Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) has signed a licensing agreement with the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) to allow more companies to manufacture generic versions of its experimental oral antiviral COVID-19 treatment.
Merck said the royalty-free license would apply to 105 low- and middle-income countries.
It allows manufacturers selected by MPP to make generic versions of molnupiravir, an antiviral pill Merck has developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
"This is the first transparent, public health-driven voluntary license for a COVID-19 medical technology," Merck and MPP said in a joint statement.
Merck, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, and Emory University will not receive sales royalties for molnupiravir under this agreement for as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization.
Price Action: MRK shares up 0.18% at $82.40 during the premarket session on the last check Wednesday.
See more from Benzinga
© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.