Pharmaceutical company Merck has said they will seek authorisation in the United States for an oral drug to combat Covid-19.
The new drug reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death when administered to high-risk patients early in the disease.
Merck said in a statement: “At the interim analysis, 7.3% of patients who received molnupiravir were hospitalised through Day 29, compared with 14.1% of placebo-treated patients who were hospitalised or died.”
There were no deaths in people who took the drug.
“Merck plans to seek emergency use authorisation in the US as soon as possible and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide,” the company said.
If granted authorisation, molnupiravir will be the first approved oral antiviral medication for Covid-19.