Hospitalized Valley patients with COVID-19 were able to participate in the phase 2 study of Merck’s molnupiravir anti-viral treatment through the leadership of Valley’s pulmonary and clinical research teams. Study results were published on December 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence. Pulmonologist and critical care physician William Park, MD participated in the manuscript process and is included among the study’s named authors.
“This represents everyone’s accomplishment and hard work over the past year,” Dr. Park says. “This was a team effort by the pulmonary and research teams. It is rewarding to know that we were able to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of treatment options for COVID.”
The study concluded that hospitalized patients did not demonstrate clinical benefit from molnupiravir treatment. The information gained adds to what was learned from a sister study published the same day in the NEJM where outpatients were treated with the oral antiviral medication within five days of the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. In that study, molnupiravir lowered the risk of hospitalization or death in at-risk, unvaccinated adults with COVID-19.
The study of hospitalized patients with Covid-19 concluded, “The data from this trial, when considered alongside the positive outcomes when the same treatment was given to patients with Covid-19 but treated in an outpatient setting, are consistent with the hypothesis that the delay in initiating treatment relative to symptom onset in this study population accounted for our inability to demonstrate a clear therapeutic benefit.”
Valley’s participation in advancing COVID-19 research began early in the pandemic. In May 2020, critical care physician Richard Kim, MD, who is also a member of Valley’s pulmonary team, co-authored a study in the NEJM of hospitalized patients with COVID-19: COVID-19 in Critically Ill Patients in the Seattle Region – Case Series NEJM 2020; 382:2012-2022.
Thank you to Dr. Park, Dr. Kim, the pulmonary and clinic research teams and other participating Valley caregivers and patients!