Ivermectin developer begins late-stage trial of experimental pill he hopes can prevent COVID-19 infections
- Merck & Co, which is developing the antiparasitic drug ivermectin, will soon begin late-stage trials for molnupiravir, which could fight viruses like Covid
- Ivermectin has been incorrectly announced as a potential COVID-19 treatment due to a misinterpreted March 2020 study
- Parasite experts say ivermectin lacks virucidal properties and is ineffective against COVID-19
- Merck hopes to distribute molnupiravir across India to help fight the virus while the country waits for vaccines
The developer of ivermectin is conducting late-stage trials on a drug that could actually prevent COVID-19.
Merck & Co partnered with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to develop molnupiravir.
Enrollments for advanced studies for their drug have already begun.
The companies hope the drug can prevent COVID-19 infection in patients, but have yet to share more details about exactly how it will be used.
Merck is also the developer of ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug that has become infamous for false claims it could fight the virus — which is the real use of molnupiravir.
Merck, developer of ivermectin, has begun late-stage trials for the drug molnupiravir that could actually prevent the transmission of COVID-19 (file photo)
The belief that the wormer ivermectin may potentially spawn COVID-19 from a Australian study from March 2020 showing that the drug could inhibit the replication of virus cells.
However, the results of that study don’t apply to real life, because the concentrations of the drug used by researchers are too high to be used on humans, Dr. Timothy Geary, a parasitic drug expert who has studied the drug for more than a decade on DailyMail.com.
However, that hasn’t stopped many from treating themselves with the drug.
Many who can’t get prescriptions go a step further and buy versions of the drug made for animals like horses.
While using the drug in human doses, even when not needed, is safe, according to Geary, a person taking the drug in larger doses for animals could experience a serious overdose.
The Kenilworth, New Jersey-based company developing the antiparasitic drug warned in February about using ivermectin to fight COVID-19.
‘[There is] no scientific basis for a possible therapeutic effect [of ivermectin] against COVID-19 from preclinical studies; No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and; A worrying lack of safety data in most studies,” the study said.
Ivermectin has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of parasite-type diseases such as onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis.
Molnupiravir could fulfill the role that many currently use ivermectin for.
Ivermectin is an FDA-approved parasite drug. It is not believed to be able to fight viruses like COVID-19 (file photo)
AN study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the drug could prevent the replication of viral cells from COVID-19 and other similar viruses.
The drug, which can be taken via a pill, is now entering late-stage trials in the United States as Merck plans to eventually gain FDA approval.
More than 1,300 volunteers aged 18 or over will be recruited for the study and live in a home with someone who has a symptomatic case of COVID-19.
Merck also plans to use the drug in a number of lower-income countries in the meantime, in a bid to get emergency approval.
The company is working with Indian manufacturers of generic drugs to manufacture and sell versions of molnupiravir in the country, pending approval by local regulators.
Merck hopes the drug can help alleviate the COVID-19 situations in these countries while they wait for a larger supply of the vaccine. ‘
Only about 36 percent of Indians have received at least one shot of the virus, and less than 11 percent have been fully vaccinated.