Merck COVID Pill Makes Moderna Vaccine Stock Drop

Pres. Biden's vax mandates could be irrelevant

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Merck announced at 6 a.m. on Friday that its oral COVID treatment cut hospitalization or death by half in clinical trials. When the market opened at 9:30 a.m., stock in Moderna started dropping from 358.33. One hour later, the pharmaceutical company that makes mRNA vaccines saw its stock lose 10% value.

Investors view the likely new pill to treat COVID as the breakthrough to end the pandemic — as an alternative to vaccines.

Merck also said that the results of the Phase 3 clinical trial were so overwhelmingly positive that it has stopped recruiting for it and will immediately apply for emergency use authorization from the FDA.

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Molnupiravir is an investigational oral antiviral medicine that was given to “at risk” patients who have mild to moderate COVID symptoms. The “at risk” patients in the study had at least one risk factor for severe COVID leading to hospitalization or death.

Since the trial started in August, these are the results:

Patients who received molnupiravir = 385

Hospitalized = 28 or 7%

Died = none

Patients who received placebo = 377

Hospitalized = 53 or 14%

Died = 8 people

As for side effects, the company reported that “The incidence of any adverse event was comparable in the molnupiravir and placebo groups (35% and 40%, respectively).”

The U.S. government made a deal in June to spend $1.2 billion to buy 1.7 million doses of the drug if the FDA authorizes it.

That means each dose costs Uncle Sam $700 for a 5-day treatment course.

I had to use an online calculator to figure out billions divided by millions, so if I’m off by a zero on the math, let me know in the comments. DC math has a lot of zeros!

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Merck said that it has already been producing molnupiravir and will be able to manufacture 10 million courses of treatment by the end of this year.

I confess to being a smug today that holding out on getting vaccinated may mean the whole things is OBE soon. How can Pres. Biden continue to force businesses to mandate the vaccine if a simple pill can seemingly ensure you can’t die from COVID?

Pres. Biden hasn’t said anything yet about the Merck pill development. He was on Capitol Hill today to try to get Democrats to find a way to pass lots of spending and raise the debt ceiling on their own since Republicans want nothing to do with all of it.

Biden was wearing a mask even though he has now had THREE Pfizer vaccine shots.

I’ll leave you to start your weekend with all this good news on the pandemic ending soon and a new “C’mon, man” video from the president today. Watch below:

LINKS TO SOURCES:

Merck Press Release, Oct. 1 - Merck and Ridgeback’s Investigational Oral Antiviral Molnupiravir Reduced the Risk of Hospitalization or Death by Approximately 50 Percent Compared to Placebo for Patients with Mild or Moderate COVID-19 in Positive Interim Analysis of Phase 3 Study

Merck Press Release, June 9: U.S. government commits to purchase approximately 1.7 million courses of Molnupiravir upon issuance of Emergency Use Authorization or approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

HHS press release, June 9: Biden Administration announces U.S. government procurement of Merck’s investigational antiviral medicine for COVID-19 treatment


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