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Merck and Ridgeback fulfil US deal for molnupiravir

Over three million courses of the investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment have been supplied

Merck

Merck & Co – known as MSD outside the US and Canada – and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have announced that approximately 3.1 million courses of its investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment, molnupiravir, have been supplied to the US government for nationwide distribution.

So far, Merck has manufactured ten million courses of the treatment and plans to produce at least 20 million courses in 2022, as part of its commitment to provide widespread global access to molnupiravir.

In order to help providers, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a public website showing locations that have received shipments of the COVID-19 treatments available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), that have been secured by the government.

Merck agreed on a procurement deal with the US government in 2021 for approximately 3.1 million courses upon either an approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or being given an EUA.

Alongside the most recent US agreement, Merck has entered into purchase and supply deals for molnupiravir in over 30 markets globally including Canada, Korea, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Ukraine. The UK will also enter into the same agreements, pending regulatory authorisations, while Merck hold discussions with additional governments.

Robert Davis, chief executive officer and president, Merck, said: “As we start 2022, more than 2,000 COVID-19 deaths are being reported in the US daily, which underscores the need for medicines including molnupiravir that can be taken at home. In line with our commitment to accelerating access to molnupiravir in the US, we have now supplied more than 3 million courses to the US government within approximately seven weeks of receiving Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration.”

Speaking on behalf of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the company’s chief executive officer Wendy Holman said: “We believe that molnupiravir will be a critical addition in helping curb the impact of COVID-19 on patients and healthcare systems in the US, particularly with the medicine’s antiviral activity against many variants of concern.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

11th February 2022

From: Healthcare

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