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J&J CEO says people may need annual Covid vaccine shots for the next several years

People may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually, just like seasonal flu shots, over the next several years, J&J CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC.

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Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson, celebrates the 75th anniversary of his company’s listing on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, September 17, 2019.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

People may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually, just like seasonal flu shots, over the next several years, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Tuesday.

“Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate,” he told CNBC’s Meg Tirrell during a Healthy Returns Spotlight event. “Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend off antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine.”

Public health officials and infectious disease experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will become an endemic disease, meaning it will become present in communities at all times, though likely at lower levels than it is now. Health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them, medical experts say.

Gorsky’s comment came after J&J said it applied for an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration for its coronavirus vaccine. Unlike Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines, which require two doses given about three to four weeks apart, J&J’s only requires one dose, easing logistics for health-care providers.

U.S. officials and Wall Street analysts are eagerly anticipating the authorization of J&J’s vaccine, which could happen as early as this month. President Joe Biden is trying to pick up the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. and experts say his administration will need an array of drugs and vaccines to defeat the virus, which has killed more than 450,000 Americans over the last year, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced in August that it reached a deal with Janssen, J&J’s pharmaceutical subsidiary, worth approximately $1 billion for 100 million doses of its vaccine. The deal gives the federal government the option to order an additional 200 million doses, according to the announcement.

Gorsky told CNBC that the company’s first priority is to work with the FDA toward U.S. authorization. He said J&J is working “full speed” on vaccine manufacturing, adding the company is “extremely confident” it will meet its target to deliver 100 million doses of its Covid vaccine to the U.S. by the end of June.

“We will meet our commitments and at the same time we’re doing everything we possibly can to safely and effectively accelerate” production, he said, adding people are “highly anticipating” being able to get a single shot against the virus.

J&J is also continuing work on a two-dose coronavirus vaccine, Gorsky said. The company expects two-shot vaccine data from clinical trials in the second half of 2021, he said.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/09/covid-vaccine-jj-ceo-says-people-may-get-annual-shots-for-the-next-several-years.html

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China orders Tencent to give up exclusive music licensing rights as crackdown continues

China’s antitrust regulator ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive licensing rights with international record labels and slapped a $$77,000 fine on the company.

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Chinese technology firm Tencent against the backdrop of China’s flag.

Budrul Chukrut | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

China’s antitrust regulator has ordered Tencent to give up its exclusive music licensing rights and slapped a fine on the company for anti-competitive behavior, as Beijing continues to crack down on its internet giants at home.

The State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) on Saturday imposed a fine of 500,000 yuan ($77,141) on the company citing violations in its acquisition of China Music in 2016.

Following that acquisition, Tencent owns more than 80% of exclusive music library resources, giving the company an advantage over its competitors as it is able to reach more exclusive deals with copyright holders, SAMR said in a statement.

The competition watchdog ordered Tencent and its affiliates to relinquish exclusive music rights within 30 days, and to end requirements for copyright holders to grant the company better treatment than to its competitors.

Tencent will have to report to the SAMR on its progress every year for three years, according to the statement, and the antitrust regulator will strictly supervise its implementation according to law.

In response, Tencent said in a statement it will “comply with all the regulatory requirements, fulfill our social responsibilities and contribute to healthy competition in the market.”

Tencent will work with affiliates, including Tencent Music Entertainment, to make those changes and ensure full compliance, it said.

China’s grip on internet giantsRead more about China from CNBC ProThe competition watchdog ordered Tencent and its affiliates to relinquish exclusive music rights within 30 days, and to end requirements for copyright holders to grant the company better treatment than to its competitors.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/24/china-crackdown-antitrust-regulator-orders-tencent-music-to-give-up-music-label-rights.html

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Earnings

Corporate Company Earnings, Find Earnings Per Share and Earnings History Online

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Jeff Bezos reaches space on Blue Origin’s first crewed launch

Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin launched him into spaceflight history, riding the inaugural crew launch of a New Shepard rocket.

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VAN HORN, Texas — For 10 minutes and 10 seconds on Tuesday, Jeff Bezos wasn’t the richest man on Earth.

His Blue Origin company launched him into spaceflight history on Tuesday. Its first crewed New Shepard rocket blasted off from the Texas desert for the brief flight, also carrying his brother and the oldest and youngest people to ever have flown in space.

“Best day ever!” Bezos said after touchdown.

This photo provided by Blue Origin, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifts off Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The rocket is carrying passengers Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, his brother Mark Bezos, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk.

Blue Origin | AP

The capsule carrying the Blue Origin crew accelerated to more than three times the speed of sound before it reached beyond the 80 kilometer boundary (about 262,000 feet) the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. The crew capsule reached an altitude of 107 kilometers (351,210 feet), and the rocket hit a top speed of 2,233 mph during the launch.

The crew floated in microgravity for a couple minutes, before the capsule returned and landed under a set of parachutes to end the mission after 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

The launch marked Blue Origin’s entrance into the market of private spaceflight, joining Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic — its direct competitor in the sector of suborbital tourism — and Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

Making history

In addition to his singular net worth, Bezos, 57, is also the only space founder to ride the first crewed flight of his company. While SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have launched astronauts before, Bezos is the first to put himself on the inaugural crew flight.

Floating next to him: Wally Funk, 82, and Oliver Daemen, 18 — respectively the oldest and youngest humans to ever fly in space — and Bezos’ brother, Mark, 53.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of ecommerce company Amazon.com Inc, his brother Mark Bezos, a private equity executive, pioneering female aviator Wally Funk and recent Dutch high school graduate Oliver Daemen pose in an undated photograph, ahead of their scheduled flight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket near Van Horn, Texas, U.S.

Blue Origin | Reuters

Bezos invited his brother and Funk, a female aerospace pioneer, to join the flight. Daemen was a late addition. His seat was originally part of a public auction, but the auction’s winner, an anonymous person who bid $28 million to fly with Bezos, was unable to make the July 20 launch date. Daemen’s father, Joes, CEO of a private equity firm in the Netherlands, was also a bidder, with Daemen scheduled to fly on Blue Origin’s second crew launch as a paying passenger. When the mystery bidder backed out, the company moved Daemen up to the first launch.

Tuesday’s launch also came on another historic milestone — the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Bezos’ space vision

New Shepard’s launch represents a milestone in its progress toward Bezos’ vision. He founded Blue Origin with the goal to create “a future where millions of people are living and working in space to benefit Earth.”

The New Shepard rocket and the capsule that rides atop it are reusable, capable of launching, landing, and launching again multiple times. The rocket system is in many ways a pathfinder for Blue Origin’s other, larger scale projects — such as its orbital New Glenn rocket.

An artist’s illustration of a New Glenn rocket standing on the launchpad in Florida.

Blue Origin

Like New Shepard, the New Glenn rocket booster is designed to be reusable, with the company expecting each one to be capable of launching and landing 25 times. New Glenn, with an inaugural launch date target of late 2022, stands about 320 feet tall and is designed to lift nearly 50 tons of payload to low Earth orbit. The rockets are named after Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn, respectively the first American in space and the first American to orbit Earth. In 1998, then-77-year-old Sen. Glenn became the oldest person in space.

Blue Origin has also developed multiple engines to power both its rockets, including the BE-3, BE-4, and BE-7 engines.

Blue Origin tests one of the BE-4 rocket engines the company is developing to launch its New Glenn rocket.

Blue Origin | gif by @thesheetztweetz

Blue Origin is also working on a crewed lander called Blue Moon, which the company hopes to one day deliver astronauts and cargo to the lunar surface.

Space billionaires

Mural displaying Jeff Bezo and his brother Mark Bezo, is seen in Van Horn, Texas, two days before the scheduled launch of Blue Origin’s inaugural flight to the edge of space by billionaire American businessman Jeff Bezos and his three crewmates, in the nearby town of Van Horn, Texas, U.S. July 18, 2021.

Thom Baur | Reuters

The company’s only direct competition in the market of launching space tourists to the edge of space is Branson’s Virgin Galactic, a sector known as suborbital tourism. SpaceX is preparing to launch its first private mission in September, called Inspiration4, but Musk’s company sends its capsules further into space on multiday flights, in what is known as orbital tourism.

Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have been developing rocket-powered spacecraft, but that is where the similarities end. While Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket launches vertically Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system is released in the air and returns to Earth in a glide for a runway landing, like an aircraft.

And while Blue Origin launches autonomously, Virgin Galactic system is flown by two pilots. Branson’s company has flown four test spaceflights to date but does not expect to begin flying paying customers until 2022.

Blue Origin’s auction may have netted $28 million, but a seat on a suborbital spacecraft is typically much less expensive. Virgin Galactic has historically sold reservations between $200,000 and $250,000 per ticket, and more recently charged the Italian Air Force about $500,000 per ticket for a training spaceflight.

The tourism market is a nascent slice of the more than $420 billion space economy. Yet its high profile — given the much more thrilling human element — means it has a powerful and widespread influence over the space industry, with investors often pointing to astronaut flights as driving excitement about the broader implications of the extraterrestrial marketplace.

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The capsule carrying the Blue Origin crew accelerated to more than three times the speed of sound before it reached beyond the 80 kilometer boundary (about 262,000 feet) the U.S. uses to mark the edge of space. The crew capsule reached an altitude of 107 kilometers (351,210 feet), and the rocket hit a top speed of 2,233 mph during the launch.

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/20/jeff-bezos-reaches-space-on-blue-origins-first-crewed-launch.html

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