In late October, Merck (NYSE:MRK) and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics agreed to make the COVID-19 antiviral molnupiravir available in the developing world.
Now, Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) is taking a similar approach for its investigational antiviral cocktail Paxlovid, which contains PF-07321332 and ritonavir.
Pfizer, like Merck, struck an agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) related to Paxlovid.
MPP’s mission is to expand low- and middle-income countries’ access to vital medicines. The United Nations supports the organization.
Pfizer announced earlier this month that Paxlovid was 89% effective in reducing the risk of hospitalization or death in an interim analysis of the Phase 2/3 EPIC-HR trial.
The collaboration with MPP will enable generic drug makers internationally with sub-licenses to produce Paxlovid for use in 95 countries, which comprise more than half of the world’s population.
“This license is so important because, if authorized or approved, this oral drug is particularly well-suited for low- and middle-income countries and could play a critical role in saving lives, contributing to global efforts to fight the current pandemic,” said Charles Gore, executive director of MPP, in a press release. “PF-07321332 is to be taken together with ritonavir, an HIV medicine we know well, as we have had a license on it for many years, and we will be working with generic companies to ensure there is enough supply for both COVID-19 and HIV.”
At present, MPP has signed agreements with ten patient holders for 13 HIV antiretrovirals and several other drugs.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease