Healthcare Roundup – CDC warns against Thanksgiving travel amid COVID spike, WHO recommends doctors not use remdesivir to treat COVID-19

Published on: November 19, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

CDC warns against Thanksgiving travel amid COVID spike

“Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year,” the CDC says.

Airline stocks are showing some resilience, though: Delta (DAL, -0.3%), Southwest (LUV, +0.6%), American (NASDAQ:AAL) flat.

United Airlines (UAL, -1.2%) said earlier it’s seeing a rise in cancellations during the spike, predicting a Q4 revenue decline of about 64%.

The number of U.S deaths from the disease has surpassed 250K.

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan says today he’s “not ruling out” the economy slipping back into recession due to the latest COVID spike.

Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) says 60K people will be enrolled in its COVID trial before 2021 and its COVID shot efficacy should be known in January or February.

Astrazeneca/Oxford said earlier their vaccine had a strong immune response in older adults.

New York reports 5,310 new positive cases today. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that indoor dining and gyms will likely soon be closed by the state. Schools in the city returned to online learning today.

Stay-at-home stocks are helping the Nasdaq (NASDAQ:QQQ) +0.3%, but the S&P (NYSEARCA:SPY) -0.1% remains down.

WHO recommends doctors not use remdesivir to treat COVID-19; GILD -1.6%

The World Health Organization is recommending against doctors using Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir (Veklury) to treat hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

Gilead shares are down 1.6% after hours.

“There is currently no evidence that it improves survival or the need for ventilation,” a panel of experts convened by WHO says in The BMJ.

That comes very shortly after regulators gave the drug a quick approval for treating COVID-19 – and its use in treating President Trump when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 early last month.

A global WHO-sponsored trial, Solidarity, found that the drug didn’t reduce deaths, and the experts reviewed data from three other trials to conclude remdesivir has “no meaningful effect” on time to clinical improvement.

FDA plans early advisory meetings in December to discuss COVID-19 vaccines – CNBC

The FDA is said to have asked its vaccines advisory committee to plan meetings in early in December to discuss COVID-19 vaccines ahead of potential authorization, CNBC.

The advisory group may weigh in on Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, said people, names not disclosed as the plans are not public yet.

The meetings are tentatively set for Dec. 8-10, just weeks after both companies reported that their vaccines generated almost 95% efficacy in preventing coronavirus.

The FDA requires two months of safety follow-up after half the participants have been fully vaccinated — receiving two shots of the vaccine a few weeks apart.

The CDC’s group, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, scheduled a meeting for Nov. 23, which is expected to be a preapproval meeting for vaccines.

Eargo beats on revenue

Eargo (NASDAQ:EAR): Q3 Net loss and comprehensive loss of $9.73M.

Revenue of $18.19M (+135.3% Y/Y) beats by $0.05M.

Codiak BioSciences EPS beats by $13.68, beats on revenue

Codiak BioSciences (NASDAQ:CDAK): Q3 GAAP EPS of $12.83 beats by $13.68.

Revenue of $1M beats by $0.92M.

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities of $48.3M as of September 30.

Biotechnology Genomics Healthcare Services