Merck finds molnupiravir cuts COVID-19 hospitalization rate in half 

The oral antiviral molnupiravir from Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics fared well in a planned interim analysis of the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT trial.

If authorized by FDA, the pill would be the first oral antiviral for SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S.

To date, all authorized or approved COVID-19 drugs require subcutaneous, intramuscular or intravenous administration.

Merck intends to file an EUA for the oral therapy soon.

“With these compelling results, we are optimistic that molnupiravir can become an important medicine as part of the global effort to fight the pandemic and will add to Merck’s unique legacy of bringing forward breakthroughs in infectious diseases when they are needed most,” Merck CEO Robert M. Davis said in a statement.

The molnupiravir study focused on initially non-hospitalized adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19. It found that 7.3% of molnupiravir recipients were hospitalized within 29 days. By contrast, 14.1% of placebo …

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