Merck to Discontinue Development of MK-7110 for COVID-19

KENILWORTH, NJ, USA I April 15, 2021 I Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced the discontinuation of development of MK-7110 (formerly known as CD24Fc) for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

Merck acquired MK-7110 in December 2020 through its acquisition of OncoImmune, a privately-held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. As previously reported, Merck subsequently received feedback from the US Food and Drug Administration that additional data, beyond the study conducted by OncoImmune, would be needed to support a potential Emergency Use Authorization application. Based on the additional research that would be required – new clinical trials as well as research related to manufacturing at scale – MK-7110 would not be expected to become available until the first half of 2022. Given this timeline and these technical, clinical and regulatory uncertainties, the availability of a number of medicines for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and the need to concentrate Merck’s resources on accelerating the development and manufacture of the most viable therapeutics and vaccines, Merck has determined to discontinue development of MK-7110 for COVID-19 and to focus its pandemic efforts on advancing molnupiravir and on producing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

“Merck’s commitment from the outset of the pandemic has been to deploy our expertise and capabilities where they can have the most impact,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories. “Merck is now focusing its efforts on advancing molnupiravir, which, as an oral medicine for outpatient use, represents a promising potential new approach, and on accelerating production of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.”

About Merck

For 130 years, Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases in pursuit of our mission to save and improve lives. We demonstrate our commitment to patients and population health by increasing access to health care through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. Today, Merck continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten people and animals – including cancer, infectious diseases such as HIV and Ebola, and emerging animal diseases – as we aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.

SOURCE: Merck

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