Alibaba founder Jack Ma loses 2 billion euros for the delay of the IPO of Ant, the Chinese fintech destined to break all records - Alibaba founder Jack Ma has lost about 3,000 million dollars (2,600 million euros) of the value of his fortune, according to the Bloomberg millionaires index, due to the delay in the IPO of Ant, the financial arm of Alibaba that caused falls of 10% of the Chinese e-commerce giant.
Alibaba has a third of the shares of Ant Group, and Jack Ma has a 4.2% of the shares of Alibaba, with a value of approximately 775,500 million dollars (660,000 million euros).
Ant Group, one of the most innovative fintechs in the World owner of the Alipay payment system, which uses more than 1,000 million customers, mostly in China, intended to put on the market 11% of its securities in a double exit on the Hong Kong and Shanghai exchanges, which was to be the largest IPO in history in which it expected to raise 35,000 million dollars (30,000 million euros).
Ant Group's idea was to place 1,670 million securities on each exchange, 11% of its shares, at a price of 80 dollars (68.5 euros) in Hong Kong and 68.8 yuan (8.8 euros) in Shanghai.
The interest for the operation had multiplied its amount, attracting an interest valued at up to 300,000 million dollars, 872 times the value of the shares
Alibaba founder Jack Ma loses 2 billion euros
The suspension of the operation came a day after Jack Ma and two other Ant Group executives were called to testify by Chinese financial regulators to face "tougher scrutiny from the government," according to Reuters.
However, and even with the price drop of Alibaba shares, Jack Ma's assets exceed 54,000 million dollars (46,000 million euros), according to Bloomberg.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma loses 2 billion euros
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This month it will be known if the coronavirus vaccine works: everything we know about the key dates and when they will be available to everyone
There are 241 coronavirus vaccine projects underway, according to the World Health Organization.
Research has progressed rapidly to human trials, with 45 vaccine candidates being tested in humans in clinical trials worldwide. Some of them are in the final phase of testing, which could show whether or not these vaccines work before the end of 2020.
Vaccine development is historically a difficult process that lasts several years and aims to ensure that a candidate is safe and effective before administering it to millions of healthy people. Governments and non-profit organizations have contributed billions of dollars to pharmaceutical companies to streamline this process and perform multiple trial steps in parallel.
A review by Business Insider reveals that at least 10 more experimental vaccines are expected to enter clinical trials in 2020. That means there are likely to be more than 50 coronavirus vaccines in human trials by the end of the year.
While research is moving at unprecedented speed, the biggest challenges still lie ahead in generating data that shows a vaccine works, in increasing manufacturing, and in distributing a vaccine worldwide.
One of the officials leading the U.S. government's vaccine efforts told Business Insider in August that he expects the vaccine to be widely available to Americans by April, May or June 2021.
The dates will be similar in the rest of the world. In fact, Spain will receive more than 31 million doses of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca between December and June. It will not be the only one, since this week it has transcended the purchase of another 21 million doses of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which is already in Phase 3 of clinical trials and could arrive in the first months of 2021.
According to the WHO count, there are 45 vaccine candidates that have begun to be tested in humans. Research is spread all over the world, with vaccine studies recruiting and inoculating people in countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Germany, India and also in Spain. The remaining 100 vaccine projects remain in laboratory testing.
The pioneers have already produced the first results in humans and have begun the final stage of testing, called Phase 3 studies.
These trials recruit tens of thousands of volunteers and randomly give an experimental injection or placebo to determine whether the injections prevent infection or disease. The fastest programs are all in Phase 3 testing and are led by Moderna, Pfizer and BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and CanSino Biologics.
Both Moderna and Pfizer launched mass trials in July to test vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA), a promising but untested technology that relies on the genetic code of the virus instead of particle samples. Although there are no approved mRNA vaccines on the market, several vaccines currently being tested in humans are based on mRNA, including programs from German biotechnology CureVac, Imperial College London and Arcturus Therapeutics.
A key accelerator for several vaccine programs has been Operation Warp Speed, the US government's effort to accelerate and fund vaccine research. That initiative is supporting six vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline.
In September, J & J launched a final stage trial of 60,000 volunteers. Unlike many competitors, J & J is testing giving a single injection instead of using a two-dose regimen.
China has its own series of nationally developed vaccine candidates that are being tested in humans. CanSino Biologics has the most advanced project and was approved in June for use by the Chinese army. The first data showed limited immune responses, since about half of the volunteers had pre-existing immunity to the virus that CanSino uses to administer the vaccine.
Other Chinese vaccines are being developed by Clover Biopharmaceuticals, state pharmaceutical company Sinopharm, private biotechnology company Sinovac, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, Yunnan Walvax Biotechnology Company and Sichuan University Western China Hospital.
Many other countries have supported their own candidates for domestically produced vaccines for human trials. These include South Korean Biotechnologies Genexine and Medytox, Japan's Takara Bio, Russia's Gamaleya Research Institute and consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, Australia's University of Queensland, Italy's ReiThera, Canada's Medicago and India's Zydus. All these programs have initiated human studies.
By the end of 2020, we should get a burst of early human results for these vaccine programs. The vast majority of these studies will simply determine whether the injections are safe and promising enough to test them on larger groups of people.
Several additional vaccines developed by smaller organizations also began clinical trials in the fall, including those developed by United Biomedical's subsidiary Covaxx, San Francisco's Vaxart biotechnology, Taiwan's Medigen Vaccine Biologics and a Kazakhstan Research Center.
Major vaccine candidates hope to produce critical data soon. Moderna and Pfizer are now expecting results from Phase 3 in November.
U.S. regulators are also requiring at least two months of tracking the safety data of most trial participants. Since these studies began at the end of July, both companies estimate that they will have to wait until the second half of November to accumulate those safety results.
By the end of November, both Moderna and Pfizer could apply for emergency approval, assuming that their studies show clear efficacy.
An emergency use authorization would likely allow the vaccine to be used in smaller groups of high-risk people, such as health workers or the elderly. But that decision will be the FDA's decision, and an influential panel of independent experts has already raised doubts about the appropriateness of an emergency authorization.
Although AstraZeneca initially hoped to have data this fall, a temporary halt to the company's trial at the last stage could threaten that deadline. AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot says it is still possible that the vaccine will be ready by the end of the year.
The speed of these trials depends on how quickly people enroll and whether they can focus recruitment on areas with high infection rates. Pfizer has also expanded its pivotal trial to include teenagers as young as 12 years old, as well as people with HIV, hepatitis C or hepatitis B. on October 22, Moderna said it had finished recruiting for its trial after slowing its research to recruit more minorities.
Moderna and Pfizer could form the first of three waves of potential vaccine approvals, notes Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor of Operation Warp Speed.
Even if the two leaders have early success in demonstrating their work with vaccines, both could keep testing going. The CEO of Pfizer pledged on October 16 to keep the study "until its final analysis point, even if it is declared effective at an earlier stage."
Slaoui sees a potential second wave later this winter composed of J & J and AstraZeneca and a third wave coming next spring in vaccines developed by Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline and Novavax.
J & J began a Phase Three study in September, and Novavax expects to begin a Phase Three study backed by Warp Speed in November. Depending on how quickly these studies progress, both vaccines are likely to produce critical data in early 2021.
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline also began initial human testing in September for their joint vaccine project. Farms are two of the biggest players in the vaccine space, and they hope to begin a phase three trial in December. They predict it could be widely available as early as the first half of 2021.
Sanofi has an additional collaboration with a small Massachusetts biotech for an mRNA vaccine, with the goal of starting human testing in the last quarter of 2020.
Merck, another giant in the vaccine business, unveiled two candidates for the vaccine on May 26. One has started a small trial while the other is ready to enter clinical trials before the end of the year.
Finally, some small Biotechnologies aim to start testing in humans before the end of 2020: the company Altimmune, based in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the Italian Takis Biotech, Europe's Expre2sion Biotechnologies, the French biotech Valneva, Aegis Life, HDT Bio, NantKwest/ImmunityBio and VBI Vaccines.
By the time the year 2021 begins, there will probably be more than 50 vaccines being tested on humans. There is a good chance that there will be Phase 3 results from some of the major candidate vaccines.
But it's unclear how regulators will react to that data. They will face difficult decisions in the face of a pandemic about how much data is sufficient to allow widespread use. Vaccine experts have already pointed to the risk of political pressure, especially in an election year, that could threaten public confidence in an eventual vaccine.
Even if one or two vaccines get emergency approval this year, it will take at least several months to increase production and deliver hundreds of millions of doses in the United States, let alone the world.
Slaoui of Warp Speed hopes to have enough doses available to immunize the most vulnerable people by early 2021, with the expansion of manufacturing to make a vaccine widely available by April 2021.
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