 hours.

Researchers at Georgia State University in Atlanta, USA, report a major breakthrough in coronavirus drug research. The oral drug MK-4482 / EIDD-2801, also known as molnupiravir, is supposed to completely block SARS-CoV-2 transmission within 24 days. The results of the study were presented in the prestigious journal “Nature Microbiology”.

Originally developed against influenza viruses

The working group led by Professor Dr. Richard Plemper wanted to develop an antiviral drug against seasonal flu. Due to the severity of the global coronavirus pandemic, the team changed the target to an active ingredient targeting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus – with success!

A real “game changer”

“This is the first evidence of a drug available orally that blocks the rapid transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” emphasizes Plemper. Molnupiravir could change the course of the pandemic, the teacher said proudly. The intervention of local SARS-CoV-2 transmissions is of paramount importance for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three molnupiravir benefits

According to the research team, the drug should have a triple benefit. On the one hand, the active ingredient could prevent the development of serious diseases. On the other hand, reduce the infection period and therefore quarantine times. In addition, molnupiravir can be used to break the chains of infection in local cases.

Broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses

“We discovered early on that MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 has broad-spectrum activity against respiratory RNA viruses and that treating infected animals with the drug reduces the amount of virus particles excreted by several orders of magnitude and thus dramatically reducing transmission. ” , explains the head of research. These properties make molnupiravir a powerful candidate for the pharmacological control of COVID-19.

Ferrets simulate the spread in young adults

The drug was successfully tested on ferrets. “We believe ferrets are a relevant transmission model because they spread SARS-CoV-2 easily, but on the whole they do not develop any serious illness,” adds Dr. Robert Cox from the research team. This is similar to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in young adults.

Outstanding success

The researchers housed infected ferrets with non-infected animals in the same cage. The uninfected animals received the active ingredient MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 in advance. “None of the contacts were infected,” stressed Josef Wolf, a doctoral student from the working group. In contrast, all animals in the placebo group were infected.

Tests on humans are still pending

If molnupiravir works the same in humans as it does in ferrets, people with COVID-19 would no longer be infectious within 24 hours of ingestion. This is now to be tested in a clinical phase II / III study.

No information on side effects and duration of effect

When taking medication, the side effects, duration of treatment and duration of treatment are of particular interest. As the drug has only been tested on animals such as ferrets and mice, there is as yet no reliable information on this. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the current medical literature, medical guidelines and studies and has been verified by medical professionals.


Diploma Editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Cox, RM, Wolf, JD & Plemper, Therapeutically administered ribonucleoside analogue MK-4482 / EIDD-2801 RK blocks SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets. Nat Microbiol (2020).,
  • Georgia State University: SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Oral Drug Blocks, Georgia State Biomedical Sciences Research Finders (veröffentlicht: 03.12.2020),

This article is for general guidance only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.

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