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Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca Take Lead

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The positive COVID-19 updates from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford give hope that the end is near for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to plague our world for almost a year by now.

One of the most anticipated breakthroughs in medicine in 2020 is the development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine, through one of the many pharmaceutical companies that have joined the race to develop one. As confirmed by the New York Times, the process of developing a functional vaccine has several stages, all of which when combined can take several years to accomplish.

The race to debut a vaccine has attracted several pharmaceutical giants around the world. While there are currently about 54 vaccines in clinical trials involving humans with an additional 87 in pre-clinical trials involving animals according to the New York Times, only a few have made headlines in recent times with results that give hope to the entire medical world.

These companies include Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) who are jointly developing a vaccine that has reportedly recorded about 90% efficacy in preventing COVID-19 according to data released by an independent Data monitoring committee.

Besides the Pfizer-BioNTech strides, Massachusetts based Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA) also shocked the medical world with the release of data from its late-stage trials, and it was discovered that its vaccine dubbed mRNA-1273 protected against COVID-19 by as much as 94.5% in clinical trials involving diverse volunteers from different regions.

Much recently, Reuters reported that the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the duo of AstraZeneca Plc (LON: AZN) and researchers from the prestigious Oxford University called AZD1222 has shown impressive efficacy in causing those aged 70 and above to produce the right antibodies that can help fight off COVID-19 according to a Phase II clinical result published in The Lancet.

“The robust antibody and T-cell responses seen in older people in our study are encouraging,” said Maheshi Ramasamy, a consultant, and co-lead investigator at the Oxford Vaccine Group. “We hope that this means our vaccine will help to protect some of the most vulnerable people in society, but further research will be needed before we can be sure.”

Stage III trials are currently ongoing to ascertain the findings and the results will be published before Christman according to Andrew Pollard, the Oxford Vaccine Group’s Director.

Expectations Mounts Following COVID-19 Vaccine Promises Shown

Expectations are currently increased from the three potential COVID-19 vaccine drugs that could come out from either one or all of the three companies in the coming weeks. While both the Pfizer-led vaccine and Moderna’s are expected to seek an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) with the rollout of more safety data in the coming weeks, the comparison between the perceived advantages of both promising vaccines has caused a stir in the space.

While Moderna’s vaccine can be stored and distributed under the normal standard temperature range for vaccines set at 2-8 degrees Celsius, that of Pfizer-BioNTech requires -70 degrees Celsius. The latter firm has since launched a COVID-19 vaccine delivery trial in four US States in a bid to address the distribution challenges should the vaccine be approved.

Nonetheless, the positive COVID-19 updates from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca-Oxford give hope that the end is near for the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to plague our world for close to a year now.

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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Nikola (NKLA) Shares Down 9% in Pre-market Due to Uncertainties on $2B Deal with GM

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Nikola investors are looking forward to the partnership deal with General Motors as it may cause a positive reflection on the company’s shares.

There have been a lot of speculations surrounding Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) partnership deals and uncertainties on the shares of the ousted founder in recent days. According to data, Nikola shares experienced a negative response in demand causing it to fall by more than 8% in the pre-market. At the time of writing, the stock was trading at $31.50 (-8.70%). However, yesterday, NKLA shares were in green, trading at $34.50 with a 17.31% rise.

This consistent pullback is contrary to the expected direction of price movement following its impressive truck designs and features earning it the nickname “the Tesla of Trucking”. The electric car startup has refused to clarify speculations and to assure investors on what will happen to the shares of the largest shareholder after the CEO Mark Russell kept them in the dark in a recent statement.

What Events Can Have Impact on Nikola (NKLA) Shares

Investors are very much looking forward to the said partnership deal with General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) as it may cause a positive reflection on its shares. The deal is said to be worth $2 billion and will be done in exchange for an 11% equity stake. The deal will see General Motors supplying Nikola with fuel cell and battery technology. Also, Nikola would be supplied with all-electric pickups and as well be able to reduce cost by $5 billion in the next 10 years when the deal falls through. 

Russell in his statement said he would not comment further than that. However, hinted that an agreement has not been reached as he stated that either side would walk away if no conclusion is made on the deal by Dec 3. Also, he revealed that the deal is still ongoing. Without any assurance that everything will go through, investors might have played safe by being reluctant with their investment, causing the drop in the share price. 

On the other hand, the stepped-down founder of the start-up, Trevor Milton who happens to be the largest shareholder has an option to either sell his shares or retain them. Currently, no announcement has been made on the decision, putting investors in a state of confusion. Milton had 91.6 million shares with 6 million of the total shares in “founder option” dispatched among the early employees. Interestingly, the company stock outstanding is 360.9 million shares which makes Milton a decisive figure in the share prices. Russel in his recent statement refused to comment on the decision of Milton In regards to what he plans on doing with his stake. 

Milton owned a separate company called T&M Residual and had 39.8 million shares in Nikola. Short-seller Hindenburg accused Milton of fraud causing the Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate him.

Milton was accused of using false statements to get partnership deals with auto companies and to grow through fraud. A report published soon after Nikola came public in its partnership conversation with General Motors labeled the company as an “intricate fraud built on dozens of lies.”

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Excellent John K. Kumi is a cryptocurrency and fintech enthusiast, operations manager of a fintech platform, writer, researcher, and a huge fan of creative writing. With an Economics background, he finds much interest in the invisible factors that causes price change in anything measured with valuation. He has been in the crypto/blockchain space in the last five (5) years. He mostly watches football highlights and movies in his free time.



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South Korea May Delay Implementation of 20% Crypto Tax Till 2022

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The National Assembly is pushing for a delay to the tax proposal to allow exchanges more time to prepare.



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Bitcoin Price Set New Multi-Year High in Past 24 Hours

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Bitcoin rallied to the price level of $19,348.27. It was the second time when it was trading above $19k since its inception.

Bitcoin, the mother of over 7000 crypto projects, has set a new multi-year record in the past 24-hours since the last major bull rally in 2017. According to the metrics provided by Coinmarketcap, Bitcoin rallied to trade at $19,348.27, the second time to trade above $19k since its inception. Although below the all-time high, the new Bitcoin multi-year price record has been welcomed warmly in the crypto industry.

On November 24, Bitcoin opened the day trading at $18,365.01, and gained approximately 4% as the volatility increased during the day. Thanks to increased interest from institutional investors, Bitcoin’s market cap has shot to a new record of over $350 billion. According to CoinGecko data analytics, Bitcoin has a market capitalization of $350,068,686,746, with its past 24-hour trading volume at $52,098,734,170.

Bitcoin: Bull Wave May Lead to New Price All-Time High

As the industry ushers in a new bull wave, investors are being warned of increased scams orchestrated through social media platforms. Previously, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse highlighted the plight of crypto investors in the ongoing rally.

“As always, with crypto rallies, come the scam artists with new fake “giveaways” on social media platforms. Why is it taking the platforms so long to take action?” Garlinghouse tweeted.

He went on to cite how cyber attackers took over a popular YouTube channel to impersonate him and scam unsuspecting subscribers.

“For example, hackers took over @AndreoBee’s @YouTube channel to impersonate me, and over 24 hours later + multiple complaints, the channel is still up?! The longer these fakes stay up, the more people that are scammed” the tweet reads.

With Bitcoin being a global accepted asset and currency, it is challenging to regulate it uniformly for a scam free industry. However, with continued mass crypto education, there is hope that reported scam cases will decline over time.

As Bitcoin continues to scale higher by the day, Grayscale Investments has recorded over $12 billion in assets under management. Particularly, Grayscale Bitcoin trust has surpassed $10 billion.

There are 18,553,512 units of Bitcoins in circulating supply out of the possible 21 million. Notably, Bitcoin accessibility has significantly shifted to ATMs around the world, whereby there are approximately 12360 crypto ATMs globally according to Coinatmradar. There has also been a notable acceptance of Bitcoin and other digital assets in most financial institutions as the demand grows immensely.

With PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) being the latest payment giant to enter the crypto market, the next bull run is anticipated to be larger than that of 2017/2018. Binance CEO previously indicated that the crypto industry has the capability to grow over 1000 times based on the demand.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading around $18,965.50 having jumped approximately 3.75% in the last 24 hours.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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