Merck Secures $356m from Feds for Ongoing Infusion of Capital into Novel Investigational Therapies Targeting COVID-19

DOD Injects $5.1m into Clinical Trial Investigating Novel Oral Therapy to Treat ARDS Associated with COVID-19

The U.S. government continues to inject capital into novel therapeutics development as part of the battle against COVID-19. Now the federal government has entered into an agreement with Merck, known as MSD outside of North America, to develop and manufacture as well as fund initial distribution of an investigational biological therapeutic called MK-7110 (CD24Fc) if the product can reach the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) milestone from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Merck acquired MK-71100 as part of its acquisition of Oncolmmune, a privately held clinical-stage biotech company. As TrialSite has urged, although both vaccines and new biologics are critical during this pandemic, so is the exploration of existing drugs that could be repurposed for early stage treatment. Several such compounds have been identified. Novel drug development is incredibly expensive as well as risky, and the federal government needs to bolster its strategy to diversify approaches to ensure the highest probability of gaining low cost choice options for a healthy marketplace if possible. Perhaps Merck’s novel product can compete with the existing monoclonal antibody products already authori...

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