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Embase; 2021.
Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-335755


ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC), the parent nucleoside of molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral, was quantified at sites of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in twelve patients enrolled in AGILE CST-2 (NCT04746183). Saliva, nasal and tear concentrations were 3, 21 and 22% that of plasma. Saliva and nasal NHC concentrations were significantly correlated with plasma (p<0.0001).

PubMed; 2021.
Preprint in English | PubMed | ID: ppcovidwho-329391


Background: Easily distributed oral antivirals are urgently needed to treat coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), prevent progression to severe illness, and block transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). We report the results of a Phase 2a trial evaluating the safety, tolerability, and antiviral efficacy of molnupiravir in the treatment of COVID-19 ( NCT04405570 ). Methods: Eligible participants included outpatients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and symptom onset within 7 days. Participants were randomized 1:1 to 200 mg molnupiravir or placebo, or 3:1 to molnupiravir (400 or 800 mg) or placebo, twice-daily for 5 days. Antiviral activity was assessed as time to undetectable levels of viral RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and time to elimination of infectious virus isolation from nasopharyngeal swabs. Results: Among 202 treated participants, virus isolation was significantly lower in participants receiving 800 mg molnupiravir (1.9%) versus placebo (16.7%) at Day 3 (p = 0.02). At Day 5, virus was not isolated from any participants receiving 400 or 800 mg molnupiravir, versus 11.1% of those receiving placebo (p = 0.03). Time to viral RNA clearance was decreased and a greater proportion overall achieved clearance in participants administered 800 mg molnupiravir versus placebo (p = 0.01). Molnupiravir was generally well tolerated, with similar numbers of adverse events across all groups. Conclusions: Molnupiravir is the first oral, direct-acting antiviral shown to be highly effective at reducing nasopharyngeal SARS-CoV-2 infectious virus and viral RNA and has a favorable safety and tolerability profile.

Preprint in English | EMBASE | ID: ppcovidwho-326763


Background: Molnupiravir, an orally administered prodrug of the broadly active, direct-acting antiviral, ribonucleoside analogue ß-d-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) is a promising COVID-19 drug candidate. We characterised the pharmacokinetics of NHC in saliva, nasal secretions and tears of patients enrolled in the phase I AGILE trial (NCT04746183) to understand its potential in preventing infection and transmission. Methods: Patients with PCR-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, within 5 days of symptom onset with mild-to-moderate disease were randomised to oral molnupiravir 300, 600 or 800 mg twice daily or placebo. Plasma and non-plasma (saliva, nasal secretions and tears) samples were collected at pre-dose, 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 hours post-dose on study days 1 and 5 and molnupiravir and NHC measured by LC/MS with a lower limit of quantification of 2.5 ng/mL in all matrices. Pharmacokinetic parameters were determined by noncompartmental methods and non-plasma:plasma ratios (RNP:P;based on AUC0-4) calculated. Results: Twelve participants (n=4 per dosing arm;75% female) completed the study. NHC Tmax ranged between 1.00-4.00 hours for saliva (n=21) and nasal swabs (n=22) and 0.50-4.00 hours (n=17) for tears compared to 1.00-2.00 hours for plasma (n=19). Median (range) saliva RNP:P pooled across doses was 0.03 (0.01-0.11);n=16. RNP:P for nasal secretions and tears were 0.21 (0.05-0.73);n=17 and 0.22 (0.09-1.05);n=12, respectively. Non-plasma and plasma concentrations were significantly correlated (p<0.0001). Conclusion: These data provide encouraging information regarding the distribution of NHC at sites of viral transmission and have important implications for prophylactic coverage.

Topics in Antiviral Medicine ; 29(1):304-305, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1250563


Background: The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 viral variants threatens current anti-viral and preventative strategies, including monoclonal antibodies and vaccines. Critically, the limited supply of vaccines and the complex logistics surrounding the delivery of infusion-based therapies herald the need for an easily produced, distributed, and specific direct-acting antiviral for COVID-19 that limits progression of illness and ideally prevents transmission. Methods: The efficacy of molnupiravir was evaluated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 2 dose-range finding study using realtime polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and virus isolation was conducted at 11 study sites in the U.S. Participants were randomized if they had signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within 7 days, and a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR within 4 days of enrollment. Initially, participants were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive 200 mg molnupiravir or placebo twice daily for 5 days. Subsequently, in the dose-range finding portion of the study, participants were randomized in a 3:1 ratio to receive 200, 400, or 800 mg molnupiravir or placebo twice daily for 5 days. Nasopharyngeal swabs were analyzed from 175 subjects at enrollment, Day 3, and Day 5 for SARS-CoV-2 infectivity. Samples were stored at 4°C for up to 72 hours, shipped refrigerated, aliquoted, and stored at -80°C until testing. Vero E6 cell monolayers were infected with the sample for 1 hour. Culture medium was analyzed for viral load at 2 and 5 days post-infection by RT-PCR. Results: Seventy-eight (45%) participants, median 4.62 days (min. 1.40, max. 7.54) from symptom onset, had a positive SARS-CoV-2 culture at enrollment (52 on active and 26 on placebo). The percentage of participants with a positive viral culture at enrollment who were positive on Day 3 was 20.4% on active and 28% on placebo (p = 0.56). At day 5, 24% of placebo participants were culturethe positive compared to none treated with molnupiravir (p = 0.001). Between treatment, comparisons were performed using Fisher's exact test. Conclusion: This is the first demonstration of reduced infectiousness by antiviral therapy in people with SARS-2 infection. This simple, short-course oral therapy may benefit individuals and public health and is unlikely to be impacted by spike-protein variants.