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Merck Enters Supply Agreement With U.S. Government For Investigational Oral Antiviral Candidate For COVID-19

By John F. Heerdink, Jr.

Reportedly, Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) has entered into a procurement agreement with the United States government for molnupiravir (MK-4482). Molnupiravir is under Phase 3 clinical trial, the MOVe-OUT study for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcomes. Molnupiravir is an investigational, orally bioavailable form of a potent ribonucleoside analog that curbs the replication of multiple RNA viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the agent causing COVID-19.

As per the agreement, if molnupiravir is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or receives Emergency Use Authorization, Merck will receive $1.2 billion approximately to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir to the United States. Merck is developing molnupiravir in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

“Merck is pleased to collaborate with the U.S. government on this new agreement that will provide Americans with COVID-19 access to molnupiravir – an investigational oral therapy being studied for outpatient use early in the course of disease – if it is authorized or approved. In addition to this agreement with the U.S. government, we are actively engaged in numerous efforts to make molnupiravir available globally to fulfill Merck’s commitment to widespread access.” stated Rob Davis, president, Merck.

Merck also plans to submit applications for emergency use or approval to regulatory bodies outside of the U.S. and is undergoing discussions with other countries interested in advance purchase agreements for molnupiravir.

Merck has also entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with established generic manufacturers to speed the availability of molnupiravir in 104 low- and middle-income countries followed by approvals or emergency authorization by local regulatory agencies. Merck is working to scale up the production of molnupiravir and expects to offer more than 10 million courses of therapy available by this year-end.

Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) is a global healthcare solutions provider that has been working towards bringing forward medicine and vaccines for some of the world’s most challenging diseases for more than a century. They are committed to increasing health care access and continue to be at the leading edge of research. Merck has the industry’s largest immuno-oncology clinical research program. To learn more about Merck (MRK) and to track its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners Merck Coverage Page.

If you liked this story please consider, visiting the Atossa Therapeutics (ATOS) dedicated page at Vista Partners to learn about the Seattle-based biotech firm’s work towards finding therapeutic treatments for Breast Cancer and the Coronavirus. 

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(Read Original Story: Merck Announces Supply Agreement with U.S. Government for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Candidate for Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19 in Business Wire)


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