When entering the site and if cookies are prevented from being saved, a message must be displayed
in a popup message box informing the user that their local browser settings are preventing
cookies from being saved and that cookies are required for the site to work. Exact text
to be provided for UAT. On OK click of the message, the user should be redirected to
the global landing page (currently ssga.com).
Drug Companies Are Rushing to Develop Treatments for COVID-19
Earlier this month, the White House met with biopharma executives to identify a path for developing therapies for COVID-19. Below are some key learnings coming out of that meeting, as well as some insights from State Street’s pharma and biotech experts.
A Unique Challenge
It appears that COVID-19 is more transmissible than flu/SARS and can have very muted symptoms, which further complicates understanding of fatality and transmission rates. Urgent current concerns about COVID-19 come from lack of treatment options, higher initial mortality rates, asymptomatic presentation, and worse survival outcomes for older people with underlying respiratory and other comorbidities (diabetes, cardiovascular etc.).
Antivirals are normally the first line of defense (for example, HIV is controlled with antivirals), followed by monoclonal antibodies (man-made antibodies made from cloned human immune cells), and finally vaccines developed to prevent future outbreaks.
Antiviral drugs will deliver some late-stage clinical data in a few weeks from trials that are ongoing in China. Gilead Sciences’ Remdesivir, originally developed for Ebola, is an example of an antiviral drug. The goal with an antiviral drug is to reduce the intensity and duration of the infection (which is particularly important as healthcare systems become overwhelmed), but they are not a cure or a prevention. The advantage of antivirals is that they could potentially be brought to market relatively quickly. Remdesivir’s initial trial results are due in April.
Novel vaccines for COVID-19 are currently under development (see table) and are still in early stages of clinical enrolment and trials. In a pandemic situation, the FDA works very closely with companies to bring products to market rapidly – but the FDA also has to closely monitor the safety of these products because they may be rapidly adopted and widely used.
The biopharma industry is fully engaged in finding a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will take at least 8 to 12 months to develop a vaccine. Most companies are developing vaccines using traditional approaches, and some are using a messenger RNA (mRNA) approach based on the body’s natural protein synthesis processes. mRNA approaches also simplify manufacturing and help clinical trials start sooner; they would also bring the product to the market sooner. Yet the industry may not ultimately be successful in the endeavour. Our belief is that treatments will come in the form of a cocktail of therapies for patients with initial use of antivirals and antibodies, followed by vaccines as they come to the market.
State Street’s Fundamental Growth & Core Equity team takes a long-term perspective and is focused on quality, sustainable growth companies. We have held positions in several of the companies listed in the table for some time based on their long-term fundamentals, including their overall development pipeline and portfolio of drugs as well as their specific relevance to COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment. From an investment perspective, we are mindful of the continued uncertainty of the situation but are also looking at opportunities that the market dislocation has created, always with an eye on long-term fundamentals.
Table: COVID-19 Therapeutic Development Overview
Source: State Street Global Advisors.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security. It does not take into account any investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status or investment horizon. You should consult your tax and financial advisor. The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without State Street Global Advisors’ express written consent.
The views expressed in this material are the views of Shalabh Gupta through 19 March 2020 and are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This document contains certain statements that may be deemed forward looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. The whole or any part of this work may not be reproduced, copied or transmitted or any of its contents disclosed to third parties without SSGA’s express written consent.
All information is from SSGA unless otherwise noted and has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy is not guaranteed. There is no representation or warranty as to the current accuracy, reliability or completeness of, nor liability for, decisions based on such information and it should not be relied on as such.
The information provided does not constitute investment advice as such term is defined under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (2014/65/EU) and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell any investment. It does not take into account any investor’s or potential investor’s particular investment objectives, strategies, tax status, risk appetite or investment horizon. If you require investment advice you should consult your tax and financial or other professional advisor.
Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Investing involves risk including the risk of loss of principal.
The trademarks and service marks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners. Third party data providers make no warranties or representations of any kind relating to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the data and have no liability for damages of any kind relating to the use of such data.
This information is for informational purposes only, not to be construed as investment advice or a recommendation or offer to buy or sell any security. Investors should always obtain and read an up-to-date investment services description or prospectus before deciding whether to appoint an investment manager or to invest in a fund. Any views expressed herein are those of the author(s), are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may make different investment decisions for different clients. There are no guarantees regarding the achievement of investment objectives, target returns, portfolio construction, allocations or measurements such as alpha, tracking error, stock weightings and other information ratios. The views and strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. SSGA does not provide tax or legal advice. Prospective investors should consult with a tax or legal advisor before making any investment decision. Investing entails risks and there can be no assurance that SSGA will achieve profits or avoid incurring losses.
Performance quoted represents past performance, which is no guarantee of future results. Investment return and principal value will fluctuate, so you may have a gain or loss when shares are sold. Current performance may be higher or lower than that quoted.
Images of NYSE Group, Inc. are used with permission of NYSE Group, Inc. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies sponsor, approve of or endorse the contents of this program. Neither NYSE Group, Inc. nor its affiliated companies recommend or make any representation as to possible benefits from any securities or investments.