Merck Canada To Manufacture COVID-19 antivirals
Merck Canada announced it plans to manufacture its oral antiviral COVID-19 drug in Canada, making the country a global hub for the production of the potentially game-changing treatment.
This agreement is part of Merck’s commitment to make this investigational medicine widely available globally, if approved for use by regulatory agencies. Molnupiravir is being developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Thermo Fisher‘s manufacturing site in Whitby, Ontario, will manufacture molnupiravir for distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom as well as markets in the European Union, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, pending local market approvals. It is one of three manufacturing sites in the world for this therapy.
Merck also announced on December 3, 2021, that it has entered into a Supply Agreement with the Government of Canada for molnupiravir. Through this agreement, the Government of Canada has secured access to 500,000 patient courses, with options for up to 500,000 more in 2022.
Merck’s clinical trial showed a 50 per cent reduced risk of hospitalization or death compared to placebo patients with mild or moderate COVID-19.
“We are honoured to be partnering with the federal and provincial governments in support of our country’s preparedness against COVID-19. We can learn from this experience and apply the same determination to grow the life sciences sector more broadly, to help fight the world’s health challenges,” said Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada.
“Thermo Fisher is proud to join Merck’s global manufacturing network to provide support for the production of its investigational oral treatment for COVID-19,” said Michelle Logan, Vice President, Drug Product North America, Thermo Fisher Scientific.
“Today’s announcement is yet another demonstration of the success of our efforts to rebuild Canada’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector brick by brick and attract significant investments. This partnership will create good jobs for Canadians, secure domestic supply chains for medications, and make sure we’re better prepared for future health emergencies,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.