Merck CEO Robert Davis Says Ready To Quickly Deploy Covid Antiviral Pill – .

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Merck CEO Robert Davis Says Ready To Quickly Deploy Covid Antiviral Pill – .


Merck CEO Robert Davis told CNBC on Thursday that the drugmaker was prepared to produce and distribute tens of millions of doses of its Covid antiviral pills if it received regulatory approval.
“Right now we are on the verge of having 10 million courses ready by the end of this year, and more than double next year,” Merck CEO Robert Davis told Squawk Box ”.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is expected to assess the safety and efficacy data for the pill, known as molnupiravir, on November 30 and decide whether or not to approve it for authorization to use. emergency in the United States. Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutic said internal data showed the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid was halved by molnupiravir. Patients take four tablets twice a day for five days.

“I can tell you from the data we’ve seen and the studies we’ve done, we believe this is a safe drug,” Davis said.

If approved, molnupiravir would be the first Covid treatment approved in pill form, and it would also help diversify the company’s appeal to investors, who grew weary of Merck’s over-reliance on its cancer drug. , Keytruda, for the growth of his business. Merck also recently acquired the biopharmaceutical company Acceleron to expand its portfolio of cardiovascular products.

Merck has reached an agreement with a United Nations-backed group to help produce the Covid antiviral pill around the world. The deal would allow molnupiravir to be produced by qualified pharmaceutical companies around the world to address health inequalities highlighted by vaccine distribution. Merck will not receive any royalties on sales of the pill as long as Covid remains classified as a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Globally, there have been more than 244 million confirmed cases of Covid since the start of the pandemic, and 4.9 million deaths, according to WHO data.

Davis said he sees a lot of opportunities going forward for Merck. “We are excited about our pipeline, we are excited about our ability to grow (…) we frankly continue to believe that our growth until 2024 is underestimated, so I think there are more opportunities for this. title, ”he added.

Merck beat Wall Street expectations with quarterly results, and its stock was up about 2% in pre-market on Thursday. The company earned adjusted $ 1.75 per share in the third quarter on revenue of $ 13.1 billion. Merck has raised its outlook for the full year.

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