US to shell out $1.2B for sup­plies of Mer­ck­'s po­ten­tial Covid-19 an­tivi­ral

Pend­ing pos­i­tive Phase III re­sults, the US gov­ern­ment said ear­ly Wednes­day that it will pay Mer­ck $1.2 bil­lion for about 1.7 mil­lion cours­es of its Covid-19 an­tivi­ral pill mol­nupi­ravir.

Mer­ck, which is de­vel­op­ing mol­nupi­ravir in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ridge­back Bio­ther­a­peu­tics, is await­ing the re­sults from its late-stage tri­al on whether the an­tivi­ral re­duces the risk of hos­pi­tal­iza­tion or death, and plans to file for an Emer­gency Use Au­tho­riza­tion be­fore the end of this year. The tri­al plans to en­roll 1,850 pa­tients glob­al­ly with fi­nal da­ta on the 5-day treat­ment cours­es ex­pect­ed this fall, ac­cord­ing to HHS.

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