In fi­nal days at Mer­ck, Roger Perl­mut­ter bets big on a lit­tle-known Covid-19 treat­ment

Roger Perl­mut­ter is spend­ing his last days at Mer­ck, well, spend­ing.

Two weeks af­ter snap­ping up the an­ti­body-drug con­ju­gate biotech Velos­Bio for $2.75 bil­lion, Mer­ck an­nounced to­day that it had pur­chased On­coIm­mune and its ex­per­i­men­tal Covid-19 drug for $425 mil­lion. The drug, known as CD24Fc, ap­peared to re­duce the risk of res­pi­ra­to­ry fail­ure or death in se­vere Covid-19 pa­tients by 50% in a 203-per­son Phase III tri­al, On­coIm­mune said in Sep­tem­ber.

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