U.S. government to buy $1 billion more worth of Merck’s COVID-19 pill

An experimental COVID-19 therapy pill known as molnupiravir being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen on this undated handout photograph launched by Merck & Co Inc and obtained by Reuters Might 17, 2021. Merck & Co Inc/Handout by way of REUTERS

The U.S. government will buy one other $1 billion worth of the COVID-19 pill made by Merck & Co Inc and companion Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the businesses stated on Tuesday.

The government in June agreed to buy 1.7 million programs of molnupiravir for $1.2 billion and is now exercising choices to buy 1.4 million more.

That brings the whole secured programs to 3.1 million and worth $2.2 billion. Merck stated the government has the correct to buy 2 million more programs as half of the contract.

The drug has been intently watched since knowledge final month confirmed that when given early within the sickness it might halve the probabilities of dying or being hospitalized for these most in danger of growing extreme COVID-19.

“Molnupiravir, if authorized, will be among the vaccines and medicines available to fight COVID-19 as part of our collective efforts to bring this pandemic to an end,” stated Frank Clyburn, president of Merck’s human well being enterprise.

President Joe Biden stated on Friday that the US had additionally secured hundreds of thousands of doses of Pfizer Inc’s rival antiviral drug, which was proven to lower by 89% the possibility of hospitalization or demise for adults in danger of extreme illness.

The Pfizer negotiations have been for a deal related to the one with Merck – 1.7 million programs of the therapy upfront with a further choice for 3.3 million, a senior U.S. well being official stated on Tuesday, confirming a New York Occasions report.

Pfizer Chief Govt Officer Alfred Bourla stated on Friday that the corporate plans to promote its therapy for across the identical value for high-income international locations as Merck, at roughly $700 for a course of remedy.

Merck expects to produce 10 million programs of the therapy by the tip of this 12 months, with at the very least 20 million set to be manufactured in 2022.

Source link