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Merck’s Covid-19 Pill Was 30% Effective in Final Analysis, Company Says

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Merck & Co. and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP said a final analysis of their experimental Covid-19 pill found the drug less effective than an early look, prompting U.S. health regulators to continue a staff review of the drug’s application days before an outside panel meets.

The Food and Drug Administration made public Friday their initial review of the drug’s application, including an analysis of clinical-trial data for the drug, molnupiravir. Agency staff said the drug was effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death, but they didn’t take a position on whether the agency should authorize the drug. The agency also said no major safety concerns turned up in late-stage testing.

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