Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) were knocked down this week on news of a COVID vaccine halt. All after a participant fell ill. This is now the second time JNJ has had to pause testing as it races towards a vaccine, says Bloomberg.
“We’re going to have to get used to hearing these sorts of reports of pauses,” Hassan Vally, an associate professor in epidemiology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said by email. “As you vaccinate more people in these trials the chances are that there will be some illnesses in participants. The only difference here is that in the world that we live in right now, the progress of these trials is in the public eye, and so we are riding every bump.”
Right now, we’re unaware if the participant received the placebo or the vaccine from JNJ.
At the same time, this does demonstrate that companies do have great safeguards in place. “One adverse event is serious, especially when you’re considering a vaccine that you’re going to roll out to tens, hundreds of millions of people, maybe even billions,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health advisor in the Obama administration. “That’s the ultimate concern.”
Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) took a fall, too after halting its trials. “Safety is of the utmost importance to Lilly,” an Eli Lilly spokesperson told Fox Business. “We are aware that, out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment.”
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) are pushing higher thanks to President Trump. Days after leaving the hospital, President Trump is urging regulators to approve emergency use authorization of Regeneron’s (REGN) treatment. He specifically noted that the REGN cocktail was key to his successful treatment.
“We have hundreds of thousands of doses that are just about ready,” Trump said. “I have emergency use authorization all set and we got to get it signed now. And you’re going to get better, you’re going to get better really fast.”
UnitedHealth Group (UNH) just reported a Q3 profit and revenue that beat expectations. Net income fell to $3.17 billion, or $3.30 a share from $3.54 billion, or $3.67 a share. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS fell to $3.51 from $3.88, but was still above expectations for $3.11. Revenue was up nearly 8% to $65.12 billion, beating estimates for $49.81 billion.
At the time of this writing, Ian Cooper did not hold a position in any of the above stocks.