Connect with us

Business

Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine has some advantages over its peers

Published

on

AstraZeneca’s building in Luton, Britain.

Tim Ireland | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

LONDON — The coronavirus vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was found to be “highly” protective, potentially paving the way for a vaccine that is more affordable and easier to distribute than some of its peers.

An interim analysis of clinical trials showed the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had an average efficacy of 70% in protecting against the virus.

Researchers said this figure could be as high as 90% by tweaking the dose, but the overall results show the vaccine’s efficacy is slightly lower than other leading candidates.

Both PfizerBioNTech and Moderna reported preliminary results last week showing that their respective Covid vaccines were around 95% effective.

However, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci has previously said a vaccine that is 50% or 60% effective against the virus would be acceptable.

It is hoped a Covid vaccine could help to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed more than 1.3 million lives worldwide.

Huge challenges remain before a vaccine can be rolled out. The global battle to secure prospective supplies has raised concerns about equitable access, while questions remain over the logistics of mass production, distribution, and cost.

Logistics

Equity analysts at Jefferies said it was “challenging” to compare the efficacy of AstraZeneca’s vaccine with those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, citing key differences in how the trials have been conducted.

The analysts highlighted weekly swabbing to detect Covid-19 among participants involved in AstraZeneca’s trials — not just confirmation of suspected cases by symptoms as in U.S. trials. They also stressed that a meningococcal vaccine was used for comparison, not placebo.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was assessed over two dosing regimens. One showed an effectiveness of 90% when trial participants received a half dose, followed by a full dose at least one month later.

The other showed 62% efficacy when given as two full doses at least one month apart.

No hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine.

A motorcyclist wears a protective mask while sitting at the side of the road at the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, India, on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government will ensure that all 1.3 billion people nationwide will have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon it is ready.

Sumit Dayal | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Jefferies analysts said that when it comes to storage, affordability and distribution, AstraZeneca’s vaccine appears to have an advantage.

The British pharmaceutical giant has said its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing health-care settings. It has also pledged to distribute the vaccine at no profit “for the duration of the pandemic.”

The Financial Times has previously reported the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which requires two doses, is priced at approximately $3 to $4 — significantly lower than the prices reported for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

In comparison, Moderna has said its vaccine candidate remains stable at the temperature of a standard home refrigerator for up to 30 days. It can also be stored for up to six months at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit.

In August, the U.S. biotechnology firm said it was charging $32 to $37 per dose for its vaccine for some customers.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires a storage temperature of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit and requires special storage equipment and transportation. This could make it difficult for some countries to distribute.

Pfizer is reportedly charging $20 per dose for its vaccine.

‘Big beneficiaries’

Strategists at Deutsche Bank described the news from AstraZeneca on Monday as a “big deal,” saying a string of encouraging vaccine developments in recent weeks constituted “an unprecedented victory for science.”

They suggested that emerging markets, most notably Brazil, Mexico, India and Indonesia, were likely to be the “big beneficiaries” of the AstaZeneca vaccine. That’s because “the cheaper cost of production and distribution of AstraZeneca is especially relevant for lower and middle-income countries,” they said.

AstraZeneca has said it is making “rapid progress” in terms of manufacturing, with a capacity to produce up to 3 billion doses of the vaccine next year.

The U.S. and India have agreed to procure 500 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to data compiled by researchers at Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Centre.

The EU has reached a deal to buy 400 million, and the COVAX facility, a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 treatments and vaccines, has ordered 300 million.

The U.K., Japan, Indonesia, Brazil, and Latin America excluding Brazil have each confirmed orders of at least 100 million doses.


Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Denmark to trial green hydrogen production using offshore wind power

Published

on

By

Tali Aiona | EyeEm | Getty Images

Danish energy firm Orsted is pushing ahead with plans to develop a demonstration project which will harness offshore wind energy to produce “green” hydrogen.

In an announcement Wednesday, the company said it had taken a final investment decision on the 2 megawatt (MW) H2RES scheme, which will be able to produce up to roughly 1,000 kilograms of renewable hydrogen per day.

Slated to generate its first hydrogen toward the end of this year, the project will be based at Orsted’s Avedøre Power Station, south of Copenhagen.

Orsted said H2RES would assess “how to best combine an electrolyser with the fluctuating power supply from offshore wind.” The power will come from two 3.6 MW turbines, with the hydrogen produced by the system providing fuel for road-based transport.

Hydrogen can be produced in a number of ways. One way includes using electrolysis, with an electric current splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen. If the electricity used in the process comes from a renewable source such as wind then it’s termed “green” or “renewable” hydrogen.

In a statement Anders Nordstrøm, who heads up Orsted’s hydrogen activities, described H2RES as a “small but important step towards large-scale renewable hydrogen production.”

Back in 2019, Orsted and its partners received funding for the scheme from the Danish energy agency’s Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program. The funding amounted to 34.6 million Danish krone (approximately $5.63 million).

Orsted is one of many major firms looking to investigate the potential of green hydrogen production.

Earlier this week, a subsidiary of German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp was awarded an engineering contract to carry out the installation of an 88 MW water electrolysis plant for Hydro-Québec. The electricity for this project will come from hydropower.

And back in November, it was announced that BP would work with Orsted on the development of a large-scale renewable hydrogen project at a refinery in north-west Germany.

At the time, BP said it had signed a letter of intent with Orsted to collaborate on the initiative. According to the oil and gas giant, the scheme will involve the development of an initial 50 megawatt electrolyzer as well as “associated infrastructure” at its Lingen Refinery. The electrolyzer, BP said, was expected to generate nearly 9,000 metric tons of hydrogen per year.

Other firms to have gotten involved in projects connected to green hydrogen production over the last few years include Repsol and Siemens Energy.


Source link

Continue Reading

Business

5 things to know before the stock market opens January 20, 2021

Published

on

By

Continue Reading

Business

Morgan Stanley (MS) Q4 2020 earnings

Published

on

By

James Gorman, chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Beijing, China, on Thursday, May 30, 2019.

Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley on Wednesday posted fourth-quarter profit and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations on strong trading, investment banking and wealth management results.

The firm posted a 51% increase in profit to $3.39 billion, or $1.81 per share, compared with the $1.27 estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Revenue of $13.64 billion was more than $2 billion beyond the $11.54 billion estimate.

Shares of the bank popped 2.5% in premarket trading.

Expectations were high after robust trading and investment banking results at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase helped drive earnings beats, and Morgan Stanely didn’t disappoint.

Morgan Stanley, led by CEO James Gorman, also has the biggest wealth management business among the six largest U.S. banks, operations that typically benefit from rising markets. That business is being bolstered by the bank’s $13 billion E-Trade acquisition announced a year ago, and the fourth quarter is the first period E-Trade is integrated into the larger enterprise.

“The firm produced a very strong quarter and record full-year results, with excellent performance across all three businesses and geographies,” Gorman said in the release. “Our unique business model continues to serve us well as we further execute on our long-term strategy with the acquisitions of E*TRADE and Eaton Vance.”

Morgan Stanley is the last of the big U.S. banks to report fourth-quarter earnings. JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs beat analysts’ expectations for revenue and profit, helped by trading, while Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America disappointed on revenue as lending margins were squeezed.

Shares of New York-based Morgan Stanley climbed 33% in 2020, besting the 4.3% decline of the KBW Bank Index.

Here’s what Wall Street expected:

Earnings: $1.27 a share, 2.4% lower than a year earlier, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue: $11.5 billion, 6.3% higher than a year earlier.

Wealth management: $5.2 billion, according to FactSet.

Trading: Equities $2.14 billion; fixed income $1.46 billion.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.


Source link

Continue Reading

Breaking News

Shares