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Merck seeks emergency-use authorization of oral antiviral for COVID-19

This undated image provided by Merck & Co. shows their new antiviral medication. The drugmaker has said its experimental pill for people sick with COVID-19 reduced hospitalizations and deaths. (Merck & Co. via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:38 AM PT – Monday, October 11, 2021

Drugmakers are seeking FDA authorization for the first oral antiviral medicine for treating COVID-19. Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Monday that they submitted an application with the agency for emergency-use authorization of molnupiravir.

The experimental medication, originally developed for treating influenza, is now demonstrating results in mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in at-risk adults. Clinical trials of the pill found that it reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50 percent.

NEW: @Merck requests FDA emergency use authorization of its pill, molnupiravir, for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults “who are at risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.” https://t.co/EoxlBO5mxZ

— Rachel Acenas (@RachelAcenas) October 11, 2021

The medication is administered as four pills taken twice-a-day for five days. The drug could be made available to Americans by late this year and would be the first authorized oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.

The biotechnology company’s focus revolves around emerging infectious diseases. It’s known to market a treatment for Ebola. The team at Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics noted, they are “dedicated to working toward finding life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions.”

MORE NEWS: Neurologist Defends Natural Immunity

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