Merck’s (NYSE:MRK) investigational oral COVID-19 drug could net between $5 billion and $7 billion in revenue through the end of 2022 if FDA authorizes its use in December, the company projected.
Sales of the drug could be higher, assuming it finds widespread use in wealthy countries.
Merck expects sales between $500 million and $1 billion for 2021.
The company’s Q3 earnings also beat the consensus forecast.
Merck’s stock climbed more than 5% per share to $85.70 in mid-day trading.
Several other companies are also developing COVID-19 antivirals, including Pfizer and Novartis. Roche and Atea recently announced disappointing Phase 2 results involving their investigational antiviral AT-527.
Merck also announced that molnupiravir, which it developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, would be available in developing countries. To that end, Merck agreed to a royalty-free license for molnupiravir with the Medicines Patent Pool. As a result of the arrangement, generic drug manufacturers could sell a five-day course of the drug for as little as $20. In the U.S., a five-day treatment costs more than $700.
Yesterday, WHO released a statement with its partner Unitaid, praising Merck’s decision to make the drug available in the developing world.
The drug promises to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death associated when administered early in the course of a COVID-19 infection.
FDA announced in mid-October that its Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee (AMDAC) would convene on November 30 to discuss Merck’s request for an emergency use authorization.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development, Infectious Disease