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Posted October 11, 2021

Aaron Gentzler

By Aaron Gentzler

9-1-1 Approval

We start off the week with news drugmaker Merck & Co. (MRK) petitioned the FDA for emergency approval of its antiviral drug molnupiravir for the treatment of COVID-19.

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More on this potential breakthrough below… But first, do you think an antiviral pill (and there are others in the pipeline) will be a pandemic game-changer?

Plus, if you’ve avoided Covid vaccines, would you be open to an easily-administered, FDA-approved antiviral treatment? Write in, readers, and we’ll publish your opinions Wednesday.

Send your opinions to, TheRundownFeedback@StPaulResearch.com

Your Rundown for Monday, October 11, 2021...

“Hit Early, Hit Hard”

“The [Merck] drug works by inhibiting the replication of the virus inside the body,” says CNBC.

And according to data collected from three phases of clinical trials, it reportedly “cut hospitalizations and deaths among people with COVID-19 by half,” says an article at Nature.

Molnupiravir seems to work best, however, for people with mild to moderate illness, and the key to its efficacy is the pill “needs to be given in the first five days after symptom onset,” the article says.

“Hit early, hit hard,” emphasizes virologist Richard Plemper of Georgia State University in Atlanta.

And while there are two antiviral drugs already used in hospitals for Covid patients -- from Regeneron and Gilead Science -- these drugs are administered intravenously.

“The value here is that it’s a pill so you don’t have to deal with the infusion centers and all the factors around that,” says Dr. Nicholas Kartsonis, a senior vice president at Merck. “I think it’s a very powerful tool to add to the toolbox.”

Which brings us to this morning, when Merck published its appeal to the FDA: “The extraordinary impact of this pandemic demands that we move with unprecedented urgency, and that is what our teams have done by submitting this application for molnupiravir to the FDA within 10 days of receiving the data,” the company says.

From an investment standpoint, MRK is up over 11% in the past six months. So, is it a company to add to your portfolio? We’ll have more on that Wednesday…

Market Rundown for Monday, Oct. 11, 2021

S&P 500 futures are down 7.5 points to 4,375.

Oil’s up 2%, just a nickel under $81 for a barrel of West Texas crude.

Gold has slipped $4.00 to $1,753.50 per ounce.

Bitcoin is up 2.3% at the time of writing to $56,690.

Send your comments and questions to, TheRundownFeedback@StPaulResearch.com

Take care, and we’ll talk more Wednesday.

For The Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler
Editor, The Rundown
TheRundownFeedback@StPaulResearch.com

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