Last month, the U.K. became the first country to approve molnupiravir, a treatment for Covid-19 produced by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck & Co. On Tuesday, an advisory panel convened by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted in favor of allowing emergency use authorization of the antiviral drug, too. But between these two approvals, Merck released some data showing the drug has a lower efficacy level than initially thought, and is much lower than a rival drug by Pfizer, which is also applying for emergency-use authorization. 

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