Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Merck’s COVID-19 pill effective against Omicron in lab studies

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Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said on Friday six lab studies showed that their experimental oral COVID-19 drug, molnupiravir, was active against the Omicron variant.

About Molnupiravir

Molnupiravir is an investigational, orally administered form of a potent ribonucleoside analog that inhibits the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Molnupiravir has been shown to be active in several preclinical models of SARS-CoV-2, including for prophylaxis, treatment, and prevention of transmission.

Additionally, pre-clinical and clinical data have shown molnupiravir to be active against the most common SARS-CoV-2 variants. It was invented at Drug Innovations at Emory (DRIVE), LLC, a not-for-profit biotechnology company wholly owned by Emory University, and is being developed by Merck & Co in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Ridgeback received an upfront payment from Merck and also is eligible to receive contingent payments dependent upon the achievement of certain developmental and regulatory approval milestones.

Any profits from the collaboration will be split between the partners equally. Since licensed by Ridgeback, all funds used for the development of molnupiravir have been provided by Merck and by Wayne and Wendy Holman of Ridgeback.

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