Emory University Antiviral Helping India's COVID-19 Emergency
To address the intensifying COVID-19 crisis in India, Merck announced on April 27, 2021, it has agreed to facilitate the manufacture and distribution of molnupiravir, an investigational antiviral drug.
Molnupiravir, previously known as EIDD-2801, was initially developed by Emory University's DRIVE as a broad-spectrum antiviral against equine encephalitis and influenza. However, laboratory tests showed it was also active against coronaviruses.
“To advance a drug quickly and across the globe in all the countries where it is needed, you need the capacity of a company like Merck,” commented George Painter, Ph.D., CEO of the non-profit Emory-owned DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory), at a media briefing.
“It’s gratifying to see how quickly they moved and how they’re getting this into the hands of people in India to meet this threat.”
Emory University is a private research university founded in Atlanta, GA, in 1836.
Molnupiravir was licensed to Merck through its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics last year, and Merck is currently conducting Phase III clinical trials of the drug in the USA.