Merck says new Covid drug reduces hospitalization, deaths by half

Madrid Desk, Oct 1 (EFE).- US pharmaceutical companies Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on Friday announced a new drug that reduces the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19 by half.

In a statement, the companies said “molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%; 7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were either hospitalized or died (…) compared with 14.1% of placebo-treated patients.”

Merck is seeking authorization for emergency use for molnupiravir from US federal regulators.

If authorized, the drug would be the first oral medication to treat Covid-19, the companies said.

“With these compelling results, we are optimistic that molnupiravir can become an important medicine as part of the global effort to fight the pandemic,” said Robert M. Davis, chief executive officer and president, Merck.

“With the virus continuing to circulate widely, and because therapeutic options currently available are infused and/or require access to a healthcare facility, antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed,” said Wendy Holman, chief executive officer of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

“We are very encouraged by the results from the interim analysis and hope molnupiravir, if authorized for use, can make a profound impact in controlling the pandemic,” she added. EFE


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