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Animal Models and Microfluidic Tools with a Human Touch

Humanized in vivo and in vitro systems are becoming more clinically relevant and facilitating better decisions earlier in drug development.
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Animal models continue to be a mainstay of basic research and preclinical studies. But since animals such as mice only approximate humans, they may generate findings of limited clinical relevance. Fortunately, animal models have become more humanized and much better at generating human-relevant findings, thanks to gene editing technology. Indeed, humanized animal models are readily available from suppliers. Such models include mice that have been engrafted with human cells or engineered to express human gene products.

Alongside the evolution of humanized animal models is the ongoing development of organ-on-a-chip (OOC) models. OOC models range in complexity. Some are single-organ chips. Others are multiorgan microphysiological systems that can capture the subtler mechanisms of systems biology. Accordingly, OOC models are beginning to play a role in drug development and preclinical safety testing, and their future holds even greater promise.

Focusing on immunology

According to Michael Seiler, PhD, vice president, commercial products, Taconic Biosciences, “A heightened focus on immunology as a contributor to systems biology influences how investigators use both immunocompetent and immunodeficient animal models.”

An example of an immunocompetent model is Taconic’s Diet Induced NASH B6, which replicates the progressive and chronic liver inflammation that develops in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. The NASH B6, which has a fully functioning mouse immune system, can generate predictive results in therapeutic studies. Such models can support studies in various therapeutic areas. Still, an equally strong need exists for immunodeficient animal models, particularly those that gain facets of the human immune system through primary cell engraftments. Such animal models include humanized mice.

“Given the complexity of modeling the human immune system in vivo, we see an increased requirement for optionality in immunodeficient models,” Seiler remarks. “[The most notable options include] the ability to choose the host mouse as well as the primary human cells that will best contribute meaningfully to the experimental design and objective.”

Taconic Biosciences’ portfolio of human immune system mouse models includes the huNOG-EXL SA (Standard Access) model and the huNOG-EXL EA (Early Access) model. Both support high levels of human cell engraftment and the differentiation of human myeloid and lymphoid cells. The SA model is shipped to customers 10 weeks after engraftment, whereas the EA model is shipped within 2 weeks of engraftment, prior to the expansion of significant numbers of human immune cells in peripheral blood, enabling the study of slow-growing tumors on longer experimental timelines.

Taconic has expanded its portfolio of humanized models with the addition of the huNOG-EXL EA (early access) mouse model. The huNOG-EXL EA offers a study window that is longer than the one offered by the original huNOG-EXL model, which was launched in 2016. Like many standard humanized models, the huNOG-EXL is typically delivered weeks after engraftment because cell differentiation must be confirmed.

The huNOG-EXL EA retains the advantages of the huNOG-EXL. For example, it supports the differentiation of multiple human cell types known to affect adaptive immunity, including myeloid and lymphoid cells. Also, it is exceptionally reliable and consistent, reflecting Taconic’s experience injecting tens of thousands of mice with hematopoietic stem cells to generate the huNOG-EXL.

In addition, the huNOG-EXL EA can be provided soon after engraftment, prior to the model demonstrating full immune system humanization. This early-access model allows a tumor to be introduced sooner while ensuring that the model’s humanized immune system will mature as expected.

Another recent immunology model, a B-cell-deficient Jh syngeneic model on a B6 background, can help investigators study biologics more efficaciously. For example, the model allows investigators to avoid the complications and risks of anti-drug antibody development.

Taconic sees “exciting opportunities enabled by genetically engineered strains with well-characterized loss of function phenotypes,” Seiler declares. In addition, Taconic will soon announce a microbiome initiative to remove obstacles that have limited investigators to date.

Rethinking animal models

Recent animal model supply chain issues have made it more imperative than ever for researchers to use the most prudent models. Possibilities for moving to more accessible models—that is, models that can be more easily bred, maintained in-house, or even replaced—are now being considered with a greater sense of urgency.

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) provides researchers worldwide with innovative animal models and preclinical in vivo services. These tools also align with a recently released FDA directive to seek alternatives to nonhuman primates. Several platforms, including immune-humanized mice and genetically diverse models, can address these needs and produce translationally relevant data.

One of the latest platforms from JAX evaluates cytokine release syndrome (CRS). The platform, a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)-engrafted humanized mouse, can be used to assess immune-stimulating therapeutics such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and bispecific antibodies. These therapeutics have demonstrated great promise and efficacy, but they can cause PBMCs to overexpress cytokines, giving rise to CRS.

Until recently, the only options for CRS preclinical screening were in vitro platforms and nonhuman primate models. Humanized mouse models, which offer greater speed, accessibility, and versatility, may be more useful.

“We have taken this platform a step further by performing the engraftment in mice lacking MHC class I and II, which dramatically delays the onset of acute graft-versus-host disease,” says Brian Soper, PhD, senior scientific engagement manager, JAX. “This allows performance of longer-term efficacy studies in a model that more closely reflects the human immune system.”

Another JAX initiative is to offer more genetically diverse models such as the J:ARC and HET3 mouse models. “These strains differ drastically,” Soper notes, “but they share value for research and preclinical testing in that their genetic heterogeneity allows us to model likely biological interactions in a diverse population.” Applications range from safety and toxicology screening to quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping. HET3 also has a unique position in the aging field as it mimics some of the sex differences in aging in the human population.

Genetically diverse platforms facilitate the implementation of precision medicine treatments. For example, these platforms not only inform go/no-go decisions, but they also improve patient stratification, identifying patients for whom treatments might have greater safety and efficacy.

Studying SARS-CoV-2

A challenge of the pandemic has been the lack of animal models that could contribute to the study of human immune cells in SARS-CoV-2 viral infections. Such animal models, however, are starting to become available. For example, Charles River Laboratories has developed humanized mouse models that are susceptible to COVID-19. According to Steve Festin, the company’s senior director of scientific and commercial development, the new models could help investigators understand how different cells in the human immune system respond to early SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In collaboration and under license with GemPharmatech, Charles River recently introduced the hACE2-NCG mouse model. It is based on the triple-immunodeficient NCG mouse, and it reflects the use of a genetic modification strategy that knocks in human ACE2 at the mouse ACE2 locus. (The human ACE2 gene expresses hACE2, the receptor used by SARS-CoV-2 to enter cells.)

“In this model,” Charles River elaborates, “the intracellular domain of the mouse contains ACE2 under the transcriptional regulation of endogenous sequences, designed to mimic the physiological expression pattern of ACE2 in various tissue types, including the kidney, lungs, and intestines.” The company also indicates that its “genetically humanized” model is capable of being “immuno-humanized” with PBMCs or CD34-positive cells.

“As research regains momentum with the majority of laboratories back online, existing trends in oncology discovery and safety are expected to continue, along with greater emphasis on research models supporting cell and gene therapy initiatives,” Festin relates. “We will continue to focus our efforts on providing innovative and meaningful tools for biomedical research and our drug development partners.”

Contextualizing disease correctly

Compounds and targets need to be studied in the correct disease context to ensure a successful development path. Using the wrong models at the start of drug development may very well lead to the wrong drug, as demonstrated by the high attrition of new drug candidates.

Models of healthy and diseased human organs from Mimetas can enable assay development and the screening of thousands of compounds. The company is positioning the models for use in early phases of drug development, including target and compound discovery. Kidney, gut, lung, liver, brain, vasculature, bone marrow, tumor, placenta, and immune system models are available.

The core product is an organ-on-a-chip platform (OrganoPlate). Other products include ready-to-assay 3D tissue models (OrganoReady models), an instrument for taking transepithelial electrical resistance measurements (OrganoTEER), and instruments for driving perfusion flow (OrganoFlow S and OrganoFlow L). Mimetas services include compound profiling and screening services, as well as custom model and assay development services. To further support customers, Mimetas participates in drug development partnerships. Also, the company’s Phenotypic Screening Center is available to facilitate large-scale screening campaigns.

Mimetas OrganoPlate
This image shows a high-throughput compound screen on a Mimetas OrganoPlate that contains 64 tissue culture chips. Each chip consists of three channels—angiogenic factors; extracellular matrix gel; and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs)—patterned with PhaseGuide ridges. Inset: A perfused endothelial tubule with angiogenic sprouts growing into the extracellular matrix on the left (not visible). Green: HUVECs; blue: nuclei.

“Recent launches include OrganoStart and OrganoStart Pro packages, OrganoReady blood vessel and vascular bed products, and the high-throughput-screening-compatible OrganoPlate 3-lane 64,” says Paul Vulto, PhD, CEO, Mimetas. “Using 3,500 chips of the OrganoPlate 3-lane 64, we screened 1,546 compounds in duplicate in a 3D angiogenesis assay.1 We also published an assay2 mimicking the onset of inflammation in collaboration with Merck.”

The OrganoPlate comprises proprietary PhaseGuide technology that is designed to allow the horizontal layering of cells and gel matrices without artificial membranes. According to Mimetas, this technology can “enable precise, barrier-free definition of culture matrices and cells in 3D, supporting cell-cell interactions and unprecedented imaging and quantification.” In a recent paper,3 Mimetas scientists asserted that “the co-culture capabilities of the platform can be explored to create complex tissue configurations, for example, by incorporating mesenchymal and immune cells in the ECM adjacent to the epithelial tubes.”

Based on a microtiter plate footprint, the 40- to 96-chip OrganoPlate, comprised of inert materials such as glass and polystyrene, is intended to be fully compatible with microscopes, plate readers, and robotics systems.

“Our flexible suite of offerings, the large array of assays, and the rich ecosystem of instruments around the OrganoPlate make us the go-to company for physiologically relevant modeling,” Vulto asserts. “Throughput and automation of our platform render it well suited for early-stage drug development. Disease context is a crucial piece of the puzzle. Compounds are being progressed or halted based on data from our models.”

Organ-on-a-chip models

“To forward human predictive biology, we build biological models that emulate human physiology more closely,” says Lorna Ewart, PhD, chief scientific officer, Emulate. “Each organ is highly complex. Our philosophy is to start at the simplest level and then layer on complexity.”

Emulate’s Organ-Chips
Emulate’s Organ-Chips employ a transparent, flexible silicone polymer to support two parallel and independent microfluidic channels separated by a flexible, porous membrane. The upper channel is lined by epithelial cells; the lower channel, by organ-specific endothelial cells. Alongside these channels are vacuum channels that provide tissue-relevant mechanical forces. This arrangement recreates tissue-tissue interfaces.

The Emulate Organ-Chips employ a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) material to create two parallel independent microfluidic channels separated by a porous membrane. Tissue-tissue interfaces are enabled by taking epithelial cells and endothelial cells from the organ of choice, and then adding them to the upper channel and the lower channel, respectively.

Microfluidic technology applies a programmable stream of culture media across the cells simulating sheer stress, an important signal for the cells. “The PDMS also allows us to apply mechanical stress, another important cue for organs such as the lung and intestine,” Ewart notes. “This enhances the physiological relevance.”

Five product lines representing the lung, intestine, liver, kidney, and brain are supplied as Bio-Kits that include the Organ-Chips, Pod Portable Modules, qualified human cells, and chip activation reagents. Bio-Kit resources include validated protocols.

The chips are also offered on a standalone basis for researchers desiring to build their own models. Recent applications for the Colon-Intestine Chip (which incorporates prequalified biopsy-derived primary organoids and colonic endothelial cells) and the Brain-Chip (which incorporates five different cell types) show the introduction and pharmacological modulation of inflammation.

In a recent study, Emulate qualified its Liver-Chip for predictive toxicology. The performance of 780 Liver-Chips was assessed across a blinded set of 27 known hepatotoxic and nontoxic drugs. “We wanted to know how well the human Liver-Chip could predict drug-induced liver injury,” Ewart relates. “Results showed 87% sensitivity and 100% specificity when differentiating hepatotoxic from nonhepatotoxic small molecules.”1

Notably, all the included 22 hepatotoxic drugs had previously been classified as safe due to a lack of toxicity in animal models. Collectively, these compounds resulted in 208 patient fatalities and 10 liver transplants. If the human Liver-Chip had been used during preclinical screening, it is likely that many of these fatalities could have been avoided, Ewart suggests.

A financial framework assessed the economic impact of the technology and showed that the use of the Liver-Chip in pharmaceutical development programs for new candidate drugs could provide the equivalent of $3 billion in improved R&D productivity.4

Multiorgan microphysiological systems

Potential alternatives to animal models include multiorgan microphysiological systems (MPSs). Besides providing a way to implement the 3Rs (Reducing, Replacing, and Refining animal models to satisfy ethical considerations), MPSs may generate in vitro findings that are more clinically relevant than the findings from animal models. The main applications fall within disease modeling; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) testing; and toxicology/safety testing.

MPSs from CN Bio Innovations may incorporate several organ-on-a-chip systems, such as systems representing lung, liver, and gut. Systems representing single organs can be linked together into multiorgan systems to simulate processes such as drug absorption and metabolism, or to advance the study of interorgan interactions such as inflammation. CN Bio offers MPSs, validated 3D cell cultures, compatible consumables, and research services. The company maintains that its offerings can address drug development bottlenecks across many therapeutic areas, including metabolic and infectious diseases, oncology, and inflammation.

CN Bio Innovations Organ-on-a-chip (OOC) platforms diagram
Organ-on-a-chip (OOC) platforms developed by CN Bio Innovations include the PhysioMimix OOC Single-Organ System and the PhysioMimix OOC Multi-Organ System. These systems, which rely on organ-specific microphysiological system (MPS) consumable plates, can mimic complex human processes in the laboratory and help fast-track drug development. For example, the FDA demonstrated that the PhysioMimix liver-on-a-chip system can generate useful data for drug safety and metabolism applications.

The PhysioMimix range of single- and multiorgan MPSs harnesses microfluidic technology to mimic blood flow and precisely control the cellular microenvironment. In a collaborative study, CN Bio and FDA scientists demonstrated that data derived using the PhysioMimix liver-on-a-chip system are appropriate for use in drug safety and metabolism applications, evidencing its enhanced performance versus standard in vitro models.5

Many organ-on-a-chip systems currently available complement each other. “There is an inverse relationship between physiological relevance and throughput,” says David Hughes, DPhil, CEO, CN Bio. “Higher-throughput organ-on-a-chip solutions at the start of the screening cascade offer more binary, yes/no decisions. These are perfectly complemented by systems like ours, which can be used for smaller numbers of compounds in preclinical studies where the highest biological and translational relevance is essential.”

“Cultures can be maintained up to four weeks,” Hughes continues, “supporting, for example, studies of how chronic drug dosing may relate to the potential for drug-induced liver injury.” In addition, new, interconnected multiorgan (gut and liver) models recreate human processes in the laboratory such as first-pass metabolism to estimate drug bioavailability.

The open architecture system provides flexibility. New PhysioMimix models are fine-tuned to match their human counterparts as closely as possible through the application of inter- and intraorgan-specific flow rates that deliver human-relevant sheer forces. Purpose-built hardware and consumable plates support tissue-specific requirements such as oxygen gradients essential to the gut microbiome.

 

References
1. Soragni C, Ng CP, Heijmans J, et al. A robotised 1546 compound screen in a perfused 3D microfluidic angiogenesis assay. Poster presented at SLAS Europe 2021; June 22–25, 2021; Vienna, Austria.
2. De Haan L, Suijker J, van Roey R, et al. A Microfluidic 3D Endothelium-on-a-Chip Model to Study Transendothelial Migration of T Cells in Health and Disease. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021; 22(15):8234. DOI: 10.3390/ijms22158234.
3. Trietsch SJ, Naumovska E, Kurek D, et al. Membrane-free culture and real-time barrier integrity assessment of perfused intestinal epithelium tubes. Nat. Commun. 2017; 8(1): 262. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00259-3.
4. Ewart L, Apostolou A, Briggs SA, et al. Qualifying a human Liver-Chip for predictive toxicology: Performance assessment and economic implications. bioRxiv. Preprint posted on December 29, 2021. DOI: 10.1101/2021.12.14.472674.
5. Rubiano A, Indapurkar A, Yokosawa R, et al. Characterizing the reproducibility in using a liver microphysiological system for assaying drug toxicity, metabolism, and accumulation. Clin. Transl. Sci. 2021; 14: 1049–1061. DOE: 10.1111/cts/12969.

 

The post Animal Models and Microfluidic Tools with a Human Touch appeared first on GEN - Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

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Royal Caribbean Shares Huge News on Covid Testing, Vaccine Rules

President Michael Bayley gave some straight answers on pre-cruise covid testing and potentially dropping vaccine requirement at a Q&A during the cruise…

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President Michael Bayley gave some straight answers on pre-cruise covid testing and potentially dropping vaccine requirement at a Q&A during the cruise line's President's Cruise.

Being on a cruise has largely returned to the same experience it was before the pandemic. Mask requirements have been dropped, capacities have returned to normal, and social distancing requirements have been dropped.

In fact, aside from crew members still having to wear masks and some stray passengers opting to do so in certain indoor situations, there's really no sign of covid rules once you board your cruise.

Before you board, however, the pandemic still has an effect on cruising. Every passenger 12 and older must be vaccinated (and must prove so before getting on board) and all passengers must produce a negative covid test taken no more than two days before getting on the ship.

And, while covid remains a problem, the cruise industry sees some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to pre-cruise protocols. Executives from the major cruise lines -- Royal Caribbean International (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report -- have said very little about plans to drop pre-cruise testing and vaccination requirements,

Now, however, Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley has spoken out on both issues and has given cruise fans some real answers.

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When Will Covid Tests and Vaccinations Get Dropped?

The major cruise lines have largely stayed quiet about covid protocols because they remain somewhat beholden to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The current CDC rules are voluntary, but voluntary is sort of a relative term when it comes to the power the federal agency has over the cruise industry.

It makes sense that the industry has been cautious in commenting on when covid protocols may change, but with the end at least seeming feasible Bayley answered questions about both the end of pre-cruise testing and potentially dropping vaccination requirements during the 2022 Royal Caribbean President's Cruise on Ovation of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

"I think pre-cruise testing is going to be around for another couple of months," Bayley said. "We obviously want it to go back to normal, but we're incredibly cognizant of our responsibilities to keep our crew, the communities and our guests safe."

Bayley was less hopeful about the end of vaccinations, according to the blog, which has no connection to Royal Caribbean.

"The no vaccine question is is a huge question that none of us know the answer to," he said. "I'm skeptical that's going to change in the in the real short term. Many and most of the destinations that we visit require a high degree of vaccination, and they expect our crew to be vaccinated."

Cruise Lines Covid Protocols Are Working

Covid has not gone anywhere, but the cruise industry has been very successful at controlling the impact of the virus. Bayley noted that the CDC shares some information with him about the "millions" of people who have sailed from U.S. ports over the past 12 months.

"And the number of people who died from COVID who'd sailed on ships over the past year was two," the Royal Caribbean Blog reported. "Two is terrible. But against the context of everything we've seen, that's it's truly been a remarkable success."

Vaccine requirements remain a touchy issue as some people have chosen not to be vaccinated and that means they cannot cruise. That seems unlikely to change anytime soon given the destinations Royal Caribbean visits and the CDC information which shows that the current protocols are working.

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China Stocks Outperform On Unexpected COVID Shift

China Stocks Outperform On Unexpected COVID Shift

Update (0920ET): China’s move to ease quarantine rules for inbound travelers from three…

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China Stocks Outperform On Unexpected COVID Shift

Update (0920ET): China's move to ease quarantine rules for inbound travelers from three weeks to just one week has bolstered sentiment for Chinese equities. 

Bullish calls are rising on Chinese stocks as the CSI 300 Index inches near a bull market. 

Fred Hu, the founder of China-based investment firm Primavera Capital Group, told Bloomberg that he believes Chinese tech firms have turned the corner after a $2 trillion rout sparked by Beijing's yearslong technology crackdown. 

NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index plunged more than 76% since its peak in early 2021, coinciding with Beijing's crackdown start. The index hit a low in March and has since bounced 67% -- because the crackdown fears show signs of softening. 

Hu believes "this could be the beginning of a new era for China tech ... There's a lot of value to be discovered," adding that investors still need to be selective in picking stocks. 

Adding to support is the People's Bank of China's accommodative monetary policy, which is the opposite of global central banks that aggressively tighten interest rates to prevent the surge in inflation from turning into dreaded 1970s-style stagflation. Today's quarantine reduction news, tech crackdown abating, and PBOC easing have produced a more optimistic outlook for Chinese stocks. 

However, a lingering threat of a US slowdown could be problematic for all investors. 

Lorraine Tan, director of equity research at Morningstar, told Bloomberg TV: "Even if we do get some China recovery in 2023, which could be a buffer for this region, it's not going to offset the US or global recession."

* * *

China unexpectedly slashed quarantine times for international travelers, to just one week, which suggests Beijing is easing COVID zero policies. The nationwide relaxation of pandemic restrictions led investors to buy Chinese stocks.

Inbound travelers will only quarantine for ten days, down from three weeks, which shows local authorities are easing draconian curbs on travel and economic activity as they worry about slumping economic growth sparked by restrictive COVID zero policies earlier this year that locked down Beijing and Shanghai for months (Shanghai finally lifted its lockdown measures on May 31). 

"This relaxation sends the signal that the economy comes first ... It is a sign of importance of the economy at this point," Li Changmin, Managing Director at Snowball Wealth in Guangzhou, told Bloomberg

At the peak of the COVID outbreak, many residents in China's largest city, Shanghai, were quarantined in their homes for two months, while international travelers were under "hard quarantines" for three weeks. The strict curbs appear to have suppressed the outbreak, but the tradeoff came at the cost of faltering economic growth. 

The announcement of the shorter quarantine period suggests a potentially more optimistic outlook for the Chinese economy. Bullish price action lifted CSI 300 Index by 1%, led by tourism-related stocks (LVMH shares rose as much as 2.5%, Richemont +3.1%, Kering +3%, Moncler +3%). 

"The reduction of travel restrictions will be positive for the luxury sector, and may boost consumer sentiment and confidence following months of lockdowns in China's biggest cities," Barclays analysts Carole Madjo wrote in a note. 

CSI 300 is up 19% from April's low, nearing bull market territory. 

Jane Foley, a strategist at Rabobank in London, commented that "this news suggests that perhaps the authorities will not be as stringent with Covid controls as has been expected." 

"The news also coincides with reports that the PBOC is pledging to keep monetary policy supportive," Foley pointed out, referring to Governor Yi Gang's latest comment. 

She said, "this suggests a potentially more optimistic outlook for the Chinese economy, which is good news generally for commodity exporters such as Australia and all of China's trading partners." 

Even though the move is the right step in the right direction, Joerg Wuttke, head of the European Chamber of Commerce in China, said, "the country cannot open its borders completely due to relatively low vaccination rates ... This, in conjunction with a slow introduction of mRNA vaccines, means that China may have to maintain a restricted immigration policy beyond the summer of 2023." 

Alvin Tan, head of Asia currency strategy in Singapore for RBC Markets, also said shortening quarantine time for inbound visitors shouldn't be a gamechanger, and "there's nothing to say that it won't be raised tomorrow." 

Tyler Durden Tue, 06/28/2022 - 09:20

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Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving

Penny stocks to watch with news
The post Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving appeared first on Penny Stocks to…

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Penny stocks are well-known for their high-risk and high-reward potential. When it comes to a choppy stock market, traders will flock to some of these names for quick gains instead of taking a chance at investing in a broader market that still has some downside left.

Needless to say, this week, in particular, could bring more speculation and uncertainty thanks to key economic data. The foremost is second-quarter GDP results set to report on Wednesday. The biggest question is, will GDP data signal signs or even confirm a recession?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the figures show some interesting trends:

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022, following an increase of 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. The decrease was revised down 0.1 percentage point from the “advance” estimate released in April. In the first quarter, there was a resurgence of COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant and decreases in government pandemic assistance payments.”

But whether or not this read-out is bullish or bearish may not matter much to traders looking for penny stocks to buy. Let’s explain.

Penny Stocks To Watch

In general, broader market trends take a back seat to whatever individual catalysts are at play with penny stocks. If you’ve traded long enough, I’m sure you’ve seen the stock market crash lower, yet several penny stocks are exploding higher. This detached trend is unique and has become one of many reasons traders hunt for top trending penny stocks daily.

One of the most prominent reasons for cheap stocks to move iradically even with the stock market down tends to involve headlines. These can become significant catalysts for a bullish (or bearish) trend. Here’s a quick list of penny stocks with news that are moving during the week.

  • Wejo Group Limited (NASDAQ: WEJO)
  • Bird Global Inc. (NYSE: BRDS)
  • Tuniu Corp. (NASDAQ: TOUR)
  • JanOne Inc. (NASDAQ: JAN)
  • Endo International (NASDAQ: ENDP)

Best Penny Stocks To Buy Now

Are penny stocks with news the best to buy now? Much of that answer deals with specific trading styles. Sometimes, news catalysts can be short-lived, primarily suitable for day traders. In other instances, headlines include verbiage and further discussion that prompt a longer-term forecast for some. If a company posts news, diving deeper beyond the headline is a good idea.

Wejo Group Limited (NASDAQ: WEJO)

Who said penny stocks have no legitimate business with well-established companies? Wejo Group is a prime example of why that statement isn’t accurate. The smart-mobility could solutions company focuses on electric and autonomous vehicle data. This has become a point of interest for those looking at car companies aiming for self-driving and a more tech-focused model.

Why WEJO Stock Is Moving

This week, Wejo Group announced a collaboration with none other than Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) in Europe. The two will leverage data and insights where Wejo can access personalized connected vehicle data from Ford vehicles.

“Providing actionable data insights to insurance providers is another example of how Wejo is expanding into additional markets and demonstrating new use cases for OEMs and insurance companies to monetize connected vehicle data for good,” said Richard Barlow, founder, and CEO, of Wejo.

Bird Global Inc. (NYSE: BRDS)

Another mobility company on the list of penny stocks to watch is one you might have seen “scooting” around your city. Bird Global offers eScooters and eBikes that anyone can rent using a Bird-connected app. Billing itself as a “micro electric vehicle company,” Bird’s suite of scooters and bikes is becoming popular among riders looking for urban travel without getting in an actual vehicle. Unfortunately, BRDS stock wasn’t such a high flyer after its IPO debut last year. Shares have gone from highs of $11.25 to lows of $0.4648 in a matter of 7 months.

Why BRDS Stock Is Moving

Earlier this month, Bird received a notice of non-compliance with the NYSE based on its low share price. The exchange requires companies to maintain a closing price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive trading days to keep the listing. Considering that the company plans to notify the NYSE by July 5th of its intention to “cure” the stock price deficiency, there could be some speculation building as the countdown begins.

Tuniu Corp. (NASDAQ: TOUR)

Travel is one of the industries taking a back seat over the last few years. Thanks to the rise of the pandemic and continued COVID restrictions, travel stocks haven’t faired as well as their market cohorts. However, the area of the industry that has remained beaten down involves companies with exposure to China’s market.

Tuniu Corp. is a prime example of the bearish sentiment for Chinese travel stocks. TOUR stock has slumped from over $2 to under $0.50 within the last year. The company offers an online leisure travel service focused on prepackaged and self-guided tours. This week, TOUR stock’s tides changed a bit, and shares have begun to rally.

[Read More] What to Know About Buying Penny Stocks on June 28th

Why TOUR Stock Is Moving

There isn’t any TOUR stock-specific news. However, broader industry information has come to light and acted as a catalyst. In particular, China has begun loosening its COVID quarantine rules. As a result, bullish sentiment has returned to the sector, prompting momentum in several travel names, including Tuniu.

JanOne Inc. (NASDAQ: JAN)

JanOne develops drugs with non-addictive and pain-relieving properties. One of its focuses is on curbing the opioid crisis. Its JAN101 platform is being developed for treating peripheral artery disease and is a catalyst behind the latest move in JAN stock today.

Why JAN Stock Is Moving

This week, JanOne announced that work was completed with Dr. Maureen Donovan at the University of Iowa. It will allow for an improved formulation of JAN101, which has been used successfully in trials for reducing pain and improving nerve function. Furthermore, JanOne expects to start manufacturing and validating processes “in the near future.”

One of the other attractive points of interest for traders is JAN stock’s float. Looking at multiple outlets, you’ll see that this figure is well below 10 million shares. In cases of low float penny stocks, volatility can play a leading role. Given the latest headline, this could be something to keep in mind heading into the rest of the week.

Endo International (NASDAQ: ENDP)

Shares of Endo International took flight this week. The specialty pharmaceutical company recently focused on developing an orthopedic product for treating osteoarthritis knee pain. It signed a deal with Taiwan Liposome to commercialize its TLC599 injectable compound, which is in Phase 3 development for osteoarthritis treatment.

[Read more] Penny Stocks To Buy Now? 4 Biotech Stocks To Watch Before July 2022

“TLC599 is fully aligned with our commitment to providing differentiated nonsurgical options to healthcare providers and their appropriate patients,” said Patrick Barry, Executive Vice President, and President, Global Commercial Operations at Endo, in a June 13th update.

Why ENDP Stock Is Moving

You won’t find anything in corporate newsfeeds if you’re looking for why ENDP stock is moving right now. However, if you dig deeper into the company’s filings, there may be something evident acting as a catalyst in the stock market today. Millennium Management LLC filed a 13G on June 27th, showing a 1.7% stake in the company. In our article Buy Penny Stocks Like Hedge Funds Do: A How-To Guide, we discussed specific forms and filings to pay attention to if you want to “follow” the money of investment firms.

A 13G pertains to “passive investors” owning less than 20% of a company’s outstanding shares. Once a “passive investor” reaches over 20% of the OS, they must start filing 13D statements.

Best Penny Stocks Today

News can be a way to find names for your penny stocks list. However, when it’s time to buy them, it’s best to dig a little deeper to determine if that news has lasting potential. Penny stocks with news experience volatility early. When it comes to follow-through, much of that comes down to the market itself. Today we looked at 5 penny stocks with news, industry-related speculation, or corporate developments. After seeing why they moved, are any on your watch list right now?

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The post Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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