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MRK Stock Down 1% in Pre-market, Merck Halts Its Covid-19 Vaccine Development

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by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read
MRK Stock Down 1% in Pre-market, Merck Halts Its Covid-19 Vaccine Development
Photo: Depositphotos

Merck has a reported market valuation of approximately $204.88 billion with 2.53 billion outstanding shares. The company’s leadership has opted to commit its resources towards developing coronavirus therapy drugs.

Merck & Co Inc (NYSE: MRK) stock dipped 1.15% during Monday’s pre-market to trade around $80.09. Notably, Merck stock closed Friday trading at $80.98, after dropping approximately 0.25% during the day.

The drop on Monday was attributed to news that the company has stopped its coronavirus vaccine development. Apparently, its covid-19 vaccine candidates V590 and V591 failed to generate immune responses comparable to natural infection or existing vaccines.

Speaking during the announcement, Nick Kartsonis, senior vice president of clinical research for infectious diseases and vaccines at Merck Research Laboratories, said that the results were surprising and at the same time disappointing.

Kartsonis further noted that the company does not have the resources needed to commit the project for further research and development. As a result, Merck is out of the coronavirus vaccine race leaving giants like Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), Pfizer Inc (NYSE), Johnson and Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) among those developing a feasible vaccine.

Merck (MRK) Stock and Notable Fundamentals

Despite being one of the pharmaceutical stocks Merck stock did not benefit from the hype experienced last year. According to market data provided by MarketWatch, Merck stock has dropped approximately 5.95% in the past year. However, they are up approximately 2.71% in the past three months but down around 2.88% in the past five days.

Merck has a reported market valuation of approximately $204.88 billion with 2.53 billion outstanding shares. The company’s leadership has opted to commit its resources towards developing coronavirus therapy drugs.

Perhaps the main reason 22 Wall Street analysts have given Merck stock an Over rating. Otherwise, investors and analysts seem optimistic about the company’s coronavirus therapy drugs that have so far shown a high level of efficacy.

“In the world of pharmaceutical development, a quick kill is not a bad thing because it allows you to reposition and repurpose your assets,” Kartsonis indicated.

As the world continues to thirst for a viable coronavirus vaccine, an effective therapeutic drug is also needed in the meantime. Mind you, it will take time for the relevant government agencies to approve the vaccines and more time to mass-produce them.

Data by worldometers.info indicates the United States is leading with 25,702,125 reported cases, 429,490 fatalities, and 15,409,639 recovered cases. With the need to reopen the economy, the country is urgently seeking and sponsoring promising coronavirus drugs and vaccines.

Merck is now focusing on its coronavirus drug, MK-7110. In an interim study, MK-7110 has shown a likelihood of speeding up recovery for severe coronavirus patients. Of importance, MK-7110 has shown the ability to reduce death and respiratory failure by more than 50%.

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Steve Muchoki

A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies. Mythology is my mystery! "You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself."

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