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Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks

Five energy stocks to purchase amid terrorism attacks against civilians in Israel by militant Hamas members that began Saturday, Oct. 7, seem positioned…

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Five energy stocks to purchase amid terrorism attacks against civilians in Israel by militant Hamas members that began Saturday, Oct. 7, seem positioned to avoid the increased political risk caused by war.

The five energy stocks to purchasey can be scooped up at reduced prices since crude recently pulled back from $90-95, marking their highest level since August 2022. Oil supplies at a key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell to their lowest level since July 2022, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures rising to $95.03 per barrel on Sept. 28, pulling back to $88.82 on Monday evening, Oct. 2, rising to $89.41 on Tuesday evening, Oct. 3, but finishing at $86.05 on Oct. 10.

The shrinking surplus at Cushing-based crude tanks, America’s largest U.S. storage hub, sent oil prices climbing for near-term supplies. Stockpiles slumped below 22 million barrels recently to the lowest mark since July 2022, according to U.S. government data.

Contrary to the usual negative relationship between the U.S. dollar and crude oil prices, the current oil supply shock has been “more bullish than bearish” for the American greenback in the post-pandemic environment, according to BofA Global Research. The U.S. dollar appears to be “broadly supported” until the year’s end due to a persistently tight oil supply, the investment firm wrote in a research note.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: EPD

The best-performing energy stock currently recommended in the Forecasts & Strategies investment newsletter is Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD). I personally have owned that stock for many years and appreciate its 7.5% dividend yield. I first learned about Enterprise Products Partners in the Forecasts & Strategies newsletter led by Mark Skousen, PhD, and he has kept that recommendation for more than a decade as its share price keeps rising.

Enterprise Products Partners is one of the largest publicly traded partnerships and a key North American provider of midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, refined products and petrochemicals. The company links producers from some of the largest North American supply basins with domestic consumers and international markets. Midstream activities specifically include the storage, processing and transportation of petroleum products.

In the Forecasts & Strategies weekly hotline on Oct. 9, Skousen wrote to his subscribers that Mohamed El-Erian, former CEO of PIMCO, urged investors to add Enterprise Products Partners as a “strong buy” dividend stock.

Mark Skousen, a Ben Franklin scion, meets with Paul Dykewicz.

“EPD’s 50-cent-per-unit dividend annualizes to $2, and at that rate yields 7.5%,” Skousen quoted Mohamed El-Erian, former chief executive officer of PIMCO, as saying. “Enterprise has a 24-year history of maintaining regular dividend payments and making regular increases to those payments  — solid attributes for a defensive portfolio addition.”

Truist Bank is another proponent of EPD, especially due to the energy company’s aggressive expansion plans. Truist has a $33 price target, with good upside potential.

“Enterprise sits in an enviable position with $4.1 billion growth projects under construction, including $1.1 billion anticipated to begin service this year,” according to Truist Bank.

Chart courtesy of http://www.stockcharts.com.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: U.S.-based Assets

The Israeli-Hamas conflict takes on a grim profile that brings the United States into the conflict, seasoned Wall Street trader Bryan Perry wrote to his Cash Machine subscribers in an Oct. 10 hotline.

“My concern is the toll this war takes on market sentiment, not for economic reasons per se, but for the gruesome optics and images that will be for all the world to view,” Perry wrote. “Iran is supporting Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force in Iraq. Iran supplies financing, weapons, training and strategic battle plans for these terrorist tentacle arms of barbaric radical jihadists.”

In President Biden’s Oct. 10 press briefing, not once in his heart-felt speech did he mention Iran by name, Perry said. To not condemn Iran, even as Hezbollah is unleashing missile strikes on the northern border of Israel, is hugely disappointing, Perry added.

“At some point, Iran needs to be held accountable,” Perry concluded.

Fortunately, the Cash Machine model portfolio has a large weighting of high-yield, U.S.-based  assets that are bullishly sensitive to rising interest rates and relatively safe havens from the world’s current hot spots, Perry continued.

Paul Dykewicz interviews Cash Machine chief Bryan Perry at a MoneyShow.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: Jobs and Inflation Data Improve

The five energy stocks to buy offer both income and a chance for capital appreciation. Perry, who currently averages a dividend yield of 10.8% with Cash Machine’s 29 recommendations, closely follows and recommends oil and other energy equities. His favorite oil stock, recommended on November 29, 2022, has soared 55.84% in slightly more than 10 months.

Unemployment data released on Oct. 6 revealed non-farm payrolls for September jumped by 336,000 versus consensus estimates of 160,000. Hourly wages increased at the lowest level in a year. Even though the economy is adding jobs, wage inflation is easing.

Investors also may see hope in the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index data released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis on Sept. 29. The data showed inflation dipping below 4% on an annual basis. When excluding volatile food and energy prices, the latest rise in the key inflation gauge of the Federal Reserve was just 0.1%, a 3.9% gain from the same period a year ago.

The data indicated that consumer prices rose less than expected during August. Growth stocks traded up after the release of the inflation news, with bond prices positive and yields dipping, Perry opined. The result is that the “trading landscape” improved slightly, he added.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: Occidental Petroleum

A dividend-paying energy stock to buy is Houston’s Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY), an international energy company with assets mainly in the United States, the Middle East and North Africa. As one of the largest U.S.-based oil and gas producers, it has operations in the Permian and DJ basins, and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

Occidental Petroleum’s midstream and marketing segment provides flow assurance and maximizes the value of its oil and gas. The company’s chemical subsidiary, OxyChem, manufactures the building blocks for life-enhancing products, while its Oxy Low Carbon Ventures subsidiary is advancing technologies and business solutions to economically grow its business while reducing emissions. As part of its green energy outreach, Occidental Petroleum seeks to advance a reduced-carbon world.

BofA’s price objective of $82 per share for OXY assumes $80 Brent and $75 WTI long-term crude prices, which are below current levels. BofA also is assuming long-term Henry Hub natural gas of $4.25.

Risks to reaching that price objective are reductions in prices and margins for oil and gas, significant delays to new upstream projects critical to OXY’s production targets and any cost pressures from operating expenses, capital expenditures and taxation, BofA wrote.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: APA

APA Corporation (NASDAQ: APA), a Houston-based holding company for Apache Corporation, an American-based hydrocarbon exploration business, received a $57 price objective from BofA. The valuation assumes a discounted cash flow value based on $80 Brent and $75 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) long term prices.

BofA also assumes long-term Henry Hub natural gas prices at $4.25. The investment firm further used a long-term, post-tax weighted average cost of capital (WACC) of 9.7%, based on the BofA strategy team’s assumed risk premium and a five-year monthly beta.

Potential outperformance of that estimate could come from higher-than-expected commodity prices, as well as exploration success in Suriname and Egypt, BofA opined. Increased drilling activity in the latter land also could help. Risks to achieving BofA’s price objective are reduced commodity prices, Egyptian political risk and exploration risk in Suriname, the investment firm added.

Chart Courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: OVV

Denver-based Ovintiv Inc. (NYSE: OVV) (TSX: OVV), a North American energy producer focused on developing its multi-basin portfolio of oil, natural gas liquids and natural gas producing plays, received US$66 and CN$89 price objectives from BofA. The price target assumes $80 Brent and $75 WTI long-term, BofA wrote in a recent research note.

The estimate is based on a long-term Henry Hub natural gas price of $4.25. The valuation applied a long-term, post-tax WACC of 9.7%, based on the BofA strategy team’s assumed risk premium and a five-year monthly beta.

In addition, Ovintiv announced on Sept. 26 that it received regulatory approvals for the renewal of its share buy-back program. This action is consistent with the company’s capital allocation framework, which returns at least 50% of post-base dividend Non-GAAP Free Cash Flow to shareholders.

Risks that could cause the price target to be missed include the oil and gas prices and margin environment, significant delays to the new upstream projects critical to Ovintiv’s production goals, an inability to capture the price environment due to cost pressures from operating expenses, capital expenditures and taxation. Other risks encompass potential currency exchange challenges and whether the purchase of certain Midland Basin assets closes by mid-2023.

Possible outperformance of estimates could come from improved cost of capital as Ovintiv deleverages its balance sheet or from increased oil and gas prices.

The Toronto Stock Exchange accepted Ovintiv’s notice of its intention to renew normal course issuer bid (NCIB) to purchase up to 26,734,819 common shares during the 12-month period starting October 3, 2023, and ending October 2, 2024. The number of shares authorized for purchase equals 10% of Ovintiv’s public float as of September 21, 2023. The purchases will be made on the open market through facilities of the TSX, NYSE and/or alternative trading systems at the market price at the time of acquisition, the company reported.

Ovintiv reported on Sept. 11 that it priced an underwritten public offering of 15 million shares of its common stock by NMB Stock Trust, a Delaware statutory trust, for gross proceeds of about US$684.8 million. Plus, Ovintiv will not sell any shares of its common stock in the offering and will not receive any proceeds from the sale. The offering closed on September 13, 2023, with J.P. Morgan serving as underwriter.

Chart Courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil is another BofA buy in the energy sector. The company’s “product solutions” business recently provided a progress report halfway through its eight-year strategy for its combined downstream and chemicals businesses. BofA Global Research’s latest research note on the stock showed the energy giant is ahead of its management’s plan of forecasting almost triple earnings from 2019 through 2027.

“While this seems to be a haircut by the market on imprecise visibility, management has provided a new level of transparency that suggests it is about 60% of the way there, with an incremental mid-cycle product solutions contribution to FCF [free cash flow] that we believe could be 25% of total company value,” wrote Doug Leggate, a BofA oil industry research analyst.

Under mid-cycle conditions, ExxonMobil’s management provided guidance that the company would earn $4 billion more than the run rate achieved in the first half of 2023 and $10 billion above 2019 under mid-cycle conditions for refining and chemicals, Leggate continued.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: Transparency Breeds Confidence

“We took two key messages away from the presentations and ‘in-person’ discussion with management,” Leggate wrote. “First, is management’s confidence in delivery of these projects and the way it defines its contribution to earnings and cash flow. Our second takeaway is what is clearly a growth trajectory for chemicals & downstream that goes beyond 2027, with a similar level of spending that has funded its current project queue. What is not clear is whether the market has recognized the incremental value as sustainable given a start up that has coincided with the strong rebound in refining margins, blurring the contribution from new projects and efficiencies delivered so far. In our view, risks to current estimates look skewed higher.”

Incremental value of $10 billion is reasonably about $120 billion or almost a quarter of XOM’s market capitalization when fully onstream, Leggate wrote. No other major oil stock has that level of growth, he added.

“With an outlook that doubles cash flow through 2027 from 2019, we see little new that would materially change XOM’s trajectory defined by growth and rate of change in free cash flow that we believe can support relative outperformance vs. peers,” Legatte concluded. “We maintain our Buy rating and $145 PO (price objective).”

Chart Courtesy of www.stockcharts.com

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: Alternative Energy Provider

ExxonMobil’s management recognizes the need to include alternative energy in its product offerings, said Michelle Connell, head of Dallas-based Portia Capital Management. The oil behemoth recently announced the acquisition of Denbury, a $4.9 billion Dallas company that focuses on carbon capture and oil recovery, she added.

The acquisition will help smooth out the seasonality of XOM’s cash flow/revenue, Connell continued. Exxon Mobil will benefit from large tax incentives by participating in this green energy segment.

In the last few years, ExxonMobil has focused on cutting the costs of its headquarters and personnel, Connell told me. The cost-trimming also included the  paying down of debt that is expected to continue for the next several years. Another plus is that ExxonMobil has a “strong” annual free cash flow of $5 billion, she added.

Michelle Connell leads Dallas-based Portia Capital Management.

ExxonMobil currently has a dividend yield of 3.14% that is expected to increase to 4% during the next 3-4 years, Connell told me. She estimated XOM could climb at least 10-15% in the next 12 months.

The company’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is 8.57%, well below its average P/E of 17. Plus, ExxonMobil’s gross margins are now 28%, compared to 2020 when gross margins were just 4%.

ExxonMobil also is stepping up production at its low-cost facilities, such as the ones in Guyana and the Permian basin, while reducing output at its high-cost production plants, Connell counseled. Management’s goal is to triple ExxonMobil’s profits by fiscal year 2027, she added.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: XLE ETF

Another avid oil industry observer is Bob Carlson, a pension fund chairman who also leads the Retirement Watch investment newsletter that features several portfolios. As a risk-averse pension fund leader, Carlson often prefers funds to individual stocks to gain diversification and to reduce risk.

“For oil stocks, especially dividend-paying oil stocks, I recommend the ETF Energy Select SPDR (XLE),” Carlson advised me.

The fund owns 23 stocks and its 10 largest positions account for 74% of its holdings. Those holdings don’t change much, since XLE has a turnover ratio of only 9%, Carlson continued.

Top fund’s top positions recently consisted of Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XON), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE: EOG) Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB) and ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP). XLE’s dividend yield currently is at 3.36% and the fund has 99% of its portfolio in U.S. energy companies.

Bob Carlson, head of Retirement Watch, gives an interview to Paul Dykewicz.

Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks: Rising Political Risk

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine remains a key factor in keeping oil prices high. To help fund its continuing invasion of Ukraine, Russia has limited production to keep prices high. OPEC leader Saudi Arabia also has curtailed production to draw down global inventories.

Political risk could climb further in the months and year ahead after the Russian Defense Ministry released documents recently indicting its military spending may rise by more than 68% in 2024 to reach $111.15 billion. That amounts to about 6% of Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP), more than the country’s spending on social programs, according to Moscow Times. Russia’s military spending is set to total about three times more than education, environmental protection and health care spending combined.

The five energy stocks to purchase offer paths to profit despite rising political risk. That includes the Hamas terrorism in Israel caused the death of more than 1,000 people last weekend, as well as Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine that has triggered a determined counteroffensive by those defending their homeland and fellow countrymen. Ukraine lately has launched strikes against positions in the Crimea region that that Russia has held since its previous land-seizing invasion in 2014 but Russia has used minefields, networks of trenches and formidable tank barriers to maintain its land-grabbing onslaught that has heavily targeted villages far away from military clashes, along with infrastructure and civilians such as the 52 people, including a 10-year-old boy and his grandmother, who were attending a recent funeral.

Paul Dykewicz, www.pauldykewicz.com, is an award-winning journalist who has written for Dow Jones, the Wall Street JournalInvestor’s Business DailyUSA Today, the Journal of Commerce, Crain Communications, Seeking Alpha, Guru Focus and other publications and websites. Paul can be followed on Twitter @PaulDykewicz, and is the editor and a columnist at StockInvestor.com and DividendInvestor.com. He also serves as editorial director of Eagle Financial Publications in Washington, D.C. In that role, he edits monthly investment newsletters, time-sensitive trading alerts, free weekly e-letters and other reports. Previously, Paul served as business editor and a columnist at Baltimore’s Daily Record newspaper and as a reporter at the Baltimore Business Journal. Plus, Paul is the author of an inspirational book, “Holy Smokes! Golden Guidance from Notre Dame’s Championship Chaplain,” with a foreword by former national championship-winning football coach Lou Holtz. The uplifting book is endorsed by Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Ara Parseghian, “Rocket” Ismail, Reggie Brooks, Dick Vitale and many other sports figures. To buy signed and specially dedicated copies, call 202-677-4457.

The post Five Energy Stocks to Purchase Amid Terrorism Attacks appeared first on Stock Investor.

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Four burning questions about the future of the $16.5B Novo-Catalent deal

To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.
Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand…

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To build or to buy? That’s a classic question for pharma boardrooms, and Novo Nordisk is going with both.

Beyond spending billions of dollars to expand its own production capacity for its weight loss drugs, the Danish drugmaker said Monday it will pay $11 billion to acquire three manufacturing plants from Catalent. It’s part of a broader $16.5 billion deal with Novo Holdings, the investment arm of the pharma’s parent group, which agreed to acquire the contract manufacturer and take it private.

It’s a big deal for all parties, with potential ripple effects across the biotech ecosystem. Here’s a look at some of the most pressing questions to watch after Monday’s announcement.

Why did Novo do this?

Novo Holdings isn’t the most obvious buyer for Catalent, particularly after last year’s on-and-off M&A interest from the serial acquirer Danaher. But the deal could benefit both Novo Holdings and Novo Nordisk.

Novo Nordisk’s biggest challenge has been simply making enough of the weight loss drug Wegovy and diabetes therapy Ozempic. On last week’s earnings call, Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen said the company isn’t constrained by capital in its efforts to boost manufacturing. Rather, the main challenge is the limited amount of capabilities out there, he said.

“Most pharmaceutical companies in the world would be shopping among the same manufacturers,” he said. “There’s not an unlimited amount of machinery and people to build it.”

While Novo was already one of Catalent’s major customers, the manufacturer has been hamstrung by its own balance sheet. With roughly $5 billion in debt on its books, it’s had to juggle paying down debt with sufficiently investing in its facilities. That’s been particularly challenging in keeping pace with soaring demand for GLP-1 drugs.

Novo, on the other hand, has the balance sheet to funnel as much money as needed into the plants in Italy, Belgium, and Indiana. It’s also struggled to make enough of its popular GLP-1 drugs to meet their soaring demand, with documented shortages of both Ozempic and Wegovy.

The impact won’t be immediate. The parties expect the deal to close near the end of 2024. Novo Nordisk said it expects the three new sites to “gradually increase Novo Nordisk’s filling capacity from 2026 and onwards.”

As for the rest of Catalent — nearly 50 other sites employing thousands of workers — Novo Holdings will take control. The group previously acquired Altasciences in 2021 and Ritedose in 2022, so the Catalent deal builds on a core investing interest in biopharma services, Novo Holdings CEO Kasim Kutay told Endpoints News.

Kasim Kutay

When asked about possible site closures or layoffs, Kutay said the team hasn’t thought about that.

“That’s not our track record. Our track record is to invest in quality businesses and help them grow,” he said. “There’s always stuff to do with any asset you own, but we haven’t bought this company to do some of the stuff you’re talking about.”

What does it mean for Catalent’s customers? 

Until the deal closes, Catalent will operate as a standalone business. After it closes, Novo Nordisk said it will honor its customer obligations at the three sites, a spokesperson said. But they didn’t answer a question about what happens when those contracts expire.

The wrinkle is the long-term future of the three plants that Novo Nordisk is paying for. Those sites don’t exclusively pump out Wegovy, but that could be the logical long-term aim for the Danish drugmaker.

The ideal scenario is that pricing and timelines remain the same for customers, said Nicole Paulk, CEO of the gene therapy startup Siren Biotechnology.

Nicole Paulk

“The name of the group that you’re going to send your check to is now going to be Novo Holdings instead of Catalent, but otherwise everything remains the same,” Paulk told Endpoints. “That’s the best-case scenario.”

In a worst case, Paulk said she feared the new owners could wind up closing sites or laying off Catalent groups. That could create some uncertainty for customers looking for a long-term manufacturing partner.

Are shareholders and regulators happy? 

The pandemic was a wild ride for Catalent’s stock, with shares surging from about $40 to $140 and then crashing back to earth. The $63.50 share price for the takeover is a happy ending depending on the investor.

On that point, the investing giant Elliott Investment Management is satisfied. Marc Steinberg, a partner at Elliott, called the agreement “an outstanding outcome” that “clearly maximizes value for Catalent stockholders” in a statement.

Elliott helped kick off a strategic review last August that culminated in the sale agreement. Compared to Catalent’s stock price before that review started, the deal pays a nearly 40% premium.

Alessandro Maselli

But this is hardly a victory lap for CEO Alessandro Maselli, who took over in July 2022 when Catalent’s stock price was north of $100. Novo’s takeover is a tacit acknowledgment that Maselli could never fully right the ship, as operational problems plagued the company throughout 2023 while it was limited by its debt.

Additional regulatory filings in the next few weeks could give insight into just how competitive the sale process was. William Blair analysts said they don’t expect a competing bidder “given the organic investments already being pursued at other leading CDMOs and the breadth and scale of Catalent’s operations.”

The Blair analysts also noted the companies likely “expect to spend some time educating relevant government agencies” about the deal, given the lengthy closing timeline. Given Novo Nordisk’s ascent — it’s now one of Europe’s most valuable companies — paired with the limited number of large contract manufacturers, antitrust regulators could be interested in taking a close look.

Are Catalent’s problems finally a thing of the past?

Catalent ran into a mix of financial and operational problems over the past year that played no small part in attracting the interest of an activist like Elliott.

Now with a deal in place, how quickly can Novo rectify those problems? Some of the challenges were driven by the demands of being a publicly traded company, like failing to meet investors’ revenue expectations or even filing earnings reports on time.

But Catalent also struggled with its business at times, with a range of manufacturing delays, inspection reports and occasionally writing down acquisitions that didn’t pan out. Novo’s deep pockets will go a long way to a turnaround, but only the future will tell if all these issues are fixed.

Kutay said his team is excited by the opportunity and was satisfied with the due diligence it did on the company.

“We believe we’re buying a strong company with a good management team and good prospects,” Kutay said. “If that wasn’t the case, I don’t think we’d be here.”

Amber Tong and Reynald Castañeda contributed reporting.

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Petrina Kamya, Ph.D., Head of AI Platforms at Insilico Medicine, presents at BIO CEO & Investor Conference

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb….

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Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

Credit: Insilico Medicine

Petrina Kamya, PhD, Head of AI Platforms and President of Insilico Medicine Canada, will present at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference happening Feb. 26-27 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City. Dr. Kamya will speak as part of the panel “AI within Biopharma: Separating Value from Hype,” on Feb. 27, 1pm ET along with Michael Nally, CEO of Generate: Biomedicines and Liz Schwarzbach, PhD, CBO of BigHat Biosciences.

The session will look at how the latest artificial intelligence (AI) tools – including generative AI and large language models – are currently being used to advance the discovery and design of new drugs, and which technologies are still in development. 

The BIO CEO & Investor Conference brings together over 1,000 attendees and more than 700 companies across industry and institutional investment to discuss the future investment landscape of biotechnology. Sessions focus on topics such as therapeutic advancements, market outlook, and policy priorities.

Insilico Medicine is a leading, clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company that has raised over $400m in investments since it was founded in 2014. Dr. Kamya leads the development of the Company’s end-to-end generative AI platform, Pharma.AI from Insilico’s AI R&D Center in Montreal. Using modern machine learning techniques in the context of chemistry and biology, the platform has driven the discovery and design of 30+ new therapies, with five in clinical stages – for cancer, fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and COVID-19. The Company’s lead drug, for the chronic, rare lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, is the first AI-designed drug for an AI-discovered target to reach Phase II clinical trials with patients. Nine of the top 20 pharmaceutical companies have used Insilico’s AI platform to advance their programs, and the Company has a number of major strategic licensing deals around its AI-designed therapeutic assets, including with Sanofi, Exelixis and Menarini. 

 

About Insilico Medicine

Insilico Medicine, a global clinical stage biotechnology company powered by generative AI, is connecting biology, chemistry, and clinical trials analysis using next-generation AI systems. The company has developed AI platforms that utilize deep generative models, reinforcement learning, transformers, and other modern machine learning techniques for novel target discovery and the generation of novel molecular structures with desired properties. Insilico Medicine is developing breakthrough solutions to discover and develop innovative drugs for cancer, fibrosis, immunity, central nervous system diseases, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, and aging-related diseases. www.insilico.com 


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Another country is getting ready to launch a visa for digital nomads

Early reports are saying Japan will soon have a digital nomad visa for high-earning foreigners.

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Over the last decade, the explosion of remote work that came as a result of improved technology and the pandemic has allowed an increasing number of people to become digital nomads. 

When looked at more broadly as anyone not required to come into a fixed office but instead moves between different locations such as the home and the coffee shop, the latest estimate shows that there were more than 35 million such workers in the world by the end of 2023 while over half of those come from the United States.

Related: There is a new list of cities that are best for digital nomads

While remote work has also allowed many to move to cheaper places and travel around the world while still bringing in income, working outside of one's home country requires either dual citizenship or work authorization — the global shift toward remote work has pushed many countries to launch specific digital nomad visas to boost their economies and bring in new residents.

Japan is a very popular destination for U.S. tourists. 

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This popular vacation destination will soon have a nomad visa

Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Latvia and Malta are some of the countries currently offering specific visas for foreigners who want to live there while bringing in income from abroad.

More Travel:

With the exception of a few, Asian countries generally have stricter immigration laws and were much slower to launch these types of visas that some of the countries with weaker economies had as far back as 2015. As first reported by the Japan Times, the country's Immigration Services Agency ended up making the leap toward a visa for those who can earn more than ¥10 million ($68,300 USD) with income from another country.

The Japanese government has not yet worked out the specifics of how long the visa will be valid for or how much it will cost — public comment on the proposal is being accepted throughout next week. 

That said, early reports say the visa will be shorter than the typical digital nomad option that allows foreigners to live in a country for several years. The visa will reportedly be valid for six months or slightly longer but still no more than a year — along with the ability to work, this allows some to stay beyond the 90-day tourist period typically afforded to those from countries with visa-free agreements.

'Not be given a residence card of residence certificate'

While one will be able to reapply for the visa after the time runs out, this can only be done by exiting the country and being away for six months before coming back again — becoming a permanent resident on the pathway to citizenship is an entirely different process with much more strict requirements.

"Those living in Japan with the digital nomad visa will not be given a residence card or a residence certificate, which provide access to certain government benefits," reports the news outlet. "The visa cannot be renewed and must be reapplied for, with this only possible six months after leaving the countr

The visa will reportedly start in March and also allow holders to bring their spouses and families with them. To start using the visa, holders will also need to purchase private health insurance from their home country while taxes on any money one earns will also need to be paid through one's home country.

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