Published On: Sat, Oct 2nd, 2021

Merck Shares Soar on COVID-19 Pill Trial Results, Vaccine Stocks Dip

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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 therapies were bruised. Merck shares jumped as much as 12.3 percent and hit their highest level since February 2020 after data showed the company’s pill molnupiravir could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19. Meanwhile, shares of vaccine makers such as Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc, and partner BioNTech SE crumbled. Moderna shares fell 13 percent in midday trading, while Pfizer, which is developing a COVID-19 pill of its own, fell 1.3 percent. U.S. shares of BioNTech dropped 11 percent. Profit-taking was a likely factor behind the selloffs, some analysts said. Others believe the promise of an oral drug that can be taken at home could change the public perception of risks associated with COVID-19. “We …

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