Merck, Ridgeback: COVID Antiviral LAGEVRIO Clears Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Faster Than Placebo

Merck (MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced Friday that Phase 3 study data demonstrated that treatment with LAGEVRIO (molnupiravir) was associated with more rapid elimination of infectious SARS-CoV-2 than placebo.

LAGEVRIO is an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine.

As per the data, no patients who received Lagevrio had infectious virus at days 3, 5 or 10 among patients with infectious virus at baseline.

The companies said the data will be presented at the 2022 European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases or ECCMID.

The presentation includes final analyses evaluating virologic outcomes throughout and following a five-day course of LAGEVRIO as part of the Phase 3 MOVe-OUT trial. The trial studied LAGEVRIO versus placebo for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 who were at high risk for progressing to severe disease.

Wendy Holman, chief executive officer, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, said, "We are encouraged by these data, which are consistent with findings from the Ridgeback Bio sponsored Phase 2 trial. These additional data will help to strengthen the base of scientific knowledge around LAGEVRIO as a treatment option for mild to moderate COVID-19 in appropriate patients."

The companies will present additional molnupiravir data at ECCMID.

In the U.S. and select markets outside the U.S., LAGEVRIO is the approved trademark for molnupiravir.

Merck said it has manufactured 10 million courses of treatment by the end of 2021, and at least 20 million courses are expected to be produced in 2022. To date, Merck has shipped LAGEVRIO to over 30 markets.

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