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EU urged to review remdesivir supply deal after COVID-19 trial results By Reuters

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© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hamburg

By Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union should renegotiate a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) contract it sealed last week with Gilead for a six-month supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir after it showed poor results in a large trial, experts said on Friday.

In a blow to one of the few drugs being used to treat people with COVID-19, the Solidarity Trial conducted by the World Health Organization showed that remdesivir appeared to have little or no effect on mortality or length of hospital stays among patients with the respiratory disease.

The trial results were disclosed a week after the EU’s executive Commission announced its largest contract to date with Gilead (O:) for the supply of 500,000 courses of the antiviral drug at a price of 2,070 euro per treatment, which Gilead said was the standard for wealthy nations.

The Commission “needs to present the reasons behind the rush to conclude the latest contract with Gilead and move to review it in light of the Solidarity Trial findings,” said Yannis Natsis, who represents patients’ organisations on the board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU drug regulator.

The EU announced on Oct. 8 that it had signed the supply contract with the U.S. company on behalf of its 27 member states and 10 partner countries, including Britain.

Gilead had known about the results of Solidarity since Oct. 6, the WHO said, citing disclosure rules under the Solidarity Trial.

Gilead told Reuters it had received in late September an “heavily redacted manuscript” from the WHO which contained different information from the final document published on Friday.

‘TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE’

The Commission’s decision was made after EU countries warned of shortages of remdesivir in their hospitals amid a new surge of COVID-19 infections across Europe.

The contract does not oblige countries to buy remdesivir, although it ties them to the agreed price.

Two days after the EU deal, Poland said it had ordered 80,000 vials of remdesivir, which is usually administered in a six-dose regimen.

Gilead said it did not plan to adjust remdesivir’s price for wealthy countries after the WHO trial, and the company questioned its results.

“As time is of the essence – we are in a situation of a public health emergency – we have to not only invest up-front in vaccine development but also in access to therapeutics,” a spokesman for the European Commission said.

He added the EMA would look into the Solidarity results and data available from other studies on COVID treatments “to see if any changes are needed to the way these medicines are used”.

But the spokesman did not comment on whether the EU was aware of the Solidarity results before it signed the contract with Gilead. He also did not reply to questions on whether the price agreed with Gilead could be renegotiated.

“The EU should revisit the prices to be paid for Remdesivir. Why pay 1 billion euros for a drug with no effects on survival?” said Andrew Hill, a senior visiting research fellow in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool.

He said generic versions of the drug manufactured in India were sold at 200 euros per course.

($1 = 0.8525 euros)

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Earnings nudge European stocks higher, virus concerns limit gains By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The German share price index DAX graph at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

(Reuters) – European stocks inched higher on Friday, boosted by positive earnings updates from Barclays and carmakers, while nagging concerns about the economic impact of surging COVID-19 cases put markets on course for weekly losses.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index () rose 0.2% by 0711 GMT, with Asian markets stuck in a trading range as investors treaded with caution with less than two weeks to go before the U.S. presidential election.

London’s FTSE 100 () was supported by a 2.8% jump in Barclays (L:) after it reported much better than expected quarterly earnings.

Carmaker Daimler (DE:) rose 1.9% after it raised its 2020 profit outlook, while Renault (PA:) was up 1.5% after saying it should have positive cash flow from cars by the end of 2020 as sales recovered.

However, gains were limited as France looked set to widen a curfew to more than two thirds of its population after the country set an all-time daily high of new coronavirus cases on Thursday.

IHS Markit’s early reading of euro zone and UK business activity for October is due later in the day.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Australia stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.11% By Investing.com

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© Reuters. Australia stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.11%

Investing.com – Australia stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in the , and sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the fell 0.11%.

The best performers of the session on the were Bluescope Steel Ltd (ASX:), which rose 10.86% or 1.560 points to trade at 15.920 at the close. Meanwhile, Cooper Energy Ltd (ASX:) added 4.35% or 0.015 points to end at 0.360 and Santos Ltd (ASX:) was up 3.94% or 0.200 points to 5.280 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Iluka Resources Ltd (ASX:), which fell 48.28% or 4.780 points to trade at 5.120 at the close. Regis Resources Ltd (ASX:) declined 4.32% or 0.210 points to end at 4.650 and United Malt Group Ltd (ASX:) was down 3.49% or 0.15 points to 4.15.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 648 to 640 and 340 ended unchanged.

Shares in Iluka Resources Ltd (ASX:) fell to 3-years lows; losing 48.28% or 4.780 to 5.120.

The , which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 1.95% to 19.015.

Gold Futures for December delivery was up 0.11% or 2.10 to $1906.70 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in December fell 0.74% or 0.30 to hit $40.34 a barrel, while the December Brent oil contract fell 0.64% or 0.27 to trade at $42.19 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.08% to 0.7109, while AUD/JPY fell 0.20% to 74.45.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.11% at 93.067.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Asian Stocks Up, After “Slightly More Civilized” Trump-Biden Debate By Investing.com

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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Friday morning, with investors digesting the final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“It was a slightly more civilized debate this time around, but Trump failed to make up for lost ground from the first debate. Biden came through better than Trump in this debate and this should help to cement his lead over Trump and may just help him to cross the final line with a win,” OCBC Wealth Management senior strategist Vasu Menon told Reuters.

Japan’s was up 0.43% by 11:10 PM ET (3:10 AM GMT) and South Korea’s gained 0.50%.

In Australia, the inched down 0.10% and Hong Kong’s rose 0.60%.

China’s edged up 0.20%, while the inched down 0.04%.

Some investors warned of market volatility ahead as markets in the region opened.

“There will be a positive bias to the opening tone in Asian trade,” CommSec market analyst Tom Piotrowski told Reuters.

“But regional investors won’t necessarily hang their hats on that outcome, the markets can move around quite quickly,” he added.

Other developments in Washington on investors’ radar is progress on the latest stimulus measures. Continuous, staunch Republican opposition to the measures’ price tag makes the likelihood that Congress will pass them before the election slim. However, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi continued to be optimistic that a deal can be reached soon.

Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are “just about there” vis-a-vis a deal and are currently resolving how to allocate money for testing and tracing to safely reopen schools and the economy, a key part of the measures.

The continuing uncertainty has a big move in the bond market over expectations that a deal will materialize soon.

“The big move in the bond market has been going on for the past few days and it’s mostly because the market is expecting that one way or another there will be a stimulus package, if not before the election then after the election” Yardeni Research president and chief investment strategist Ed Yardeni told Bloomberg.

There are over 41.5 million COVID-19 cases globally as of Oct. 23, according to Johns Hopkins University data. In Europe, which is fighting a second wave, Germany recorded a record number of cases and Spanish health minister Salvador Illa warned that the spread of the virus is out of control in certain parts of his country.

Stocks received a boost, however, from the news of the first approved COVID-19 treatment, after Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:) received FDA approval on Thursday for its antiviral therapy Veklury (remdesivir) to treat the virus. The approval is for the use of remdesivir in adult and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older weighing at least 40 kilograms (around 88 pounds), the FDA said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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