WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- The clinical trial for the experimental COVID-19 treatment pill was a success, according to an Associate Professor at the University of Arizona.
- The pill has passed phase one of the safety tests and is now in the combined phases two and three trials.
- Given that the results look promising, it could be available for widespread use starting this summer.
The new COVID-19 experimental pill to fight off COVID-19 may become available this summer.
Associate Professor at the University of Arizona, Jun Wang, says that the results of the clinical trial look promising.
Professor Wang told KGUN9 that “it could be a game-changer. In antiviral drug development for us to win the game, we have to be one step ahead.” He added, “this molecule can take care of both flu viral infection as well as SARS COVID-2 infection.” Hence, the Merck drug will kill two birds with one stone.
Other than that, the new drug can be widely distributed to larger populations since it can be taken orally.
According to the professor, the experimental pill will be more effective than the FDA-approved antiviral drug for COVID-19 treatment named Remdesivir, which is injected. It will be effective against future COVID-19 mutations, as well.
Professor Wang also explained the difference between antiviral drugs and vaccines.
He said, “Vaccines can prevent people from getting infected but once you are infected by the virus, vaccines are not going to help. You need to take antiviral drugs. The drugs are the ones that can stop the virus from replicating. That’s basically the cure which we are looking for.”
As of this writing, the drug has passed phase one of the safety tests. It is currently being tested in the combined phases two and three trials. In these combined trials, the antiviral drug, which was developed by Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, will be tested for its effectiveness.
“Then probably by summertime we will have another drug for COVID-19,” Wang told KGUN9.