KAWARTHA LAKES-Merck announced today it has entered into an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific in Whitby to manufacture molnupiravir, Merck’s investigational oral antiviral medicine for the treatment of COVID-19.
Molnupiravir is being developed by Merck in collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. 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.
“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.
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.
“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.
Headquartered in Miami, Florida, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP is a biotechnology company focused on emerging infectious diseases. Ridgeback markets EbangaTM for the treatment of Ebola. 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 according to the company.
“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.
It is unclear if any new jobs will come with the announcement.