Merck & Co. Inc. and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP said on January 18 they had signed an agreement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to supply up to 3 million courses of their COVID-19 antiviral pill.

Pfizer Inc. said on November 18 the U.S. government would pay $5.29 billion for 10 million courses of the company’s experimental Covid-19 antiviral drug, as the country rushes to secure promising oral treatments for the disease.

Pfizer reported first-quarter 2021 revenue of $14.6 billion, an impressive 42 percent operational growth. The company’s Covid-19 vaccine revenue accounted for $3.5 billion of the total.

Novavax Inc. started a large late-stage study of the company’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine in the United States after delaying the trial twice due to issues in scaling up the manufacturing process.

AstraZeneca is likely to run an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine using a lower dosage, the British drugmaker’s chief executive was quoted as saying amid questions over the results of a late-stage study.

The European Union agreed to pay more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to Gilead for a six-month supply of the company’s antiviral drug remdesivir, shortly before the publication of final results for the largest trial of the Covid-19 medication.