KENILWORTH, N.J. & MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$MRK #MRK–Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced today the presentation of previously announced Phase 2 interim results from two Phase 2/3 clinical trials (MOVe-OUT and MOVe-IN) of molnupiravir (MK-4482/EIDD-2801), an investigational oral antiviral therapeutic. The data were presented during the late-breaking clinical trials session at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID). The Phase 3 portion of the global MOVe-OUT trial studying molnupiravir in non-hospitalized adult patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 and at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcomes is underway. In addition, Merck plans to initiate a clinical program to evaluate molnupiravir for post-exposure prophylaxis in the second half of 2021.
“It continues to be critically important to advance potential antiviral treatments to address the devastating impact of COVID-19 globally,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories. “If successful, molnupiravir could help address the continued urgent need for therapeutics.”
“These data are promising, and we are pleased to be able to present the Phase 2 interim results for molnupiravir while we proceed with the Phase 3 portion of MOVe-OUT in non-hospitalized patients,” said Wendy Holman, chief executive officer, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. “There remains a great need for a range of solutions for the pandemic, and we are hopeful that molnupiravir will play a role in helping patients.”
Molnupiravir (EIDD-2801/MK-4482) is an investigational, orally bioavailable form of a potent ribonucleoside analog that inhibits the replication of multiple RNA viruses including SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. Molnupiravir has been shown to be active in several models of SARS-CoV-2, including for prophylaxis, treatment, and prevention of transmission, as well as SARS-CoV-1 and MERS. EIDD-2801 was invented at Drug Innovations at Emory (DRIVE), LLC, a not-for-profit biotechnology company wholly owned by Emory University and is being developed by Merck & Co., Inc. in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Since licensed by Ridgeback, all funds used for the development of EIDD-2801/MK-4482 have been provided by Wayne and Wendy Holman and Merck.
About Ridgeback Biotherapeutics
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP is a biotechnology company focused on emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback markets EbangaTM for the treatment of Ebola and has a late-stage development pipeline which includes molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19. Development of molnupiravir is entirely funded by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck & Co., Inc. All equity capital in Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP originated from Wayne and Wendy Holman, who are committed to investing in and supporting medical technologies that will save lives. The team at Ridgeback Biotherapeutics is dedicated to working toward finding life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions.
For 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the “company”) includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company’s management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline products that the products will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company’s ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company’s patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company’s 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company’s other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC’s Internet site (www.sec.gov).
Ian R. McConnell
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