Skip to main content

AstraZeneca; Covid Vaccine 70% Effective

Covid-19 vaccine

Just after biotech companies Moderna and Pfizer posted successful results of the trials for their Covid-19 vaccine candidates, the Swedish-British biotech giant AstraZeneca has followed suit, revealing that its Covid-19 vaccine candidate which was developed in partnership with Oxford University showed an average efficacy of 70%. 

AstraZeneca conducted tests on over 23,000 participants from the UK and Brazil, whereby each candidate was aged 18 years or above and selected from 'diverse racial and geographic groups'.

From the 23,000 participants, AstraZeneca recorded 131 Covid-19 cases in its trials. About half of the 23,000 participants were administered with the company's vaccine candidate as is usually done while the other half were administered dummy injections. 

From the half who where administered the vaccine, 2,741 persons were given a half-dose initially followed by a full-dose at least one month part, and showed efficacy rates of 90%. The other set, 8,895 in number, were given two full doses at least one month apart and showed an efficacy rate of 62%. Combined, an average efficacy of 70% was recorded by AstraZeneca.

AstaZeneca says it'll now apply for approval from health agencies around the globe, beginning with an Emergency Use request from the World Health Organization to ensure availability to low-income countries. The company hasn't yet finalized its tests and expects to enroll up to 60,000 test participants globally.

Currently, AstraZeneca is also running vaccine trials in the US, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya and Latin America. In the end, the company says it's arranged manufacturing capacity of up to 3 billion vaccine doses next year, whereas its vaccine can be transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2-8 degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months. 


Most Read Posts

Medtronic Backs Former CEO's $750M SPAC

Medtronic, the publicly-traded medical devices giant, has backed a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) set up by its former CEO Omar Ishrak who's also the current Chairman of the chipmaker Intel. Compute Health Acquisition Corp is a new SPAC formed by Ishrak and has filed to raise $750 million from investors. In its filing , Compute Health indicated that Medtronic has expressed interest to purchase 1.5 million share units for a price of $15 million and may later determine to purchase even more than that. Compute Health  Acquisition Corp  is offering 75 million shares for $10 each and has drawn interest from Medtronic to purchase 2% of the shares it's issuing. With the SPAC boom over the past year and the prowess of its founder Omar Ishrak, it looks like  Compute Health won't struggle to raise the entire $750 million. Apart from Ishrak, other people involved with  Compute Health  Acquisition Corp include  Medtronic executive Jean Nehme and hedge fund manager Joshua F

Vista Buys Wrike For $800M, Flips For $2.25B To Citrix

In 2018, the tech-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the project management software company Wrike for a reported $800 million. Now, just under three years later, it's flipped the company for a price of $2.25 billion, nearly triple what it paid for it. The software giant Citrix was the acquirer. Citrix has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wrike for $2.25 billion in cash, clinching a sweet profit for Vista. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Wrike as a company was founded in 2006 and bootstrapped for a few years before taking venture funding later on. Prior to being acquired by Vista in an $800 million deal, the company had raised a relatively paltry  $26 million in venture funding. With a big exit to Vista, it continued to grow and ended 2020 with a $140 million annual run rate and says it expects a 30% jump to between $180 million and $190 million this year. To help fund Wrike's acquisiti

Mercedes-Benz Unveils New Electric SUV

The German premium auto brand Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a new all-electric SUV, the EQA . It's an electric SUV that bears resemblance to the popular GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs. It's priced starting at 47,540 euros ($57,550) in Germany and expected to go on sale in the first half of 2021. The EQA is the smallest electric SUV to be unveiled by Mercedes-Benz. Its specifications and features include; 265 miles (426km) of range for the standard EQA 250 option Output -  188 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds Drag coefficient of 0.28 Lithium-ion battery with 200 cells, DC fast charging Assisted driving Both in its exterior and interior, the EQA bears much resemblance to the GLA brand of Mercedes-Benz SUVs but in its case is all-electric. It seems ideal for customers that prefer the GLA vehicles but are looking to switch to an eco-friendly option. The EQA is the second electric SUV unveiled by Mercedes-Benz after the EQC , which like the EQA bore res

Uber Trims Postmates Workforce; CEO To Depart

After acquiring its rival food delivery app Postmates in December, Uber appears to have moved to trim the company's workforce as it consolidates its operations. The company laid off 185 Postmates staff on Thursday,  The New York Times reports , with the layoffs being part of a broader shift that'll also see most of Postmates' executive team depart, including its CEO Bastian Lehmann. According to the Times, some Postmates vice presidents and other executives will leave with multi-million-dollar exit compensation packages whereas some rank and file employees may see reduced compensation packages. The 185 laid-off employees sum up to 15% of Postmates' total headcount. As it looks, while Uber has said that Postmates will remain a separate brand, much of the infrastructure behind the food delivery service and Uber's own Uber Eats service will be run by Uber's long-time Vice President of Delivery,  Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty .  The most noteworthy news from the Times&

Databricks Raising Funds At $27B Valuation: Report

Databricks is a well-known data analytics company that grew out of the  AMPLab big data project at the University of California, Berkeley. It's a venture-backed company, with just shy of $900 million  raised in total and a valuation of $6.2 billion from its last funding round in October 2019. Now, it seems that Databricks is about to more than quadruple its private valuation. The company is in talks with investors to raise a new funding round at a valuation of $27 billion, reports tech journalist Eric Newcomer . It's said that buy-side public investors seem to be the ones in talks to invest in Databricks at a $27 billion valuation, not surprising given that Databricks is likely on its way to a public listing. As it looks, the company may raise the last round before it goes public, wherein investors would want to buy in at the last moment at a high valuation. With a $27 billion valuation, Databricks would make its mark as one of the highest-valued private software companies glo

EV Charging Company EVgo To Go Public

EVgo, a company that operates a network of fast charges for electric vehicles in the US, has sealed a deal to go public through a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Climate Change Crisis Real Impact I Acquisition Corporation. The merger will hand over $575 million in cash to EVgo for its operations and value the company at $2.6 billion. EVgo is the latest company from the electric vehicle industry to seal a deal to hit the public markets. The company is itself a subsidiary of LS Power, an employee-owned and independent power and energy company in the US. For its merger, EVgo will get $230 million in cash held in trust by the SPAC it's merging with plus an additional $400 million committed by private investors including PIMCO, BlackRock, and Wellington Management. The merger will see EVgo start trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). EVgo is a major electric vehicle charging network in the US, with more than 800 locations across 34 states. The company

Electric Car Startup Rivian Raises Fresh $2.65B Round

Just six months after closing a funding round of $2.5 billion , the electric car startup Rivian has closed a fresh funding round of $2.65 billion led by T. Rowe Price Associates, with participation from Fidelity, Amazon, Coatue, and D1 Capital Partners.  The new round reportedly values Rivian at a whopping $27.6 billion, making it the most valuable electric car startup globally even before delivering its first product. With the round, Rivian has now raised a total of $8 billion in venture funding since the start of 2019, an unprecedented amount for a private auto company of its kind.  With two vehicles in the pipeline set to be launched this year, the  R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV, Rivian has apparently raised a new big round to strengthen its push into a competitive electric car market. The company is targeting US deliveries of its R1T pickup in June and for its R1S SUV in August. As it's set to launch its cars, Rivian will be heading into a competitive and increasingly cro

Tastytrade Sells For $1B; 2nd Big Exit For Founder

Tastytrade is a popular platform that provides financial media and content for investors and traders as well as provides a platform for its users to trade options and derivatives. Now, it's the latest fintech startup to head for a big exit with a $1 billion sale to the British electronic trading company IGN Group. Tastytrade will be joining IGN in a deal valued at $1 billion net of cash held by Tastytrade. The price is split into $300 million in cash and the remainder with IGN stock. It represents a lucrative exit for Tastytrade which is backed by some $47 million in venture funding. Apparently, IGN, a British company that provides options and derivatives trading and brokerage services for professional investors, is betting that the appeal of retail investors that Tastytrade targets will boost its business. It's agreed to pay a big $1 billion for a company with more than 105,000 active trading accounts that'll then fall under its control. Tastytrade's $1 billion sale r

Chinese AI Startup 4Paradigm Raises $700M

4Paradigm is a well-known venture-backed AI startup that was founded by former executives as the Chinese search giant Baidu. Now, the company has announced  that it's raised a fresh funding round of $700 million led by three investors; Boyu Capital, Primavera Capital, and HOPU Investments.  Other participants such as Sequoia Capital, Goldman Sachs, Mubadala, and the China-UAE Joint Investment Fund chipped into the new funding round for 4Paradigm. With its new round, 4Paradigm will work to expand its business. The company has now raised a total of over $1 billion in funding to carve a lucrative market share in the AI software market for itself. 4Paradigm provides a suite of AI software for enterprises. It's one of the fastest-rising Chinese AI startups, having been founded only six years ago.  With its new funding round, 4Paradigm has cemented its place as one of the highest-funded AI startups globally, a status that makes the company an ideal one to watch out for. 

Microsoft, Honda Back GM's Cruise In Fresh $2B Round

A group of investors including the software giant Microsoft and the automaker Honda have participated in a $2 billion round for Cruise, a well-known self-driving company controlled by the automaker General Motors (GM). Both companies participated along with GM and other unnamed institutional investors, with the round valuing Cruise at $30 billion post-money. The fresh $2 billion investment cements Cruise's position as one of the highest-funded autonomous driving companies. With the new round, Cruise has now raised a whopping $7.3 billion in venture funding since it was founded. Under the terms of the investment, Cruise and its parent General Motors have entered into a commercial partnership with Microsoft to work towards the commercialization of self-driving vehicles. To that, Microsoft's Azure cloud will be adopted as the primary cloud provider for  Cruise and General Motors '  self-driving efforts. Another participant in the new round, Honda, already had a working relatio