E Sterling At Five-Year High

Today markets are mixed because of currency factors, with sterling bullishness against the dollar and the euro. The British currency is at a 5 year high. Short-term this hurts UK shares but longer-term the more international among them should gain. Britain's currency edge is based on its speedier vaccination program against Covid-19 than that of the EU it left.

Amazon is being sued for forcing advertisers on its sites to let it act as their seller, an antitrust violation.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Drugs

*Novacure, the developer of electric fields to block tumor growth, is doing a clinical trial with GT Medical Technologies' GammaTile Surgically-Targeted Radiation Therapy (START) in glioblastoma brain tumors. They will test NVCR Tumor Treating Fields by application 2 or more weeks before the start of START implantation. This is a phase II pilot study and will enroll about 55 US patients. GT is an FDA-cleared therapy for all kinds of brain tumors. NVCR is an Israeli company whose TTF was discovered by a Haifa technology professor which now is HQ'd in the UK Channel Islands for tax reasons. The new trial aims at determining progression-free survival at 6 months and 1 year, plus other risks. NVCR is now focusing on very hard-to-treat cancers. NVCR is up 2.1% at the news.

*Astra-Zeneca fell 0.75% because the British drug major's buy of US Alexion Pharma is being examined for AZN interfering with competition in its UK homeland. Other drug majors are mixed.

*Aurinia Pharma of Canada is up 1.82% on its good news for lupus sufferers. AUPH.

*Swiss Roche and Exelixis reported on their trial in prostate tumors using tecentriq from RHHBY and cabometryx from EXEL. The results were discouraging as only 27% of patients had partial remissions and only 2% complete ones. There will be a follow-up for about 16 months. EXEL stock fell 4.3% while RHHBY gained 0.9% because of EU approval for its venclyxto, developed with AbbVie to treat acute myeloid leukemia.

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