A COVID-19 pill created by Merck, the pharmaceutical giant with sizable operations in West Point, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics performed well in a key study and is one step closer to becoming the first, easy-to-use, at-home treatment for the deadly virus, write Jared S. Hopkins and Betsy McKay for The Wall Street Journal.
According to the companies, their experimental pill cut the risk of hospitalization or death in study participants with mild to moderate COVID-19 by around 50 percent.
Molnupiravir was performing so well in its late-stage trial that Merck and Ridgeback stopped enrolling additional subjects after discussions with the Food and Drug Administration.
If it receives regulatory approval, the drug will become the first oral antiviral for COVID-19.
According to Merck Chief Executive Officer Robert M. Davis, the company is planning to ask the FDA to authorize the use of the drug in the following weeks.
“The ability to take what is a devastating disease like Covid-19 and potentially make it a manageable situation through what is a very convenient round of administration, which is an oral pill you can take at home, has important implications for the ability to manage the ongoing pandemic,” said Davis.
Read more about Merck in The Wall Street Journal.