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Good morning, everyone, and how are you today? We are doing just fine, thank you, despite the gloomy skies hovering over the muggy Pharmalot campus. After all, as the Morning Mayor taught us long ago: Every new day should be unwrapped like a precious gift. And in times like these, such notions resonate more broadly, yes? So let us proceed on the journey together with a nice cup of stimulation — maple bourbon is the choice today for those who are curious. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits. Hope all goes well, and do keep us in mind when something fascinating pops up. …

The scientist leading the Operation Warp Speed Covid-19 vaccine program will be allowed to remain a government contractor, a decision that permits him to avoid ethics disclosures required of federal employees and maintain his investments in drug makers, The New York Times writes. Two watchdog groups and some Democrats in Congress had called for the Department of Health and Human Services to require that  Moncef Slaoui, a venture capitalist and a former GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) executive, fall under the same ethics rules as federal employees.


China has approved an early-stage trial in humans of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine from BioNTech, according to its local partner Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical, Reuters writes. The potential vaccine is one of the two most advanced candidates that BioNTech (BNTX) is working on with Pfizer (PFE) and they received “fast track” status this week from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Fosun Pharma, which is  licensed to develop and commercialize Covid-19 vaccines by BioNTech, says a Phase I trial will start “as soon as possible once it is ready.”

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