Merck Canada Announces Supply Agreement of Up to 1 Million Patient Courses of Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine for the Treatment of COVID-19, with the Government of Canada
KIRKLAND, QC, December 3, 2021 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside Canada and the United States, announced today that it has entered into a Supply Agreement with the Government of Canada for up to 1 million patient courses of molnupiravir, its investigational oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19. This investigational medicine is being developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Through this agreement, the Government of Canada has secured access in 2022 to 500,000 patient courses, with options for up to 500,000 more, pending Health Canada approval. This new agreement is part of Merck’s commitment to make this investigational medicine widely available globally, if approved for use by regulatory agencies
“We applaud the leadership of the federal government who has worked tirelessly to bolster pandemic preparedness against COVID-19. While vaccines continue to play a primary role in helping prevent the spread and seriousness of cases, more treatment options are urgently needed to help reduce the burden of COVID-19,” said Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada.
In November, Merck Canada filed the final wave of the molnupiravir rolling submission to Health Canada, which will decide on the therapy’s approval only when all necessary evidence has been reviewed.
About Merck’s Global Efforts to Accelerate Access to Molnupiravir Following Regulatory Authorizations or Approvals
Merck is committed to providing timely access to molnupiravir globally through our comprehensive supply and access approach, which includes investing at risk to produce millions of courses of therapy; tiered pricing based on the ability of governments to finance health care; entering into supply agreements with governments; and granting voluntary licenses to generic manufacturers and to the Medicines Patent Pool to make generic molnupiravir available in low- and middle-income countries following local regulatory authorizations or approvals.
Supply: In anticipation of the results from MOVe-OUT and the potential for regulatory authorization or approval, Merck has been producing molnupiravir at risk and expects to produce 10 million courses of treatment by the end of 2021, with at least 20 million courses to be produced in 2022.
Supply agreements: Earlier this year, Merck entered into a procurement agreement with the U.S. Government under which the company will supply approximately 3.1 million courses of molnupiravir to the U.S. Government, upon Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or approval from the U.S. FDA. Additionally, Merck has entered into supply and advance purchase agreements for molnupiravir with governments worldwide and is currently in discussions with additional governments. Merck plans to implement a tiered pricing approach based on World Bank country income criteria to reflect countries’ relative ability to finance their health response to the pandemic.
Voluntary licenses: As part of its commitment to widespread global access, Merck previously announced that it has entered into a licensing agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool to increase broad access for molnupiravir in low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, Merck previously announced that the company has entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements for molnupiravir with established Indian generic manufacturers to accelerate availability of molnupiravir in more than 100 low- and middle-income countries following approvals or emergency authorization by local regulatory agencies.
Merck continues to discuss additional measures and collaborations to accelerate broad, global access to molnupiravir.
About Ridgeback Biotherapeutics
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP is a biotechnology company focused on emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback markets EbangaTM for the treatment of Ebola and has a late-stage development pipeline which includes molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19. The team at Ridgeback is dedicated to developing life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions as well as providing global access to these medicines. In line with Ridgeback’s mission for equitable global access, all Ridgeback services and treatment for Ebola patients in Africa are delivered free of charge.
For more than 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through farreaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of
research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca and connect with us on YouTube and Twitter @MerckCanada.
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