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Health Care Ticks Down As Sector Seen Resilient to Omicron Fears - Health Care Roundup

11/30/2021 | 05:05pm EST

Health-care companies fell, but not by as much as the broad market, as traders sought out sectors that are less sensitive to the impact of the Omicron variant and inflation.

The chief executive of Moderna, Stephane Bancel, rattled global markets when he warned that there could be a "material drop" in the effectiveness of its Covid-19 vaccine against the Omicron variant, in an interview with the Financial Times.

Shares of Regeneron fell after early tests indicated its monoclonal antibody drug may not work as well against the Omicron variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strengthened its Covid-19 booster-shot recommendations, reflecting the potential threat the new Omicron variant poses to the pandemic response in the U.S. and world-wide.

An outside panel of scientific advisers to the Food and Drug Administration is meeting to discuss the experimental Covid-19 oral antiviral from Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, which could pave the way for commercial approval in the near future.

UnitedHealth Chief Executive Andrew Witty said the health insurer's Optum unit will continue adding physicians at a rapid clip. The company now has around 60,000 doctors employed or affiliated, and will have added around 10,000 total this year by the end of December.

Pfizer's top viral vaccine-science executive, Philip Dormitzer, is leaving the pharmaceutical giant for rival GlaxoSmithKline, as vaccine makers scramble to assess how their shots will stand up to a new variant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Write to Rob Curran at rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

11-30-21 1705ET

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