News

COVID-19 Vaccine Trials

Reuters | Equities.com |

Top executives at U.S. pharmaceutical company Novavax Inc aren’t waiting to see how well their COVID-19 vaccine works before they reap the financial rewards.

Chief Executive Stanley Erck and three of his top lieutenants have sold roughly $46 million of company stock since the start of last year, according to a Reuters review of securities filings, capitalizing on a near 3,000% rally in Novavax shares fueled by investors betting on the success of the shot under development.

Erck cashed out $8.7 million over the course of 2020, eclipsing the $2.2 million in shares he sold in the previous five years. The stock sale amounts to more than 20% of his vested stake in Novavax, or less than 10% if stock options that are yet to vest are counted, according to the review of the filings, an analysis by compensation consultant Farient Advisors LLC and a company spokeswoman.


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Pfizer Inc and its partner BioNTech Se plan to give volunteers who received a placebo in its COVID-19 vaccine trial an option to receive a first dose of the vaccine by March 1, 2021, while staying within the study.

The trial's Vaccine Transition Option allows all participants aged 16 or older the choice to discover whether they were given the placebo, "and for participants who learn they received the placebo, to have the option to receive the investigational vaccine...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Novavax Inc has begun a large late-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the drug developer said on Monday, after delaying the trial twice due to issues in scaling up the manufacturing process.

It will enroll up to 30,000 volunteers across about 115 sites in the United States and Mexico, with two-thirds of them receiving the shot 21 days apart and the rest getting placebo, the company said.

Novavax lags behind other dru...


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Pfizer Inc said it will apply to U.S. health regulators on Friday for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus.

The application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes just days after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE reported final trial results that showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no major safety concerns.

Pfizer’s shares rose 1.6% and BioNTech climbed 6% on the news that a vaccine could soon be available, raising hopes for the end of a pandemic that has claimed more than a quarter of a million lives in the United States and over 1.3 million worldwide.


AP News | Equities.com |

A late-afternoon slide on Wall Street dragged stocks broadly lower Wednesday, wiping out early gains and adding to losses from a day earlier as investors worry about the economic fallout from surging coronavirus cases in the U.S.

The S&P 500 fell 1.2%. It had been up 0.3% in the early going after Pfizer and BioNTech reported updated data suggesting their potential COVID-19 vaccine may be 95% effective. The companies said they plan to ask U.S. regulators within days to allow emergency use of the vaccine.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Final results from Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine trial showed its shot had a 95% success rate and two months of safety data, paving the way for the drugmaker to apply for an emergency use authorization within days, it said on Wednesday.

The vaccine’s efficacy rate, the highest of any candidate in late-stage clinical trials so far, was welcomed by experts who had already said that interim results showing Pfizer’s shot was over 90% effective were very encouraging.

Pfizer said there were 170 cases of COVID-19 in its trial of more than 43,000 volunteers and only eight people with the disease had been given the shot rather than a placebo, meaning the vaccine had a 95% efficacy rate. Of the 10 people who developed severe COVID-19, one had received the vaccine.


AP News | Equities.com |

Image: Five-day chart, S&P 500 Index. Source: Yahoo Finance

By Stan Choe, Damian J. Troise and Alex Veiga

NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones Industrial Average returned to a record Monday for the first time since plunging nine months ago in despair about the pandemic, riding a swell of optimism that a vaccine may soon control the coronavirus and the economic destruction it’s caused.

Moderna said early in the morning that its COVID-19 vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data. It’s the second time this month that a company unveiled such encouraging numbers about a vaccine, boosting hopes that the global economy can return to some semblance of normal next year.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, the company said on Monday, becoming the second U.S. drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.

Together with Pfizer Inc’s vaccine, which is also more than 90% effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.

Next year, the U.S. government could have access to more than 1 billion doses just from the two vaccine makers, more than needed for the country’s 330 million residents.


AP News | Equities.com |

The S&P 500 closed at a record high on Friday as optimism built among investors that a coming vaccine for the coronavirus will help end the shutdowns that have devastated the economy.

The benchmark index posted its second weekly gain in a row. Markets also welcomed the election of Joe Biden as president and the likelihood of Republican control of the Senate, setting up a divided government that will probably mean a continuation of business-friendly policies. Small-company stocks outpaced the rest of the market this week, reflecting greater confidence in the economy.


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California and several states across the U.S. Midwest tightened restrictions on residents on Tuesday as the nation’s top infectious disease specialist called on Americans to remain vigilant until a vaccine can be approved and distributed.

The new clampdowns were announced as the number of COVID-19 infections surged again in the United States with the onset of colder weather, straining hospitals and medical resources in some cities.

“There’s a real thing called COVID-19 fatigue, that’s understandable,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN in an interview. “But hang in there a bit longer, do the things you need to do and we’ll be OK.”