Media Focus on Multinational Corporations






Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot Vaccine Safe in Trials: Report

Phase 1-2 trial of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate generates an immune response in patients receiving the shot.

Johnson & Johnsons  single-shot vaccine candidate has been shown to be safe and to generate a meaningful immune response in an early phase trial, according to a published report Wednesday.

A single shot of the vaccine gives sustainable antibodies,Dr. Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer at J&J, told CNBC. The results have given the company confidencethat the vaccine will be effective, Stoffels told CNBC.

The results of phase 1-2 trials were published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.



FDA warns of 'risk' in U.K. plan to delay 2nd Pfizer vaccine shots

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has suggested Britain's drug regulator may be gambling with public safety by expanding the time gap between administration of the first and second doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine beyond that proven safe and effective by trial data. The FDA warned in a statement on Monday that there was a 'potential for harm' if people believed they were protected against COVID-19 by a first dose of Pfizer's vaccine for longer than available data demonstrate.



Sanofi to buy UK biopharmaceutical group Kymab

Sanofi SA said Monday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire U.K.-based biopharmaceutical company Kymab for an upfront payment of about $1.1 billion.

The French pharmaceutical major said the deal also includes the payment of up to $350 million upon achievement of certain milestones.

The acquisition of Kymab--which focuses on the development of fully human monoclonal antibodies--would give Sanofi full global rights to the KY1005 monoclonal antibody, it said. The antibody can be used in the treatment of a range of immune and inflammatory diseases, according to Sanofi.



Amazon opens Alexa AI tech for the first time so car makers can build custom assistants

Amazon will now allow third-party companies the unprecedented privilege of accessing the core artificial intelligence underpinning its Alexa digital assistant, a first for the companys AI platform.

While Amazon has allowed companies to build skills for Alexa and allows pretty much any consumer electronic device maker to integrate Alexa into a compatible product, the e-commerce giant has not licensed the underlying AI tech for use in other assistant-like products. Amazon is calling the new offering Alexa Custom Assistant, and its starting out with a focus on the auto market.



Apple is temporarily closing more stores due to COVID-19

Apple will temporarily close more than 20 of its retail locations in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas as coronavirus cases continue to climb in those states. In an update on its website first spotted by Bloomberg, the company indicates five Apple Stores in Georgia, five in North Carolina and about a dozen in Texas wont be open to the public after they complete their regular hours on Friday evening. The closures include locations in major cities like Houston and Atlanta. If you left a device in for repair at one of those stores or have an appointment to pick up an online order, you can still visit them through to January 18th.

Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,a spokesperson for the company told Bloomberg. We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation, and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.

The move comes after Apple closed more than 50 retail locations in California due to the coronavirus pandemic last month. Separate from those concerns, the company has also temporarily shuttered its stores in the Washington DC area ahead of President-elect Joe Bidens inauguration next week.


Google's Alphabet has 22% upside and will be the top FANG stock in 2021, BofA says

Google's parent Alphabet is Bank of America's top FANG-stock pick for 2021.

In a note published Thursday a group of BofA analysts said that Google has a more diversified advertiser base than its tech peers and it's cloud business will be a 'significant growth driver' in the next two years.

The strategists see the stock exploding 22% in the future to $2,150. It's currently hovering trading around $1,734.


Ford announces closing of Brazil manufacturing operations

SAO PAULO -- Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the South American country where it has been operating since 1919.

The company said in a statement it will cease production immediately at the factories as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses.

Unions of two units that will be closed said around 4,800 workers between them are affected.


Verizon Teams Up With UPS to Deliver Packages With 5G Drones

Verizon Communications Inc. kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show on a virtual stage Monday, touting the ways 5G will change the world, including network-connected drones and football stadiums.

The company is working with United Parcel Service Inc. to test the use of 5G drones to deliver packages to a Florida retirement community, Verizon Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg said at the event. Joined by NFL hall-of-famer Deion Sanders and Commissioner Roger Goodell, Vestberg also said Verizon will equip 28 stadiums with 5G this year. The wireless technology will give fans added camera angles and provide teams with sideline communication services.



USA revokes licenses of Intel and others to supply chips to Huawei

Just when it seemed that things are finally lining up for Huawei, the company has been dealt with another major blow by the Trump administration in the United States. As per the report from Reuters, the Trump administration has notified the Chinese giant that it is revoking certain licenses granted to its suppliers, including Intel.

It doesnt stop just there. On top of that, it has also informed Huawei that the administration is planning to reject dozens of applications for licenses to supply components and services to Huawei.



Treasury quits bid to privatize Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

The Trump administration, which has a lot going on in its final days, is dropping its effort to return Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private hands, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The mortgage giants were put under government control when the bursting of the housing bubble triggered the financial crisis of 2008. Now the Biden administration must decide their future.



General Electric Claims Siemens Energy Won Contracts Due to Stolen Trade Secrets

General Electric filed a lawsuit against its power rival Siemens Energy on Thursday. The suit alleges that Siemens Energy used stolen trade secrets in order to win contracts to supply gas turbines and services to utilities.

GE's accusation centers around a confidential bid it made to supply gas turbine equipment and servicing to Dominion Energy. Allegedly, a Dominion Energy employee unlawfully sent technical details, pricing data, and information on how GE would service turbines to a Siemens account manager. According to the lawsuit, the Siemens manager then 'used GE's trade secrets to improve Siemens' own bid, ultimately winning a lucrative contract to provide gas turbine units and maintenance services in Virginia worth at least $225 million, and potentially as much as $340 million.'