Merck enters into a contract with the United States to purchase additional doses of the Corona drug

Merck & Co. said the United States has pledged to purchase 1.4 million doses of its anti-Covid-19 drug, developed with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, for approximately $ 1 billion, bringing the total contracted doses. to 3.1 million doses in the United States. States.

Merck said today, Tuesday, in a statement that purchases are subject to Food and Drug Administration approval of the oral antiviral, called mollopiravir, and indicated that the United States has the ability to purchase two million additional therapeutic doses.

Reacting to the statement, Merck shares were up 0.9% in trading pre-market.

Pill treatments, developed by Merck and Pfizer, have proven effective in keeping high-risk patients from hospitalization in hospital and have been hailed as key tools to reverse the epidemic.

While Pfizer’s Paxilovid was 89% effective in preventing patients at high risk of deterioration, it was studio of Merck showed 50% effectiveness. However, the comparisons between the two drugs remain unclear, in how there might be key differences in the groups of studio of the two companies, according to Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Sam Fadley.

Merck claimed that questyear will produce 10 million doses of its oral coronavirus drug. Fazeli estimated the value of this production at around $ 7 billion, based on $ 700 per serving.

Although the effectiveness of the Merck vaccine is lower than that of its Pfizer counterpart, resistance to the virus is always a concern for doctors, as some may recommend the use of two types together, to improve efficacy and reduce risk. of emergence of strains that can overcome drugs.

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