(via new drug applications for site-specific expanded access research).
The drug was originally developed and approved for the treatment of smallpox, a related virus, but has not been studied in people with mpox.
Research Methods and Findings
In the current study, researchers analyzed data from 154 patients at Columbia and Weill Cornell who tested positive for mpox and were treated with tecavir between June and August 2022. Among those treated, 72 patients have HIV.
Regardless of HIV status, almost all patients were pain-free by the end of the treatment regimen. The drug was equally well tolerated in both groups of patients.
The findings confirm the results of other studies showing tecovirimat is well tolerated, although further studies are needed to identify the drug efficacy against mpox.
Zucker is vice chair of STOMP (Study of Tecovirimate for Human Simianpox Virus), a CDC-sponsored multisite randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to study the effects of tecovirimate in diverse populations with MPox.
More information is needed on immunocompromised patients with Mpox
Evidence has emerged in severely immunocompromised individuals, including immunocompromised individuals poorly controlled HIV, are at greater risk for severe illness and death from mpox.
“Only four people in the study had low CD4 counts, a sign of poorly controlled HIV, so we were unable to compare treatment outcomes in this population,” says Jacob McLean, DO, a postdoctoral clinical researcher in the Columbia Department of Medicine and first author of the study.
“New York has better social security programs for people living with HIV than other states, so we have fewer poorly managed HIV patients,” says Zucker. “There are wide disparities in access to care and treatment for people living with HIV in the country and elsewhere in the world, which leads to disparities in mpox diagnosis and treatment and affects outcomes.”
And Zucker adds The mpox epidemic has virtually stopped in the United States, is on the cases rising in other countries.
“If we don’t make efforts to ensure that all vulnerable people are vaccinated, we could see a resurgence of mpox,” Zucker says.