Merck's promising experimental Covid-19 drug raises hopes for pill to fight virus

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News that an experimental antiviral drug from Merck appears to halve the risk of hospitalization or death from Covid-19 has bolstered hopes of finding a simple at-home treatment for the virus.

The drug, molnupiravir, is given as a pill. It performed well enough in a late-stage clinical trial of adults at high risk of severe Covid-19 that the independent review board overseeing the study recommended that it be ended early. Now Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics will seek FDA authorization for the drug “as soon as possible,”

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