In June 2021, the Biden administration announced it had agreed to obtain about 1.7 million treatment courses of Merck’s molnupiravir, at a cost of $1.2 billion, if the product receives emergency authorization or full approval.
The same month, the administration said it would invest $3.2 billion in the Antiviral Program for Pandemics, which aims to develop antivirals for the COVID crisis and beyond, said Carl Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who is overseeing antiviral development. Most of these money is now being channeled for molnupiravir research!
In fact the U.S. Government and NAIAD had already pumped millions of tax payers monies into the research involving Molnupiravir prior to even these new budgets being announced.
Molnupiravir is being touted by those with a vested interest as an oral drug that could treat COVID-19.
It earlier name was EIDD-2801 and the history of its development and those involved directly or indirectly are simply shocking and interesting as many names involved with the coronavirus research and gain of function studies were also involved!
The drug is being claimed to be able to work by interfering with the virus’s ability to replicate in human cells. In the case of molnupiravir, the enzyme that copies the viral genetic material is forced to make so many mistakes that the virus can’t reproduce.
That, in turn, reduces the patient’s viral load, shortening infection time and preventing the kind of dangerous immune response that can cause serious illness or death.
However concerns are being raised as to whether molnupiravir could be metabolized into a precursor of DNA and as to whether it could enter the host cell nucleus, leading to oncogenesis and also induce mitochondrial toxicity.
In April 2020, a whistleblower complaint by former Head of US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) Rick Bright revealed concerns over providing funding for the further development of molnupiravir due to similar drugs having mutagenic (DNA damaging) properties.
A previous company, Pharmasset, that had investigated the drug’s active ingredient and because of toxicity issues, had abandoned it. Rumour has yet that in order to keep the mouth of executives at Pharmasset shut about what they knew about molnupiravir and other drugs, the company was bought at an inflated price.
All these claims were denied by George Painter, CEO of DRIVE, noting that toxicity studies on molnupiravir had been carried out and data provided to regulators in the US and UK, who permitted safety studies in humans to move forward in the spring of 2020.
Also at this time, DRIVE and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics stated they planned future safety studies in animals.
On May 5, 2020, Bright filed a whistleblower complaint (“Complaint of Prohibited Personnel Practice and Other Prohibited Activity”) against the HHS in the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, an independent agency that protects whistleblowers.
The complaint included accompanying exhibits, only some of which have become public.
Bright suggested that the administration prioritized “cronyism over science” and that he had been pressured to let politics drive decisions rather than science.
In his complaint, Bright also noted the dangers in pursuing EIDD-2801, an oral antiviral candidate previously supported by NIAID led by Dr Anthony Fauci and DOD.
Surprisingly later in May, pharmaceutical giant Merck announced plans to develop the drug.
The initial drug trials involving molnupiravir were not promising.