Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz)
Fiocruz will be part, starting next week, of a Phase 3 international multicenter study with the drug Molnupiravir, manufactured by the pharmaceutical company MSD. The goal is to verify its efficiency to prevent the COVID-19 spread and transmission among people exposed to the Sars-CoV-2 virus. The study will occur simultaneously in seven centers in Brazil, two of which are under the Fiocruz responsibility: Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio de Janeiro. The coordination is under the responsibility of researchers Julio Croda and Margareth Dalcolmo.
To evaluate the Molnupiravir use as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), individuals who have been exposed to the virus, that is, who live with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 72 hours, and have at least one symptom associated with the disease, as well as other specific criteria required in the research protocol, will be evaluated.
Besides Rio de Janeiro and Mato Grosso do Sul, the other poles in the country are distributed among the Amazonas, Rio Grande do Sul, and São Paulo states. The treatment consists of the drug use, orally, twice a day, for five consecutive days. The Phase 3 stage will last six months.
The drug, which is being developed by MSD in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, acts by preventing virus replication and has potential action on several RNA viruses, including Sars-CoV-2.
Recently, MSD released interim Phase 3 results from another study, in which Molnupiravir was used as a treatment in the symptoms first five days and demonstrated an approximately 50% reduction in the hospitalization or death risk in non-hospitalized adults patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.