By Colin Kellaher

 

Shares of Merck & Co. rose more than 8% in premarket trading Friday after the drugmaker said the experimental pill it is developing with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics reduced the risk of hospitalization or death by about 50% compared to a placebo in patients with mild or moderate Covid-19.

The Kenilworth, N.J., company said it plans to file for emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as soon as possible.

Approval would make the drug, called molnupiravir, the pandemic's first easy-to-use, at-home treatment.

Merck shares, which closed Thursday at $75.11, were recently up 8.2% to $81.30 in premarket trading, near their 52-week high of $81.52 reached in January.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 01, 2021 09:13 ET (13:13 GMT)

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