Merck Pushes Ahead on Coronavirus Treatment, Vaccines

July 31, 2020, 4:13 PM

Merck & Co.plans to begin two large clinical trials in September of an experimental oral antiviral therapy for Covid-19, pushing ahead with efforts to bring another treatment option to market.

There is a “profound medical need for an orally active treatment,” Roger Perlmutter, the pharmaceutical giant’s top scientist, said Friday on Merck’s earnings conference call. The therapy, known as MK-4482, was discovered by scientists at Emory University and is being studied in phase 2 trials. If approved by regulators, it would compete with Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir, which is administered intravenously and being evaluated as an inhaled spray....

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