On Thursday, Merck's stock rose almost 3.5 % in premarket trading, with British regulators being the first to approve its Covid-19 antiviral oral medication molnupiravir as safe and effective.

Molnupiravir is thus the world's first licensed oral antiviral medication for treating the dreadful virus.

Molnupiravir has been approved for use in individuals with mild to moderate COVID and at least one risk factor for developing a severe infection by the United Kingdom's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The medication is also being reviewed by regulators in the United States, the European Union, and other countries.

According to a major newswire, the number of Coronavirus infections in England reached an all-time high in October, according to comprehensive research published Thursday.

File:Merck Logo.svg - Wikipedia

Last month, officials in the United Kingdom said that the country had secured 480,000 courses of molnupiravir.

The business claims that the medicine, developed in collaboration with Ridgeback Therapeutics, has demonstrated consistent efficacy across virus variations Gamma, Mu, and Delta, the most infectious of all.

Merck anticipates producing 10 million courses by the end of 2021, with more to follow in 2022. Under a current arrangement, it will deliver around 1.7 million courses to the US government, if all permissions are in place.

According to a recent Merck statement, if the emergency clearances are granted by December, the medicine could generate up to $7 billion in sales in 2022, including $1 billion in revenue this year.