It found that, after examining more than 1,400 adults, molnupiravir reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 by 30 percent. Last month, Merck reported that, based on data from 775 patients, the study was found to be around 50 percent effective.
In a statement Friday, the pharmaceutical company said the interim analysis and additional studies continue to “maintain the efficacy and overall benefit-risk assessment of molnupiravir in treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults at high risk of disease progression.” It has been added that updated data on the efficacy of molnupiravir were made available to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Merck & Co. and a partner of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP applied on October 11 to the FDA for approval of molnupiravir in the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 disease in adults who are at risk of developing the disease that may result in hospitalization.
The FDA’s advisory committee is expected to discuss the effectiveness of the COVID-19 pill next week.
Molnupiravir can be administered to patients at home, as opposed to Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir and monoclonal antibody therapies, which are administered by intravenous infusion, usually in a hospital or clinic. Treating patients at home avoids the risk of transmission of the virus to healthcare professionals and other patients.