Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics appear to be gaining growing support for their oral COVID-19 therapy molnupiravir.
One week after Great Britain granted conditional marketing authorization for the drug, the companies announced that the U.S. government intends to purchase 1.4 million additional medicine courses for approximately $1 billion.
The U.S. has committed to buy approximately 3.1 million molnupiravir courses for $2.2 billion, which equates to about $710 per course.
For the sake of comparison, the U.S. pays about $40 per dose of COVID-19 vaccines.
The U.S. has the option of buying an additional 2 million courses of molnupiravir.
Merck and Ridgeback are awaiting news from FDA regarding their submission for emergency use authorization of molnupiravir. The application would cover adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 who have a high risk of developing severe illness or hospitalization.
FDA’s Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee will discuss the application on November 30.
To date, the clinical trials for molnupiravir and Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid have focused on COVID-19 patients with an elevated risk of developing severe disease or hospitalization. However, the companies are also considering their use in the overall public to reduce COVID-19 severity and transmission.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Drug Discovery and Development