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By Christiana Sciaudone
Investing.com -- Merck&Company Inc (NYSE:MRK) rose more than 2% after announcing a $1.2 billion deal with the U.S. government for a Covid-19 treatment.
If molnupiravir receives Emergency Use Authorization or approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Merck will receive approximately $1.2 billion to supply 1.7 million courses of the drug to the U.S. government. Merck has been investing at risk to support development and scale-up production of molnupiravir and expects to have more than 10 million courses of therapy available by the end of 2021.
“In addition to this agreement with the U.S. government, we are actively engaged in numerous efforts to make molnupiravir available globally to fulfill Merck’s commitment to widespread access," said Merck President Rob Davis.
Merck also plans to submit applications for emergency use or approval to regulatory bodies outside of the U.S. and is currently in discussions with other countries interested in advance purchase agreements for molnupiravir.
As part of its access strategy, Merck has also entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with established generic manufacturers to accelerate availability of molnupiravir in 104 low- and middle-income countries following approvals or emergency authorization by local regulatory agencies.
Molnupiravir is being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with Covid-19 and at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcomes. Merck is developing molnupiravir in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.