Merck & Co. Inc. said on June 9 the U.S. government agreed to pay about $1.2 billion for 1.7 million courses of the company’s experimental Covid-19 treatment, if the oral antiviral drug molnupiravir is proven to work in an ongoing large trial and authorized by U.S. regulators.

Russia’s Supreme Court on May 27 rejected a lawsuit from Gilead Sciences that challenged a Russian government decision to let a Russian firm develop and market the anti-Covid-19 drug remdesivir without the U.S. company ‘s consent.

Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. Inc., Roche Holding AG, and other companies are racing to produce the first antiviral pill that people could take at early signs of Covid-19. Their shared goal: filling a key treatment hole by helping people recently infected with the novel coronavirus to avoid becoming seriously ill and needing hospitalization.

U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co. joined Gilead Sciences Inc. on April 27 in lending support to India as the world’s second-most populous country scrambles to address drug shortages and bring a raging new wave of Covid-19 cases under control.

Merck & Co. Inc. said on April 27 the company had partnered with five Indian generic drugmakers, including Cipla Ltd. and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., to expand production and access to the experimental Covid-19 drug molnupiravir.

Fujifilm Holdings Corp. said on April 21 the company started a new phase III trial in Japan of the drug Avigan for Covid-19, reviving hopes for a home-grown treatment for the virus.

Cidara Therapeutics inked a deal worth up to $780 million with Johnson & Johnson to develop and commercialize Cidara’s candidate CD388 for the prevention and treatment of seasonal and pandemic influenza.

Emergent BioSolutions’ Phase III trial of SARS-CoV-2 Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human) (COVID-HIG) to treat hospitalized patients with COVID-19 showed that the addition of the treatment to Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir did not provide clinical benefit compared to standard of care plus placebo in hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients with symptoms for less than 12 days.

Genentech reported that the company’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Actemra failed to hit the primary endpoint in a Covid-19 trial, while Vir and GlaxoSmithKline’s antibody against Covid-19 demonstrated 85 percent efficacy.

Swiss drugmaker Roche said on March 11 adding the company’s drug Actemra to Gilead Sciences’ Veklury medication, also called remdesivir, did not reduce hospital stays for patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia.