UK to roll out a trial of COVID-19 antivirals this month -Health Security Agency - Market News
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UK to roll out a trial of COVID-19 antivirals this month -Health Security Agency

UK to roll out a trial of COVID-19 antivirals this month -Health Security Agency

An experimental COVID-19 treatment pill called molnupiravir and developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP can be seen in this undated photo released by Merck & Co Inc and obtained by Reuters on October 26, 2021. Merck & Co Inc /Handout via REUTERS

LONDON, Nov. 7 (Reuters) – Britain begins rolling out Merck’s (MRK.N) molnupiravir COVID-19 antiviral pill through drug trial later this month, Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency said on Sunday.

Last week, Britain became the first country in the world to approve the potentially groundbreaking COVID-19 antiviral pill, jointly developed by US-based Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. read more

The government said in October it had secured 480,000 courses of the drug Merck, as well as 250,000 courses of an antiviral pill developed by Pfizer Inc. (PFE.N). read more

Asked about the approval of molnupiravir, Hopkins told the BBC: “That’s great news and it will be rolled out through a drug trial at the end of this month/early December.”

Hopkins said all the trials so far had been done with unvaccinated people, so this would help understand how it will work in the wider vaccinated population.

“The new Pfizer drug probably won’t be licensed until the new year,” she added. “It will probably take a few more months.”

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan Editing by Gareth Jones

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