WHO Says Seeks More Data From Merck on COVID-19 Anti-Viral, From Bharat on Vaccine

An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill called molnupiravir being developed by Merck & Co. Inc. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen in this undated photo obtained by Reuters on May 17, 2021. (Merck & Co. Inc./Handout via Reuters) GENEVA—The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new antiviral COVID-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks regarding its use for mild and moderate cases. “This is a drug that we are currently evaluating and we met with Merck on Friday to discuss data from their current clinical trials that are under way in other countries,” WHO expert Maria van Kerkhove told a news conference where she was asked about Merck’s molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. “So we hope to have some good news there in the coming weeks.” Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director, said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine at a Nov. 3 meeting after asking the Indian company this week for more clinical data. Follow More articles from this author

WHO Says Seeks More Data From Merck on COVID-19 Anti-Viral, From Bharat on Vaccine

An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill called molnupiravir being developed by Merck & Co. Inc. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen in this undated photo obtained by Reuters on May 17, 2021. (Merck & Co. Inc./Handout via Reuters)

GENEVA—The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new antiviral COVID-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks regarding its use for mild and moderate cases.

“This is a drug that we are currently evaluating and we met with Merck on Friday to discuss data from their current clinical trials that are under way in other countries,” WHO expert Maria van Kerkhove told a news conference where she was asked about Merck’s molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

“So we hope to have some good news there in the coming weeks.”

Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director, said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine at a Nov. 3 meeting after asking the Indian company this week for more clinical data.