MRK Stock Up 1.5% as Merck Set to Develop New Coronavirus Vaccine

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by Christopher Hamman · 3 min read
MRK Stock Up 1.5% as Merck Set to Develop New Coronavirus Vaccine
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Merck (MRK) stock price is up today as Merck announced a new partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) stock price fell slightly in the last session but today it is up. This occurred as the pharmaceutical firm indicated that it is working on the development of a coronavirus vaccine. This is in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). Sources say that Merck and the non-profit organization are working together to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Merck (MRK) stock prices rose slightly at the news.

At the time of filing this report, Merck (MRK) stock price was $77.54 (+1.51%).

Merck (MRK) Stock Price Up as Compame Enters COVID-19 Vaccine Race

Most pharmaceutical and bio-medical companies have canceled other clinical trials. This is in favor of finding a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

It takes at least 18 months to develop a working vaccine. After that, there is the added cost of logistics and manufacturing. That takes even longer to develop on a grand scale.

The good thing though is that this can be done quickly. This is because the shelter-in-place restrictions are have left in its wake idle capacity for such an enterprise.

Merck and IAVI have indicated that they would be using recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus technology. This is for the new vaccine. The Zaire Ebola vaccine was the first use-case for rVSV in vaccines for human use.

Ebola viruses cause one of the most virulent and deadliest illnesses known to humanity. The Ebola Zaire strain caused an outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2016. The current outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is also caused by this particular strain.

Sources say that the vaccine candidate is already in pre-clinical development. The candidate was also developed by IAVI scientists in New York. Merck has indicated that is the vaccine is approved, both organizations will work together to “make it accessible and affordable” on a global scale. This could be possible given the size and scope of Merck’s business operations.

The U.S. President had earlier in the year launched an initiative aimed at finding a vaccine quickly. Nicknamed “Operation WarpSpeed”, the aim is to find a working vaccine by the year’s end. This initiative has resonated well with voters.

Quick Solution to COVID-19 Is Not Possible

It might not be possible though. Medical experts disagree on the timeline. Dr. Anthony Fauci the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He has disagreed several times with President Trump and his team on this.

Merck and IAVI have indicated that the rVSV vaccine framework uses a weakened strain of the vesicular stomatitis virus. It is a regular animal virus that has been engineered to stimulate an immuno-response.

Both parties hope to use the experiences gained during the development of the Ebola vaccine. They hope to apply it during the development of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As more organizations race toward a vaccine, more options for battling the coronavirus will be on the table. This will be proof of the resilience of the biomedical community.

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Christopher Hamman
Author Christopher Hamman

Christopher Haruna Hamman is a Freelance content developer, Crypto-Enthusiast and tech-savvy individual. He is also a Superstar Content Developer, Strategy Demigod, and Standup Guy.

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