Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, J&J, AstraZeneca investigating omicron

The world’s largest manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines announced on Friday that they were working to rapidly screen their vaccines and adapt them to a new and highly mutated strain of the virus.

The World Health Organization said Friday the new strain, dubbed Omicron, is a “worrying variant” that could pose a higher risk of reinfection than previous mutations of the virus.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they are studying Omicron, labeled B.1.1.529 first, and can quickly adjust their vaccine if necessary.

“We understand the concerns of experts and immediately initiated investigations into variant B.1.1.529,” said the company.

Pfizer and BioNTech expect further data from laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest.

“These data will provide more information on whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that could require our vaccine to be modified if the variant spreads globally,” the companies said.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they can customize their mRNA vaccine within six weeks and start shipping within 100 days if an escape variant is identified.

Johnson & Johnson on Friday said they are already testing their vaccine against Omicron.

“We are closely monitoring newly emerging COVID-19 virus strains with variations of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and are already testing the effectiveness of our vaccine against the new and rapidly spreading variant, which was first discovered in southern Africa,” said J&J .

AstraZeneca said the variant is also being investigated. Its vaccine platform, developed with Oxford University, enables rapid response to new mutations as they occur, the company said.

“AstraZeneca is also doing research in places where the variant has been identified, namely in Botswana and Eswatini,” the company said.

Modern, said in a statement on Friday that the combination of mutations in the variant “poses a significant potential risk of accelerating the decline in natural and vaccine-induced immunity”.

“A booster dose of an approved vaccine is the only strategy currently available to boost declining immunity,” the company said.

Moderna said it would test three booster candidates against Omicron, also in higher doses. The company will also develop a booster dose specific to the variant.

“We have said from the start that it is imperative that we be proactive in fighting the pandemic as the virus evolves,” said Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, in a statement. “The mutations in the Omicron variant are worrying and for several days we have been working as quickly as possible to implement our strategy to combat this variant.”

The variant that originated in South Africa has around 50 mutations, more than 30 of which are on the spike protein, which enables the virus to bind to human cells. The spread of the new variant is still in its infancy, and it is not yet clear how difficult it would be to infect a vaccinated person.

Several European and Asian nations have suspended flights from southern Africa in response to the variant. The UK suspended flights from six countries in the region on Thursday and the European Commission – the executive body of the European Union – has asked all 27 member states to suspend travel from southern Africa.

White House senior medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that the US is working with South African scientists to determine the molecular makeup of the variant so that laboratory tests can be carried out. These tests would help determine whether or not the variant can evade the vaccines’ antibody protection.

Fauci said data would help determine whether or not the US should put in place similar travel restrictions. The Biden government later confirmed Friday that the US would restrict entry to non-citizens from eight South African nations.

The strength of Covid vaccines against infection has decreased over time, although they are still highly effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths. A study published in Science this month found that the Pfizer vaccine’s effectiveness in preventing infections decreased from 86% to 43% from February through October. Moderna’s vaccine decreased from 89% to 58% and J & J’s vaccine decreased from 86% to 13% effectiveness against infections in the same study.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Friday approved booster vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for all adults. Pfizer’s booster dose was 95% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in people who had no evidence of previous infection in a clinical study of 10,000 subjects 16 years and older, the company said. Moderna is still conducting a clinical study on the effectiveness of its booster dose.

LAPD investigating Armie Hammer over rape claims | Leisure

Police have confirmed that Armie Hammer is under investigation after she was charged with rape.

The “Call Me By Your Name” actor allegedly subjected a woman known only as Effie to a four-hour ordeal in 2017, and after the 24-year-old detailed her allegations on Thursday (03/18/21), LAPD officers confirms the 34-year-old star is the suspect in an investigation that opened on February 3.

During a press conference with her attorney Gloria Allred, Effie Hammer accused her of “mentally, emotionally and sexually abused” her during a four-year on / off relationship that the actor was married to Elizabeth Chambers.

She also claimed, “On April 24, 2017, Armie Hammer violently raped me in Los Angeles for over four hours. Meanwhile, he hit my head repeatedly against a wall, squeezing my face. He also committed other acts of violence against me that I did not consent to. “

Effie told reporters that she thought the ‘Rebecca’ actor was going to “kill” her, claiming he hit her feet “to hurt” during the alleged attack and said she tried to leave her , “but he wouldn’t let her”.

Effie claims she met Hammer on Facebook when she was 20 and admitted that she fell in love with the actor, although she now believes she was a victim of “manipulation” tactics.

She claimed, “He has often tested my devotion to him. He abused me mentally, emotionally, and sexually. “

However, Hammer has already dismissed the allegations against him, and his attorney has provided screenshots of alleged textual conversations between him and Effie, which appear to suggest that he told her they couldn’t be in a relationship, even though they’re not being verified.

In a message, Hammer allegedly said to Effie, “I won’t be able to get involved with you in that particular way right now. It never ends well. We can talk and be friends, but I can’t. “

The actor’s lawyer also said Hammer’s encounter with Effie was “entirely amicable, discussed and agreed in advance, and mutually involved”.

In a statement, the attorney said: “Effie’s own correspondence with Mr. Hammer undermines and refutes her outrageous allegations. Still on July 18, 2020 [she] sent Mr. Hammer graphic texts telling him what to do with her. Mr Hammer replied, making it clear that he did not want to maintain that kind of relationship with her.

“It was never Mr. Hammer’s intention to embarrass or expose himself [Effie’s] Fetishes or kinky sexual desires, but she has now taken this matter to another level by hiring a civil attorney to hold a public press conference. With the truth on his side, Mr. Hammer welcomes the opportunity to correct the record.

“From day one, Mr. Hammer has claimed that all of his interactions with [Effie] – and every other sexual partner of his – were completely consensual, discussed and agreed in advance, and mutually involved. [Effie’s] Attention-seeking and ill-advised legal offers will only make it difficult for real victims of sexual violence to find the justice they deserve. “

Effie’s allegations come after an Instagram account called House of Effie sparked reports of Hammer’s alleged sexual behavior when they posted a series of unverified direct messages from the actor related to cannibalism fantasies.

After the scandal, Hammer left his upcoming film “Shotgun Wedding” – which also stars Jennifer Lopez – because he did not want to be away from his children in the midst of the “vicious and spurious online attacks”.

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is Investigating Tencent Music Leisure Group on Behalf of Tencent Stockholders and Encourages Buyers to Contact the Agency


Wells Fargo: 2 Strong Stocks With Upward Potential Above 70%

Wells Fargo analysts have scrutinized the market, or specifically the winners and losers of current market conditions. In a recent release, senior equity analyst Chris Harvey writes, “The risk and outperformance of small caps have made this stock market a haven for stock pickers.” Obviously, Harvey sees that small-cap stocks are doing well right now and are doing well for investors numerous options are available to choose from. While small caps are generally a riskier investment, one distinct advantage over bigger names is the potential for higher returns. This is where the risk / reward paradigm comes into play. Following Harvey’s tip, the company has made a number of recommendations and found small-cap stocks on the cusp of growth that promise a return of 70% or more for the coming year. We ran two of them through the TipRanks database to see what other Wall Street analysts were up to. Ping Identity Holding (PING) Based on the technology industry, Wells Fargo’s first pick is Ping Identity Holding Corp, which specializes in identity management. The company offers a range of products that customers can use to control login and access to networks and databases. While Ping Identity has been in business for nearly 20 years, it has only been a public company for a year and a half. In the company’s most recent quarterly report for the fourth quarter of 2010, Ping reported mixed results, and immediately posted a 20% decline in price. The EPS was a net loss of 4 cents per share. Revenue was down 7% year-over-year to $ 63.2 million, but increased 5.5% sequentially, marking the second highest quarterly revenue the company has had since going public. For the full year, total revenue was $ 243.6 million, driven by a 15% increase in annual recurring revenue (ARR) year over year, which hit $ 259.1 million. The company saw a 34% increase in customers with an ARR of more than $ 1 million, a solid win on one key metric. Wells Fargo analyst Philip Winslow was particularly impressed with the ARR gain. “Ping reported solid fourth quarter results, with ARR exceeding expectations. The 15% year-over-year ARR growth was above consensus estimates of $ 256.1 million due to continued adoption of SaaS solutions, which accelerated more than expected and accounted for + 15% of total ARR, ” wrote the 5-star analyst. Winslow added, “The company is seeing continued signs of pent-up demand as customers phased out their purchases as projects previously suspended from COVID budget pressures emerge in the pipeline and companies modernize legacy systems whose flaws are exposed been the past year. “To this end, Winslow rates PING as overweight (i.e. buy) and has a target price of $ 40, indicating upside potential of 76% over the next 12 months. (To see Winslow’s track record, click here.) Winslow is not an outlier in his bullish stance, but there is some divide on Wall Street over ping. The analysts’ consensus view is a moderate buy based on a dozen ratings that consisted of 7 buys and 5 holds The shares are priced at $ 22.59 and their average target price of $ 33.71 indicates a year-long share Upward movement of 49%. (See PING stock analysis on TipRanks.) Sangamo Therapeutics (SGMO) Let’s shift gears and take a look at the life science sector. Sangamo is a biotechnology company focused on developing genomic therapies to treat genetic diseases. The company’s pipeline includes 17 different programs at various stages of development that target a range of diseases, including IBD, beta thalassemia, sickle cell disease and hemophilia A. Back in December, the company reported an update on its ongoing collaboration with Pfizer on Giroctocogene fitelparvovec. This is a gene therapy product that is being developed to treat haemophilia A. Follow-up data from the Phase 1/2 Alta study indicated that the drug was well tolerated and safe in the small cohort of patients tested. Giroctocogene fitelparvovec is now starting the patient dosage phase of the phase 3 AFFINE study. In February, Sangamo reported that it had entered into a global partnership with Biogen to develop and commercialize new therapies for gene regulation. The therapies under consideration target Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases. The bulls include Wells Fargo analyst Yanan Zhu, who wrote of the bigger picture: “Overall, we continue to see significant upside in the company’s genomic drug pipeline programs and platforms, particularly the regulatory T (Treg) cell therapy platform may target a wide range of autoimmune diseases and the ZFP-TF gene regulatory platform, which may target certain difficult-to-target neurological indications… ”In light of these comments, Zhu reiterates the company’s overweight (i.e. buy) rating on the stock and set up target price $ 29, suggesting a robust upward move of 158%. (To see Zhu’s track record, click here.) Overall, SGMO has shown optimism and caution about the consensus view among sell-side analysts. Out of 5 analysts surveyed over the past 3 months, 2 are bullish about the stock while 3 continue to fail. The bulls have the edge, however, as the average price target is $ 19.40 and indicates a 72% uptrend. (See SGMO stock analysis on TipRanks.) To find great ideas for trading stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, ‘a newly launched tool that brings together all of TipRanks’ stock insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the presented analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important that you do your own analysis before making any investment.

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Those 2 penny stocks could rally as much as $ 11, analysts say

At its FOMC meeting in January, the Federal Reserve held rates stable – they are currently near their lows, and unsurprisingly, the Fed is holding them there. Fed chairman Jerome Powell may have fed some market pessimism when speaking after the meeting, pointing out that unemployment has risen in recent months. For market watchers seeking support, there is consolation in the Fed’s monetary policy. The central bank has pledged to buy $ 80 billion worth of Treasury bills every month and has put a rate hike on hold until 2023. At least one top strategist sees the current market environment in terms of opportunities. JPMorgan strategist Marko Kolanovic takes an optimistic stance and writes: “We assume that the global COVID pandemic will decline rapidly in the coming weeks. In fact, the pace of decline in new cases in the past two weeks is the fastest ever in the US and worldwide. Central banks should remain accommodative amid rising unemployment and over a decade of low inflation that is below their targets – term turmoil like this week offers an opportunity to switch from bonds to stocks. “With that outlook in mind, we set out to find exciting opportunities that won’t break the bank, namely penny stocks. Priced at $ 5 or less, these stocks offer investors the highest growth potential available in the market. Again, there is a risk, as the “pennies” are often cheap for a reason. Careful examination is therefore essential. Using TipRanks’ database, we identified two penny stocks that received a consensus rating of “Strong Buy” from the analyst community. Not to mention, every company has huge upside potential as some analysts see it spike to $ 11. BioLineRx, Ltd. (BLRX) We’re starting BioLineRx, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new cancer treatments. Oncology is an important area for state-of-the-art biopharmaceuticals. Cancer is often fatal and often resistant to topical treatments – and these treatments themselves often cause severe side effects in patients. BioLineRx has an active pipeline of drug candidates. The most advanced, however, is motixafortid, a synthetic peptide that has completed patient enrollment in a phase 3 study to mobilize stem cells for autologous bone marrow transplantation. The drug is being studied for effectiveness in promoting bone marrow harvesting prior to cancer treatment. The results of a pre-planned interim analysis showed “statistically significant evidence for motixafortid treatment at the primary endpoint” so significant that enrollment was completed early with 122 patients instead of 177. Mobilizing stem cells using Motixafortid is believed to be the company’s most efficient route to registering the new drug for regulatory approval. Given the potential of Motixafortide and its share price of $ 2.40, some analysts believe now is the time to pull the trigger. Mark Breidenbach, 5-star analyst, reported on BLRX for Oppenheimer: “Our thesis continues to focus on motixafortid in the mobilization of stem cells, and we see a separation between the company’s market capitalization and the market opportunity of Motixafortid as a stem cell mobilizer. The key GENESIS secondary endpoints are expected by mid-2021 and we see little risk for this data … “The analyst added,” We believe the results of the Phase 3 GENESIS trial will prompt the majority of transplant doctors might choose to combine BL-8040 with G-CSF instead of Mozobil if the drug is approved. In addition to our work, BL-8040 contains for use in other auto-HSCTs, allo-HSCTs, AML, and solid tumors. The company has a catalyst-rich, deep oncology pipeline that has attracted collaborations with Novartis, Merck and Genentech. “With all of this in mind, Breidenbach rates BLRX as a buy, and its target price of $ 11 points to an uptrend of a whopping 358% for the coming year. (To see Breidenbach’s track record, click here.) The rest of the street seems to reflect Breidenbach’s bullish sentiment. With 3 buys and no holds or sells, the consensus is unanimous: BLRX is a strong buy. On top of the good news, the upside is ~ 428% based on the average price target of $ 12.67. (See BLRX stock analysis on TipRanks) Kindred Biosciences (KIN) While most biotech companies focus on human drugs, we’re not the only market. Kindred Biosciences is a biopharmaceutical company in the veterinary marketplace developing biological medicines to improve the lives of our pets and work animals. The company describes its mission as'[bringing] Pet the same safe and effective medications that human family members enjoy. Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly infectious and fatal viral disease that affects dogs. While vaccines are available, untreated cases can have a mortality rate of over 91%. Kindred’s lead drug in the pipeline, KIND-030, is currently in development for the treatment of this disease. The drug candidate is currently pursuing two paths in the development process – one for the treatment of established infections and one for the prophylactic preventive treatment of CPV. The prophylactic study showed positive results, with all dogs treated avoiding infection while all dogs in the placebo group developed parvovirus disease. KIND-030 also showed a mortality benefit when given to treat infections. The drug candidate is in the crucial study phase of development, the last before possible approval. Last month, Kindred announced it had entered into an agreement with Elanco Animal Health, a major veterinary drug company, to manufacture KIND-030. Cantor analyst Brandon Folkes sees a lot of potential in Kindred, especially in the company’s agreement with Elanco. “A partnership with a leading animal health company, in this case Elanco, is exactly what the company needs from our point of view. This confirms, in our view, KIN’s new strategic approach as a drug developer to find larger trading partners. We believe today’s deal should show investors that Kindred’s pipeline continues to have significant value that could be realized in the next 12 to 18 months, ”said Folkes. Kindred is also conducting studies with tirnovetmab, or KIND-016, an antibody directed against IL31, for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs. The pivotal efficacy study of this drug began in the final quarter of 2020. There is a potentially huge market for successful dermatitis treatment in dogs. Over the past six years, there has been a 47% increase in veterinary visits for dogs with severely itchy skin and the market is valued at $ 900 million or more. “While 2020 was a tough year for KIN stock, the company continued to take several shots on goal from its diversified pipeline that could reward investors at current levels. With multiple readings in 2021 and once again focusing solely on developing its pipeline, we anticipate that 2021 could be a banner year for KIN should it be able to deliver on the promise of its pipeline and, in particular, its atopic dermatitis portfolio, ” so the analyst summarized. To do this, Folkes gives KIN a price target of $ 11, which means an upside of 139% in 2021 and an overweight (i.e. buy). (To see Folkes’ track record, click here.) Kindred is another company with a unanimous consensus from Strong Buy analysts based on 5 recent Buy ratings. The stock has an average price target of $ 10.25, indicating ~ 124% growth from the current trading price of $ 4.59. (See KIN Stock Analysis on TipRanks.) To find great ideas for trading penny stocks at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that brings together all of the insights into TipRanks stocks. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the presented analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important that you do your own analysis before making any investment.