Molnupiravir, sold under the brand name Lagevrio, is an antiviral medication that inhibits the replication of certain RNA viruses, and is used to treat COVID-19 in those infected by SARS-CoV-2.
Molnupiravir is a prodrug of the synthetic nucleoside derivative N4-hydroxycytidine and exerts its antiviral action through introduction of copying errors during viral RNA replication.
Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat influenza at Emory University by the university's drug innovation company, Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE). It was then acquired by Miami-based company Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which later partnered with Merck & Co. to develop the drug further.
Molnupiravir was approved for medical use in the United Kingdom in November 2021.