Merck to Receive $356M US Gov’t Funds for COVID-19 Drug Manufacturing, Supply

Merck (NYSE: MRK) has reached a $356M deal with the departments of Defense and Health and Human Services to further develop and seek regulatory approval MK-7110, the biopharmaceutical firm's investigational drug for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The company will also use the funds to conduct large-scale production and distribution of the potential treatment for people who developed severe coronavirus infection if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency use authorization to the medicine, HHS said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Merck will supply 100K MK-7110 doses through June 30, 2021, to support the public-private initiative called Operation Warp Speed.

Preliminary data from a Phase 3 clinical trial showed that patients who received the drug had a 60 percent higher probability of clinical recovery compared with those who received placebo, according to the company.

Merck gained access to MK-7110 through the acquisition of Rockville, Maryland-based OncoImmune.

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