Clinical use of Tecovirimat (Tpoxx) for treatment of monkeypox under an investigational new drug protocol — United States, May–August 2022
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Clinical use of Tecovirimat (Tpoxx) for treatment of monkeypox under an investigational new drug protocol — United States, May–August 2022

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      What is already known about this topic? Tecovirimat (Tpoxx) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of smallpox based on data obtained from animal models; there are no safety or efficacy data regarding its use in patients with Monkeypox virus infection.

      What is added by this report? Among 549 patients with Monkeypox virus infection treated with tecovirimat under an Expanded Access Investigational New Drug protocol, 99.8% received it orally as an outpatient. Among 369 patients, few adverse events were reported.

      What are the implications for public health practice? Tecovirimat is generally well tolerated, and these data support continued access to treatment with tecovirimat during the current monkeypox outbreak.

      Currently, no Food and Drug Administration (FDA)–approved treatments for human monkeypox are available. Tecovirimat (Tpoxx), however, is an antiviral drug that has demonstrated efficacy in animal studies and is FDA-approved for treating smallpox. Use of tecovirimat for treatment of monkeypox in the United States is permitted only through an FDA-regulated Expanded Access Investigational New Drug (EA-IND) mechanism. CDC holds a nonresearch EA-IND protocol that facilitates access to and use of tecovirimat for treatment of monkeypox.§ The protocol includes patient treatment and adverse event reporting forms to monitor safety and ensure intended clinical use in accordance with FDA EA-IND requirements. The current multinational monkeypox outbreak, first detected in a country where Monkeypox virus infection is not endemic in May 2022, has predominantly affected gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) (1,2). To describe characteristics of persons treated with tecovirimat for Monkeypox virus infection, demographic and clinical data abstracted from available tecovirimat EA-IND treatment forms were analyzed. As of August 20, 2022, intake and outcome forms were available for 549 and 369 patients, respectively; 97.7% of patients were men, with a median age of 36.5 years. Among patients with available data, 38.8% were reported to be non-Hispanic White (White) persons, 99.8% were prescribed oral tecovirimat, and 93.1% were not hospitalized. Approximately one half of patients with Monkeypox virus infection who received tecovirimat were living with HIV infection. The median interval from initiation of tecovirimat to subjective improvement was 3 days and did not differ by HIV infection status. Adverse events were reported in 3.5% of patients; all but one adverse event were nonserious. These data support the continued access to and treatment with tecovirimat for patients with or at risk for severe disease in the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.

      Tecovirimat is an antiviral drug developed as a medical countermeasure to treat smallpox, a serious and life-threatening infection caused by Variola virus, of genus Orthopoxvirus; Monkeypox virus belongs to the same genus but typically causes less severe disease. Global eradication of smallpox was declared by the World Health Assembly in 1980. Because opportunities to develop clinical trials in countries where Monkeypox virus infection is considered endemic have been limited, the efficacy of tecovirimat to treat monkeypox has not been fully evaluated in humans. Instead, efficacy data that supported FDA approval of tecovirimat for smallpox were based on nonhuman primate and rabbit studies; efficacy studies were also conducted in macaque monkeys and prairie dogs

      Suggested citation for this article: O’Laughlin K, Tobolowsky FA, Elmor R, et al. Clinical Use of Tecovirimat (Tpoxx) for Treatment of Monkeypox Under an Investigational New Drug Protocol — United States, May–August 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. ePub: 9 September 2022.



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