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COVID-19

We’ve been committed to developing an effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic since it was first recognized. As a company with a long legacy of research in infectious disease, it is our responsibility to mobilize our scientific expertise and experience to help address the pandemic.

Advancing our investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine

In collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, we are advancing our research and development efforts for our investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine. We’re hopeful that we can make a meaningful impact on the pandemic through our programs.

We are working with regulatory authorities around the world to make our oral antiviral treatment available globally. We are also continuing our research and development efforts to investigate broader uses of our oral antiviral medicine.

Our commitment to access

To accelerate broad global access, our comprehensive supply and access approach includes investing at risk to produce millions of courses of therapy. We’ve spent the past year rapidly building our capacity to produce our investigational oral antiviral candidate — the largest capacity our manufacturing team has created in under 12 months in our company's history. We reached these milestones all while working through challenging pandemic restrictions such as limited site access, remote working and travel restrictions. We are utilizing our global network, which includes manufacturing sites in nine countries across three continents.

Additionally, we have entered into advance purchase and supply agreements with the governments of several countries worldwide, pending regulatory authorizations, and are currently in discussions with additional governments. We have signed voluntary license agreements with several established Indian generic manufacturers and the Medicines Patent Pool to facilitate the availability of generic versions of our medicine to more than 100 low- and middle-income countries.

Through these wide-ranging efforts, we expect that we and other manufacturers will be able to meet the global demand for our oral antiviral candidate.

Clinical trials

Our clinical development program includes several preclinical and early-phase studies, and two Phase 3 trials, one of which is currently evaluating our anti-viral in the prevention setting:

  • MOVe-AHEAD:  evaluating our oral antiviral candidate for post-exposure prophylaxis in adults who reside in the same household as someone with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who has not had those signs and symptoms for more than five days.

Learn more about our COVID-19 research and find a clinical trial.

Recent Releases and Company Statements:

June 7, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce New Data For Investigational LAGEVRIO™ (molnupiravir) From Phase 3 MOVe-OUT Study

May 12, 2022 - Merck Announces Commitments to Pandemic Response as Part of 2nd Global COVID-19 Summit

April 1, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback to Present Data Demonstrating That Treatment With LAGEVRIO™ (molnupiravir) Was Associated With More Rapid Elimination of Infectious SARS-CoV-2 Than Placebo

February 19, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback Statement on Clinical Trial of Hetero’s Generic Molnupiravir

February 8, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce That 3.1 Million Courses of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Medicine, Have Been Supplied to the U.S. Government for Use in the United States

January 28, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Medicine, Demonstrated Activity Against Omicron Variant in In Vitro Studies

January 18, 2022 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce Supply Agreement with UNICEF for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Medicine

December 24, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Treatment, Receives Special Approval for Emergency in Japan

December 23, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Molnupiravir Receives U.S. FDA Emergency Use Authorization for the Treatment of High-Risk Adults With Mild to Moderate COVID-19

December 22, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce U.K. Government to Purchase Additional 1.75 Million Courses of Molnupiravir

December 16, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce Publication of Phase 3 Study of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Treatment, in the New England Journal of Medicine

November 30, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Statement on Positive FDA Advisory Committee Vote for Investigational Oral Antiviral Molnupiravir for Treatment of Mild to Moderate COVID-19 in High Risk Adults

November 26, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics Provide Update on Results from MOVe-OUT Study of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine, in At Risk Adults With Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19

November 17, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback to Present Phase 3 Data for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral COVID-19 Antiviral Medicine, at American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) 2021 Annual Meeting

November 10, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce Japanese Government to Purchase 1.6 Million Courses of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral COVID-19 Antiviral Medicine, Upon Authorization or Approval

November 9, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce U.S. Government to Purchase 1.4 Million Additional Courses of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine, for the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19 in At Risk Adults

November 4, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Molnupiravir, an Oral COVID-19 Antiviral Medicine, Receives First Authorization in the World

October 27, 2021 - The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Merck Enter Into License Agreement for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Medicine, to Increase Broad Access in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

October 25, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce Initiation of a Rolling Review by the European Medicines Agency for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine, for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Adults

October 11, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback Announce Submission of Emergency Use Authorization Application to the U.S. FDA for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine, for the Treatment of Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19 in At Risk Adults

October 1, 2021 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Investigational Oral Antiviral Molnupiravir Reduced the Risk of Hospitalization or Death by Approximately 50 Percent Compared to Placebo for Patients with Mild or Moderate COVID-19 in Positive Interim Analysis of Phase 3 Study

Media Library     Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

More COVID-19 Stories

View our stories

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An oral history: Stepping up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

Scientists, leaders, global partners and more reflect on how we rose to the challenge and worked together, one moment at a time

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All hands on deck against COVID-19

How every division at Merck is pitching in to address a global need

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Next: All hands on deck against COVID-19

COVID-19 study participant: ‘It’s pretty amazing to say I was a part of that’

A mother of two shares her experience volunteering in a clinical trial

Read more

Next: COVID-19 study participant: ‘It’s pretty amazing to say I was a part of that’

Taking the fight against COVID-19 on the road

How a 39-foot Winnebago is helping to raise awareness about clinical trials

Read more

Next: Taking the fight against COVID-19 on the road

An oral history: Stepping up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

Scientists, leaders, global partners and more reflect on how we rose to the challenge and worked together, one moment at a time

Read more

Next: An oral history: Stepping up throughout the COVID-19 pandemic

All hands on deck against COVID-19

How every division at Merck is pitching in to address a global need

Read more

Next: All hands on deck against COVID-19

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