Antiviral treatment emergency use

Merck announced today that it is seeking US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for its experimental antiviral Covid-19 treatment, molnupiravir.

If authorization is granted, the drug, made by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, would be the first oral antiviral treatment to fight Covid-19. It comes in capsule form.

Merck said it is asking for authorization for the capsules to treat infected adults who are at risk of progressing to severe Covid-19 disease or hospitalization. Its submission is based on a study that was stopped at the interim point because the drug was working so well in more than 700 patients randomly assigned to take either molnupiravir or a placebo.