(Readington Township, NJ) — Pharmaceutical company Merck says its experimental antiviral pill is effective against COVID variants. Head of infectious disease and vaccines Jay Grobler said molnupiravir works best when given to patients early on in their infection. Lab studies showed the oral drug was even effective against the highly contagious Delta variant. While Merck is still in phase three trials, scientists say it’s effective against the virus strains because it does not attack the spike protein of the virus, which is different in all the variants. It works by targeting the enzyme that makes copies of the virus and introduces errors to the genetic code.