Merck & Co Inc said on Friday its experimental COVID-19 pill reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death by 30 per cent in a study, according to data from all the patients enrolled in a late-stage study.
The company said the data on the drug molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, had been submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration ahead of a meeting of its expert advisers on Tuesday.
A planned interim analysis of the data last month showed that 7.3 per cent of those given molnupiravir twice a day for five days were hospitalized and none had died by 29 days after the treatment. That compared with a hospitalisation rate of 14.1 per cent for placebo patients.
In the updated data, 6.8 per cent of those given molnupiravir were hospitalized and one person died, while the other placebo group had a hospitalization rate of 9.7 per cent.