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New Antiviral drug on the Horizon for SARS COV-2

Hi,  its Dr. Jeffrey Mark, this week I’d like to share with you the news on Merck’s (in partnership with Ridgeback) investigational Oral Antiviral drug molnupiravir. It was announced that this oral medication reduced the Risk of Hospitalization or Death by Approximately 50 Percent Compared to Placebo (or people that did not get the drug) for people with mild or moderate COVID-19 in an Interim Analysis of a Phase 3 Study. At the interim analysis, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%; 7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were either hospitalized or died through Day 29 following randomization (28/385), compared with 14.1% of placebo-treated patients (53/377); p=0.0012. Through Day 29, no deaths were reported in patients who received molnupiravir, as compared to 8 deaths in patients who received placebo. At the recommendation of an independent Data Monitoring Committee and in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), recruitment into the study is being stopped early due to these positive results. Merck plans to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. FDA as soon as possible based on these findings and plans to submit marketing applications to other regulatory bodies worldwide.


While presently we have monoclonal antibodies which may be slightly more effective, they require an IV infusion and molnupiravir will be obtained much more easily as a prescription oral pill.

One caveat about this medication is that earlier studies did not show as much benefit if given after 5 days of first acquiring COVID 19 so the indication would likely be for people diagnosed and symptomatic with COVID within the first 5 days. This makes regular testing even more important for early detection and best use of this particular antiviral drug.  Also, at this time there is not a complete list of all the side effects which would have to be submitted and reviewed by the FDA.

There is concern that the availability of molnupiravir might influence some people’s decision on vaccination and use of the drug as prophylaxis or preventative measures for COVID 19 but there is no released data on this and vaccinations remain the primary recommendation for protection from serious COVID 19 per CDC and WHO guidelines.

Of course the best defense is to optimize your immune system. Without a strong healthy immune system, we are all vulnerable not just to the SARS COV 2 virus but to other bacteria and even our own cells with autoimmunity and cancer. See our blogs and links on what to do with lifestyle changes, nutritional supplementation, and promoting a healthy microbiome. If you get COVID please see our blog on helpful tips to get through COVID. We will continue to keep you updated.


If you would like to learn more about AFH  anti-aging and regenerative medicine programs including our course on optimizing your immunity, obtain Probio 350Probio PlusProBio 100ProBio 30 SBPomBioX, and ProBio Phyto (Rainbow) or participate in other brain cognitive medicine programs, contact us at, find us at to schedule an appointment, or call (925) 736-9828.  


We’ve helped thousands of people on their health journey and look forward to helping you. Take care and stay healthy.


Jeffrey Mark, M.D.


Our office location in San Ramon is a short drive to the Silicon Valley including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, San Jose, Cupertino, Mountain View, Burlingame, Hillsborough, San Mateo, San Francisco, Piedmont, Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasanton, and surrounding areas. Telemedicine/Telehealth services are now available in the comfort of your home so no need to drive across the bay anymore to access your Quadruple Board Certified physician.   We are able to service all 50 states and send test kits and nutraceuticals directly to your home. Call us to find out more about our many services.  925-736-9828


Jeffrey Mark, M.D. Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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