The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending April 29, 2022, closed at 4,738.51 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was down -2.01% (or -97.21 basis points) from the week ending April 22, 2022. Nine of the 25 RDWI members gained value from 0.82% (Astra Zeneca PLC) to 12.26% (Alibaba). Sixteen of the 25 RDWI members lost value from -0.59% (Johnson & Johnson) to -6.41% (Ford Motor Co.).
RDW Index member AstraZeneca PLC, Cambridge, U.K., announced last week that it plans to open a new strategic R&D center in Kendall Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The site will also serve as the new corporate headquarters of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, its subsidiary that the company acquired in July 2021. The 570,000 ft2 space is scheduled to be completed in 2026 and expected to house 1,500 R&D, commercial and corporate personnel in a single purpose-built space. AstraZeneca also has U.K. facilities in Cambridge, Macclesfield, Alderley Edge, Luton and Speke. The company invested about $5.3 billion in R&D in 2020.
NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia — the oldest of NASA’s field centers being founded under the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) in 1917 — last week announced the opening of its first new laboratory in three decades. The new $95.6 million Measurement Systems Laboratory (MSL) building includes sensor and antenna technologies developed for critical work on Langley’s personal air vehicles programs, as well as testing systems to further refine Langley’s computer models of aerodynamic flow and heating. These models have already led to the development of a supersonic passenger plane prototype without large sonic booms. The MSL will support three key NASA missions: 1) landing space craft safely and mapping the Moon and Mars; 2) finding more efficient and safer ways to operate aircraft on Earth and 3) understanding Earth’s atmosphere and climate.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved a pill developed by RDW Index member Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), New York City, that is the first to treat people with the most common generic heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM causes heart muscles to thicken excessively and make it difficult for the heart to pump blood. HCM affects about 1 in 500 people. The approved drug, Camzyos, was part of BMS’s $13.1 billion acquisition of MyoKardia in 2020. Before Camzyos, HCM patients relied on beta blockers and even surgery to remove the thickened muscles.
The CEO of RDW Index member Intel, Santa Clara, California, Pat Gelsinger last week stated that the current chip shortage will last longer than the 2023 he previously forecast and now will last into 2024. Reasons for this delay include shortages in the availability of the equipment used to manufacture the chips. Also, if the current COVID-19 lockdowns in China persist, that could further exacerbate the equipment deliveries, according to Gelsinger.
A fire at the Central Research Institute for Air and Space Defense of the Russian Defense Ministry, Tver, last week claimed 17 researchers and took a full day to extinguish. The research institute was involved in the development of state-of-the-art Russian weapons systems, including the Iskander missile. The cause of the fire was not immediately revealed.
Developer of one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., Moderna, Cambridge, Massachusetts, last week submitted a request to the FDA for authorization to use its vaccine in children 6 months to 5 years old. COVID-19 cases in children tend to be milder than in adults, but there have been severe cases and deaths. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is approved by the FDA for anyone five years and older.
The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) last week released data stating that the U.S. economy shrank at an annual -1.4% rate in the first quarter (January to March 2022). The drop is a sharp reversal of the 6.9% growth seen in the fourth quarter of 2021. Analysts expect this data to have no effect on the federal reserve’s current plan to raise short-term interest rates by 0.5% (to a range of 0.75% to 1.0%) at its next meeting on May 3-4.
General Electric Co., Boston, warned last week that its business could be pressured by supply-chain disruptions this year. The company stated that its full 2022 results could come in at the low end of predictions it issued in January. GE invested $5.4 billion in R&D in 2020. The company is in the initial stages of splitting itself into three separate companies — healthcare, aviation and renewables.
RDW Index member Microsoft, Redmond, Washington, noted last week that its first quarter revenue and profits rose as demand for its cloud services and software continued to climb due to remote work-from-home actions which were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has also announced a strong sales outlook for 2Q 2022. The company is still second to Amazon in the cloud arena, but it continues to gain market share.
Global food corporation Cargill Inc., Minnetonka, Minnesota, announced last week that it was expanding and renovating its Global Animal Nutrition Innovation Center in Elk River, Minnesota. This site serves as a hub for the company’s global network of 15 animal nutrition research and technology application centers, along with R&D sites in Veldriell, The Netherlands and Changgrong, China. The $50 million Elk River R&D investment will include a new dairy innovation unit, a new feed mill and a new laboratory for nutrient R&D.
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 2019 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.