By Yifan Wang 

Merck & Co. has signed an agreement with the Singapore government to supply the city-state with Covid-19 treatment pills, pending regulatory approvals.

The U.S. drug maker will provide Singapore with access to its experimental drug, called molnupiravir, once certain regulatory milestones are achieved, it said Wednesday.

The drug, developed by Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP, has shown success in a late-stage clinical study.

The companies on Friday said the pill cut the risk of hospitalization or death in study subjects with mild to moderate Covid-19 by about 50%, sending Merck shares surging 8.4% on the news.

The results put molnupiravir on track for potential regulatory authorization by the end of the year and would make it the first oral antiviral for Covid-19.

Merck Chief Executive Rob Davis has said that the company plans to ask the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the drug's use in the coming weeks.

Merck has entered into supply and purchase agreements for molnupiravir with other governments world-wide, pending regulatory authorization, and is in discussions with other governments, it said.


Write to Yifan Wang at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 06, 2021 02:01 ET (06:01 GMT)

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