Merck to discontinue development of MK-7110 for COVID-19

April 19, 2021

Merck announced the discontinuation of development of MK-7110 (formerly known as CD24Fc) for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19, according to a news release.

Merck acquired MK-7110, a biological immunomodulator for hospitalized patients, in December 2020 through its acquisition of OncoImmune, a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.

Merck said it subsequently received feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that additional data, beyond the study conducted by OncoImmune, would be needed to support a potential emergency use authorization application. Based on the additional research that would be required – new clinical trials as well as research related to manufacturing at scale – MK-7110 would not be expected to become available until the first half of 2022, Merck said.

“Given this timeline and these technical, clinical and regulatory uncertainties, the availability of a number of medicines for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, and the need to concentrate Merck’s resources on accelerating the development and manufacture of the most viable therapeutics and vaccines, Merck has determined to discontinue development of MK-7110 for COVID-19 and to focus its pandemic efforts on advancing molnupiravir, an oral medicine for outpatient use, and on producing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.” Merck said.

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