U.S. markets open in 7 hours 17 minutes
  • S&P Futures

    3,932.00
    +9.50 (+0.24%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    32,004.00
    +88.00 (+0.28%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    13,345.50
    +43.50 (+0.33%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,300.00
    +14.90 (+0.65%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    63.36
    +0.14 (+0.22%)
     
  • Gold

    1,793.70
    -4.20 (-0.23%)
     
  • Silver

    27.96
    +0.10 (+0.36%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2176
    +0.0007 (+0.06%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.3890
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    21.34
    -1.77 (-7.66%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.4156
    +0.0015 (+0.10%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    105.9540
    +0.0720 (+0.07%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    50,352.45
    -176.65 (-0.35%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,004.50
    +9.84 (+0.99%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,658.97
    +33.03 (+0.50%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    30,168.27
    +496.57 (+1.67%)
     

Merck (MRK) to Supply Coronavirus Treatment to U.S. Government

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Merck & Co., Inc. MRK announced that it has reached an agreement with the U.S. government to manufacture and supply its investigational biological therapeutic, CD24Fc (to be named MK-7110), which is being developed for treating patients seriously affected by COVID-19.

Merck is collaborating with the U.S. government to supply approximately 60,000-100,000 doses of MK-7110, upon potential approval or an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) from the FDA.

Per the agreement, Merck will be eligible to receive up to $356 million for supplying said doses of MK-7110 through June 30, 2021 to the U.S. government to meet the latter’s Operation Warp Speed goals.

Shares of Merck have decreased 12.3% so far this year, against the industry’s increase of 0.9%.

price chart for MRK
price chart for MRK


We remind investors that Merck added MK-7110 to its portfolio following the acquisitionof private biotech OncoImmune for an upfront cash payment of $425 million in November 2020. The candidate is currently being evaluated in a phase III study for treating severe and critical COVID-19.

Notably, top-line data from an interim analysis of the phase III study showed that treatment with MK-7110 led to 60% higher probability of improvement in clinical status of patients with severe or critical COVID-19 versus placebo while reducing the risk of death or respiratory failure by more than 50% in such patients.

This apart, Merck is developing an orally available antiviral candidate, molnupiravir, in collaboration with Ridgeback Bio for treating COVID-19 patients. Two pivotal studies are evaluating the candidate in non-hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients or hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients.

We note that, over past couple of months, the FDA has given EUA to several treatments for severe illness caused by SARS-CoV-2.

In November 2020, the FDA gave EUA to Regeneron’s REGN antibody cocktail, casirivimab and imdevimab, administered together (formerly known as REGN-COV2 or REGEN-COV2) for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

Also, in November 2020, the FDA granted EUA to Eli Lilly’s LLY antibody drug, bamlanivimabas, a monotherapy for the treatment of recently diagnosed mild-to-moderate COVID-19 illness in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 or hospitalization.

The FDA also granted EUA to Lilly and Incyte’s INCY oral JAK inhibitor, Olumiant, for use in combination with Gilead’s remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients based on positive phase III results from the ACTT-2 study in November 2020.

Zacks Rank

Merck currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Just Released: Zacks’ 7 Best Stocks for Today

Experts extracted 7 stocks from the list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys that has beaten the market more than 2X over with a stunning average gain of +24.4% per year.

These 7 were selected because of their superior potential for immediate breakout.

See these time-sensitive tickers now >>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
 
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (REGN) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Incyte Corporation (INCY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
 
Zacks Investment Research