By Chris Wack
Merck & Co. said it has entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with five established Indian generics manufacturers.
Merck's molnupiravir is an investigational oral antiviral agent being studied in a Phase 3 trial for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with confirmed Covid-19. Merck is developing molnupiravir in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Merck has entered into these agreements to speed up availability of molnupiravir in India and in other low- and middle-income countries following approvals or emergency authorization by local regulatory agencies.
The agreements have been signed with Cipla Ltd., Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Hetero Labs Ltd. and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., five generics manufacturers with World Health Organization pre-qualified manufacturing facilities and experience as major drug suppliers.
Under the agreements, Merck will provide licenses to these manufacturers to supply molnupiravir to India and more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. Merck is also in discussions with the Medicines Patent Pool to explore the potential for additional licenses.
Merck said it would also donate more than $5 million worth of oxygen-production equipment, masks, hand sanitizer and financial aid to support relief efforts in India.
Write to Chris Wack at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires