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Our COVID-19 efforts

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

Since the start of the pandemic, we have been focused on contributing our scientific expertise to help address COVID-19.

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 believe we’re making 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 producing millions of courses of our investigational oral antiviral candidate through 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 and are currently in discussions with additional governments. We have signed voluntary license agreements with multiple established Indian generic manufacturers and the Medicines Patent Pool to facilitate the availability of generic versions of our treatment option to more than 100 low- and middle-income countries. We’ve also allocated up to 3 million courses of therapy to UNICEF for low- and middle-income countries.

Through our licensing agreements with generics manufacturers and the Medicines Patent Pool, more than 3 million courses of generic therapy have been delivered to more than 15 low- and middle-income markets included in the licenses through March 2022.

Partnering to manufacture and supply Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines

We are proud to lend our expertise and capacity to support the manufacturing and supply of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. We believe the vaccines developed by the research-based pharmaceutical industry are the most important first-line of defense for the prevention of COVID-19.

COVID-19 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 antiviral 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 COVID-19 news:

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

View more

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

Stepping up to combat COVID-19 as a company

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a scientific and global health challenge. As a company with a legacy of research in infectious diseases, we have a responsibility to keep our employees safe.

Protecting our employees and their families

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have prioritized the health, safety and well-being of our employees and their families. Extensive steps have been taken to ensure that all of our work sites, including manufacturing plants and labs, are as safe as possible. We have supported COVID-19 vaccination, diagnosis and treatment, focused on physical, mental, social and financial well-being and provided resources to improve our working environment. 

Giving back

We are committed to supporting our health care providers and our communities. Where possible, our employees around the world have been helping, including contributing volunteer services and donations to support both local and global responses. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we changed our volunteer policy to support employees with nursing and other medical backgrounds.

We recognize the need for additional health care professionals — including doctors, nurses and medical laboratory technicians — throughout a pandemic. That’s why in March 2020, we launched a program to enable our medically trained employees to volunteer their time to aid their communities while maintaining their base pay. Learn more about philanthropy at Merck, and check out our annual Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report.

COVID-19 Stories

Our work in the fight against COVID-19 reaches across all corners of our company, our personal lives and our communities, where many of our medically trained employees have volunteered their time.

View our stories

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

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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