Preliminary Phase IIa trial results of molnupiravir in COVID-19

8 March 2021
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US pharma giant Merck & Co (NYSE: MRK) and privately-held biotech Ridgeback Biotherapeutics today announced encouraging preliminary results from Ridgeback’s Phase IIa randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and efficacy to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA of molnupiravir (EIDD-2801/MK-4482), an investigational oral antiviral agent.

The companies, which entered into a collaboration on the drug in May last year, over the weekend reported findings on one secondary objective from the Phase IIa study, showing a reduction in time (days) to negativity of infectious virus isolation in nasopharyngeal swabs from participants with symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, as determined by isolation in Vero cell line culture.

These preliminary findings were presented during Science Spotlights at the 2021 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2021). Findings from the primary efficacy and safety endpoints and additional secondary objectives will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

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