Merck’s Oral Antiviral Data In COVID-19 May Change Pandemic Outlook
Merck/Ridgeback’s ribonucleoside analog shows nearly 50% reduction of risk for hospitalization or death in Phase III study. Firms will seek EUA in US; a contract is in place for 1.7 million courses of therapy.
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Group’s final report said evidence was inadequate to demonstrate a net health benefit versus symptomatic care for Lagevrio, a drug that has already taken a back seat to Pfizer’s Paxlovid.
New data for molnupiravir could mean new commercial life for Merck and Ridgeback’s oral COVID-19 therapy, which had fallen behind due to the outstanding efficacy for Pfizer’s Paxlovid.
Evidence that the new variant dulls drugs and vaccines’ efficacy creates uncertainty for 2022, but new products are in the wings.