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Dec. 3, 2021, 2:29 p.m. EST

Merck to supply Government of Canada with up to 1 million courses molnupiravir, its COVID-19 pill

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYS:MRK) said Friday that it has entered into an agreement to supply the Government of Canada with up to one million patient courses of its COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, which is being developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Earlier this week, an advisory panel recommended that the drug maker's oral antiviral treatment of COVID-19 be authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Under terms of the supply agreement, Merck will supply 500,000 patient courses of molnupiravir in 2022, and has granted options for up to 500,000 more courses, pending approval by Health Canada. Merck's stock fell 0.8% in afternoon trading. It has lost 5.1% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW:DJIA) , of which Merck is a component, has slipped 2.7%.

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