New Jersey drug manufacturer Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics on Friday said the new experimental COVID-19 drug significantly reduces hospitalization time and chance of death for 50 percent of patients with mild to moderate cases.
In light of the new findings, the Kenilworth-based company has stopped the drug’s trial to apply for emergency use authorization.
Molnupiravir is an oral pill and inhibits the replication of the virus inside of the body.
“The news of the efficacy of this particular antiviral is obviously very good news,” White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said at a briefing Friday.
“The company, when they briefed us last night, had mentioned that they will be submitting their data to the FDA imminently.”
The interim analysis looked at data from 775 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 at high risk for severe disease, and those who took the pill, did so within five days of symptoms.
If approved for emergency use, the pill could be prescribed to patients who otherwise would require an injection and trip to a medical center.
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