Merck says study shows COVID-19 drug causes quick reduction in virus

(Reuters) - U.S. drug maker Merck & Co Inc said on Saturday that the experimental antiviral drug molnupiravir it is developing with Ridgeback Bio had a faster reduction in infectious disease in its Phase 2a study in participants with early COVID-19 Virus showed.
"The secondary objective results of this study of faster decreases in the infectious virus in individuals with early COVID-19 treated with molnupiravir are encouraging," said William Fischer, associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina Medical School Declaration of the company.
The antiviral is currently being tested in a phase 2/3 study, which is expected to be completed in May.
Merck decided to focus on therapeutics after its two COVID-19 vaccines failed to produce the desired immune responses and canceled the program in January.
(Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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