In response to several media inquiries, Dr. Hala Sleiman, General Manager of Merck in the Near East region, emphasized that as part of the global efforts to investigate potential therapeutics for COVID-19 and support of independent research, Merck has donated 290,000 units of its interferon beta-1a (Rebif®) to the World Health Organization (WHO) for use in their global SOLIDARITY trial. The SOLIDARITY trial investigates several potential therapeutics for the treatment of COVID-19 and currently has received expressions of interest from over 70 countries.
Dr. Sleiman confirmed that Lebanon has participated in this trial led by the WHO for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. In the clinical trial, the drug Rebif® «interferon beta-1a» is one of several drugs that are being studied to know the extent of the drugs’ ability to combat the infection and to improve patient outcomes. As a company dedicated to human progress and to making a lasting difference on patients’ lives, Merck is fully committed to contributing to solutions related to global health crises such as COVID-19.
Rebif® (interferon beta-1a, solution for subcutaneous injection in pre-filled syringe) is indicated for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis. To date, Rebif® is not approved by any regulatory authority for the treatment of COVID-19 or for use as an antiviral agent.
Dr. Hala Sleiman reiterated, “We continue to work closely with global and national health authorities to respond to the needs of patients impacted by COVID-19”.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and performance materials. Around 57,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people’s lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2019, Merck generated sales of € 16.2 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck’s technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Performance Materials.