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Top of the morning to you, and a fine one it is. Once again, clear blue skies and cool breezes are enveloping the Pharmalot campus, where the short person is hovering over a laptop and the fast-growing official mascot is unsuccessfully chasing squirrels. As for us, we are engaged in our usual ritual of heating the coffee kettle to concoct cups of stimulation. Once again, we are enjoying glazed doughnut. One can never be too sweet, yes? Meanwhile, here are some items of interest for you. Have a smashing day and do keep in touch. …

Moncef Slaoui, a venture capitalist and a former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) executive who was tapped to lead the Trump administration Covid-19 vaccine effort, has spent the last several days trying to disentangle his stock portfolio and his intricate ties to pharmaceutical interests, The New York Times reports. But some ethics and financial securities experts voiced concerns about the arrangement he struck with the administration. In agreeing to accept the position, Slaoui did not come on board as a government employee, but on a contract, receiving $1 for his service.


AstraZeneca (AZN) received a pledge of up to $1.2 billion from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop a Covid-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford, Reuters says. The drug maker agreed to supply at least 300 million doses to the U.S., with deliveries starting as early as October 2020. The company expects to initially supply 400 million doses this fall to the U.K. government, which provided $80 million toward development, and has secured total manufacturing capacity to produce 1 billion doses.

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