Merck says its Covid antiviral treatment is less effective than previously thought – .

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Merck says its Covid antiviral treatment is less effective than previously thought – .


Merck’s Covid-19 oral antiviral treatment is not as effective as expected, the pharmaceutical company said on Friday, after a comprehensive analysis of trial results provided new data on its ability to reduce hospitalizations and deaths .

The company said its oral drug, molnupiravir, showed a 30% relative risk reduction compared to placebo in the 1,400 patients enrolled in the trial. He had said last month that the reduction was “around” 50 percent as he released preliminary data on a smaller sample of patients.

In the full analysis, one death was reported in the molnupiravir group and nine in the placebo group.

New York-listed Merck shares fell 4% by mid-morning on Friday, amid broader market declines.

The company said the new data continued to support “the efficacy and overall favorable assessment of the benefit / risk ratio of molnupiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults at high risk for disease progression” .

He said he shared the additional data with the United States Food and Drug Administration, which is reviewing the drug.

Merck noted that the statistical criteria for success had already been met and that an external data committee had advised to discontinue enrollment in the study.

Molnupiravir, co-developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and also known as Lagevrio, has been approved for use in the UK. European regulators are also reviewing it. Merck signed an agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to make the drug available to the poorest countries.

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