We Nerdy Girls are abuzz about the a-mazing clinical trial data reported out by Merck on its investigational antiviral pill. Here’s what we know so far:
➡️ Merck’s antiviral pill reduced by 50% the chances that newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients would be hospitalized over a 1-month period relative to placebo
➡️ No red flags raised re: safety profile of the drug in the study population
➡️ Trial was stopped early – in consultation with an independent data monitoring committee – due to outsized effect sizes among early study participants (~775 adults of the originally planned 1,500). Often this happens when it’s no longer considered ethically appropriate to withhold a treatment from study participants and/or delay an effective drug from market approval.
The case isn’t quite closed, however. More scrutiny of safety data is needed – especially considering that the drug relies on a novel mechanism (cite below). AP reports that FDA review may come within weeks, so a rigorous scrutiny of the data isn’t far away.
Happily, other companies’ antiviral efforts also appear promising (cite below), providing some reassurance that this trial isn’t a fluke.
This could be a game-changer. We will stay on the reporting trail.
Your Nerdy Girls