WHO Says Seeks More Data From Merck on COVID-19 Anti-Viral, From Bharat on Vaccine

By Reuters
October 29, 2021 Updated: October 29, 2021

GENEVA—The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that it was seeking further data from Merck on its experimental new antiviral COVID-19 pill and hoped to issue guidance in coming weeks regarding its use for mild and moderate cases.

“This is a drug that we are currently evaluating and we met with Merck on Friday to discuss data from their current clinical trials that are under way in other countries,” WHO expert Maria van Kerkhove told a news conference where she was asked about Merck’s molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

“So we hope to have some good news there in the coming weeks.”

Mariangela Simao, WHO assistant-director, said that WHO hoped to reach a decision on possible emergency use listing for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine at a Nov. 3 meeting after asking the Indian company this week for more clinical data.