The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending July 15, 2022, closed at 4,630.28 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was down -3.81% (or -183.22 basis points) from the week ending July 8, 2022. Thirteen of the 25 RDWI members gained value from 0.34% (Eli Lilly & Co.) to 3.23% (Roche Holdings AG). Twelve of the 25 RDWI members lost value last week from -0.03% (Johnson & Johnson) to -15.27% (Alibaba).
Developer of one of the first COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna, Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced last week that it is developing two potential COVID-19 booster shots targeting different Omicron subvariants. The company has completed requests for regulatory authorization of one of the booster shots in the European Union (EU), the UK and Australia. These booster shots target the ancestral strain of the coronavirus and the BA.1 Omicron subvariant. For the U.S. market, the company will develop a different dual-target booster which targets the ancestral strain and the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants. These subvariants now account for most new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which requested development of these new booster shots, may authorize these vaccines early based on studies of the booster shots that target the original Omicron strain.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported last week that the U.S. economy added tech jobs in June at a pace faster than before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but slower in some areas than in prior months this year. Jobs in computer and electronic products grew by 2,300 from May, which was down from an average of 2,800 in the prior five months of 2022. Analysts expect the U.S. economy to add 196,000 IT jobs in 2022, down from about 213,000 in 2021. Specifically, Twitter laid off 30% of its talent acquisition team last week, while Tesla laid off about 200 people. Netflix cut 3% of its workforce, while Amazon is cutting its hiring levels.
Chipmakers Global Foundries Inc., Santa Clara, California, and STMicroelectronics NV, Geneva, Switzerland, announced last week that they will team up to build a new semiconductor factory in Crolies, France. The companies expect to obtain financial support from the French government for a total investment of more than $5.7 billion. The plant should open in 2026 and create more than 1,000 jobs. The purpose of the plant is to make the EU less dependent on foreign chip suppliers. While the EU and the U.S. have leading companies that develop the technologies for manufacturing semiconductors, the actual manufacturing of these devices is primarily based in East Asia and Taiwan. The chips made in the new French plant will focus on applications for automotive, communications and industrial uses.
Israel announced last week that it is setting up the world’s first R&D center for quantum computing. The budget for this development is set at about $29 million which will be financed by the Israel Innovation Authority over a three-year period. The center will focus on all layers of hardware and software on superconducting qubits, cold ions and optic computers. Israel’s defense ministry will issue an additional tender to finance the development of quantum technologies for military use, which will cost an additional $29 million.
Research publisher Elsevier, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, last week announced the launch of a global collaboration which will assess the drivers of confidence in research, examine how researchers have experienced increased public attention on science during the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications these factors have had on the academic research community. The focus of this initiative will be to identify critical insights of 3,000 global researchers. The insights will be published free this coming Fall and used to create a set of actionable commitments and recommendations to support researchers in their efforts to advance knowledge.
Bavarian Nordic A/S, Copenhagen, last week announced that it has agreed to outsource production of monkeypox vaccines to a plant in the U.S. in a deal with the U.S. government aimed at increasing supply of the scarce vaccines. The company, which has been manufacturing the vaccines in Denmark agreed to supply 2.5 million doses to a U.S. contract manufacturer that will finish their production. Production is expected to begin by the Fall 2022 with the FDA being required to sign off on the process. This action adds to a previous order of 3 million doses to be delivered by early 2023. A total of 7 million doses are expected to be delivered by mid-2023.
Last week’s announcement of a 9.1% increase in the inflation rate in June 2022, will obviously impact the Federal Reserve’s July 26-27 meeting. Analysts are already considering the possibility of a large 0.75% or even 1.00% short-term interest rate hike next week. Most officials have publicly stated they favor a 0.75% rate increase and that a larger increase is over-acting, but still possible. A large interest rate increase would also still be possible at the Fed’s next (September 20-21) meeting.
Electronic market research firm Gartner Inc., Stamford, Connecticut, announced last week that personal computer sales had dropped 13% in the second quarter from their year-ago period, marking their steepest decline in nine years. A similar data provider International Data Corp. (IDC), Needham, Massachusetts, stated that the year-over-year decline in PC sales was about 15%.
R&D World’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in R&D. The top 25 industrial R&D spenders in 2020 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2020 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (10 companies), automotive (6 companies) and ICT (9 companies) who invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spent in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D World’s 2021 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D World Index are tabulated from NASDAQ, NYSE and OTC common stock prices for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the online publication of the R&D World Index.