Pinsent Masons advises UK Government on first purchase of Covid-19 antivirals

21 Oct 2021 | 02:18 pm |

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has advised the UK government on its contracts for the purchase of significant volumes of two novel, Covid-19 specific, antivirals.

The two antivirals have been developed by MSD and Pfizer. MSD’s antiviral - Molnupiravir - has been shown to cut hospitalisation rates of Covid-19 patients by nearly half. It is also the first oral treatment that has been effective in treating Covid-19. The treatment works by targeting an enzyme the virus uses to make copies of itself. The Pfizer antiviral is in late-stage clinical development.

Commenting on the deal, lead life sciences partner Allistair Booth said:

"The response of the life sciences sector to the Covid-19 pandemic and what the sector has achieved is nothing short of phenomenal. The development of these antivirals is a further example of that. These drugs could play a key role in reducing hospitalisation of Covid-19 patients in the UK, helping to alleviate pressure on the NHS. We are proud to have worked with the UK government on securing these agreements.”

Alongside Allistair, the team working on the deals included life sciences experts Mario Subramaniam, Niki Ruprai, Andrew Cornforth, Kiah York, Serena Hitchcock, Ioana Chiva and Jackie Harris.

This follows the team’s work advising the UK government on its initial procurement of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and for its autumn revaccination programme.

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