Merck Enters into Agreements with Five Indian Generic Drug Manufacturers to Accelerate Availability of Oral COVID-19 Treatment

Merck has entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five Indian generic drug manufacturers for the development of molnupiravir, an investigational, oral antiviral agent for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19.

Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced on April 27, 2021 that it has entered into non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five Indian generic drug manufacturers for the development of molnupiravir, an investigational, oral antiviral agent for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with confirmed COVID-19.

The agreements—which have been signed with Cipla Limited, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited, Hetero Labs Limited, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited—are aimed at accelerating availability of the antiviral agent in India and other low- and middle-income countries after approvals or emergency authorization from regulatory agencies, Merck said in a company press release.

Additionally, Merck will donate more than $5 million worth of oxygen-production equipment, masks, hand sanitizer, and financial aid to support relief efforts in India.

“The scale of human suffering in India at this moment is devastating, and it is clear that more must be done to help alleviate it. These agreements, toward which we have been working as we have been studying molnupiravir, will help to accelerate access to molnupiravir in India and around the world,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and CEO, Merck, in the press release. “We remain committed to aiding in the global response that will bring relief to the people of India and, ultimately, bring an end to the pandemic.”

Source: Merck