The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending December 16, 2022, closed at 2,390.26 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was down -1.45% (or 35.17 basis points) from the week ending December 9, 2022. Three of the 25 RDWI members gained value during the past week from 0.39% (Merck & Co.) to 11.17% (Sanofi SA). Twenty-two of the 25 RDWI members lost value last week from -0.04% (Johnson & Johnson) to -8.04% (Ford Motor Co.).
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced last week that it was adding Yangtze Memory Technologies Co., Wuhan, China, to an export blacklist, calling the company a threat to the national security of the U.S. YMTC makes flash memory chips and has become increasingly competitive with non-Chinese manufacturers, including Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc., and South Korean Samsung Electronics Co. The export blacklist requires companies to obtain a license from the DOC before selling any goods or services to companies on the list. YMTC and 30 other Chinese companies were added to the DOC’s unverified list in October. Other Chinese companies added to the blacklist last week included Cambricon Technologies Corp., China Electronics Technology Group Corp; and several research institutes that the DOC said tried to acquire U.S. technology to support China’s military.
Start-up CubicPV Inc., Lexington, Massachusetts, has announced that it plans to build a semiconductor photovoltaic wafer plant in the U.S. by 2025. CubicPV is backed by Investor Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Kirkland, Washington, and First Solar Inc., Tempe, Arizona. The location of the plant should be determined in January 2023 with construction starting in 2023. This initiative will bring a small portion of solar PV wafer manufacturing back to the U.S., as 97% of them are currently manufactured in China. The plant’s production will be supported by the clean-energy legislation passed in August which is expected to make their output competitive with other manufacturers.
Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California, announced last week that it is purchasing Horizon Therapeutics PLC, Lake Forest, Illinois, for $28 billion. The deal is expected to bring Horizon’s portfolio of rare disease drugs to Amgen, which are projected to generate $3.6 billion in sales in 2022 and $5.8 billion in 2027, according to FactSet. Amgen stated that it will use its expertise in manufacturing complex biological drugs and its global sales infrastructure to increase Horizon’s drug sales by treating more patients in the U.S. and expanding sales internationally. To perform this acquisition, Amgen is expected to substantially increase its debt balance sheet which was more than $37 billion in 3Q 2022.
Advent International, Boston, agreed last week to purchase Maxar Technologies, Westminster, Colorado, for about $4 billion. Maxar owns and operates a constellation of satellites that allow it to collect detailed images from space. These images are used by government intelligence and defense and power Google Maps. Images in the news of the battlefield in Ukraine are often provided by Maxar. Advent has invested $28 billion in defense, security, and cybersecurity over the past three years. Advent plans to launch a new constellation of imaging satellites.
It was reported last week that the Cruise driver-less car unit of RDW Index member General Motors, Detroit, is being investigated by the government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for incidents involving crashes of the Cruise vehicles. GM said that Cruise vehicles have logged nearly 700,000 miles of fully autonomous operation in a complex urban environment with no life-threatening injuries or fatalities. The NHTSA said it has received incident information on 242 vehicles in the Cruise fleet.
India announced last week that it plans to transform a vast tract of marshland in India’s western state of Gujarat into a $20 billion semiconductor fabrication plant to be built by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Technology Group (also known as Foxconn) Taipei, Taiwan, which already manufactures Apple iPhones in India. The initiative will be performed with Vedanta Group, London. The Foxconn-Vedanta deal represents the largest corporate investment in India and its first privately owned semiconductor fabrication plant. Construction on the plant is scheduled to begin in 2023 with operations beginning in 2025. India also stated that it plans to launch a future labs project to channel R&D capital for semiconductor and deep technology metal-oxide semiconductors. This initiative is part of a future design and future skills program to be created at Reva University in Bengaluru.
COVID-19 vaccine developer Moderna, Cambridge, Massachusetts, announced last week that a customized vaccine helped ward off the recurrence of melanoma in a mid-stage clinical trial. The combination of Moderna’s personalized cancer vaccine and RDW index member Merck & Co., Rahway, New Jersey, Keytruda cancer immunotherapy reduced patients’ risk of relapse or death by about 44% versus Keytruda alone. These results have not yet been reviewed by independent scientists.
The U.K. government announced last week that it is putting £110 million ($134 million) into support of 5G and 6G-related telecom R&D. The funding will include $34 million that will be shared by the University of York, the University of Bristol, and the University of Surrey to team up with Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung to work out what it will take to design and build as-yet-unstandardized future networks like 6G, with a focus on support for a more diverse and innovative telecoms market and an end to current network setups where all equipment within a network must be from a single supplier. The government will also put aside nearly $100 million into a new telecom lab being built in Solihull in the West Midlands, U.K., which will be a secure research facility where work on research and testing of 5G and future 6G security mechanisms can be tested.
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.