NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters Breakingviews) - Pharmaceutical groups such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer may soon get regulators’ blessing for new coronavirus inoculations. A successful vaccine could ease a crisis that the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost the United States alone some $8 trillion. Yet doubts over efficacy will linger, and manufacturing challenges mean poorer countries may have to wait. The reward for drugmakers is equally uncertain.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Medicine may be a science but drug pricing is definitely an art. That’s especially true of Gilead Sciences’ treatment for Covid-19, given the lack of alternative treatments for a pandemic. The $2,300 price of a course of remdesivir may sound high – and is compared with the basic cost of manufacturing the stuff – but is actually fairly restrained.
LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Big Tech investors have historically brushed off the threat from Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s antitrust tzar who wants to reduce U.S. behemoths’ digital dominance. The combined market value of Apple, Amazon.com, Facebook and Google owner Alphabet has risen more than threefold to $4.4 trillion since the Dane’s first term started in 2014. Two new probes into Apple, launched on Tuesday, suggest that it’s time to start taking her more seriously.
NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters Breakingviews) - The doctor’s
office is increasingly in everyone's home. Online visits in the
United States are surging during the pandemic, as it’s safer,
insurers are waving carrots to use them, and restrictive rules
are easing. While virtual visits are cheaper, though, increased
uptake could push up total healthcare spending.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S.-China trade war is escalating, not just in rhetoric about the coronavirus but also in the world of high technology. Further restrictions on China’s Huawei Technologies by the administration of President Donald Trump heighten trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, as does the decision of Taiwan's TSMC to build a $12 billion chip plant in Arizona. Multinationals like Qualcomm and Apple are now vulnerable, too.
NEW YORK, May 5 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Alexion
Pharmaceuticals is either buying Portola
Pharmaceuticals on the cheap at $1.4 billion, or paying
a whopping premium – it all depends on your starting date. The
deal means the $22 billion biotech snaps up a promising drug to
reverse anticoagulants. The target has been on a downward slide
for years, with the shares falling about 80% since the
medication, Andexxa, was approved in 2018. But the buyer is
shelling out a 132% premium based on Monday’s closing stock
price. It’s more likely Alexion is overpaying.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A must-have gadget has become a can-probably-wait. Apple’s sales of iPhones fell 7% in the quarter ending March 28, and the fall in the following three months should be worse. That is both predictable, and self-limiting. Apple should bounce back.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s not time to panic, but it is time to face reality. The coronavirus is spreading around the world. China’s unprecedented efforts slowed the spread of the new disease officially known as Covid-19, but that’s merely won some time. Infected people have now been detected on every continent except Antarctica. Competent and open government is the best defense against hospitals and society being overwhelmed. But nations will probably have to deal with recurring outbreaks.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The assumptions baked into Virgin Galactic’s nearly $7 billion enterprise value, assuming the exercise of new warrants, are out of this world. The stock price of Richard Branson’s space-tourism outfit has more than quadrupled in three months, and the EV – which deducts balance-sheet cash – has rocketed twice as fast. A new Breakingviews calculator shows something much closer to earth is merited.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - First came trade war, now a rapidly spreading global virus. It’s the latter that has investors more nervous. Monday saw the S&P 500 Index fall over 3%, while Treasury yields hit a record low. The anxiety is overdue, because the potential impact of the disease known as Covid-19 is serious business.