InvestorPlace | July 15, 2020
It’s easy to miss the forest for the trees in markets like this. Especially when it comes to pharmaceutical stocks. What I mean is that, in some sectors, there are great stocks that get overlooked because a few of them are working on event-driven issues, while others are creating long-term solutions to major trends.
This is especially true in the pharmaceutical and biotech spaces right now. Maybe it’s because the Kentucky Derby was postponed, but people are betting on pharmas discovering a vaccine to Covid-19 like it’s the only horse race out there. The fact is, there’s a whole racing season and betting on one horse in one race isn’t successful investing. And neither is betting on pharmaceutical stocks for one medicine.
That’s where my grading system comes in.
Overall, there are plenty of massively successful drugs. However, they’re blockbusters because they can be used for a variety ailments. Or, the top companies have a strong pipeline of drugs that address issues that are important to a large number of people.
Moderna | January 15, 2021
COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna is looking for a lift from Uber—a collaboration lift, that is. The two companies say they're planning to work together to promote vaccine confidence and ease access to coronavirus shots.
Early ideas include promoting vaccine safety on the Uber network and through in-app messages as well as incorporating Uber rides into the vaccination scheduling process.
While those details are still in the works, the appeal of Uber as a partner for Moderna is not only its nationwide network and connections but also the diversity of its 1.2 million drivers.
“Uber has broad access across the United States—its ride-sharing platform is used by Americans everywhere, and its drivers represent a wide variety of the population," Michael Mullette, Moderna's vice president of commercial operations in North America, said. "There’s a great opportunity for us to think about educating the population about how do you get immunized … but also how do you access credible information about vaccines."
The deal comes amid a U.S. vaccine rollout hobbled by confusion, lack of centralized government planning and distribution headaches. Even when vaccines are readily available and easy to access, fear is hampering uptake, thanks to the unprecedented speed of vaccine development, historical abuse of the Black community in biomedical research and more generalized anti-vaxxer sentiment.
Last month, Uber pledged 10 million free or discounted rides for underserved populations who may have difficulty with transportation to get vaccines. The company is partnering with the National Urban League, the Morehouse School of Medicine and the National Action Network to focus on communities of color where people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
Fiercepharma | June 10, 2020
As leading coronavirus vaccines make their way through early stages of human testing, the NIH is plotting much larger efficacy studies this summer. U.S. researchers plan to run phase 3 trials of vaccines from Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reports. The NIH intends to start a phase 3 trial of Moderna’s vaccine in July, followed by an August trial of AstraZeneca’s vaccine and a September study of Johnson & Johnson’s shot, a U.S. government researcher told the newspaper. All three of the shots are based on brand-new technologies, and they're all reportedly among finalists in the Operation Warp Speed program. Former FDA chief Scott Gottlieb has publicly questioned the picks, pointing out the team's reliance on new technologies. Johnson & Johnson has not previously disclosed any human testing for its vaccine and the company has previously said it’s aiming to enter human studies in September. But on Wednesday, the company said it's accelerating its timeline, with plans to start a phase 1/2a study in July.