Thursday, October 28, 2021

Merck shares rise on COVID-19 pill trial results, vaccine stocks dip

Shares of Merck & Co. surged on positive clinical trial results of its experimental antiviral COVID-19 pill, while high-flying stocks of vaccine companies and makers of other coronavirus treatments took a beating.

Merck shares jumped 12.3 percent and hit their highest level since February 2020, when data showed the company’s pill mollupiravir was more likely to die or be hospitalized for people at risk of contracting severe COVID-19. can be halved.

Meanwhile, shares of vaccine makers such as Moderna Inc., Pfizer Inc. and partner BioNTech SE fell. Shares of Moderna fell 13 per cent in mid-day trading, while Pfizer, which is developing a COVID-19 pill of its own, fell 1.3 per cent. US shares of BioNtech are down 11 percent.

Some analysts said profits were a likely factor behind the sell-off. Others believe that the promise of an oral drug that can be taken at home could change public perception of the risks associated with COVID-19.

“We see slight perceived headwinds for vaccine stocks like mRNA (Modern) if the market thinks people will be less afraid of COVID-19 and less willing to vaccinate than if there is a simple pill that can fight against COVID-19. May treat COVID-19,” Jefferies analyst Michael Yee wrote in a client note.

Despite the recent decline, Moderna’s shares are up 395 percent over the past year and 1,734 percent over the past five years. Pfizer’s stock is up about 25 percent in the past year and about 35 percent in the past five years.

COVID-19 is a disease caused by the CCP (Communist Party of China) virus, also known as SARS-CoV-2 or Novel Coronavirus.

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Merck said on Friday that clinical trial results in its COVID-19 pill cut the risk of hospitalization or death in half for adults who were deemed at risk but not hospitalized. it was done.

Based on the findings, Merck plans to apply soon to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization for its drug, which works by stopping the replication of the virus that causes COVID-19. Becomes the reason for.

The only drugs so far authorized to treat COVID-19 are monoclonal antibodies, which run more than $2,000 each and take longer to be administered than a pill.

However, clinical trials on drugs approved for other uses, including the antidepressant fluvoxamine and the cytokine inhibitors sarilumab and tocilizumab, have shown tentative or mixed evidence against the disease.

Ivermectin, an inexpensive antiparasitic drug, has been embroiled in controversy, with a group of Republican lawmakers backing doctors who advocate for the right to use it to fight COVID-19, while physicians including the American Medical Association and Pharmacist groups strongly oppose prescribing. Ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Zachary Steber and Reuters contributed to this report.

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Tom Ozimek has an extensive background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he’s heard from Roy Peter Clark: ‘Hit your goal’ and ‘Leave the best for last.’

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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