Hetero Labs Makes Move to Secure Emergency Use Authorization for Merck’s Antiviral Targeting COVID-19: Molnupiravir in India

Hetero Labs Makes Move to Secure Emergency Use Authorization for Merck’s Antiviral Targeting COVID-19: Molnupiravir in India

Merck’s been busy testing its Molnupiravir, the drug that was first developed at Emory University then licensed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Now in partnership with the latter, Merck is competing against Roche and Pfizer for at least part of the COVID-19 antiviral therapeutic market with an emphasis on early-onset, at-risk cases. This is an easy-to-administer, relatively economical therapy that’s both safe and effective. TrialSite has emphasized that if SARS-CoV-2 continues to persist year after year, the market for early-onset cases (90% of the total number of novel coronavirus cases) represents a very rich market indeed. Merck recently tapped into Indian generic pharmaceutical companies to expand its Molnupiravir production for clinical trials in the world’s second-most populous nation. Partners included Cipla, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, and Hetero Labs, which just at the end of last week sought emergency use authorization from a local regulatory after interim data from the Phase 3 clinical trials reveals a reduction in hospitalization and an acceleration of recovery in mild cases.

A Gilead remdesivir partner, Hetero Labs has been in business for over 27 years as a vertically...

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