Thursday, January 28, 2021

LATEST NEWS

MARKETS

Global Markets Start Week On Positive Note, Ethereum Rally In Focus

Major indices worldwide rose on Monday with President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion stimulus package in focus. Lawmakers from both parties are lobbying for a targeted relief bill. Futures: The Dow futures are up by 0.13%, and the S&P 500 futures are trading higher by 0.31% on the last check Monday. WTI crude futures are up by 0.63% to $52.60, while gold futures are trading lower by 0.24% at $1,851.80. Ten-year Treasury yield is flat at 1.091%. The VIX futures are down by 1.71% to 24.45.  Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin is trading higher by 1.7% at $33,264 on the last check, and Ethereum is up 4.83% at $1,408.45. Ethereum hit an all-time high of $1,480, and several other decentralized finance-based cryptocurrencies hit their all-time highs late Sunday in tandem. Asia: Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed higher by 0.67%, driven by pharma and power stocks. Bank of Japan’s policy-setting meeting minutes is due to release today. China’s Shanghai Composite index gained 0.48%, as China overtook the U.S. as the world’s leading destination for foreign direct investment. Consumer and material stocks drove the index higher. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed higher by 0.36%, as Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) and its partner BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX). Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rallied 2.41%, led by mainland investor buying. Tech stocks saw the most buying, with Tencent Holdings (OTC: TCEHY) leading the pack gaining 10.93%, followed by Geely Automobile Holding (OTC: GELYY) rising 5.6%. India’s Nifty 50 index is trading lower by 0.53%, driven by a fall in energy and infrastructure stocks. South Korea’s KOSPI rallied 2.18% as consumer and tech stock gains pushed the index higher. The nation’s Q4 GDP is due to release today. Europe: Euro Stoxx 50 is trading marginally higher by 0.05% at press time, with European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde’s speech in focus.  London’s FTSE 100 is trading lower by 0.07% at publication time. Airline stocks fell on Monday, with International Consolidated Airlines Group (OTC: ICAGY) shedding 6.9% on the last check. Germany’s DAX is down by 0.05% at press time after starting the day in the green. The nation’s business climate index for January fell to 90.1, missing the consensus of 91.8. France’s CAC 40 is trading down by 0.22%, led by financials and industrial stocks. Airbus SE (OTC: EADSY) is down 2.4% in Paris on the last check. Spain’s IBEX 35 is down 0.52% at publication time. Forex Trading: U.S. Dollar Index futures are up 0.04% to 90.248. The dollar has strengthened by 0.10% against the Euro, 0.07% against the Sterling Pound, and 0.02% against the Japanese Yen, but lost 0.02% against the Chinese Yuan. For news coverage in Italian or Spanish, check out Benzinga Italia and Benzinga España. © 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

FINANCE

Why There’s Still Need for Rapid Accessible Pathogen Testing, During and...

NEW YORK, Jan. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As the most at-risk people begin to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, we are all looking forward to a post-pandemic world. As we transition back to something closer to normal life, however, the importance of rapid detection of any pathogen that could be hazardous to human health will not be forgotten any time soon. This crisis spurred the development of virus and pathogen technologies that are not only invaluable for rapid detection and response to pandemic viruses but also for everyday use in the medical and food safety spaces and elsewhere. Developed by companies like Lexagene Hldgs Inc. (TSX-V: LXG) (OTC: LXXGF) (FRA:5XS2), Medmira Inc. (TSX-V: MIR) (OTC: MMIRF), Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ:CODX), 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), and Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), these technologies could continue to be game-changing in the post-pandemic world and possibly even help prevent future health crises. LexaGene's MiQLab Makes Testing Quick and Simple Massachusetts-based molecular diagnostics company Lexagene Hldgs Inc. (TSX-V: LXG) (OTCQB: LXXGF) (FRA:5XS2) has developed a fully automated system that makes the process of detecting pathogens quick and remarkably simple at the point-of-need where samples are collected. The technology can be used to detect viruses like COVID-19 or others, or for other purposes such as lab testing for food safety, veterinary diagnostics, and more. The company's founder and CEO Dr. Jack Regan developed the precursor to this technology while working for the Department of Homeland Security at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and LexaGene holds the exclusive license to sell the commercial version. LexaGene is calling its flagship product the MiQLab automated pathogen detection system, and the company says that the system could transform the way both human clinical diagnostics and veterinary diagnostics are conducted. The system uses multiplex testing to detect up to 27 targets at once. MiQLab is the first commercially available open-access multiplex PCR system of its kind, allowing users to receive lab-quality test results in approximately an hour at the point-of-need, without having to send samples away for testing. The system is designed for ease of use, allowing for operation by non-technical users with relatively little training required. MiQLab is designed for versatility. The system is ideal for use in a range of industries and tests can be onboarded quickly, allowing it to test for new pathogens as they emerge. This means that in addition to having a wide range of everyday uses, MiQLab is set up to be critical during this pandemic as new COVID variants appear, such as those identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and South Africa (B.1.351), and in the event of any new health crises that may occur in the future. On December 30th, LexaGene announced that the company has begun a series of studies required by the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) testing for its COVID-19 assay in a point-of-care (POC) environment using the MiQLab system. This development is notable because the majority of other testing systems that have been submitted for this designation can only be used by highly trained personnel, whereas MiQLab, with its simple usability, would allow for far faster and more accessible testing. "I'm excited we have progressed to the point where we have started our FDA study," Dr. Regan said in the company's release. "Our open-access technology is unlike any other on the market today, as it could be configured quickly to detect new variants, such as the recent UK variant (aka SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01)." Biotech Companies Look to Develop Rapid Testing Methods Co-Diagnostics Inc. (NASDAQ: CODX) has developed the Logix Smart COVID-19 test kit. The test uses a single step real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction process in lower and upper respiratory tract fluids to detect the ribonucleic acid from the form SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in patients who meet the clinical criteria for COVID-19. 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) has been in the spotlight since the start of the pandemic for several of its medical and personal protective equipment products. In July, the company announced that it was working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create an antigen test for COVID-19. The company's priority was to improve the speed, accessibility, and affordability of testing for the virus. On December 30th, Canadian biotechnology company Medmira Inc. (TSXV: MIR) (OTC:MMIRF) unveiled an improved version of the company's REVEALCOVID-19 Total Antibody Test that Medmira claims accurately detects antibodies against both the Nucleocapsid and Spike regions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This test confirms the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in vaccinated individuals. In the early months of the pandemic, Abbott Labs (NYSE: ABT) was one of the first companies to develop specialized testing for COVID-19 and receive emergency use authorization from the FDA. Today, the company markets several COVID tests, including its BinaxNOW rapid point-of-care test. While it's tempting to look ahead to a world where COVID-19 is no longer a concern, the need for rapid testing is not going away anytime soon. This is ensuring near-term demand for products like LexaGene's MiQLab, and the system's many other applications will likely keep that demand going long after the crisis. Click here to find out more about LexaGene. Subscribe Now! 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TECHNOLOGY

Vontier Schedules Fourth Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call

RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Vontier Corporation (“Vontier”) (NYSE: VNT) announced today that it will webcast its earnings conference call for the fourth quarter 2020 on Thursday, February 11, 2021 beginning at 8:00 a.m. ET. The earnings call and an accompanying slide presentation will be webcast on the "Investors" section of Vontier’s website, www.vontier.com, under "Events & Presentations." A replay of the webcast will be available at the same location after the conclusion of the presentation. You can access the conference call by dialing +1 833-614-1510 within the U.S. or +1 918-922-6514 outside the U.S. a few minutes before 8:00 a.m. ET and notifying the operator that you are dialing in for Vontier’s earnings conference call (access code 2491779). A replay of the conference call will be available shortly after the conclusion of the call. You can access the conference call replay under the Investors / Events and Presentations section of www.vontier.com or by dialing +1 855-859-2056 within the U.S. or +1 404-537-3406 outside the U.S. (access code 2491779). Vontier’s earnings press release, the webcast slides and other related presentation materials will be posted to the "Investors" section of Vontier’s website under "Quarterly Results.” Vontier is now in its “quiet period.” This quiet period will be in place until fiscal fourth quarter 2020 earnings are released on February 11, 2021. During this time, Vontier will not be interacting with the investment community. ABOUT VONTIER Vontier is a global industrial technology company focused on transportation and mobility solutions. The company’s portfolio of trusted brands includes market-leading expertise in mobility technologies, retail and commercial fueling, fleet management, telematics, vehicle diagnostics and repair, and smart cities end-markets. Vontier’s innovative products, services, and software advance efficiency, safety, security, and environmental compliance worldwide. Guided by the proven Vontier Business System and an unwavering commitment to continuous improvement and customer success, Vontier keeps traffic flowing through more than 90,000 intersections, serves more than 260,000 customer fueling sites, monitors more than 480,000 commercial vehicles, and equips over 600,000 auto technicians worldwide. Vontier’s history of innovation, margin profile, and cash flow characteristics are expected to support continued investment across a spectrum of compelling organic and capital deployment growth opportunities. Vontier is mobilizing the future to create a better world.

INSIGHTS

BANKING

PEOPLE

Sony Electronics Launches KOOV Academy to Support Teachers with STEAM Education

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics Inc. announces the launch of KOOV Academy in partnership with UC San Diego Education Studies Department. This program supports educators as they implement STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) programs in the...

OPINION

POLITICS

Alabama Nonprofit Partners with Huntsville Genetics Company to Cure Blinding Diseases

In an effort to help medical researchers develop new treatments and cures for blinding eye diseases, Advancing Sight Network and Kailos Genetics created the OcularGeneScreen®, a new genetic screening panel, to be used with eye tissue from post-mortem eye donors. The screening will help determine which genes are associated with eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, and Fuch's Dystrophy. "These diseases cause a huge decline in quality of life for so many people," says Dr. Gregory Grossman, Advancing Sight Network's Chief Scientific Officer. "By identifying the genes involved, we're taking a huge step forward in being able to find cures." Advancing Sight Network is a nonprofit organization that has served Alabama for more than 50 years. In addition to providing eye tissue for corneal transplants, the organization created the Precision Ocular Biobank in 2019 to invest in medical research. "Our goal is to restore eyesight," says Dr. Grossman. "For the grandparent who can no longer see their grandchild's face or the person who's lost their independence due to incurable vision loss, the development of a cure brings hope for a bright future." Kailos Genetics, a biotechnology company based in Huntsville, provides innovative genetic screenings that help people determine their risk for certain diseases like cancer. IndustryWired recently named Kailos Genetics one of the top 8 precision medicine companies in the USA. "Our mission is to enable clinical research teams to make advances that impact the health of individuals," says Troy Moore, Chief Scientific Officer for Kailos Genetics. "Kailos' TargetRich™ assay development platform combines flexible design and rapid development with the unparalleled insights gained from deep sequencing." The research is funded by a generous grant from the Huntsville-based Alpha Foundation, whose goal is to improve the human condition through grants to educational, scientific and charitable organizations. The bottom line, says Dr. Grossman, is finding cures and making them available as quickly as possible. "We want to help people see again. We want the person who is diagnosed with AMD to have hope. We don't want anyone to lose their livelihood or their independence because of vision loss. Ultimately, that's what this project is about." Not only will the project potentially help over 150,000 people in Alabama who are affected by irreversible vision loss, these two Alabama organizations could be part of bringing cures to more than 200 million people worldwide affected by these diseases. Contact: Candice Lee, [email protected] SOURCE Advancing Sight Network Related Links https://advancingsight.org

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