The pharmaceutical company plans to focus its research strategy and production capacity on developing two experimental therapeutic drugs MK-4482 and MK-7110.
“Merck plans to focus its SARS-CoV-2/COVID research strategy and manufacturing capacity on the development of two experimental therapeutics, MK-4482 and MK-7110,” the statement said. This decision was made after analyzing the results of the first phase of clinical trials of two of the company’s vaccines, which were well tolerated. Still, the immune response was worse than that observed after a natural infection, and that observed after other vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19.
Merck and its employees plan to present the results of the first phase of research on their vaccines for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In addition to advancing the development and production of the MK-7110 and MK-4482, Merck will continue to research SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19.
The US administration has allocated $486 million to Moderna for the development of a coronavirus vaccine, $456 million to Johnson & Johnson, and $1.2 billion to the British-Swedish AstraZeneca, which is developing the vaccine together with scientists from the University of Oxford (UK). Pfizer is also developing a vaccine in the United States.