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Biotech Amgen, Adaptive Tech Join Forces on New Coronavirus Drug

Biotech Amgen, Adaptive Tech Join Forces on New Coronavirus Drug

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U.S. biotechnology company Amgen Inc. (AMGN) is teaming up with Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. (ADPT) to discover a drug to potentially treat coronavirus patients.

The two companies announced Thursday they signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enable them to start work immediately due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world. Terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. Amgen and Adaptive Biotechnologies join a list of companies partnering up to develop a COVID-19 drug.

The collaboration brings together Adaptive's proprietary immune medicine platform for the identification of virus-neutralizing antibodies with Amgen's expertise in immunology and novel antibody therapy development.

“Working with Adaptive and using their viral-neutralizing antibody platform will expedite our ability to bring a promising new medicine into clinical trials as quickly as possible," said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen.

The partnership will combine their expertise to discover and develop fully human neutralizing antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 to potentially prevent or treat COVID-19. Neutralizing antibodies defend healthy cells by interfering with the biological function of an invading virus. These antibodies may be used therapeutically to treat someone currently fighting the disease and can be given to people who have heightened risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2, such as healthcare workers.

Overall Wall Street analysts have a Moderate Buy consensus rating for Amgen split into 14 Buys, 4 Holds and 1 Sell. The $246.56 average price target sees room for 18% upside potential in the stock in the next 12 months (See Amgen stock analysis on TipRanks)

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The post Biotech Amgen, Adaptive Tech Join Forces on New Coronavirus Drug appeared first on TipRanks Financial Blog.

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Is Biotech ripe for investment yet?

It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon. Biotech has…

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It’s a great time to be looking for opportunities in biotech as the sector is near the bottom, says MPM Capital’s Dr Christiana Bardon.

Biotech has been in correction over the past eight months

What many see as a sharp decline in biotech, Dr Bardon dubs an overdue correction after a prolonged period of “too much enthusiasm” due to the COVID pandemic. Speaking with CNBC’s Leslie Picker, she said:

The long-term prospects for this industry look as great as ever. The demographics of the aging population means we’ll need new drugs, the support of regulatory environment, and finally the third fundamental is innovation at record high levels.

The iShares Biotech ETF is down 25% from its high in August 2021, but Dr Bardon is focused on the long term. She sees an upward trend in biotech over the next thirty years.

Dr Bardon is particularly interested in Oncology within Biotech

According to the Harvard-trained medical doctor, investors should focus on areas within Biotech that are committed to addressing unmet medical needs, such as Oncology. She added:

Oncology continues to be an exciting area of Biotech. Within Oncology, we’re seeing incredible innovation primarily because of the genomics revolution. And then the regulatory environment is very supportive of cancer drug development.

Dr Bardon sees the U.S. as a global leader in biotech and reiterates that it was this industry that helped the world pull out of the Coronavirus crisis.

The post Is Biotech ripe for investment yet? appeared first on Invezz.

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ironSource CEO: gaming is more than just a COVID play

The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future. Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’.

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The VanEck Video Gaming and eSports ETF (ESPO) is up nearly 100% since the start of the pandemic, and ironSource Ltd (NYSE: IS) CEO Tomer Bar Zeev doesn’t see an end to this trend in the near future.

Highlights from Zeev’s interview on CNBC’s ‘TechCheck’

Zeev agrees that video gaming and eSports was a beneficiary of the global pandemic but says the segment is now much more than just a COVID play. On CNBC’s “TechCheck”, he said:

When COVID started, we saw an uptick of roughly 10% in the time that users spent within games. As the world reopened, it pretty much stayed the same. So, we think it’s the new norm. We don’t think we’ll see any change in that regard.

According to Statista, much of the increase in hours spent on video games was attributed to the new gamers in 2020 who turned to the industry in search of indoor means of entertainment amidst COVID restrictions.

Gaming is bigger than film and music combined

According to Zeev, gaming is the fastest-growing segment within the app economy, and it will continue to lead the industry on growth in gaming library as well as relevant platform software.

The gaming ecosystem within the app economy is growing super-fast. Gaming is the biggest part of the app economy, it’s bigger than the film industry and the music industry combined. So, it makes perfect sense that it will grow all around. It will continue to lead the app economy.

Earlier this week, Take-Two Interactive said it will buy Zynga Inc for $12.70 billion in cash and stock to expand its footprint in mobile gaming. Zeev expects such consolidation to continue as companies move to benefit from the fast-growing gaming economy.

The post ironSource CEO: gaming is more than just a COVID play appeared first on Invezz.

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Omicron is not a threat for the retail sector in the short-term

Investors are responding rather strongly to reports of a new COVID variant of concern the WHO designated “Omicron” on Friday. But the former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is confident it doesn’t pose much of a threat for the retail sector in the short…

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Investors are responding rather strongly to reports of a new COVID variant of concern the WHO designated “Omicron” on Friday. But the former Walmart CEO Bill Simon is confident it doesn’t pose much of a threat for the retail sector in the short term.

Simon’s remarks on CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’

Bill expects consumer strength and holiday season to help the retail sector absorb this news with minimal reaction. On CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, he said:

People were out shopping today, looking for deals. Stores were crowded, prices were very good and aggressive, particularly in the big-box chains. So, in the short run, with the Black Friday weekend and everything else going on, I don’t think you’ll see much of a reaction.

He refrained from commenting on the long-term impact of the new variant on the retail sector and said it would depend on how the situation unravels. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF is down more than 3.0% on Friday.

Retail has been divided into winners and losers

During the same interview, BMO Capital Markets’ Simeon Siegel said the retail sector was no longer moving in unison; the pandemic had split it into winners and losers.

The question is, who has the pricing power versus who saw fewer promotions. All of them will deal with externalities, whether it’s the variant or the supply chain. But what brands actually structurally improved their business through the pandemic; that’s the dynamic.

According to Siegel, the recent earnings season already made this division evident. On the one hand, we had companies like Capri Holdings that jumped about 20% after reporting results for the latest quarter, and on the other, there was Nordstrom that was down the same after its quarterly report.

The post Omicron is not a threat for the retail sector in the short-term appeared first on Invezz.

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