Ask The Rational Investor: American Spirit Responds to Virus
Rays of American ingenuity are slipping through the coronavirus clouds, as our great country proves resilient. Our nation’s strong community values are evident everywhere you look: frontline medical staff, scientists creating tests and vaccines, and local companies like Gervasi Vineyard changing operations to produce hand sanitizer. These community values are also evident in the hundred’s of millions of our ordinary citizens who are obeying the social distancing guidelines.
The war on COVID-19 reminds us of Rosie the Riveter, and stories of neighbors helping neighbors in any way possible. Focusing on your comrade’s kindness and grit, rather than the many negatives of the nightly news, will help alleviate anxiety in today’s uncertain world.
Many great publicly traded companies are also leading the fight against COVID-19 in testing, treatment, and potential vaccine efforts. Companies that come to mind include: Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Roche Holdings (RHHBY), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), among others.
For 130+ years, Abbott has been a leader in healthcare in critical areas, such as diabetes management, with devices such as the FreeStyle Libre and cardiac-rhythm-management devices with the world’s smallest pacemaker, Assurity MRI. It doesn’t come as a surprise, then, that such an innovative company announced this past week that they received emergency use from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a COVID-19 test that can produce results in 5 to 13 minutes, which will be instrumental in helping frontline workers stay safe.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, a high-flying biotechnology company that gained notoriety for fighting Ebola, believes they may have a treatment for Coronavirus with one of their products called Kevzara, a joint effort with Sanofi. Kevzara is currently being tested with critically ill patients in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, and Russia, and will start testing in the U.S. shortly.
Johnson & Johnson also announced this week that they have identified a lead COVID-19 vaccine candidate, and they expect to start clinical studies in September 2020, and hopefully have a vaccine available for emergency use in early 2021.
In Columbus, Ohio Battelle and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have received FDA permission to process up to 80,000 masks per machine, per day, which will allows for N95 respirator masks to be reused.
The current recession and pandemic is one of the most emotional time periods for our nation in recent history. Think carefully about your long-term goals prior to making any changes.
Sources: Abbott Laboratories, Johnson and Johnson, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals