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Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was somehow relaxing and invigorating, because that oh-so-predictable routine of Zoom meetings, Skype calls and deadlines has returned. After all, the world keeps spinning. With that in mind, why not brew a cup of stimulation and give it a push? Our choice today is the ever-delicious maple bourbon. A fine way to start the day. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to help you along. Hope your day is productive and do stay safe — wear a mask …

Merck (MRK) reported that an experimental Covid-19 drug, which promises to be a kind of Tamiflu for the pandemic, had positive results in a preliminary study, The Wall Street Journal says. The pill, which is being developed by Ridgeback Therapeutics, significantly reduced infectious virus in subjects in a mid-stage study after five days of treatment. If further study proves it capable of treating people with Covid-19 who show symptoms, the drug would bolster a limited arsenal of treatments and be the first oral antiviral against the disease.


Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (AZN) is effective against the P.1 variant first seen in Brazil, Reuters reports. The data indicates the vaccine will not need to be modified in order to protect against the variant, which is believed to have originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus. A source did not provide the exact efficacy of the vaccine against the variant, but said the full results of the study should be released soon, possibly this month.

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