Molnupiravir is already in phase 3 of the clinical study: The promising results have now been scientifically proven: This is how the drug works.
Göttingen – The drug was actually supposed to help against the flu: Molnupiravir was developed in the USA to work against symptoms of seasonal flu. But now the drug is showing greater success than the former hopeful remdesivir, which was praised above all by Donald Trump as a miracle drug against the coronavirus. According to the Max Planck Society, the USA has already secured 1.7 million cans.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen and the Julius Maximilians University in Würzburg have now examined the mode of action in more detail. In the trade magazine Nature they have presented a corresponding study.
Molnupiravir, a new beacon of hope, causes the virus to fail in two phases
Molnupiravir has been shown to be able to slow down the process by which the virus multiplies in the body. The active ingredient smuggles incorrect information into the genome of the virus. The drug is swallowed by the patient and then activated by the metabolism in the body.
In the first phase of action, the agent infiltrates information into the RNA genome of the coronavirus. After that, however, the active ingredient behaves differently than Remdesivir.
Found a miracle cure for Corona? Researchers rely on knowledge from molecular research
In the second phase, these RNA building blocks would combine with the genome of the virus. Remdesivir would then interfere with the replication of the virus and molnupiravir would lead to further copies.
But the building blocks already contain faulty genetic material, explained the researchers. “If this is reproduced in order to produce new viruses, it contains numerous errors, so-called mutations. As a result, the pathogen can no longer multiply, ”explains Florian Kabinger, doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute.
“Knowing that a new drug is working is important and good. However, it is just as important to understand how molnupiravir works at the molecular level, also in order to gain insights into the further development of antiviral substances, ”explains Max Planck Director Cramer. Accordingly, the researchers are also hoping that the drug can be used successfully against other viruses. (cat)
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