Merck, GlaxoSmithKline Report Progress on COVID-19 Drug Candidates

Merck scientists
Image via Merck.

Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, both with significant operations in Montgomery County, reported progress on COVID-19 experimental medicines they are working on with partner companies, writes John George for the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics started late-stage clinical testing for molnupiravir, an experimental oral antiviral therapeutic which is used to prevent COVID-19 infections.

The global clinical trial would enroll around 1,300 people, with results expected in the second half of 2021.

“If successful, molnupiravir could provide an important additional option towards reducing the burden of COVID-19 on our communities,” said Dr. Nick Kartsonis, Merck Research Laboratories senior vice president.

Merck has a large research and manufacturing campus in West Point.

Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline and SK Bioscience have commenced late-stage clinical testing on GBP510, a vaccine candidate, in combination with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant.

The companies are looking to enroll around 4,000 people in the global Phase 3 clinical trial, with results expected in the first half of 2022.

“While many countries have made good progress with vaccination, there remains a need for accessible and affordable COVID-19 vaccines to ensure equitable access and to protect people across the world,” said Thomas Breuer, GSK’s chief global health officer.

GSK has a research lab in Collegeville.

Read more about the two companies’ efforts in the Philadelphia Business Journal.

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