Merck & Co. said on November 26 updated data from the company’s study of the experimental COVID-19 pill molnupiravir showed the drug was significantly less effective in cutting hospitalizations and deaths than previously reported.

The U.S. government will buy another $1 billion worth of the Covid-19 pill made by Merck & Co. Inc. and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, the companies said on November 9.

Britain on November 4 became the first country in the world to approve a potentially game-changing Covid-19 antiviral pill jointly developed by U.S.-based Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in a boost to the fight against the pandemic.

The FDA’s outside expert panel will meet on November 30, 2021, to deliberate Merck’s pill for Covid-19 infection.  

The World Health Organization is awaiting full clinical data on the antiviral pill made by Merck & Co. Inc. to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 patients, a WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday, a day after the company said it had applied for U.S. emergency use authorization.

Merck has submitted data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s antiviral pill molnupiravir.

Two Indian drugmakers requested permission to end their late-stage trials on Merck & Co.’s experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir in moderate Covid-19 patients.

Immunology is one of the more complicated areas of the life sciences, and recent studies on the long-term efficacy of the mRNA vaccines against Covid-19 are prime examples of just how complicated it can be.

Johnson & Johnson is expected to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize a booster for the company’s one-shot Covid-19 vaccine this week. In other news, President Biden’s chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNBC that they expect the FDA to review data on Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics’ new oral antiviral against Covid-19 “as quickly as they possibly can.”

Merck

Laboratory studies show that Merck & Co.’s experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, including the dominant, highly transmissible Delta, the company said on Sept. 29.