Shares of health-care companies were flat amid developments on potential coronavirus vaccines.
The prospects of successfully developing a coronavirus vaccine as soon as this year were buoyed Monday when three of the world’s leading candidates reported positive early trial data.
Vaccines being developed by University of Oxford researchers and AstraZeneca, Pfizer and German partner BioNTech, and China’s CanSino Biologics all reported fresh updates showing their shots generated immune responses and were safe to use.
The results cement the trio’s position among a few drugmakers and institutions at the vanguard of the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. About 160 vaccines are in development, including about 20 that have started human testing, according to the World Health Organization.
With a clutch of front-runners now having reported positive early results, attention is rapidly turning to larger, later-stage trials that would prove the efficacy of the shots in tens of thousands of volunteers and potentially lead to the treatments’ approval for use.
Meanwhile, two dozen Democratic attorneys general on Monday sued the Trump administration to block its rule ending protection against discrimination in health care for transgender patients. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks an immediate halt to the rule, which the Department of Health and Human Services issued last month.
Koninklijke Philips said that net profit for the second quarter fell, but exceeded expectations, and that it continues to expect to return to sales growth and improved profitability in the second half of the year.
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