Merck & Co. Buys Out OncoImmune For Phase III COVID-19 Therapy
Deal snapshot: For $425m up front, the pharma obtains a Phase III recombination fusion protein that shows ability to improve hospitalized patients’ clinical status and reduce risk of death.
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After backing off of MRK-7110 for hospitalized patients the company’s focus is on the oral antiviral molnupiravir for outpatients – which would be a huge win, but the drug has yet to fully prove itself in the clinic.
The company cited lackluster efficacy in its decision to discontinue development of V590 and V591. It will instead develop two drugs to treat COVID-19.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail prevented deaths and mechanical ventilation in hospitalized patients on low-flow oxygen. Also, Pfizer and BioNTech will supply an additional 100m doses of the companies' COVID-19 vaccine to the US government for $1.95bn, while Merck & Co signed a contract for its COVID-19 treatment MK-7110.