Merck to seek authorisation for oral Covid-19 drug

AFP News Agency

01st Oct, 2021. 07:24 pm

Pharmaceutical company Merck said Friday it will seek authorisation in the US for an oral drug for Covid-19, after the pill showed “compelling results” in a clinical trial.

The experimental drug, molnupiravir, significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death when administered to high-risk patients early in the disease, Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said in a statement.

“At the interim analysis, 7.3 percent of patients who received molnupiravir were hospitalised through Day 29, compared with 14.1 percent of placebo-treated patients who were hospitalised or died.”

The phase three clinical trial evaluated data from 775 patients with laboratory-confirmed mild to moderate Covid.

“Merck plans to seek emergency use authorisation in the US as soon as possible and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide,” the companies said.

Molnupiravir, one of the several oral pills for Covid-19 being developed, is meant to stop the virus from replicating.

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