Jul 10, 2019

Universal flu vaccine means big bucks for biotech firms

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Osivax, a French developer of a universal flu vaccine, raised €8 million in Series A funding led by Noshaq.

Why it matters: Developing a universal flu vaccine is fast becoming biotech's holy grail.

  • Wednesday's deal comes just 1 day after a Cincinnati-based universal flu startup called Blue Water Vaccines raised $7 million, and a couple months after the U.S. National Institutes of Health launched clinical trials of its own. And then there were those nasal vaccine tests on llamas.

The bottom line: "It's an arms race of taxpayers versus private capital," says Axios' health care business reporter Bob Herman.

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

1 hour ago - Sports

European soccer's push to return

A Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munchen in an empty stadium. Photo: Alexandre Simoes/Borussia Dortmund via Getty Images

European soccer made a splash Thursday, with two of its biggest leagues announcing official return-to-play dates in June.

Why it matters: Soccer is the world's most popular sport, so watching its return through the lens of various leagues, countries and cultures — all of which have been uniquely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic — is illuminating.

The corporate bankruptcy wave has just gotten started

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even with trillions of dollars in loans, grants and government support — with markets having absorbed a record $1.22 trillion of corporate debt in just five months — a slew of companies are defaulting on their loans and filing for bankruptcy in what is expected to be a record wave of insolvencies and defaults.

Why it matters: While equity and debt markets have rallied thanks to massive interventions from the Federal Reserve and Congress and excitement about the removal of lockdown orders, the real economy is quietly buckling, with many companies threatened by issues that predate the coronavirus pandemic.