Emory supports Medicines Patent Pool and Merck license agreement for molnupiravir to treat Covid

The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) and Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced today that they have entered into a licensing agreement to facilitate affordable global access for molnupiravir, an investigational oral antiviral COVID-19 medicine. This agreement will help create broad access for molnupiravir use in 105 low- and middle-income countries following appropriate regulatory approvals.

Under the terms of the agreement, MPP, through the license granted by Merck, will be permitted to further license nonexclusive sublicenses to manufacturers and diversify the manufacturing base for the supply of quality-assured or World Health Organization-prequalified molnupiravir to countries covered by the MPP License, subject to local regulatory authorization. 

Emory University, Merck, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which is jointly developing molnupiravir with Merck, will not receive royalties for sales of molnupiravir in low- and middle-income countries for as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization.

Emory University President Gregory L. Fenves said, “The license for molnupiravir to the Medicines Patent Pool will support global public health and address unmet medical needs — reflecting Emory’s mission to serve humanity. Innovative research and collaboration across organizations have been vital in the fight against COVID-19.”

Molnupiravir was invented at Emory University and licensed to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics by Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory (DRIVE), LLC, which was formed by Emory to advance the development of early-stage drug candidates for viral diseases of global concern. Emory received research funding from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Read the Merck press release.

Learn more about molnupiravir and drug development at Emory.

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