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Merck Canada Announces Expansion of Manufacturing for Molnupiravir, an Investigational Oral Antiviral Medicine for the Treatment of COVID-19

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  • MRK

Molnupiravir will be manufactured at Thermo Fisher Scientific's site in Whitby, ON

KIRKLAND, QC, Dec. 6, 2021 /CNW/ - Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside Canada and the United States, announced today it has entered into an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific to manufacture molnupiravir, Merck's investigational oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19. This agreement is part of Merck's commitment to make this investigational medicine widely available globally, if approved for use by regulatory agencies. Molnupiravir is being developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director, and Jennifer Chan, Vice President, Government Affairs, from Merck Canada Inc., were joined by the Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Hon. Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, Ontario, to announce expansion of manufacturing in Whitby, ON, for an investigational oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)
Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director, and Jennifer Chan, Vice President, Government Affairs, from Merck Canada Inc., were joined by the Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Hon. Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Ryan Turnbull, Member of Parliament for Whitby, Ontario, to announce expansion of manufacturing in Whitby, ON, for an investigational oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19. (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)

Thermo Fisher's manufacturing site in Whitby, Ontario, will manufacture molnupiravir for distribution in Canada and the United Kingdom as well as markets in the European Union, Asia Pacific and Latin America, pending local market approvals. It is one of three manufacturing sites in the world for this therapy.

Merck also announced on December 3, 2021, that it has entered into a Supply Agreement with the Government of Canada for molnupiravir. Through this agreement, the Government of Canada has secured access to 500,000 patient courses, with options for up to 500,000 more in 2022.

Quotes

"We are honoured to be partnering with the federal and provincial governments in support of our country's preparedness against COVID-19. We can learn from this experience and apply the same determination to grow the life sciences sector more broadly, to help fight the world's health challenges," said Marwan Akar, President and Managing Director of Merck Canada.

"Thermo Fisher is proud to join Merck's global manufacturing network to provide support for the production of its investigational oral treatment for COVID-19," said Michelle Logan, Vice President, Drug Product North America, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

"Today's announcement is yet another demonstration of the success of our efforts to rebuild Canada's biomanufacturing and life sciences sector brick by brick and attract significant investments. This partnership will create good jobs for Canadians, secure domestic supply chains for medications, and make sure we're better prepared for future health emergencies,'' said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

"Manufacturing molnupiravir here in Ontario will ensure that we have ready access to important new medications that, if approved, will be critical to protecting our progress in our fight against COVID-19. Doing so will also bring more jobs to the Province and is an important vote of confidence in our government's plan to build Ontario," said Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario.

"Since the outset of this pandemic, Ontario's strong life sciences and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors stepped up with their innovative solutions in the fight against COVID-19. Our world-class talent and highly educated workforce make our province the premier destination for manufacturing the therapeutics of the future. We congratulate Merck on this milestone in their partnership with Thermo Fisher and their made-in-Ontario solution in the fight against COVID-19," said Victor Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.

"Ontario's world-class life sciences sector has played an essential role in our fight against COVID-19. This new partnership between Merck and Thermo Fisher Scientific will help manufacture a potential new treatment option right here in Ontario, ensuring that if it is approved, we are ready to deploy and further protect our progress against the virus," said Christine Elliott, Ontario's Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

About Ridgeback Biotherapeutics

Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP is a biotechnology company focused on emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback markets EbangaTM for the treatment of Ebola and has a late-stage development pipeline which includes molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19. The team at Ridgeback is dedicated to developing life-saving and life-changing solutions for patients and diseases that need champions as well as providing global access to these medicines. In line with Ridgeback's mission for equitable global access, all Ridgeback services and treatment for Ebola patients in Africa are delivered free of charge.

About Merck
For over 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 about our operations in Canada, visit www.merck.ca and connect with us on YouTube and Twitter @MerckCanada.

Forward-Looking Statement of Merck & Co. Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
This news release of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA (the "company") includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of the company's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. There can be no guarantees with respect to pipeline candidates that the candidates will receive the necessary regulatory approvals or that they will prove to be commercially successful. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of the global outbreak of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19); the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; the company's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of the company's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.

The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in the company's 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site (www.sec.gov).

Merck Canada Inc. Logo (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)
Merck Canada Inc. Logo (CNW Group/Merck Canada Inc.)

SOURCE Merck Canada Inc.

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/December2021/06/c3021.html

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