Merck's Oral COVID-19 Treatment Might Be Linked To Spreading Mutations, Study Shows

  • According to some researchers, Merck & Co’s MRK COVID-pill is giving rise to new mutations of the COVID-19 virus in some patients.
  • Mutations linked to Merck’s COVID-19 oral treatment Lagevrio (Molnupiravir) have been identified in viral samples taken from several patients, according to a preprint study from researchers in the U.S. and at the Francis Crick Institute, Imperial College London, and other U.K. institutions. 
  • Also Read: Merck Beats On Q4 earnings, Anticipates Almost 80% Decline In COVID-19 Treatment Sales In 2023.
  • In a report by medRxiv, called “Identification of a molnupiravir-associated mutational signature in SARS-CoV-2 sequencing databases,” there is a possibility that the drug could prolong and even reinvigorate the pandemic. 
  • Researchers are worried that the drug could catalyze more contagious or health-threatening variations of COVID.
  • The drug-linked mutations of the virus haven’t been shown to be more immune-evasive or lethal yet, according to the study published without peer review on the medRxiv website. 
  • The data suggest a signature of molnupiravir mutagenesis can be seen in global sequencing databases, in some cases with the onward transmission.
  • Price Action: MRK shares are up 0.37% at $103.84 during the premarket session on the last check Friday.
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