- Merck & Co Inc MRK signed a cooperation framework agreement in China for its COVID-19 antiviral pills, which were co-developed by Ridgeback Therapeutics.
- The pharma giant has granted Sinopharm exclusive import and distribution rights to Lagevrio (molnupiravir).
- The companies will also negotiate the feasibility of a technical transfer under the framework so that the drug Molnupiravir could be produced and provided in the Chinese mainland market, Global Times reported.
- While Pfizer's pills wowed the industry, reporting 89% effectiveness for reducing the chance of hospitalization and death, the efficacy figure for Merck's treatment was an underwhelming 30%.
- Paxlovid has clearly become the favored treatment in the U.S. But Lagevrio has held it's own overseas, becoming the primary COVID therapy in certain countries, such as Japan.
- Reuters reported that molnupiravir was once touted as a potential game changer for treating COVID-19, but Pfizer Inc's PFE Paxlovid had significantly better results in its clinical trial and has been much more widely used in the U.S.
- Price Action: MRK shares closed at $86.88 on Wednesday.
© 2022 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.