WHO says it awaits full data from Merck on antiviral Covid-19 pill

GENEVA (REUTERS) – The World Health Organisation is awaiting full clinical data on the antiviral pill made by Merck to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 patients, a WHO spokesperson said on Tuesday (Oct 12), a day after the company said it had applied for US emergency use authorisation.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier, asked at a UN briefing in Geneva about the drug, said: “Indeed, this is an interesting development. We would have to see the full data about it. If it holds true, then it is another weapon in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Merck – known as MSD outside the United States and Canada – and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics developed molnupiravir.

Molnupiravir cut the rate of hospitalisation and death by 50 per cent in a trial of mild-to-moderately ill patients who had at least one risk factor for the disease, according to data released this month.

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