Merck (NYSE:MRK) stock is taking off on Friday thanks to positive news from a clinical trial for treating COVID-19.
The Phase 3 MOVe-OUT is evaluating the effectiveness of treating “at risk, non-hospitalized adult patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19” with molnupiravir. The interim results show that molnupiravir reduces the risk of death or hospitalization by roughly 50%.
Due to these positive interim results, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is stopping recruitment into the trial early. As a result, Merck plans to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization to the FDA as early as possible.
Investors in MRK stock won’t have to wait long to see the effects if the FDA approves molnupiravir. The company has already been producing the drug at risk with expectations for 10 million courses ready by the end of the year.
Merck also already has buyers lined up for those molnupiravir courses. It reached an agreement with the U.S. government earlier this year for 1.7 million courses. It also has agreements with several other governments around the world for courses.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the new drug sending MRK stock higher today.
“This is a phenomenal result. I mean, this is a profound game-changer to have an oral pill that had this kind of effect, this magnitude of effect in patients who are at high risk who are already symptomatic.”
MRK stock is seeing heavy trading on today’s news. As of this writing, more than 49 million shares of the stock have changed hands. That’s a massive surge next to its daily average trading volume of about 10.1 million shares.
MRK stock was up 9.4% as of Friday morning.
We’ve got other recent news that traders will want to know about today below!
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On the date of publication, William White did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
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