Lots of names in pharma and biotech -- both big and small -- have jumped into the fight against COVID-19. Pharma giant Merck (NYSE:MRK) and privately owned Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, for example, chose to dive into the fray together in order to develop an antiviral against the novel coronavirus. 

Their potential oral pill, molnupiravir, has produced positive results so far in clinical trials. But what exactly do the results mean, and how much farther does the drug have to go before it can be distributed to the public?

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.