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Hot Stocks To Buy Right Now? 3 Health Care Stocks To Know

Health care stocks seem to be in vogue again as the Omicron Covid variant spreads globally.
The post Hot Stocks To Buy Right Now? 3 Health Care Stocks To Know appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket…

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3 Top Health Care Stocks To Watch In December 2021

As the broader stock market looks to end this rollercoaster ride of a week in the green, one fact remains. Namely, the Omicron Covid variant is the latest hurdle in the fight against the pandemic and health care stocks are once again in focus. Accordingly, this would be the case as more alarming updates continue to roll in. As of today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has detected this latest variant of concern in 38 countries worldwide.

Shedding some light on the overall situation now is WHO Covid technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove. To highlight, Van Kerkhove said, “There is a suggestion that there is increased transmissibility, what we need to understand is if it’s more or less transmissible compared to Delta”. While all this remains to be seen, some companies are already establishing early countermeasures. Notably, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) subsidiary Google is one such company. As of yesterday, Google is scrapping its plans for a return to physical offices on January 10. Moreover, the tech giant is also adapting its search engine to better serve users’ health care needs. According to a recent blog post, Google Search now helps users find doctors and health care providers matching their insurance and language preferences.

For those looking to directly invest in companies fighting this battle on the frontlines, there are also several options. Among the most notable names would be BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), the titular Covid vaccine duo. In fact, BioNTech CEO Ugur Shin provided a positive update regarding the company’s Omicron variant response. Sahin notes that the firm can re-design its vaccine to better deal with the variant should it be necessary. On that note, here are three health care stocks gaining traction in the stock market today.

Top Health Care Stocks To Watch Right Now

Longeveron Inc.

Longeveron is a clinical-stage biotech company that develops cellular therapies for aging-related and life-threatening conditions. Its lead investigational product is Lomecel-B, which is derived from medicinal signaling cells (MSC). Accordingly, it believes that by using the same cells that promote tissue repair and organ maintenance, it can develop safe and effective therapies for some of the most difficult diseases and conditions associated with aging. As it stands, LGVN stock currently trades at $22.07 as of 1:13 p.m. ET and is up by over 22% on today’s opening bell.

LGVN stock

Investors are likely responding to news that the FDA has granted orphan designation to Lomecel-B, as a treatment of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Also, orphan drug designation gives companies researching cures for rare diseases a seven-year window of tax reductions and the exclusive right to develop a cure for a specific condition. This builds on the incredible momentum that LGVN stock has enjoyed in the past month alone, gaining by over 480%.

Furthermore, the company announced that it has entered into a sponsored clinical research agreement with the National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology (NCGG) and Juntendo University Hospital in Japan. Together, they will explore the safety and efficacy of Lomocel-B on aging frailty patients. “We are excited to embark on this collaboration with the NCGG, one of the top advanced and specialized medical research centers in Japan, and Juntendo University Hospital,” said Geoff Green, Chief Executive Officer at Longeveron. “We believe our work could be especially impactful in Japan, which has one of the oldest and fastest aging populations in the world, and where early identification and intervention of frailty is a priority,” continued Mr. Green. Should you invest in LGVN stock right now?

[Read More] Top Stocks To Buy Now? 4 Renewable Energy Stocks For Your Watchlist

Merck & Co Inc.

Following that, we have Merck, a health care company that has brought many life-changing medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Today, it continues to be at the forefront of research to prevent and treat diseases that threaten the globe. Hence, this would include the current Covid pandemic. MRK stock currently trades at $72.87 as of 1:13 p.m. ET.

biotech stocks (MRK stock)

On December 1, 2021, the company announced that the FDA has accepted for priority review, a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for VAXNEUVANCE for the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease in children 6 weeks through 17 years of age. Furthermore, the sBLA is supported by results from Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical studies in pediatric populations. Also, invasive pneumococcal disease can cause serious and potentially life-threatening infections in infants and children. Children under the age of 2 are particularly vulnerable to pneumococcal infection, and the incidence of invasive pneumococcal disease remains highest in the first year of life.

Earlier in the week, Merck also announced a positive FDA advisory committee vote for its investigational oral antiviral molnupiravir for the treatment of mild to moderate Covid in high-risk adults. The positive outcome of the committee follows a comprehensive review of molnupiravir demonstrating a significant reduction in hospitalizations and death. This comes in a time where the Omicron variant could potentially bring about a new wave of cases across the globe. Given this piece of information, is MRK stock a buy today?

[Read More] Best Growth Stocks To Buy? 4 E-Commerce Stocks To Watch

GlaxoSmithKline

Last but not least, we will be taking a look at GlaxoSmithKline, or GSK for short. By and large, the U.K.-based firm is a titan in the global pharmaceuticals industry. As you can imagine, the company boasts a robust portfolio of products. All of which GSK markets via its pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and consumer health care divisions. To point out, GSK stock now trades at $41.30 as of 1:13 p.m. ET. Among the company’s key areas of focus now would be its Covid antibody cocktail, sotrovimab. Through a partnership with Vir Biotechnology (NASDAQ: VIR), GSK seems to be breaking new ground in the fight against Covid.

coronavirus stocks to buy sell Capricor Therapeutics (CAPR stock)

Just this week, the company provided several key updates regarding sotrovimab. For starters, the Covid treatment is reportedly effective against key mutations in the Omicron variant. While this is according to preclinical data, it is a welcomed piece of news from the company. Subsequently, the treatment was approved by the U.K. Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

If we take a deeper look into the data, the current success seen in GSK’s work is not unwarranted. According to CEO George Scangos, clinical data demonstrates a “79% reduction in hospitalizations for more than 24 hours or death in non-hospitalized patients”. Moving forward, Scangos adds that GSK is eager to provide sotrovimab to the NHS among other global health care divisions. With GSK seemingly firing on all cylinders now, would you consider GSK stock worth looking out for?

The post Hot Stocks To Buy Right Now? 3 Health Care Stocks To Know appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) To Acquire Global Blood Therapeutics For $5 Billion

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) was in advanced discussions to acquire pharmaceutical…

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According to sources familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) was in advanced discussions to acquire pharmaceutical company Global Blood Therapeutics (NASDAQ: GBT) for $5 billion.

Pfizer, too, acquired Global Blood Therapeutics 

Pfizer wants to close a deal soon, but there are still other interested parties, according to the article.

Global Blood Therapeutics, which manufactures Oxbryta, the blood disorder medication, saw its shares jump 44%  on Friday afternoon to a two-year high. As of Thursday’s closing, the company’s market cap was $3.12 billion.

A spokesman for Global Blood stated the company does not “comment on market rumors or speculation,” while Pfizer declined to respond on the matter.

With plenty of cash left over after selling its COVID-19 vaccine, New York-based Pfizer is searching for deals that may generate billions of dollars annual sales by 2030.

Its $11.6 billion acquisition of migraine medication manufacturer Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding (NASDAQ: BHVN) in May was the most recent in a series of purchases that also included Trillium Therapeutics and Arena Pharmaceuticals in recent years.

Oxbryta received approval last year for sickle cell disease management 

In 2019, the US government approved Global Blood’s Oxbryta to manage sickle cell disease in individuals aged 12 and over. The oral medication was approved in December 2021 to treat the illness in younger children. The drug’s sales increased by almost 50% to $194.7 million in 2021.

After a gloomy start to the calendar year, when a lack of significant purchases and clinical-stage treatment failures lowered investor morale and restricted funding, the biotech dealmaking pace has recently picked up again.

Also, Amgen Inc (NASDAQ: AMGN) also decided to purchase ChemoCentryx Inc on Thursday for $3.7 billion to obtain access to a possible breakthrough medication for inflammatory illnesses. AstraZeneca’s $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals in 2020 has put the realm of immune diseases in the limelight. The deal, which was announced before trading opened, will also give the corporation control of at least two investigational immune disorders medicines.

Please make sure to read and completely understand our disclaimer at https://www.wallstreetpr.com/disclaimer. While reading this article one must assume that we may be compensated for posting this content on our website.

The post Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) To Acquire Global Blood Therapeutics For $5 Billion appeared first on Wall Street PR.

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UBC researchers discover ‘weak spot’ across major COVID-19 variants

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a key vulnerability across all major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the…

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Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a key vulnerability across all major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the recently emerged BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron subvariants.

Credit: Dr. Sriram Subramaniam, UBC

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a key vulnerability across all major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the recently emerged BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron subvariants.

The weakness can be targeted by neutralizing antibodies, potentially paving the way for treatments that would be universally effective across variants.

The findings, published today in Nature Communications, use cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) to reveal the atomic-level structure of the vulnerable spot on the virus’ spike protein, known as an epitope. The paper further describes an antibody fragment called VH Ab6 that is able to attach to this site and neutralize each major variant. 

“This is a highly adaptable virus that has evolved to evade most existing antibody treatments, as well as much of the immunity conferred by vaccines and natural infection,” says Dr. Sriram Subramaniam (he/him), a professor at UBC’s faculty of medicine and the study’s senior author. “This study reveals a weak spot that is largely unchanged across variants and can be neutralized by an antibody fragment. It sets the stage for the design of pan-variant treatments that could potentially help a lot of vulnerable people.”

Identifying COVID-19 master keys

Antibodies are naturally produced by our bodies to fight infection, but can also be made in a laboratory and administered to patients as a treatment. While several antibody treatments have been developed for COVID-19, their effectiveness has waned in the face of highly-mutated variants like Omicron.

“Antibodies attach to a virus in a very specific manner, like a key going into a lock. But when the virus mutates, the key no longer fits,” says Dr. Subramaniam. “We’ve been looking for master keys — antibodies that continue to neutralize the virus even after extensive mutations.”

The ‘master key’ identified in this new paper is the antibody fragment VH Ab6, which was shown to be effective against the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Kappa, Epsilon and Omicron variants. The fragment neutralizes SARS-CoV-2 by attaching to the epitope on the spike protein and blocking the virus from entering human cells.

The discovery is the latest from a longstanding and productive collaboration between Dr. Subramaniam’s team at UBC and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh, led by Drs. Mitko Dimitrov and Wei Li. The team in Pittsburgh has been screening large antibody libraries and testing their effectiveness against COVID-19, while the UBC team has been using cryo-EM to study the molecular structure and characteristics of the spike protein.

Focusing in on COVID-19’s weak points

The UBC team is world-renowned for its expertise in using cryo-EM to visualize protein-protein and protein-antibody interactions at an atomic resolution. In another paper published earlier this year in Science, they were the first to report the structure of the contact zone between the Omicron spike protein and the human cell receptor ACE2, providing a molecular explanation for Omicron’s enhanced viral fitness.

By mapping the molecular structure of each spike protein, the team has been searching for areas of vulnerability that could inform new treatments.

“The epitope we describe in this paper is mostly removed from the hot spots for mutations, which is why it’s capabilities are preserved across variants,” says Dr. Subramaniam. “Now that we’ve described the structure of this site in detail, it unlocks a whole new realm of treatment possibilities.”

Dr. Subramaniam says this key vulnerability can now be exploited by drug makers, and because the site is relatively mutation-free, the resulting treatments could be effective against existing—and even future—variants.

“We now have a very clear picture of this vulnerable spot on the virus. We know every interaction the spike protein makes with the antibody at this site. We can work backwards from this, using intelligent design, to develop a slew of antibody treatments,” says Dr. Subramaniam. “Having broadly effective, variant-resistant treatments would be a game changer in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.”


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Moderna To Commence Construction Of World’s First mRNA Factory On Australian College Campus

Moderna To Commence Construction Of World’s First mRNA Factory On Australian College Campus

Authored by Jessie Zhang via The Epoch Times…

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Moderna To Commence Construction Of World’s First mRNA Factory On Australian College Campus

Authored by Jessie Zhang via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

The U.S. pharmaceutical giant Moderna has finalised arrangements with the Australian and Victorian governments to build the world’s first mRNA production facility located on a university campus.

An aerial view of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia on Oct. 21, 2002. (Getty Images)

The construction at Melbourne’s Monash University is expected to commence at the end of 2022, with production anticipated to begin by the end of 2024.

The company said that the facility is expected to produce up to 100 million mRNA respiratory vaccine doses annually, targeting respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, seasonal influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, “and other potential respiratory viruses, pending licensure.”

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel speaks at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on May 23, 2022. (Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images)

“We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R&D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia,” Moderna General Manager Michael Azrak said in a statement on Aug. 15.

The prime minister of Australia and the premier of Victoria said that the plan for the ten-year partnership to create a “homegrown” mRNA ecosystem has been completed.

It is designed to reduce Australia’s dependence on imported mRNA vaccines, vulnerability to supply disruptions, and delays, according to the Australian ministers.

Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews said that this agreement means that Australia will be home to Moderna’s only mRNA manufacturing centre in the Southern Hemisphere.

“We’re not wasting a second in making sure we have access to the vaccines we need to keep Victorians safe,” Andrews said.

Vaccine Development Rushed

However, a professor of medicine at Australia’s Flinders University has said that, in his opinion, the mRNA development was rushed, and that this may have contributed to issues with adverse reactions.

“I think there was early leadership by Oxford University [AstraZeneca] with the adenovirus viral vector being put into human trials very quickly, you saw that similarly with Moderna and its mRNA approach,” Nikolai Petrovsky told The Epoch Times previously.

“This created a ‘follow the leader’-type mentality with (manufacturers) Sputnik and Johnson and Johnson copying the Oxford approach and Pfizer following Moderna with the mRNA approach.”

Last year, the Victorian government made a significant $50 million (US$35 million) investment to establish “mRNA Victoria,” an initiative responsible for leading the mRNA vaccine industry for future generations.

As part of this initiative, they granted Monash University $5.4 million to create the mRNA production facility on its campus.

Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 22:15

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