WHO says seeks more data from Merck on Covid anti-viral pill, from Bharat on vaccine

An experimental Covid-19 treatment pill called molnupiravir being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, is seen in this undated handout photo. 
PHOTO: Merck & Co Inc/Handout via Reuters

GENEVA - The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday (Oct 28) that it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new anti-viral Covid-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks regarding its use for mild and moderate cases.

"This is a drug that we are currently evaluating and we met with Merck on Friday to discuss data from their current clinical trials that are underway in other countries," WHO expert Maria van Kerkhove told a news conference where she was asked about Merck's molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

"So we hope to have some good news there in the coming weeks."

Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director, said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccine at a Nov 3 meeting after asking the Indian company this week for more clinical data.

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