Montefiore-Einstein researchers test whether molnupiravir can prevent COVID-19



Newswise – Bronx, NY (November 4, 2021) –As part of a recently launched international phase 3 clinical trial, Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein Faculty of Medicine are studying whether Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir, now approved in Britain for the treatment of COVID-19, can prevent COVID-19 in unvaccinated people living with people who have contracted the disease. Montefiore-Einstein is the first and only New York State site for the trial and was selected because of its diverse patient population and expertise in clinical trials for COVID-19 and others. Infectious diseases.

Merck recently announced that people with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 who took molnupiravir reduced their risk of hospitalization and death by approximately 50%. Britain today approved the drug to treat coronavirus, noting that it is “safe and effective”; it is the first oral drug approved for patients with COVID-19.

“Based on the results of a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study involving the highly transmissible delta variant, we estimate that unvaccinated people living with someone with COVID-19 are at high risk –as large as 80% to 100% chance“To become infected, regardless of their age or pre-existing conditions,” said Barry Zingman, MD, the principal investigator of the Montefiore-Einstein site. “If molnupiravir can prevent these vulnerable close contacts from getting infected, it will save lives. Dr. Zingman is also Professor of Medicine at Einstein and Clinical Director, Infectious Diseases, in the Moses Division of the Montefiore Health System.

Currently, the only drugs used to prevent COVID-19 are monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies; all should be infused into the bloodstream at a clinic or doctor’s office. Although molnupiravir has not yet been approved for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19, the new antiviral pills could potentially have a greater impact than mAb therapies, as the pills may be more accessible to a larger population. number of people, can run on different viral variants without needing to be redesigned and should be less expensive.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of molnupiravir will include approximately 1,300 people at 114 sites worldwide; the Montefiore-Einstein site will accommodate between 10 and 20 people. All participants must be 18 years of age or older, be completely unvaccinated, have no symptoms of COVID-19, and share a household with someone known to have tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 5 days.

Half of the participants will take four molnupiravir tablets twice a day for 5 days, while the other participants will receive the same number of placebo tablets during this period. Two and four weeks after starting treatment, Dr. Zingman and his colleagues will determine the percentage of participants in the two groups who develop COVID-19. All participants will be informed of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination to prevent future infections. The trial is expected to end in April.

Molnupiravir works by deception: its molecules are taken up by cells infected with the virus and converted into defective RNA “building blocks”. Viral enzymes unwittingly use these faulty building blocks to build the genetic material of newly created viruses, which can no longer reproduce. Since the viral variants of COVID-19 and other RNA viruses use the same building blocks, it is hoped that molnupiravir may work against the virus that causes COVID-19 and possibly other viral infections.


About the Montefiore health system

Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality, personalized and accountable care to approximately three million people in the communities of the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It includes 10 hospitals, including Montefiore Children’s Hospital, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and over 200 outpatient outpatient care sites. Advanced clinical and translational research from its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in Oncology, Cardiology and Vascular Care, Pediatrics and Transplantation, to its preeminent school health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system that provides coordinated and comprehensive patient care and to their families. For more information, please visit follow us on Twitter and Instagram and LinkedIn, or see us on Facebook and Youtube.

About the Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Albert Einstein Faculty of Medicine is one of the main centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation in the country. In the 2020-21 academic year, Einstein is home to 721 MARYLAND students, 178 doctorate students, 109 students in the combined MD / Ph.D. program, and 265 postdoctoral researchers. The College of Medicine has over 1,900 full-time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2020, Einstein received more than $ 197 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes the financing of large research centers to Einstein in the areas of aging, intellectual developmental disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is focusing its efforts include research in brain development, neuroscience, heart disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial disparities in health. Its partnership with Montefiore, Einstein University Hospital and University Medical Center, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the rate at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Einstein runs one of the largest residency and scholarship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States through Montefiore and an affiliate network involving hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Long Island. For more information, please visit, read our Blog, Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and see us on Youtube.


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