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Merck Is a Buy, Guilfoyle Says

Drug treatment for COVID is likely game changer for pandemic.

Merck  (MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) Report, the pharmaceutical giant, shows a lot of promise, especially since the company plans to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA for its antiviral drug Molnupiravir that can treat several strains of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, Real Money’s Stephen “Sarge” Guilfoyle argues.

Guilfoyle is bullish on Merck and  Molnupiravir, a collaborative effort between Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which doctors can use in pill form to treat non-hospitalized patients that show symptoms for less than five days and are at risk for severe disease.

“The reason for the excitement, quite simply, was that an effective therapeutic treatable for outpatient use in oral form would be potentially one way to turn a coronavirus that caused a global pandemic into a manageable endemic virus, almost like influenza,” he wrote in a recent Real Money Pro column. “I am long the stock and I am positive on the name. For me, I am in this one for the medium to long term.”

The company said it plans to submit an application to the FDA and to other international regulatory bodies since Molnupiravir can be a game changer. Merck estimates it can manufacture 10 million doses by the end of 2021 and already inked a deal with the Biden administration to supply the U.S. government with 1.7 million doses.

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This drug could halt the spread of the coronavirus. Former FDA chief and Pfizer PFE board member Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that the results from the Phase 3 trial are “phenomenal.”

Merck also announced recently that it would acquire Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) for $180 per share and $11.5 billion in cash. Acceleron manufactures protein-based therapeutics to treat cancers and rare diseases as well as a cardiovascular treatment called "sotatercept," a drug in late-stage testing for pulmonary arterial hypertension.

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