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Merck on path to bring COVID treatment pill to Japan

Japanese pharma sector works on own coronavirus drug candidates

Merck and startup partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics have applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for molnupiravir.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- The COVID-19 pill developed by Merck raises hope for a first at-home coronavirus treatment that can ease caseloads of overstretched health care systems, and its unit in Japan is already working to gain approval for the drug as early as this year.

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