MRK Stock Up 0.45% in Pre-Market as Merck to Buy Austrian Vaccine Maker

UTC by Christopher Hamman · 3 min read
MRK Stock Up 0.45% in Pre-Market as Merck to Buy Austrian Vaccine Maker
Kenneth C. Frazier, Merck & Co., Inc. Chairman & CEO. Photo: Merck & Co., Inc.

Merck (MRK) stock price is up. This comes as the pharmaceutical giant is making some new moves towards winning the COVID-19 vaccine race. Merck announced its decision to buy Austrian vaccine maker Themis Bioscience.

Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) stock price has been rising in the pre-market. MRK is 0.45% up. The stock price was up yesterday as Merck announced that it was developing a new COVID-19 vaccine. The development is in partnership with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI).

At the time of filing this report, Merck (MRK) stock price is $77.61.

Merck made another move in the vaccine race. The pharmaceutical company has said that it will buy Themis Bioscience, the Austrian vaccine maker.

The terms of the Themis acquisition haven’t been disclosed.

Merck (MRK) Stock Price Rises as It Makes Another Move Towards COVID-19 Vaccine

Merck went a step further. It also announced a partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. This partnership is for the development of an antiviral oral drug to be used in COVID-19 treatment.

These series of moves have been unexpected. They also come at a time when most players in the bio-medical field had already played their cards. Merck it seems is playing its cards late in the game.

Merck’s Chief Executive Ken Frazier told sources:

 “We wanted to be in a position where we could choose things that have the right kind of characteristics to make a contribution for a virus that’s likely to be with us for some time,”

Both vaccines are being designed to be taken in a single dose.

The Themis Vaccine has been designed in partnership with the prestigious Institut Pasteur. The vaccine uses a tweaked measles virus. The virus introduced parts of the COVID-19 virus into the human body. This is to prevent an infection. The development of this vaccine was made possible partially through funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Merck indicated that it will move quickly. The company has said that it intends to start vaccinating volunteer participants in a few weeks. We earlier reported that the IAVI vaccine will work with the same mechanisms as the Zaire Ebola vaccine.

Superior Strategies Deployed

The above moves are nothing short of a masterpiece stroke by Merck. The masters of strategy who run the pharmaceutical giant have shown that a multi-pronged approach to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic is appropriate.

Merck has also played its cards in a fashion that will be hard to beat. As at press time, it is the only organization with a three-way approach to beating the coronavirus. Merck has what other competitors don’t have: lots of cash and lots of talent.

Another thing is that both of the vaccines are being developed using technologies that have worked before. While it may not seem like much, the truth is that we may not need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to a vaccine.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) may have something unique when it comes to its new approach. But solutions that have worked before sometimes provide a basis for new solutions. This is the logic behind innovation.

Innovation may be the key to unlocking the key to the COVID-19 solution. Merck has proved again that it can lead. The question remains is if it will win again. No one else but mother time has the answer.

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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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