Good morning, everyone, and welcome to another working week. We hope the weekend respite was somehow relaxing and invigorating, because what has become a predictable routine of Zoom and Skype calls has, of course, now returned. This calls for our ritual coping mechanism — a delicious cup or three of stimulation. We are reaching, once again, for maple bourbon. Feel free to join us. Remember: No prescription is required. So you can avoid tallying rebates. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits to get you going. Have a grand day, and stay safe….
The U.S. is tying payments for Covid-19 vaccines to timing milestones for production and approval, Reuters reports. In a $1.5 billion deal with Moderna (MRNA), federal agencies negotiated a sliding scale of payments in which the company receives the funds in full if its vaccine receives regulatory clearance by Jan. 31, 2021, $1.2 billion if it falls short of that timing. Payments to other drug makers are also conditioned on launching clinical trials no later than early fall and building out manufacturing capabilities by the end of the year.
The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis has launched an investigation into potential conflicts of interest concerning contracts issued by the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed to boost vaccine research and have hundreds of millions of doses ready by early next year. “We see some things that indicate that there may be some insider stuff going on that’s benefiting one or two people without regard to what we’re really trying to do,” Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who is the House Majority Whip, tells CNBC.