Gaming stocks like Penn National Gaming (PENN) - Get Penn National Gaming, Inc. Report, MGM Resorts MGM, Ceasars Entertainment (CZR) - Get Caesars Entertainment Corporation Report, were rising Friday along with hospitality stocks like Hilton (HLT) - Get Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT) Report, Marriott International (MAR) - Get Marriott International, Inc. (MAR) Report, and Hyatt (H) - Get Hyatt Hotels Corporation Class A Report after Merck (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report announced a new Covid-19 treatment.
Those industries could benefit the most from the drug maker's collaboration with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics for a new antiviral drug, Molnupiravir that how show promise to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization or death of non-hospitalized adult patients.
Penn National shares were 8.6% to $78.70 per share, MGM Resorts was rising 4% to $44.89, Caesars climbed to 5.8% to $118.80, Hilton gained 4.5% to $138.10, Marriott gained 5.4% and Hyatt rose 5.3%.
Merck plans to submit an application for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the U.S. FDA as soon as possible based on the findings.
"With the virus continuing to circulate widely, and because therapeutic options currently available are infused and/or require access to a healthcare facility, antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed,” said Wendy Holman, chief executive officer of Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, in a press release.
The Biden Administration, in fact, has already committed to buying 1.7 million doses -- worth around $1.2 billion, if the drug is approved.
Shares of Merck were rising 9.5% to $82.24 per share.