E Two Days' Worth Of News

One remark by Schultz may have led to the selloff. He warned against drug companies relying on Chinese active ingredient inputs (pharmacos) for future drug supplies. This is a potential big negative for the industry.

Maybe there just are too many shareholders who have been hit by a loss. My personal basis is tiny because I bought TEVA when it was tipped to me by Swiss Rothschild analysts in Paris as a likely competitor to the Big Three Swiss drug giants. Their number is now down to two, and we own both, Roche and Novartis. Compared to them, TEVA is a mouse in comparison but it does make pharmacos.

*Roche, RHHBY is up today because its rheumatoid arthritis drug cuts the risk of death in severe Covid-19 infections according to Oxford U. The drug, Actemura (tocilizumab) works even better when combined with dexamethason, a corticosteroid which is out of patent. Roche is up 0.4% on the news after opening up 0.7%. Unlike Teva it pays a divvie, 2.6%.

*Danish Novo Nordisk soared after the New England Journal of Medicine today published the phase III trial of diabetes treatment semaglutide for treating obesity in non-diabetics at 68 weeks. It reduces hunger by mimicking the glucagon-like peptide GLP-1 which hits the bloodstream after a meal, by reducing hunger. Of the 1941 overweight adults in the trial, half got semaglutide and half a placebo. All got counseling about diet and exercise. The semaglutide participants were 86.4% more likely to lose at least 5% of their weight than the placebo recipients (at 31.5%). They were also 69.1% more likely to lose 10% of their weight than the placebo recipients (at 12%), and 50.5% more to lose 15% of their weight than the placebo recipients (at 4.9%.) This is a very convincing set of results for the peptide. Note that the mean change in body weight for those given the real drug was minus 14.9% while the control group weight loss was an average of 2.4%. A negative; 4.5% of those getting the drug dropped out because of “gastrointestinal events” while only 0.6% of those on placebo did. Your editor got into NVO because of its obesity projects. The stock is up 3.84% today to $73.91 and hit a 5-yr high of $73.92 at the open. Moreover, it pays a dividend of 2.37% which is guaranteed non-fattening.

*AstraZeneca whose jab is under a cloud for failing to protect those at risk from the South African mutant, and because it cannot meet the orders of the European Union in the current quarter, today got good new: The WHO has recommended that its anti-Covid 19 jab be used on anyone aged over 18 to stop the virus. AZN stock is up a tad but still well down from its $64.94 12-mo high.

*Ditto for Glaxo which has fallen 20% YTD for no real reason. Today GSK announced it would sell to the Sandoz arm of Novartis its off-patent cephalosporin anti-biotics business, for up to $150 mn over the next 4 years. They had sales of about $140 mn per year and Sandoz is buying the remainder after GSK sold its lines in Germany, the USA, and Australia earlier. Still to come are sales of its Japan, India, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau cephalo lines under different brand names.

*Merck rose at the opening after it announced that it would work on Covid-19 vaccinations but it also fell back later in the morning by over 0.5%. Maybe the market is worried about antivirus saturation. MRK.

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William K. 2 months ago Member's comment

Thanks for all of the news, VL, and I am glad you got the vaccine, I hope that it keeps you well. But keep on masking because no vaccine is 100%, and I do enjoy reading your posts.