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Business is an intricate subject that I enjoy to partake in everyday. Economics and stock analysis are my greatest pastimes. For me, business is very straightforward. Numbers are supposed to crunch and if they don't, then something is wrong. My two favorite sectors are the consumer products and... More
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  • The Big Pharma race has begun

    On June 11th, the World Health Organization’s chief, Margaret Chang, declared the H1N1 virus outbreak a pandemic.  This is the world’s first global flu epidemic in 41 years. What the WHO is stressing is that while they have declared an epidemic, they are not stating that the virus has become more lethal. Instead, they are stating that the virus has become uncontrollable.

    The virus has already spread to more than 70 countries worldwide and fatalities have been reported. The WHO fears that soon it may mutate into a deadlier form of the virus. This declaration has lead leading drug companies around the world to begin production of a vaccine as soon as possible. Back in May, these companies received virus samples in order to begin preliminary work on a vaccine.  It was said, though, that any vaccine produced would not be available until October, at the earliest.

    On Friday, it was announced that Novartis AG, a pharmaceutical giant based in Switzerland, produced a batch for testing ahead of schedule and it expects to be able to meet the October date. Not wanting to be left behind, U.S company Baxter International also announced that it has begun full scale production of a H1N1 virus vaccine that could be ready for use as early as July.  These recent announcements have initiated a race between pharmaceutical giants which will decide who will come out with the first H1N1 shot.

    GlaxoSmithKline Plc, a British pharmaceutical giant, has said that it expects its first doses of its vaccine to be ready in 4 to 6 months. However, it has not prepared a seed strain ready for production which could take several weeks to complete. It will not stop producing its seasonal flu vaccine and will continue to do so even while producing the H1N1 vaccine. French Sanofi-Aventis S.A. and Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca Plc have also said that they don’t expect to have their vaccines ready before October.

    Australian based manufacturer CSL Limited is already preparing to test the vaccine on volunteers in order to assess how much antigen is needed in the shots as well as how many shots are needed in order to give recipients of the vaccine. The company then expects to have the shots ready for commercial use by mid-August.

    The truth is that it doesn’t matter who comes out with the first H1N1 shot because in the end they are all winners. Right now the world is in a state of worry, not panic, but it is concerned that virus could only mutate into something worse. Additionally several parts of the world are entering their winter seasons, and the WHO is worried that the cold could aggravate the situation. Countries have already ordered batches of these shots since the virus emerged, such as the U.S and the U.K, so these companies certainly aren’t without customers.

    All these companies will enjoy handsome profits from these orders in the coming months but the real question is: Who will earn the most and who will do it the best? Which company will be able to meet their demand, without overestimating it or underestimating?  Which one will properly manage their resources? And which will reward their shareholders the most?

    It’s your money you’re investing so choose wisely, you have a handful of giant pharmaceutical companies to choose from.

    Pick your favorite.

    Don’t miss out on the opportunity. 

    Jun 12 8:49 PM | Link | Comment!
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