Investing.com – Merck is seeking emergency authorization for an oral coronavirus treatment after “compelling results” from its trials, CNBC reports.
Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek emergency authorization for an oral antiviral treatment for Covid-19, after the drug showed “convincing results” in clinical trials. The companies announced on Friday that molnopiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50% for patients with mild or moderate cases of COVID-19. Molnopiravir is given orally and works by preventing the multiplication of Covid-19 inside the body.
An interim analysis of the Phase 3 study showed that 7.3% of patients treated with molnopiravir were hospitalized within 29 days. Among the placebo-treated patients, 14.1% were hospitalized or died by day 29. No deaths were reported in patients treated with molnopiravir over the 29-day period, while 8 deaths were reported in placebo-treated patients.
All 775 participants in the trial had laboratory-confirmed symptoms of Covid-19 and were randomly assigned to either mollopiravir or a placebo within five days of symptoms starting.
Not every participant was vaccinated and had at least one underlying factor that puts them at greater risk of developing a more serious case of the virus. The most common risk factors included obesity, being over the age of 60, diabetes and heart disease.
Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE:) jumped more than 7% after the news was traded before the markets opened.
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