Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK)’s an antiviral pill – MK-4482 prevents the replication of coronavirus. Scientists at Emory University discovered that drug offers encouraging results in treating COVID-19.
A promising cure for coronavirus
Merck expects to publish the results of Phase 2 clinical trial of its MK-4482 soon. It will offer a promising coronavirus cure compared to a handful of vaccines available in the market. Even the people who received the vaccine still need a drug because they are less effective.
Merck engages in the sale of Keytruda, which is one of the best selling medicines in the market. The encouraging results from the Phase 2 clinical trial of MK-4482 help the company introduce the drug by the end of 2020.
Sales of more than $1 billion
It expects to generate over $1 billion in sales from the sale of MK-4482. The company already generates a large chunk of its sales from Keytruda.
Merck offered a dividend of $0.61 for each share for Q4 2020. It set the record date for dividend on September 15, 2020, and will pay to the shareholders on October 7, 2020.
Potential shortcomings of Chinese coronavirus vaccines
Experts think vaccines developed in China and Russia is based on the common cold. Therefore, they fall short of effectiveness in curing coronavirus. A CanSino Biologics vaccine developed in China for military use is a variant of Ad5 or adenovirus type 5. According to a Wall Street Journal report last week, the company is in discussions with several nations for emergency approval without conducting large-scale clinical trials.
The Russian vaccine is also based on adenovirus type 5. A researcher engaged in vaccine research at Johns Hopkins University, Anna Durbin, said the vaccine does not even have 70% efficacy in curing coronavirus. It expects to have just 40% efficacy and better than nothing.
More than 840,000 people across the world died because of coronavirus. Vaccines are developed and being launched to prevent the replication of coronavirus and save the people. The Russian vaccine only addresses issues related to AD5 immunity.
Therefore, Merck’s MK-4482 is seen as a life-saving drug if its results are positive in Phase 2 clinical trial. It could become the third drug to receive emergency approval for coronavirus after remdesivir of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD).