Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say a twice-daily pill – molnupiravir — could change the way COVID-19 is treated. The announcement by Merck Co. to seek emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration reflects research and testing conducted at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Strong clinical trial results showed the experimental COVID-19 pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths by half in people recently infected with coronavirus. Carolina began working on molnupiravir in 2016 and showed the drug could be a weapon against coronaviruses and future pandemics.
“This is a real game changer for a pandemic like COVID-19 because it allows us to treat people quicker with a method that’s convenient and accessible,” said William A. Fischer II, an associate professor of pulmonology and critical care at the UNC School of Medicine and director of emerging pathogens at the UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases.