Pharmaceutical giant Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is set to file an emergency approval of its oral antiviral treatment for COVID-19 after the experimental drug showed “compelling results” in clinical trials.
On Friday, the company said their pill, called molnupiravir, cut the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by about 50 percent in a late-stage trial.
Sources said if by chance the FDA will approve it the pill will become the first oral antiviral for COVID-19.
“More tools and treatments are urgently needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a leading cause of death and continues to profoundly affect patients, families, and societies and strain health care systems all around the world,” Merck’s CEO Robert Davis said in a statement.
“With these compelling results, we are optimistic that molnupiravir can become an important medicine as part of the global effort to fight the pandemic,” Davis added.
The result from the initial trial of the drugs has shown that in the patients who received the pill, none died.