Discovery, Development, and Patent Trends on Molnupiravir: A Prospective Oral Treatment for COVID-19

Link to article at PubMed

Molecules. 2021 Sep 24;26(19):5795. doi: 10.3390/molecules26195795.


The COVID-19 pandemic needs no introduction at present. Only a few treatments are available for this disease, including remdesivir and favipiravir. Accordingly, the pharmaceutical industry is striving to develop new treatments for COVID-19. Molnupiravir, an orally active RdRp inhibitor, is in a phase 3 clinical trial against COVID-19. The objective of this review article is to enlighten the researchers working on COVID-19 about the discovery, recent developments, and patents related to molnupiravir. Molnupiravir was originally developed for the treatment of influenza at Emory University, USA. However, this drug has also demonstrated activity against a variety of viruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Now it is being jointly developed by Emory University, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, and Merck to treat COVID-19. The published clinical data indicate a good safety profile, tolerability, and oral bioavailability of molnupiravir in humans. The patient-compliant oral dosage form of molnupiravir may hit the market in the first or second quarter of 2022. The patent data of molnupiravir revealed its granted compound patent and process-related patent applications. We also anticipate patent filing related to oral dosage forms, inhalers, and a combination of molnupiravir with marketed drugs like remdesivir, favipiravir, and baricitinib. The current pandemic demands a patient compliant, safe, tolerable, and orally effective COVID-19 treatment. The authors believe that molnupiravir meets these requirements and is a breakthrough COVID-19 treatment.

PMID:34641339 | DOI:10.3390/molecules26195795

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