Drugmaker Merck asked federal health officials Monday to greenlight its experimental pill against COVID-19, which could make history as the first oral antiviral medicine to treat the harrowing virus.
The drugmaker submitted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for molnupiravir, according to a joining announcement from Merck and its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
The drug is said to treat mild-to-moderate cases of the virus in adults who are most at risk for progressing to more severe cases or being hospitalized, according to Merck.
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If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that could come in a matter of weeks — it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19. All other FDA-backed treatments against the disease require an IV or injection.