US to Boost Stockpile of New Drug for COVID-19 to 3.1Mln Doses

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Pills - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.11.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The Biden administration will purchase an additional 1.4 million doses of molnupiravir, an oral antiviral medicine that prevents hospitalization by attacking the novel coronavirus in early states of the disease, developers Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics said on Tuesday.
“With these exercised options, the US government has now committed to purchase a total of approximately 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir, for approximately $2.2 billion, between authorization and early 2022,” the companies said in a joint press release.
Merck and Ridgeback previously applied to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization (EUA), with clinical trials showing molnupiravir 90 percent effective in preventing hospitalization and death of vulnerable adults with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infections.
In addition to the extra purchase of 1.4 million doses, the US also has options to purchase another 2 million courses, with the contract contingent on the drug receiving EUA, the release said.
An FDA advisory committee plans to take up the EUA  application on November 30, according to the release.
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