Merck & Co. Pivots To COVID-19 Treatments After Vaccines Disappoint
Program Halt Seen As 'Hit' To Vaccine-Making Reputation
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.
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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.
Plus: Sanofi is getting into the mRNA vaccine game under a partnership with Translate Bio but has a lot of catching up to do.
Biopharma’s accomplishments in tackling the global COVID-19 pandemic, unlike advances within oncology such as cell therapies and checkpoint inhibitors, or functional cures for HIV and hepatitis C, have captured the public’s imagination. Consequently, industry perception scores have ticked upwards sharply, albeit from a low base.