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AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed with the University of Oxford shows positive immune responses, raising hopes of a vaccine before year-end.

AstraZeneca’s (AZN) – Get Report Covid-19 vaccine candidate being developed with the University of Oxford has shown a positive immune response in both older and younger adults, raising hopes the vaccine could be approved for widespread use as soon as the end of the year.

Citing unnamed sources, both the Financial Times and Reuters reported the British pharmaceutical giant’s most recent findings related to its phase 3 trial show that the vaccine candidate triggers protective antibodies and T-cells, helping the body fight off the virus.

Adverse responses to the vaccine among the elderly – the age group at highest risk from the coronavirus – also were found to be lower, according to both news organizations. Details of the findings are expected to be published shortly in a clinical journal, according to the Financial Times.

The reports come as countries in the northern hemisphere face a “dangerous moment,” as U.S. coronavirus infections hit a record for the second day and France’s cases rose by more than 50,000.

Drugmakers and research centers are scrambling to deliver a safe and effective vaccine in an attempt to bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed over 1.15 million lives. Dozens of candidate vaccines are in clinical evaluation, according to the World Health Organization, with many already in late-stage phase 3 testing.

AstraZeneca in August kicked off Phase 3 testing of its Covid-19 trial vaccine, which involves some 30,000 participants in the U.S. as well as in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. However, the trial was halted earlier this month after one of the trial patients became ill, triggering a wider review of the program.

AstraZeneca in August kicked off Phase 3 testing of its Covid-19 trial vaccine, which involves some 30,000 participants in the U.S. as well as in the U.K., Brazil and South Africa. However, the trial was halted earlier this month after one of the trial patients became ill, triggering a wider review of the program.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that AstraZeneca can resume the study in the U.S. The U.K trial has already been resumed.

AstraZeneca is one of more than 30 drug companies racing to develop a viable Covid-19 vaccine. The British drugmaker in earlier this year announced the launch of a separate study to evaluate the effectiveness of AZD7442, a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that it hopes could lead to both a preventative treatment for Covid-19 and a medicinal treatment for those who already have it.

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. hit a single-day record of 85,000 on Saturday. Deaths in the U.S. have passed 225,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Shares of AstraZeneca were up 2.3% at $53.19 in New York trading on Monday.

Author: M. Corey Goldman

Source: The Street: AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine On Track for Possible Year-End Rollout

Thermo Fisher Scientific posts earnings that blow past forecasts amid ongoing demand for its Covid-19 testing equipment and services.

Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO) – Get Report on Tuesday posted earnings and sales that blew past analysts’ expectations as the coronavirus pandemic, testing and search for a vaccine continued to drive demand for its lab equipment and services.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company posted adjusted third-quarter earnings of $2.25 billion, or $5.63 a share, vs. $1.19 billion, or $2.94 a share, in the comparable year-ago period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of $4.33 a share.

Revenue jumped 36% to $8.52 billion, above the $6.27 billion it brought in a year ago and well above analysts’ forecasts of $7.6 billion. Adjusted operating income grew 97%, while adjusted operating margin increased to 32.9% from 22.7%.

Demand for Covid-related testing and other lab equipment that helps automate Covid-19 testing continued to boost Thermo Fisher’s profits during the quarter, CEO Marc Casper said in a statement accompanying the company’s earnings.

At the same time, “we’re adding new capabilities, including scaling up production of sample collection products and essential laboratory supplies as well as increasing our pharma services capacity to support new therapies and vaccines,” Casper said, adding the company was on track to deliver a record year.

Thermo Fisher has been heavily involved in Covid-19 testing and processing. The company in March received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to market its diagnostic test for the coronavirus.

It received funding in July from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to help Thermo Fisher expand its manufacturing capacity for sterile injectables used used to fill a high volume of vaccine doses.

Barda is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Shares of Thermo Fisher were up 1.64% at $472.91.

Author: M. Corey Goldman

Source: The Street: Thermo Fisher Scientific Processes Third-Quarter Earnings Beat

Five hundred bucks a share.

That’s where influential Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives sees Tesla’s (TSLA) – Get Report stock price one year out.

Tesla kicked off the trading week in higher gear on Monday after Ives raised his price target ahead of the electric vehicle maker’s third-quarter earnings numbers due out later this week.

Ives reiterated his neutral rating on Tesla’s stock, which he has had in place since April 2019, but boosted his one-year price target to $500 from $475 ahead of Tesla’s third-quarter results, which are expected to show earnings of 55 cents a share on sales of $8.28 billion. Tesla will release its latest results after the closing bell on Wednesday.

“Tesla’s improved manufacturing efficiency and shining Giga 3 success in China will be on full display later this week and lead to another strong bottom-line performance which should beat the Street in our opinion,” Ives wrote.

“In terms of overall unit demand heading into year-end we believe Tesla is on pace to impressively achieve in the area code of 500k units for the year, a line in the sand that was a pipe dream six months ago as Tesla (and other auto players) have navigated this unprecedented COVID backdrop,” Ives said.

Tesla earlier this month said it delivered a record 139,300 vehicles in the third quarter, topping analysts’ expectations of 136,000. More than 124,000 of those vehicle deliveries consisted of the Model 3 and Model Y.

Author: M. Corey Goldman

Source: The Street: Tesla Gets a Pre-Earnings Price-Target Upgrade From Wedbush

Tesla unveils plans to sell up to $5 billion of additional stock in an ‘at-the-market’ offering program designed to capitalize on its recent stock price surge.

Tesla (TSLA) – Get Report on Tuesday revealed plans to sell up to $5 billion worth of its stock in an “at-the-market” offering program designed to take advantage of the electric car and battery maker’s recent stock price surge and split.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Tesla disclosed on Tuesday that it has entered into a so-called “equity distribution agreement” to sell the additional allotment of up to 10 million shares, or about 1.1% of its total shares outstanding.

Goldman Sachs, BofA Securities, Barclays Capital, Citigroup Global Markets, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, SG Americas, Wells Fargo and BNP Paribas are all involved in the stock offering, according to the filing.

The move comes amid a banner year for Tesla, which has seen its share price gain nearly 500% amid stronger-than-expected sales and a quicker-than-anticipated path toward profitability – something that seemed elusive at the beginning of the pandemic in March but which has since been proven wrong by record sales.

Shares of Tesla were down 1.91% at $488.22 in trading on Tuesday.

It also follows the Palo Alto, California-based company’s 5-for-1 stock split, which was announced on Aug. 11 and went into effect on Monday.

Tesla shares have gained more than 50% since it unveiled plans for the split, with its stock soaring 81.3% through Monday alone. The electric vehicle maker is moving toward a likely inclusion in the S&P 500 stock index this fall.

All the recent news prompted at least one Tesla bear to throw in the proverbial towel on being completely bearish.

RBC Capital analyst Joseph Spak held on to his underperform rating on Tesla but lifted his one-year price target to $290 from $170 on the admission that his team “underestimated a critical valuation point: seemingly insatiable investor demand for alternative/clean vehicles.”

To be sure, analysts, investors and TheStreet’s Jim Cramer and Tesla Daily’s Rob Maurer are all awaiting Tesla’s highly anticipated Battery Day on Sept. 22.

In an interview with Tesla Daily Maven Rob Maurer, Cramer said Battery Day is a must-watch. “What’s key to my valuation, Rob, is what Elon Musk will say on September 22,” Cramer said.

Author: M. Corey Goldman

Source: The Street: Tesla to Sell $5 Billion of Additional Stock After Surge

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