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US Treatment against the Covid-19. Agreement to enable global access to the pill from Merck

22:50  27 october  2021
22:50  27 october  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Le molnupiravir, un médicament antiviral oral expérimental contre le Covid-19, mis au point par Merck. © HANDOUT via REUTERS The molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral drug against Covid-19, developed by Merck.

While the antiviral drug Merck against the Covid-19 is under consideration, the US laboratory announced a deal that could allow widely available in poor countries, generic versions of the pill for people infected.

The American company Merck announced Wednesday, October 27 an agreement that could allow widely available in poor countries, generic versions of its drug for people infected with Covid - 19.

The MPP (Medicines Patent Pool) said it has signed a voluntary licensing agreement with Merck to facilitate global access to affordable molnupiravir, experimental oral antiviral drug against Covid-19, developed by Merck .

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Subject to regulatory approval, the agreement will help give broad access to molnupiravir in 105 low- and middle-income.

"in progress"

If it were allowed, the molnupiravir become the first drug taken orally for non-hospitalized patients showing mild symptoms of Covid-19.

The World Health Organization (WHO) welcomed the agreement but called Merck to provide the clinical trial data so that it can assess the drug for use worldwide.

The drug is currently being evaluated for possible incorporated the guidelines of the UN agency on care against the Covid-19, said the joint statement of the WHO and UNITAID - an international organization of purchases medicines for poor countries that created the MPP.

Regulators of US medicines and the European Union have already begun a review of the drug.

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Pooling patents Antivirals such as molnupiravir work by reducing the ability of a virus to replicate, thus curbing the disease. Administered to patients in the days following a positive test, treatment halved the risk of hospitalization, according to a clinical trial conducted by Merck, also known as MSD outside the United States.

The MPP, based in Geneva, is an international organization supported by the United Nations that seeks to facilitate the development and improve access to medicines in countries with low or middle income, an innovative approach to voluntary licensing and pooling of patents.

As part of the agreement, Merck grants a license to the MPP which can then give sub-licenses to generic manufacturers. The agreement means that the creators of the drug will not receive rights on sales as the Covid-19 will remain for a WHO public health emergency of international concern.

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"A potentially important tool"

Last week its Emergency Committee reconfirmed that the high alert was maintained for the pandemic. The provisional results of molnupiravir are compelling and we believe this oral therapy candidate as a potentially important tool to help solve the current health crisis , said executive director of MPP Charles Gore.

He hopes that this first voluntary licensing agreement for a drug-related Covid-19 will encourage other companies to come forward. Merck developed the molnupiravir together with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Molnupiravir prices have not yet been determined, but its simplicity and competition among generic manufacturers should be able to ensure low price in the 105 poorest countries, according to Herve Verhoosel, spokesman UNITAID.

Considering that millions of people may need treatment in countries with low immunization rates, he called other laboratories to follow suit to Merck.

The NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for his part regretted that the agreement does not go further, lamenting in a statement that he ruled almost half of the world population and countries with moderate income and with major drug production capacity, such as Brazil and China.

For its part, WHO has expressed the hope that the company expand the agreement to other key countries in the near future.

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This is interesting!