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Tecovirimat Shows Effectiveness to Fight Monkeypox in Animal Studies

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An antiviral drug called Tecovirimat to aid monkeypox is currently undergoing human testing under the Oxford University team.

There are about 249 confirmed cases of monkeypox throughout Asia. Israel is leading in the number of cases with 174 confirmed cases and the United Arab Emirates with 16, as of 13 Aug 2022. Most monkeypox cases are reported from Western Asia. With the growing number of cases, the trial of Tecovirimat is expected to yield favourable results.

The virus was recently declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) after the observation of the virus spreading rapidly in various regions.

Tecovirimat also known as Tpoxx or ST-246 developed by Siga Technologies Inc. has shown its effectiveness to fight monkeypox in animal studies. Tpoxx will undergo human testing under the research team of Oxford University. This is a response to address the growing concern about the outbreak considering the limited vaccine supply. 

500 individuals across the UK will be enrolled to participate in the study. The participants will either consume the antiviral or placebo two times a day for two weeks in their respective homes, says the team of scientists spearheading the trial. 

Investigations will be conducted to assess whether Tpoxx can help promote healing in skin and mucosal lesions caused by the disease. Investigators will also evaluate the timeframe from when an infected person will test negative for monkeypox. Hospitalization prevention will also be studied for the drug’s ability. 

Tpoxx has been swiftly known as a promising antiviral against monkeypox which was initially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for smallpox. The treatment comes in the form of a tablet, stored at room temparature and possesses a good safety profile. 

Researchers are in the hope of results on the workability of the drug by Christmas. However, this will be dependent on the recruitment pace. Adults and children that have laboratory-confirmed infections of monkeypox and active skin and mucosal lesions may participate in the study.

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