Data analysis puts the efficacy of molnupiravir in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 at around 20% lower than originally believed

sdecoret hospital corridor

New data on the efficacy of Lagevrio (molnupiravir) in reducing the risk of hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 show that the efficacy is lower than initially thought. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started reviewing the new data, which show a reduction of efficacy of about 20%.

Recommendations issued by the EMA in November were based on an assessment of interim data from a study, which were available at the time of the review. Those results indicated that the reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death in people with COVID-19 who were at higher risk of severe disease from 14.1% in the placebo group to 7.3% in the molnupiravir group, a 50% decrease in risk.

Based on these figures, the EMA advised that the medicine, which is currently not authorised in the EU, could be used to treat adults with COVID-19 who do not require supplemental oxygen, and who are at increased risk of developing severe COVID-19.

However, the latest data show a less dramatic reduction. The updated results, based on 1408 subjects, show that molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 6.8% compared to 9.7% in the placebo group, a decrease of just 30%.

Molnupiravir is the first oral medicine for non-hospitalised patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. It is currently being evaluated for inclusion in the World Health Organization’s living guideline on COVID-19 therapeutics.

The earlier recommendations remain unchanged. The EMA will communicate further on the outcome of the marketing authorisation application that is still under review

This article originally appeared on Medscape, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


Lead image: sdecoret/

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