Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel said over the weekend that experimental drug molnupiravir could "be the future" of coronavirus treatment, according to a Monday report from Fox News.
What are the details?
Siegel predicted the at-home therapeutic, which could hit the U.S. market in four to five months, could be enough to turn the pandemic on its head and prove to be the "holy grail" of COVID-19 treatment.
On Sunday's "Fox & Friends Weekend," Siegel said, "It may be the holy grail on this because it was just studied in phase two trials and it literally stopped the virus in its tracks. And there wasn't any virus found in the patients that were studied."
First-stage testing on the drug, which is from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, showed "promising signs of effectiveness in reducing the virus in patients," the outlet noted.
The drug, according to Fox, would be used at home as a five-day treatment, not unlike how Tamiflu is prescribed to combat the effects of influenza.
"This might be the future once the vaccine really gets control over the pandemic and we just start seeing isolated cases," he said. "By then, this drug might be ready and this might be the drug for over the next several months."
Siegel has also predicted that the United States will be "free of the coronavirus pandemic by the summer."
"This is the very first pill that we have that's something that we might be able to use in our armamentarium against COVID as a therapeutic," he added.
On Saturday, Mint reported that the antiviral drug causes quick reduction in the virus.
In a statement from the companies, William Fischer, associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said, "The secondary objective findings in this study, of a quicker decrease in infectious virus among individuals with early COVID-19 treated with molnupiravir, are promising and if supported by additional studies, could have important public health implications."
"At a time where there is unmet need for antiviral treatments against SARS-CoV-2, we are encouraged by these preliminary data," Wendy Painter, chief medical officer of Ridgeback, added in the statement.