The UK is set to commence the rollout of Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir, for Covid-19 through a trial by the end of this month. Developed jointly by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the drug obtained the world’s first emergency approval from the UK last week. Previously, the country had procured 480,000 doses of the antiviral pill. UK Health Security Agency chief medical adviser Susan Hopkins told the BBC that the trial will analyse how the pill works in the broader population of vaccinated individuals.
NRx Pharmaceuticals is set to establish a production capability in Luxembourg to manufacture its BriLife Covid-19 vaccine. This plant will aid in serving European and other nearby markets. The company expects tech transfer and scale-up of the vaccine to begin this month. NRx plans to start vaccine production in the first half of next year with over 300 million doses a year to be supplied every year in the preliminary stage.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Emergency Use Authorization to use two more batches of Johnson and Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine produced at the Baltimore facility of Emergent BioSolutions. With the latest development, the regulatory agency has authorised a total of 11 batches of the shot produced at the plant. The authorisation is based on a detailed review of the plant records and quality testing conducted by the manufacturer. The facility is yet to be included in the vaccine EUA as an authorised production site.