us approves coronavirus treatment ftse  astrazeneca jump
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U.S. Approves Coronavirus Treatment, FTSE 100 Jumps on Possible AstraZeneca Vaccine Approval


Aug. 24 2020, Updated 7:07 p.m. ET

Monday, Aug. 24 could be a good day for the markets after positive news about coronavirus treatments and vaccines. In a press briefing on Sunday, President Donald Trump announced that convalescent plasma had been given emergency use authorization by the FDA. On the vaccine side, the Trump administration is reportedly considering fast-tracking the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use before the presidential election in November.

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What is the convalescent plasma treatment for COVID-19?

In the last few months, several nations have been testing convalescent plasma treatment on coronavirus patients. The technique involves using the antibody-rich plasma from a person who has recovered from the virus to boost the immune response of others.

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"We’re encouraged by the early promising data that we’ve seen about convalescent plasma. The data from studies conducted this year shows that plasma from patients who’ve recovered from COVID-19 has the potential to help treat those who are suffering from the effects of getting this terrible virus,” FDA commissioner Dr. Hahn said. “At the same time, we will continue to work with researchers to continue randomized clinical trials to study the safety and effectiveness of convalescent plasma in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus.”

People who have recovered from coronavirus are being encouraged to donate plasma for the treatment. There's more information available on the FDA's website.

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Convalescent plasma COVID-19 stocks

Markets seem to be responding well to news about another potential treatment for the coronavirus. As of this article's writing, stock market futures were in the green. On Monday morning, the Dow Jones futures were up nearly 1 percent, the NASDAQ futures surged 0.9 percent, and the S&P 500 futures saw gains of 0.8 percent.

What is the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine?

In another positive piece of news, the Financial Times reported that the Oxford vaccine, being manufactured by AstraZeneca, could also be granted emergency use authorization by the FDA before the presidential election in November. The Oxford vaccine, which is the closest vaccine to approval, isn't expected to get the go-ahead until late this year or early next year.

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astrazeneca coronavirus vaccine
Source: istock

AZD1222, more commonly referred to as "the Oxford vaccine," is currently in phase 3 clinical trials. The vaccine is being tested on thousands of people around the world. AstraZeneca told the Financial Times that it hadn't discussed the plan with the U.S. government. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services said that the claim, made by three people briefed on the plan, is “absolutely false.”

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What is AstraZeneca stock price today?

Whether or not the claim is true, AstraZeneca surged on news that it could be the first vaccine used in the U.S. As of this article's writing, the stock had risen 3.7 percent on the London Stock Exchange.

FTSE 100 Index surges

The FTSE 100 Index, which tracks the 100 largest companies in the U.K., also surged due to the positive news. The index rose as high as 1.9 percent on Monday morning. The FTSE 100 has mostly lagged behind other indexes in its recovery. Brexit negotiations have also weighed on share prices. Although the index has recovered 22 percent from lows in March, it's still a long way from previous highs.


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