Merck ties up with Thermo Fisher to make its COVID-19 pill in Canada

Signage is seen at the Merck & Co. headquarters in Kenilworth, New Jersey
·1 min read

(Reuters) -Drugmaker Merck & Co on Monday announced a deal with Thermo Fisher Scientific to manufacture its experimental COVID-19 pill at the medical device maker's site in Whitby, Ontario.

The site will manufacture the pill, molnupiravir, for distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom as well as markets in the European Union, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

The Ontario site is one of three manufacturing sites in the world for the pill, which is being developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Merck on Friday said the government of Canada had secured access to 500,000 courses of molnupiravir in 2022, with options for up to 500,000 more, pending the country's health regulator's nod.

The drugmaker said it had filed the final molnupiravir real-time application seeking approval in Canada last month. The UK in November conditionally approved molnupiravir, branded as Lagevrio.

The company had also entered into a pact with the U.S. government to supply as many as 5 million courses of the antiviral at a price of $700 per course.

Merck is awaiting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision after the regulator's panel of independent advisers voted to recommend the pill's authorization.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Shailesh Kuber)

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