NEW YORK - A new possible medication to treat coronavirus-positive patients could be enough to turn the pandemic on its head, Fox News medical contributor Dr. Marc Siegel revealed Sunday on "Fox & Friends Weekend."
First-stage testing of the experimental COVID-19 pill called Molnupiravir, by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, showed promising signs of effectiveness in reducing the virus in patients.
"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," he explained. "And there wasn't any virus found in the patients that were studied."
The drug would function as an at-home, five-day treatment, similar to Tamiflu, to stop the virus from reproducing before causing major damage. Siegel said the therapeutic could come to market in as little as four to five months.
The doctor said even though only 182 patients were studied during testing so far, the pill could still be "very promising" for thousands of people.
"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 predicted the U.S. will be free of the coronavirus pandemic by the summer, making the Molnupiravir treatment "very helpful" for managing isolated cases.
"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 said.