MSD: Antiviral COVID-19 pill can halve the risk of hospitalisation and death
The results come from MSD and Ridgeback Therapuetics’ Phase III MOVe-OUT trial, where the anti-viral pill, molnupiravir, was given as an oral medicine. While the medicine cut hospitalisations and deaths in around 50% of people, 7.3% of participants were either hospitalised or died through day 29 of the trial.
MSD is planning to submit an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the FDA as soon as possible, with further marketing applications to other regulatory bodies across the world to follow.
The Phase III trial interim results evaluated 775 patients, who were initially enrolled on or before August 5. The trial is now reaching its full recruitment of the Phase III trial of 1,550 participants.
If molnupiravir is approved, it will become the first oral anti-viral pill for COVID-19 in the world. MSD is set to produce more than 10 million courses of the pill by the end of the year. The company aims to supply approximately 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir to the US once it achieves a EUA or approval from the FDA.
Robert M Davis, Chief Executive officer and President, MSD, said: “More tools and treatments are urgently needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a leading cause of death and continues to profoundly affect patients, families, and societies and strain health care systems all around the world.”