July 23, 2024

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US$750 per course: Japan pays 1.2 Billion US dollar for oral COVID-19 drugs

US$750 per course: Japan pays 1.2 Billion US dollar for oral COVID-19 drugs


US$750 per course: Japan pays 1.2 Billion US dollar for oral COVID-19 drugs .  Merck’s COVID-19 oral drug wins multiple large orders: The total has reached 2.2 billion US dollars!

The positive clinical data of Merck’s oral antiviral drug Molnupiravir in the treatment of COVID-19 is continuing to bring great returns to the company.

This Wednesday, only one day after announcing that it had signed a $1 billion sales order with the US government, the company disclosed another major supply transaction.


The Japanese government has agreed to pay US$1.2 billion to Merck and its partner Ridgeback Therapeutics for 1.6 million courses of Molnupiravir, or US$750 per course.

The transaction depends on whether Molnupiravir can be authorized or approved by the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) of Japan.


Merck said the day before that the U.S. government has agreed to purchase another 1.4 million courses of Molnupiravir at a price of $1 billion.

Coupled with an earlier purchase, this new order brings the total purchase of Molnupiravir by the US government to 3.1 million courses at a cost of 2.2 billion US dollars.


In early October, Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics announced the positive results of the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT clinical trial. The trial was carried out in non-hospitalized adult patients (age ≥18 years) confirmed by laboratory tests as mild to moderate COVID-19. These patients were not vaccinated with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine and had at least one disease related to the adverse disease outcome.

Risk factors, and symptoms occurred within 5 days before randomization. In the trial, patients were randomly assigned to take Molnupiravir (800mg) or placebo twice a day for 5 days. The primary efficacy endpoint ranges from randomization to the proportion of patients hospitalized and/or died on day 29.

The results showed that compared with placebo, Molnupiravir treatment reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by approximately 50%.


According to the above data, Molnupiravir was approved by the UK regulatory agency last week, which also represents the first global regulatory approval for Molnupiravir. The British government has reached a procurement agreement with Merck to purchase 480,000 courses of Molnupiravir.

Currently, Merck and Ridgeback Therapeutics are cooperating with other regulatory agencies around the world.


Merck said that even before the release of positive phase 3 clinical data, the company has been building Molnupiravir supply chain capabilities. Merck expects to be able to provide 10 million treatment courses by the end of 2021 and 20 million treatment courses by 2022. In addition to signing supply agreements with the United States, Japan and other countries, the company has also signed licensing agreements with the Medicines Patent Pool to promote global supply.


At the same time, Molnupiravir is about to usher in competitors. Last week, Pfizer reported that in a phase 2/3 clinical trial, its oral antiviral drug paxlovid (every 12 hours, treatment for 5 days) hospitalized or The risk of death was reduced by 89%. This result prompted the company to stop research and seek emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA.



(source:internet, reference only)

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