By Dhirendra Tripathi
Investing.com – Inventories of Covid vaccine makers continued to be weighed down on Wednesday by the promise displayed by the oral antiviral drug from Merck (NYSE 🙂 against the dreaded infection.
Merck’s announcement on Friday that trials of a drug it is developing against Covid showed it could halve the risks of hospitalization and death was a blow to the actions of Novavax (NASDAQ :), BioNTech (NASDAQ :), Pfizer (NYSE :), Moderna (NASDAQ 🙂 and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE :).
If approved, the antiviral drug molnupiravir could be the world’s first oral drug for Covid, the company said in a note. Merck plans to apply for emergency use authorization in the United States as soon as possible.
Novavax, Moderna and BioNTech traded 3.3% to 4.3% lower in today’s session. Johnson & Johnson fell 0.6%. Pfizer, which jointly developed a vaccine with BioNTech, lost 0.8%.
Since the market closed on Thursday, a day before Merck’s announcement, Novavax has lost around 30% of its value, Moderna 18% and BioNTech 13%.
Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, the two companies with little reliance on revenue from the sale of Covid snapshots, fell 2.7% and 2% respectively. The news from Merck came just as Pfizer was rolling out its booster for people over 65 and other at-risk adults in the United States.
From the above, Novavax is the only company that has not yet launched its vaccine. There have been unfavorable developments at Moderna which have added to the pressure on the stock.
According to reports, the Swedish public health agency has suspended use of Moderna’s Covid vaccine for people born in 1991 and later due to indications of an increased risk of side effects. Reports have also indicated that Denmark has stopped offering Moderna injections to people under the age of 18.
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