Merck aims to start ‘large pivotal’ studies on coronavirus treatment in September

Merck & Company, Inc., d.b.a. Merck Sharp & Dohme outside the United States and Canada, is an American pharmaceutical company and one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

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Merck has scheduled “very large pivotal studies” for its oral coronavirus treatment in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics as early as September, a company executive said on Friday. 

“We will be embarking, probably in September, on very large pivotal studies, and so those are going to be the important ones,” Dr. Roger Perlmutter, president of Merck Research Laboratories, said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call. 

The experimental oral therapeutic, known as MK-4482, that would fight against Covid-19 is currently in phase two trials. The drug, if approved, would join Gilead’s remdesivir in helping critically ill coronavirus patients. 

“The good news about MK-4482 is that because it’s an oral drug given in capsules, it can be easily administered from the time that people have symptoms,” Perlmutter said. 

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates. 

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