Merck begins late-stage trial of experimental COVID-19 drug

(Reuters) – Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said on Wednesday they had begun enrolling patients in a late-stage trial of their experimental drug molnupiravir for prevention of COVID-19 infection.

The oral antiviral drug will be studied in over 1,300 volunteers to see if it can prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Merck said in June the U.S. government has agreed to pay about $1.2 billion for 1.7 million courses of its experimental COVID-19 treatment, if it is proven to work in a separate, ongoing large trial and authorized by U.S. regulators. read more

The Merck logo is seen at a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Rahway, New Jersey, U.S., July 12, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The new late-stage study is enrolling participants who are at least 18 years of age and stay in the same household as someone infected with symptomatic COVID-19.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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Reuters source:

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/merck-begins-late-stage-trial-experimental-covid-19-drug-2021-09-01