Rise and shine, everyone, another busy day is on the way. This morning is getting off to a fabulous start, though, as a delightfully warm sun is enveloping the subdued Pharmalot campus, where the official mascot is anxiously awaiting a play date and the coffee kettle is whistling away. This, of course, means we are about to quaff another cup of stimulation — golden French toast is our choice du jour — for those tracking this sort of thing. Meanwhile, we have assembled some tidbits for your pleasure. So, time to get cracking. Hope you have a smashing day, and do stay in touch. We always enjoy your tips and insights. …
As head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, Eric Lander publicly promoted Covid-19 vaccination efforts while having a significant financial investment in one of the vaccine makers, Politico reports. Under the White House’s ethics agreement Lander signed, he had 90 days to divest stocks after Senate confirmation on May 28. He sold most in June — including stock in BioNTech (BNTX) — but waited until Aug. 5 to sell the remaining $500,000 to $1 million worth of stock. When Lander ultimately sold the stock 69 days after his confirmation, it was the company’s second-highest stock price ever at $404.92 a share, having shot up more than $50 a share from two days prior.
A foundation representing BioNTech is allegedly seeking to undermine a World Health Organization initiative to bring Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing to Africa, The BMJ reports. The kENUP Foundation, a consulting firm hired by the company, claimed that a WHO technology hub, which is creating a Covid-19 mRNA vaccine that African companies can make, is unlikely to be successful and will infringe on patents. Instead, documents show kENUP promoting a BioNTech proposal to ship mRNA factories housed in sea containers from Europe to Africa, initially staffed with BioNTech workers, and a proposed new regulatory pathway to approve vaccines made in these factories.
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