Merck to allow China's Sinopharm to make COVID drug

Merck to allow China's Sinopharm to make COVID drug

NEW YORK Drugmaker Merck Co said on Wednesday it agreed to allow China's Sinopharm to distribute and import its COVID 19 antiviral molnupiravir in China if the drug is approved for use there.

The Chinese company distribution and exclusive import rights of the medicine have been granted in the China mainland market because of the cooperation framework agreement with Sinopharm.

Merck will allow the China National Biotec Group, an affiliate of Sinopharm, to make the drug in China and has agreed to transfer technology to help with that production.

Molnupiravir is sold in the U.S. Merck developed the pill and shares the profits with its partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

The antiviral pill was once touted as a gamechanger for treating COVID 19 but Paxlovid, a rival drug made by Pfizer Inc., had significantly better results in its clinical trial and has been widely used in the United States.