E Good Day For Bad News

*After Monday's surprise, Astra-Zeneca is backtracking its claims over its virus vaccine and will rerun trials. The issues are the apparent failure of AZN's jab to do well for older people at risk from the virus, a key population. Moreover, the completed trial results which showed an unusual higher protection level when a half-lower dose is given before the full dose, in part was misstated because Brazilian and British cohorts were not separately reported. Since the overseer of Warp Speed is former drug company executive Moncef Slaoui, he is well placed to order a new round of tests, which will cost AZN, although he is stepping down. AZN is down 0.7%.

*Beigene BGNE is up 6.2% today on no news I can find except that the Administration plan to force drug firms to sell to the US as cheaply as they price their products elsewhere is not going through.

*Israeli startup Compugen CGEN is up 4.2% today.

*Japanese Eisai is up 1.2%. ESALY is in recuperation over its Alzheimer's drug but has lots of drugs.

*Spanish Grifols GRFS rose 2.25%.

*TEVA tacked on a 0.4% rise.

*Zymeworks, tipped by Martin Ferera, gained 4.98%. His new pick AuriniaAUPH, added 1.93%

Tech & Tel

*Kenya stocks may be worth buying but there are no ADRs so you can't. I mention this because a writer on Talkmarkets is talking up Safaricom, the local cellphone firm which developed a money payment system now under threat from rivals. I tried to buy it in Nairobi some years ago using my step-great-aunt to make the purchase but because this would have had tax consequences for her she was stopped from doing so. The only way to play African telcos is with Multichoice, MCHOY, the spinoff from Naspers, NPSNY, or with an Africa fund.

*Israeli chip maker Tower Semiconductor, TSEM, is up another 2.6%.

*Trip.com ADRs rose 1.75% today. We think TCOM is the way to play revived travel in 2021.

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William K. 3 months ago Member's comment

Too bad about the drug tests not being quite right. If that was the hateful double-blind test, while perhaps the old folks got all of the fake medicine. No telling because the whole concept is so very wicked and cruel. But the back-tracking certainly dispels confidence.

Kurt Benson 3 months ago Member's comment

It seems to me, once the truth came out, it was BETTER news. Due to an error, a smaller group of test subjects accidentally received an initial half dose, instead of a full dose. But those individuals ended up with 90% efficacy. Far better than the 62% efficacy from the other participants that had the full dose (and the 70% average that they advertised). Now they will redo the trial, but this time will intentionally use a half dose. The result should be 90% efficacy.

Ayelet Wolf 3 months ago Member's comment

I thought this as well. 90% efficacy is almost as good as the 95% efficacy of the #Pfizer and #Moderna vaccines. But is a much cheaper alternative. Bullish on $AZN