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Nghiên cứu thịnh hành

Ngành công nghiệp giày dép toàn cầu tỷ USD: Thay đổi gì đang đến?

15 tháng 10, 2021

Ngành công nghiệp toàn cầu

Giày dép là phụ kiện thời trang quan trọng thứ hai chỉ sau trang phục. Giá trị thị trường toàn cầu của giày dép rơi vào khoảng 260,6 tỷ USD trong năm 2020, trong đó, chiếm thị phần lớn nhất là thị trường tại khu vực Châu Á - Thái Bình Dương với 38,1%. Hiện thị trường giày dép chiếm 11% giá trị ngành thời trang toàn cầu.

Bí mật về hồ sơ Pandora: Thông tin gì đã được hé lộ?

7 tháng 10, 2021

Kinh tế vĩ mô

Hồ sơ Pandora bao gồm 11,9 triệu tài liệu bao gồm emails, bản ghi nhớ, hồ sơ thành lập, ảnh, tệp ghi âm của 29 nghìn công ty vỏ bọc ở nước ngoài. Những công ty vỏ bọc này được thành lập bởi 14 công ty tư vấn luật - tài chính trên toàn cầu cho hơn 330 chính trị gia, tỷ phú, nhà lãnh đạo thế giới, các sao hạng A với nghi vấn nhằm rửa tiền, trốn thuế, chi tiêu bất hợp pháp,... Những tài liệu từ hồ sơ Pandora cho thấy những công ty tư vấn thường được trả tiền để thành lập các chủ thể pháp lý, các công ty vỏ bọc, quỹ tín thác ở một nước thứ 3, một thiên đường thuế, nhằm giúp các nhân vật tầm cỡ mua bất động sản, tích trữ tài sản, chi tiêu mua sắm qua một hình thức hợp pháp là đầu tư vào công ty vỏ bọc có kinh doanh ngành nghề đó.

Amazon và tầm ảnh hưởng lên nền kinh tế Mĩ

14 tháng 8, 2021

Doanh nghiệp

Công ty thương mại điện tử và nền tảng số Amazon.com có mặt ở khắp mọi nơi. Bằng cách tác động đến lối mua sắm của khách hàng, Amazon đã tạo ra các hiệu ứng lan tỏa trực tiếp và gián tiếp, tác động đến lạm phát, cơ hội việc làm và xu hướng trong ngành bán lẻ. Amazon đóng góp tích cực để thay đổi ngành công nghiệp bán lẻ và trải nghiệm tiêu dùng, tuy nhiên cũng để lại nhiều hệ quả trong quá trình thay đổi đó. Vậy Amazon đã ảnh hưởng như thế nào tới nền kinh tế Mĩ?

Hành trình sáng lập Google: Founder lặng thầm làm nên lịch sử

5 tháng 8, 2021

Doanh nghiệp

Google có thể được coi là kho lưu trữ tri thức đại chúng lớn nhất lịch sử nhân loại và chắc hẳn là công cụ tìm kiếm được nhiều người tin dùng nhất. Nhưng ít ai biết về 2 founder thầm lặng đằng sau phát minh thay đổi lịch sử này.

SpaceX, Blue Origin và Virgin Galactic: Những điều bạn chưa biết

5 tháng 8, 2021

Ngành kinh tế

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk và Richard Branson có tổng giá trị tài sản ròng là 400 tỷ USD, xấp xỉ quy mô GDP của cả Ireland. Và cả ba người đàn ông đã quyết định dồn số tiền khổng lồ của mình vào việc theo đuổi giấc mơ du hành vũ trụ của họ, tạo ra một cuộc chạy đua không gian hiện đại cho những người siêu giàu. Tuần vừa rồi, chúng ta đã chứng kiến hai tỷ phú Jeff Bezos và Richard Brandson bay ra ngoài vũ trụ trên con tàu của chính mình. Hãy xem chúng ta đã bỏ lỡ những điều gì:

Hòa Phát: Vì sao ngành thép Việt có thể vươn ra thế giới?

5 tháng 8, 2021

Doanh nghiệp

Thép hiện tại là một nguyên liệu quan trọng ở các nước phát triển như Viêt Nam, song trong những năm 90, nguồn thép nước ta đa số là từ nhập khẩu. 10 năm sau, Việt Nam đã có doanh nghiệp đầu tiên ghi danh vào top 50 nhà sản xuất thép lớn nhất thế giới. Vậy Hòa Phát đã có những chiến lược gì? Những lợi thế nào để tập đoàn Hòa Phát mở rộng tầm ảnh hưởng lên thị trường thế giới?

The Industrial Revolution: How far has we go & What has changed?
Industrial revolution is the process of transitioning from an agricultural and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture in modern history known as the Industrial Revolution. This technique began in the 18th century in Britain and expanded around the world from there.

I. Key Takeaways


  • Steam Engine invented in Industrial Revolution 1.0  boosted human productivity by 8 times and fueled the development of  other sectors (textile,  agriculture, transportation, etc).

  • Discovery of the Assembly line in Industrial Revolution 2.0 was utilized in Mass Production, thus increasing 23% in portion of outputs while decreasing 25% in labors.

  • Internet invention marked the advent of Industrial Revolution 3.0, creating the big technology firms contributing a huge amount of global GDP by that time.

  • The birth of Machine Learning in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 was utilized to tackle four key issues of manufacturers, including enhancement of productivity, boosting information for big data, product improvement, and forecasting inaccuracy.


II. What is Industrial Revolution and an overview of its impacts on economy


Industrial revolution is the process of transitioning from an agricultural and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture in modern history known as the Industrial Revolution. This technique began in the 18th century in Britain and expanded around the world from there.


Hence, in the Industrial Revolution, agriculture and handicrafts-based economies were converted into economies based on large-scale industry, automated manufacturing, and the factory system. Specifically, existing industries by that time became more productive and efficient as a result of new equipment, new power sources, and new ways of arranging labor. Why is that the case? To further explain, the familiar Cobb Douglas function is utilized, which implies that productivity is affected by four variables, one of which is technology. Other inputs, such as labor, capital, and land, will not have a significant impact on productivity and product quality in the long run. The reason is the increase in one of three factors in the long run, namely labor, capital or land will bear a limitation (i.e. limited population, limited land, limited machines), whereas technology enhancement is not a limiting factor. Consequently, the Industrial Revolution, which concentrates on technology enhancement will obviously boost the output in production.


Since then, our society has undergone four Industrial Revolution including Industrial Revolution 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and now is heading to 5.0. Before diving into knowing what Industrial Revolution 5.0 is, the prerequisite understanding should be the history of the past Industrial Revolution processes, including the time, the causes, and major impacts of those on the whole world economy.


1. Industrial Revolution 1.0- The Steam Power


Shall we start with the origin of the Industrial Revolution- Industry 1.0? It all started in the 18th century in the United Kingdom. The invention of steam power and the mechanization of production were the two most significant breakthroughs. In 1765, a Scottish engineer called James Watt developed a highly efficient steam engine. In comparison with the traditional horsepower, the new invention was proved to replace 10 of cart-pulling horses – or 10 horsepower. Specifically, Watt did an experiment in which each horse pushed with a force of 180 pounds. Watt calculated that one horsepower was equal to 33,000 foot-pounds (1pound= 1.36 newton metres) of effort done in one minute by a horse. Imagine a 33-pound pail of water being raised from the bottom of a 1000-foot deep well in 60 seconds by one horse.


Steam power had a huge influence on travel, production, and trade. The introduction of steam engines on railroads allowed huge amounts of commodities and raw resources to be transported across nations. The industries could be situated anywhere because the newly developed engine did not rely only on water power. Steam power became the major power source, growing from 5% to 80% of total power generation in the US.


In short, the Industrial Revolution 1.0 was a watershed moment in history, impacting a wide range of industries including textiles, agriculture, transportation, etc. as well as practically every facet of everyday life.


2. Industrial Revolution 2.0- Assembly Line


The 2nd Industrial Revolution began in the 19th century with the discovery of electricity, and assembly line production.

Because untrained employees could not be readily educated to do specialized jobs, assembly line manufacturing became the key element in increasing productivity and lowering labor costs by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Henry Ford's model T vehicle was the assembly line's most successful achievement. In fact, Henry Ford took the notion of mass production into automotive manufacture, and radically changed it in the process. Previously, a whole automobile was built at a single station; currently, automobiles are created in partial phases on a conveyor belt, which is much faster and less expensive. Ford was able to transfer heavy goods from one place to another, allowing them to mass-produce automobiles like the Ford Model T. For a single automobile, the production time was reduced from half a day to 90 minutes. This Revolution also resulted in cheaper prices, greater salaries, an 8-hour workweek, boosted pay from $2.34 to $5 per day, and reduced the cost of automobiles from $810 to $310. Besides, it is reported that Ford's plant reorganization during that time resulted in a 25% reduction in personnel while boosting output per employee by 23%.

Apart from the assembly line, centralized power, telephones, radio, and television, as well as inexpensive gasoline and internal combustion cars on national highway networks, converged in the twentieth century to provide the foundation for the Second Industrial Revolution.


3. Industrial Revolution 3.0- The Internet


The 3rd Revolution began in the 1970s with the use of memory-programmable controllers and computers to partially automate processes. With the advancement of these technologies, humans will be able to automate the entire process without the need for human intervention. The third Revolution, often known as the Digital Revolution, marks the start of the Information Age. During this time, the invention of the Internet is believed to be the key invention indicating the birth of Industrial Revolution 3.0.


It is obvious that private businesses have always been looking for innovative ways to enhance productivity and lower the marginal cost of manufacturing and delivering products and services so that they can maximize profits for both stakeholders and shareholders, and differentiate themselves from competitors. Hence, the emergence of the Internet is believed to usher in a technological revolution that has the potential to unleash "extreme productivity", lowering the cost of communication, energy, transportation, and many other physical products and services in the traditional economy. For example, over the last ten years, the usage of the Internet to manage buying in supply chains has grown significantly. Research shows that the Internet is used in a number of procurement applications, such as communicating with suppliers, obtaining vendor price quotations, and purchasing from vendor catalogs. The usage of the Internet has simplified the purchasing function in American businesses. General Electric, for example, has cut its buying personnel by more than 50% and allows each department to shop from vendor catalogs online. Order-cycle times, which are the times they take from when an order is placed to when it is delivered to the company, have been cut in half.


Furthermore, the invention of the Internet is reported to generate new business like Google and Facebook, which are big giants that help contribute to a huge amount of global GDP. According to Internet World Stats, the global population has surpassed 7 billion people, with 2 billion of them using the Internet. E-commerce produces around $8.000 billion in revenue (B2B + B2C).The Internet accounts for 3.4 percent of GDP in the 13 nations studied, a greater percentage than agriculture (2.2 percent), utilities (2.1 percent), or the education sector (3 percent ). The Internet is expected to create a total added value of 1.6.72 billion US dollars, or 2.9 percent of global GDP.

To sum up, the invention of the Internet marked an advent of the 3.0 digital era with a huge contribution to the birth of big tech companies participating in increasing the global GDP.


4. Industrial Revolution 4.0- Machine Learning


Breakthroughs in remarkable methods such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, distributed computing, 3D printing, and autonomous transportation characterize the 4.0 Industry age. People no longer rely on labor, land, or entrepreneurs to enhance outputs, thanks to the fast advancement of technology in the 4.0 age.

With the advent of machine learning, four key issues of manufacturers had been solved, including enhancement of productivity, boosting information for big data, product improvement, and forecasting inaccuracy. As for productivity improvement, according to PWC, machine learning in economics has the potential to boost productivity by 14.3% by 2030. Meanwhile, according to Indeed.com, demand for data scientists has increased by 29% year over year and by an almost inconceivable 344 percent since 2013. Regarding product enhancement, machine learning algorithms can conduct hundreds of surveys, “talk” with thousands of people around the world, and evaluate all available data in order to create a solution that is 100 percent effective and meets market demands. Lastly, for the utilization of machine learning in trend projections, it is proved with 87% of accuracy.


Furthermore, in the near future, many present jobs and responsibilities will be handled fully or largely by machine learning algorithms. McDonald's, for example, has a drive-thru system. According to an annual analysis by market researcher SeeLevel HX, the typical McDoanld's drive-thru will take 6 minutes and 18 seconds in 2019. However, the business subsequently reduced it to 5 minutes and 49 seconds. McDonald's has also implemented new technologies in order to improve its operations and attract consumers to buy more meals in recent years. It tried artificial intelligence devices that read license plates to forecast purchases in select places, as well as mobile orders that clients could pick up at the drive-thru window.


To summarize, with the growth of 4.0 Industry, technology may link consumers, suppliers, partners, manufacturing equipment and goods, and produce throughout the product and service cycle, regardless of the kind of business.

Historical Events
Research: Pfizer & Moderna: How mRNA companies disrupting the pharma industry?
About three months after the first reported case of COVID19, Moderna developed a vaccine and began the clinical trial on humans on 16 March 2020, while Pfizer-BioNTech was 2 months behind (5 May 2020). However, in a surprising turn of event, Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine became the first in the world to receive authorisation for emergency use against COVID19, and Moderna followed behind. So, will Pfizer maintain its dominance following their lead in the COVID19 vaccine distribution... Or will they be overtaken by Moderna, the up and rising new horse? The global fight for vaccine distribution… Who do you think will win?

I. COMPANY OVERVIEW


1. PFIZER INC.

Pfizer Inc (NYSE:PFE) is a global research-based biopharmaceutical company that was listed on the stock exchange in June 1942. In actual fact, it has been around for more than 170 years! Initially known as Charles Pfizer and Company, it was started in 1894 by German cousins, Charles Pfizer and Charles Erhart in Brooklyn, New York. Over the years, it has progressed, and today, Pfizer is one of the top three giants in the pharmaceutical industry worldwide (Pfizer, 2021).

As of November 2020, Pfizer has 78,500 employees, over 200 suppliers, and owns 43 manufacturing sites globally. Every year, Pfizer produces more than 23 billion doses of medications for over 125 countries (Pfizer’s Scaling Up, 2020). In 2020, despite being affected by COVID 19, it generated $41.9 billion in revenue, a 1.8% growth from the previous year. (Pfizer Annual Report, 2020).

With that said, how can they not be on the vaccine developer list? In April 2020, Pfizer got into an agreement with BioNTech, a German biotechnology company specialized in cancer medicine, to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine, BNT162.


2. MODERNA INC.


Conversely, Moderna Inc (NASDAQ GS:MRNA), formerly known as Moderna Therapeutics Inc, is an American biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 2010 and was listed on the stock exchange in Dec 2018. The company specializes in the use of messenger RNA (mRNA) to develop therapeutics and vaccines in areas of immuno-oncology, infectious diseases, rare diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and autoimmune diseases (Moderna’s Annual Report, 2020).


In January 2020, Moderna started developing a vaccine (mRNA-1273) for the novel coronavirus, which became the first commercialised product from the company in ten years. Previously, all its revenues were mainly from grants to aid in its R&D. As of March 2021, Moderna has over 1,500 employees, 8 partners in varying fields, and 24 development programs, of which 14 were in the clinical studies stage (Moderna, 2021).


II. HOW DID PFIZER & MODERNA BECOME THE FORERUNNERS IN THE VACCINE DISTRIBUTION?


For a vaccine to be marketed to the public, it has to go through 5 key stages. The first stage is the discovery & research stage where scientists and researchers conduct laboratory examinations on the virus and this usually takes 2 to 5 years. Second, is the preclinical stage where the vaccine is tested in animals and takes about 2 years. Third, the clinical development stage consists of Phase I, taking 1 to 2 years, Phase II taking 2 to 3 years, and Phase III taking 2 to 4 years. Testing is conducted in humans in the clinical development stage in gradually increasing sample sizes across the Phases. Four, is the regulatory review and approval stage which takes 1 to 2 years. Lastly, the manufacturing and delivery stage takes a varying amount of time depending on each company’s capabilities.


As such, a vaccine typically takes about 5 years to reach the human testing stage, and potentially more than 10 years to be fully authorised (Broom, 2020). The fastest a vaccine has ever been developed was 4 years, which is the mumps vaccine in 1967. So how did Pfizer and Moderna manage to push out the vaccine for human trials in such a short span of time?


1. MRNA TECHNOLOGY

Firstly, both Pfizer and Moderna use the new groundbreaking mRNA technology in their vaccines. mRNA are single stranded RNA molecules that complement the DNA strands. Unlike the DNA which stays in the nucleus, mRNA moves freely around the nucleus and cytoplasm to make proteins (Brody, n.d.). For the vaccine, the mRNA approach introduces strands of mRNA that send instructions to the body’s cells to produce copies of recognizable harmless virus protein where the human body eventually develops immunity. Traditionally, most vaccines introduce a weakened or inactivated version of the virus into the human body instead. Also known as the viral vector vaccines. However, this traditional approach takes about four to six weeks to reach adequate biomass to begin manufacturing the vaccine. Whereas, the mRNA technology was able to be synthesized within minutes as it uses readily available materials (source).


2. EXPERTISE IN R&D AND OTHER RESOURCES


Secondly, its strong expertise in research and development (R&D) and resources has also played a part. Before COVID, both Pfizer and Moderna have spent years studying and researching on various viruses, some of which includes the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which surfaced in 2002, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012. The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is part of a larger family of coronaviruses which includes SARS and MERS. SARS, MERS, and COVID are diseases that infect animals, evolve and cause illnesses in people. Even though there are still no vaccines for SARS and MERS, the years of studies have aided in the development of the COVID19 vaccine. In addition, while the mRNA approach to vaccines is new, what many people overlook is that there has been over 15 years of extensive research conducted on mRNA technology and its uses before it became successfully applied on the vaccines.


Moderna has been focusing on mRNA based technology to develop what is called a bioplatform since its incorporation. Bioplatforms are systems that have the ability to be easily scaled and redeployed for different diseases (source). Their expertise in this technology helped to speed up the process for the vaccine development significantly and gave them the competitive advantage.

Conversely, Pfizer being one of the top three giants in the pharmaceutical industry worldwide, there is no doubt about their capability. However, they do lack the expertise in mRNA technology. As such, a strategic collaboration was what brought them back to the playing field in vaccine development.


3. STRATEGIC COLLABORATION


Pfizer entered a strategic collaboration with BioNTech in early 2018 with a goal to jointly develop an mRNA-based influenza vaccine, which has then turned to the COVID19 vaccine (source). Pfizer contributed its broad expertise in R&D, regulatory capabilities and global manufacturing and distribution network while BioNTech aided in providing the clinical supply of the vaccine and its mRNA manufacturing facilities. The understanding and partnership established over the years gave them a huge advantage in this vaccine development (source).


Similarly, Moderna is not lacking behind. Shortly after Moderna announced plans to begin developing the vaccine, they clinched funding from the Coalition Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to accelerate the development process. Furthermore, Moderna also established a collaboration with the Vaccine Research Centre (VRC) of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health to design the vaccine (source). These strategic collaborations provided Moderna with funding and access to extensive resources in R&D which they lacked internally.


4. FACTOR OF LUCK


More often than not, the factor of luck perhaps was also an influence. On average, the rate of failure in vaccine development is as high as 93%. At the start, there may be over 100 potential vaccines. However, as it passes through the stages, many get eliminated. For example, up to 100 potential vaccines may emerge at the discovery and research stage, but only about 20 move on to the preclinical stage, 10 move to Phase 1, 5 move to Phase 2, and ultimately maybe only 1 may reach the Phase 3 and approval stage (source). In this case, Pfizer and Moderna seem to be the lucky few.


IV. HOW ARE PFIZER’S & MODERNA’S VACCINE IN TERMS OF EFFICACY AND SAFETY?


Although the vaccines were developed in a short span of time, worries revolve around their efficacy against the SARS-Cov-2 virus and side effects. On a global stage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed 8 vaccines on its Emergency Use List (EUL). These are Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-SK Bio, Serum Institute of India, AstraZeneca EU, Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac (source). AstraZeneca-SKBio, Serum Institute of India, and  AstraZeneca EU are all versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID 19 vaccine, with the exception of different manufacturing sites, in Korea, India, and Sweden respectively.


1.  VACCINE EFFICACY

While there were some minor differences in the vaccines between Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, their efficacy against virus infection reached 94 to 95%, the highest among all other vaccines in the market. Based on WHO’s records, Pfizer-BioNTech is 95%, Astrazeneca-Oxford is 63.09%, Janssen (developed by Johnson & Johnson) is 66.3% , Moderna is 94.1%, Sinopharm is 79%, and Sinovac is 51% effective against the original strain of SARS-Cov-2 virus.


However, as the virus mutates over time, and more variants of concern begin surfacing, the question pops up once again. Will the vaccine be effective against these variants?

Currently, the variants of concern are the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant, Beta (B.1.351) variant, Gamma (P.1) variant, and the Delta (B.1.617.2) variant which surfaced in the UK, South Africa, Brazil and India respectively. The delta variant is the most transmissible variant, contributing largely to the cases in the U.S., and driving up the number of cases globally.


Moderna’s studies, which did not include statistical figures, revealed that their vaccine is still highly effective against the delta variant but modestly less effective against the new variants as compared to the original strain of the coronavirus. Whereas Pfizer’s vaccine was said to be 88% effective in preventing infection against the delta variant from the UK real-world studies which happened in May. However, one month later, it dropped to 79% (source). The latest study conducted by Israel’s health ministry reported in July, mentioned that Pfizer’s vaccine is 93% effective against serious illness and hospitalisation, but only 64% effective against symptomatic situations (source).


Another collated research reported by Forbes which was published in June 2021 shows a comparison between Astrazeneca, Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine against the Original Strain, Alpha, Beta and Delta variant as shown in the illustration (source). While the figures may have differed, it is safe to say that the vaccines generally have a lower efficacy against the variants compared to the original strain. But, as most efficacy rates are above 50%, it is still better to be vaccinated than leaving it to chances.


2. SAFETY FACTOR: SIDE EFFECTS


Vaccination brings along mild-to-moderate side effects, which are normal. Common side effects include injection site pain, headache, muscle pain, fever, injection site swelling, among others. Side effects are signs that our immune system is working to attack the foreign molecule from the vaccine that is entering our body. However, does that mean not having side effects is a bad thing? That’s not necessarily the case! Scientists discovered that older people above 65 years old seem to experience lesser side effects and this could be due to lower antibody levels (source). Ultimately, the immune system works differently for each individual and many biological factors such as gender affects it. Not experiencing any side effects does not mean that the vaccine is not effective as cases revealed immunity is still present.


As a matter of fact, such side effects seem more prominent in individuals taking the Moderna vaccine. For Pfizer’s vaccine, adolescents below the age of 16 are more likely to experience it as compared to those above 16. In addition, outside of clinical trials, it has been reported that there are cases of severe allergic reactions, myocarditis (inflammation of heart muscle), and pericarditis (inflammation of outer lining of the heart) in both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. However, Pfizer also reported cases of diarrhea, vomiting, pain in extremity, and other more serious adverse reactions.

Logically thinking, it seems that the mRNA vaccine would have less severe side effects as compared to the viral vectors since the substance is less harmful is that right? Currently, it seems to be the case. Astrazeneca vaccines which use the viral vector approach have reported rare cases of blood clotting syndrome, one of which was fatal in Australia (source). Nonetheless, it is important to note that such side effects are just a note to caution and cannot be compared against different vaccines. There are too many variables such as candidates in question and the number of people administering the vaccine, to make a representative comparison.


3. SAFETY FACTOR: STORAGE REQUIREMENTS


Another factor, which is of greater concern to the government, is the storage requirements. RNA vaccines are fragile and would require ultra-cold chain storage. This becomes an issue when transporting globally across different terrains and storing it till usage.


Pfizer’s vaccines have to be stored at an ultra-low temperature between -80ºC to -60ºC (-112ºF to -76ºF), away from sunlight and ultraviolet light in order to preserve it to the expiry date. (Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine PDF). Even though they have invented a cutting edge packaging to maintain its temperature requirement up to 10 days during international shipping, it remains a challenge for many low- and middle-income economies when it comes to storage. Average pharmacies and clinics do not have the necessary facilities to store the vaccines.


Contrary to Pfizer’s vaccines, Moderna’s vaccines win against Pfizer’s in the temperature requirement. Moderna’s vaccines can be kept between -50ºC to -15ºC (-58ºF to 5ºF), away from direct light. (Source: Moderna Vaccine PDF & source). The temperature storage for Moderna’s vaccine can be achieved using standard freezers, thereby making storage more accessible and convenient as compared to Pfizer.


V. ARE THESE mRNA COMPANIES MAKING PROFITS?

Ultimately, this leads down to the figures… Are the companies making profits out of the vaccine? Unlike other vaccine developers such as Astrazeneca-Oxford who is supplying its vaccine at a not-for-profit price, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are making profit out of it.


1. COMPONENTS IN R&D INVESTMENTS

Since both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna did not explicitly disclose their R&D investments, parts of those costs can be explained via public funding, and the signed agreements before vaccine approval (APAs).


Pfizer and BioNTech agreed on equally sharing both the R&D expenditures and profits made from their joint program. In total, they have $800M funds from the public funding supported by Germany and the EU Commission (source). Notably, Pfizer and BioNTech’s responses towards governmental funding were contradictory. While the former refused handouts from the Trump administration as they did not want any bureaucratic constraints, the latter has been granted $445M from German government to scale-up manufacturing capacity, as well as to accelerate clinical development in its home market (source). Other than that, they have raised $17,749M via APAs, with the EU (63%) being the largest investor and the U.S. (33.6%) being the second largest (source).


On the other hand, Moderna was largely dependent on grants from the U.S. in which it was funded $955M directly by the States, not to mention the APA worth $4.5B. To sum up, Moderna received $956M from direct funding and funding to intermediaries, and $7380 worth in APAs with the U.S. (61%) and the EU Commission (39%) (source).


2. VACCINE DISTRIBUTION AND ESTIMATED PROFIT MARGIN

Funding contribution to R&D investments might influence the priority of vaccine distribution which was clearly shown via records on profit distribution. In the first quarter of 2021, Pfizer/BioNTech reported around $5.9B in cumulated revenues solely from the Covid-19 vaccine sales in which 58% of sales were from the U.S. (Pfizer Q1 2021 PDF). Meanwhile, Moderna recorded $1.7B in revenue in the first quarter of 2021 in which the contribution of sales from the U.S. was a large 78% (Moderna Q1 2021 PDF).


The partnership’s higher revenue can be attributed to their larger scale manufacturing capability. In total, they project to manufacture 2.5 billion doses by the end of 2021, while Moderna expects to supply between 800 million and 1 billion doses. So far, Moderna has recognized 102 million doses as revenue in the first quarter (source) while Pfizer/BioNTech has already shipped 430 million doses as of May, 2021 (source).


Though Pfizer/BioNTech recorded a much larger cumulated revenue than Moderna, the latter performed better in terms of gross profit margin based on our estimation.


CONCLUSION

In terms of profit-making, Moderna seems to take the lead though Pfizer was able to distribute more doses and hence recognised higher revenue. Ultimately, the aim of a business is to maximise shareholder value, this in turn maximises profit and reduces cost in the long term. While the idea of making money out of the vaccine in this dire situation may seem unethical to some, the profit is necessary to sustain the business in the long run. In this global fight for vaccine distribution, Pfizer is likely to take the lead especially in comparison to Moderna. The expertise and foundation it has built up over the years has allowed it to make a vaccine that is of higher efficacy as compared to its peers. In addition, its brand and network of good relationships it has established over the years worldwide has helped in gaining the confidence of the public and clinching the agreements with various governments to drive vaccine distribution and eventually higher profitability.


REFERENCES

BBC News. (2020, December 8). Coronavirus: first Pfizer vaccine given to 90 year-old woman. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/av/health-55153325

Broom, D. (2020, June 2). 5 charts that tell the story of vaccines today. World Economic Forum. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/06/vaccine-development-barriers-coronavirus/

Brody, L, C. (n.d.). Messenger RNA (mRNA). National Human Genome Research Institute (NIH). Retrieved from https://www.genome.gov/genetics-glossary/messenger-rna

Moderna. (2021). About Us. Moderna. Retrieved from https://www.modernatx.com/about-us/moderna-facts

Pfizer. (2021). Pfizer Website. Retrieved from https://www.pfizer.com/

Pfizer Scaling Up. (2020, November). Breakthrough vaccine to potentially protect against the spread of COVID 19 [PDF file]. Pfizer.

Pfizer Annual Report. (2020). Pfizer Inc 2020 Annual Report [PDF file]. Pfizer.

Corporates
The Industrial Revolution: How far has we go & What has changed?
Industrial revolution is the process of transitioning from an agricultural and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture in modern history known as the Industrial Revolution. This technique began in the 18th century in Britain and expanded around the world from there.

I. Key Takeaways


  • Steam Engine invented in Industrial Revolution 1.0  boosted human productivity by 8 times and fueled the development of  other sectors (textile,  agriculture, transportation, etc).

  • Discovery of the Assembly line in Industrial Revolution 2.0 was utilized in Mass Production, thus increasing 23% in portion of outputs while decreasing 25% in labors.

  • Internet invention marked the advent of Industrial Revolution 3.0, creating the big technology firms contributing a huge amount of global GDP by that time.

  • The birth of Machine Learning in the Industrial Revolution 4.0 was utilized to tackle four key issues of manufacturers, including enhancement of productivity, boosting information for big data, product improvement, and forecasting inaccuracy.


II. What is Industrial Revolution and an overview of its impacts on economy


Industrial revolution is the process of transitioning from an agricultural and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture in modern history known as the Industrial Revolution. This technique began in the 18th century in Britain and expanded around the world from there.


Hence, in the Industrial Revolution, agriculture and handicrafts-based economies were converted into economies based on large-scale industry, automated manufacturing, and the factory system. Specifically, existing industries by that time became more productive and efficient as a result of new equipment, new power sources, and new ways of arranging labor. Why is that the case? To further explain, the familiar Cobb Douglas function is utilized, which implies that productivity is affected by four variables, one of which is technology. Other inputs, such as labor, capital, and land, will not have a significant impact on productivity and product quality in the long run. The reason is the increase in one of three factors in the long run, namely labor, capital or land will bear a limitation (i.e. limited population, limited land, limited machines), whereas technology enhancement is not a limiting factor. Consequently, the Industrial Revolution, which concentrates on technology enhancement will obviously boost the output in production.


Since then, our society has undergone four Industrial Revolution including Industrial Revolution 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 and now is heading to 5.0. Before diving into knowing what Industrial Revolution 5.0 is, the prerequisite understanding should be the history of the past Industrial Revolution processes, including the time, the causes, and major impacts of those on the whole world economy.


1. Industrial Revolution 1.0- The Steam Power


Shall we start with the origin of the Industrial Revolution- Industry 1.0? It all started in the 18th century in the United Kingdom. The invention of steam power and the mechanization of production were the two most significant breakthroughs. In 1765, a Scottish engineer called James Watt developed a highly efficient steam engine. In comparison with the traditional horsepower, the new invention was proved to replace 10 of cart-pulling horses – or 10 horsepower. Specifically, Watt did an experiment in which each horse pushed with a force of 180 pounds. Watt calculated that one horsepower was equal to 33,000 foot-pounds (1pound= 1.36 newton metres) of effort done in one minute by a horse. Imagine a 33-pound pail of water being raised from the bottom of a 1000-foot deep well in 60 seconds by one horse.


Steam power had a huge influence on travel, production, and trade. The introduction of steam engines on railroads allowed huge amounts of commodities and raw resources to be transported across nations. The industries could be situated anywhere because the newly developed engine did not rely only on water power. Steam power became the major power source, growing from 5% to 80% of total power generation in the US.


In short, the Industrial Revolution 1.0 was a watershed moment in history, impacting a wide range of industries including textiles, agriculture, transportation, etc. as well as practically every facet of everyday life.


2. Industrial Revolution 2.0- Assembly Line


The 2nd Industrial Revolution began in the 19th century with the discovery of electricity, and assembly line production.

Because untrained employees could not be readily educated to do specialized jobs, assembly line manufacturing became the key element in increasing productivity and lowering labor costs by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Henry Ford's model T vehicle was the assembly line's most successful achievement. In fact, Henry Ford took the notion of mass production into automotive manufacture, and radically changed it in the process. Previously, a whole automobile was built at a single station; currently, automobiles are created in partial phases on a conveyor belt, which is much faster and less expensive. Ford was able to transfer heavy goods from one place to another, allowing them to mass-produce automobiles like the Ford Model T. For a single automobile, the production time was reduced from half a day to 90 minutes. This Revolution also resulted in cheaper prices, greater salaries, an 8-hour workweek, boosted pay from $2.34 to $5 per day, and reduced the cost of automobiles from $810 to $310. Besides, it is reported that Ford's plant reorganization during that time resulted in a 25% reduction in personnel while boosting output per employee by 23%.

Apart from the assembly line, centralized power, telephones, radio, and television, as well as inexpensive gasoline and internal combustion cars on national highway networks, converged in the twentieth century to provide the foundation for the Second Industrial Revolution.


3. Industrial Revolution 3.0- The Internet


The 3rd Revolution began in the 1970s with the use of memory-programmable controllers and computers to partially automate processes. With the advancement of these technologies, humans will be able to automate the entire process without the need for human intervention. The third Revolution, often known as the Digital Revolution, marks the start of the Information Age. During this time, the invention of the Internet is believed to be the key invention indicating the birth of Industrial Revolution 3.0.


It is obvious that private businesses have always been looking for innovative ways to enhance productivity and lower the marginal cost of manufacturing and delivering products and services so that they can maximize profits for both stakeholders and shareholders, and differentiate themselves from competitors. Hence, the emergence of the Internet is believed to usher in a technological revolution that has the potential to unleash "extreme productivity", lowering the cost of communication, energy, transportation, and many other physical products and services in the traditional economy. For example, over the last ten years, the usage of the Internet to manage buying in supply chains has grown significantly. Research shows that the Internet is used in a number of procurement applications, such as communicating with suppliers, obtaining vendor price quotations, and purchasing from vendor catalogs. The usage of the Internet has simplified the purchasing function in American businesses. General Electric, for example, has cut its buying personnel by more than 50% and allows each department to shop from vendor catalogs online. Order-cycle times, which are the times they take from when an order is placed to when it is delivered to the company, have been cut in half.


Furthermore, the invention of the Internet is reported to generate new business like Google and Facebook, which are big giants that help contribute to a huge amount of global GDP. According to Internet World Stats, the global population has surpassed 7 billion people, with 2 billion of them using the Internet. E-commerce produces around $8.000 billion in revenue (B2B + B2C).The Internet accounts for 3.4 percent of GDP in the 13 nations studied, a greater percentage than agriculture (2.2 percent), utilities (2.1 percent), or the education sector (3 percent ). The Internet is expected to create a total added value of 1.6.72 billion US dollars, or 2.9 percent of global GDP.

To sum up, the invention of the Internet marked an advent of the 3.0 digital era with a huge contribution to the birth of big tech companies participating in increasing the global GDP.


4. Industrial Revolution 4.0- Machine Learning


Breakthroughs in remarkable methods such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, distributed computing, 3D printing, and autonomous transportation characterize the 4.0 Industry age. People no longer rely on labor, land, or entrepreneurs to enhance outputs, thanks to the fast advancement of technology in the 4.0 age.

With the advent of machine learning, four key issues of manufacturers had been solved, including enhancement of productivity, boosting information for big data, product improvement, and forecasting inaccuracy. As for productivity improvement, according to PWC, machine learning in economics has the potential to boost productivity by 14.3% by 2030. Meanwhile, according to Indeed.com, demand for data scientists has increased by 29% year over year and by an almost inconceivable 344 percent since 2013. Regarding product enhancement, machine learning algorithms can conduct hundreds of surveys, “talk” with thousands of people around the world, and evaluate all available data in order to create a solution that is 100 percent effective and meets market demands. Lastly, for the utilization of machine learning in trend projections, it is proved with 87% of accuracy.


Furthermore, in the near future, many present jobs and responsibilities will be handled fully or largely by machine learning algorithms. McDonald's, for example, has a drive-thru system. According to an annual analysis by market researcher SeeLevel HX, the typical McDoanld's drive-thru will take 6 minutes and 18 seconds in 2019. However, the business subsequently reduced it to 5 minutes and 49 seconds. McDonald's has also implemented new technologies in order to improve its operations and attract consumers to buy more meals in recent years. It tried artificial intelligence devices that read license plates to forecast purchases in select places, as well as mobile orders that clients could pick up at the drive-thru window.


To summarize, with the growth of 4.0 Industry, technology may link consumers, suppliers, partners, manufacturing equipment and goods, and produce throughout the product and service cycle, regardless of the kind of business.

Historical Events
U.S Economy Outlook 2020
US MACRO – ECONOMY MAY GO UNDER RECESSION AS OF OVERHEATING ECONOMY * Inflation soaring back, first sign revealed, next would be a surprise –It start with February report of higher than expected wage pay (+2.9% MoM) – highest increase since 2009 that triggered the sell off in the stock market on Feb 2nd . Then the CPI report came out, with worse than expected: 0.5% MoM (forecast: 0.2%) and CPI YoY reach 2.1% (forecast: 1.9%), highest since 1 year. This question the expectation for continous growth of the U.S economy and the stability of the goods market in the following year.

1)   US MACRO – ECONOMY MAY GO UNDER STAGFLATION & RECESSION AS OF OVERHEATING ECONOMY

* Inflation soaring back, first sign revealed, next would be a surprise –It start with February report of higher than expected wage pay (+2.9% MoM) – highest increase since 2009 that triggered the sell off in the stock market on Feb 2nd . Then the CPI report came out, with worse than expected: 0.5% MoM (forecast: 0.2%) and CPI YoY reach 2.1% (forecast: 1.9%), highest since 1 year. This question the expectation for continous growth of the U.S economy and the stability of the goods market in the following year.

* FED may raise rates faster than expected – Three years since 2015, Fed has raised the interest rate 5 times and is starting to pick up the pace in 2017 with 3 times rate hike, increase the FED Fund Rate up to 1.5%. Recently, US investor concern about inflation shows sign of trending up and the economy is over-heating which may make the FED increase rate up to 4 times. Although FED’s Chairman Jerome Powell still provide no clear sign about their decision, I believe that 4 times would be his appropriate strategy with above prediction that inflation would push even further than forecast which will be showed on March CPI report.

* Oil price rapid increase would put big pressure on the economy – Oil price has surged up to 50% in just half – year of 2017 with tension in OPEC countries & their agreement with Russia to maintain low oil supply. In the future market, WTI Crude Oil Futures recently peaked at $66.14/barrell (+ 54.75% from one-year lowest point) while Brent Oil Futures peaked at $70.52/barrell (+ 57.34% from one-year lowest point). I predict that the oil market would further bullish as of extend in oil supply cut between OPEC and Russia in 2018, a lower-than-expected U.S supply and the launch of China’s Oil Futures on March 26th. The cost of manufacturing will significantly rise in first two quarters of this year.

* Anti trade deficit policy and the trade war may cause more harm than benefit  - Since Trump administration of the White House, U.S has applied “close-border poicy” which to reduce trade deficit, increase internal employment, support domestic businesses. In only over a year, U.S has withdrawn from many international agreement including TPP, Paris, UNESCO, etc. , impose significant tariff on China’s & many countries goods and is about to withdrawn from many other free-trade agreement including NAFTA, WTO, etc. Also since 2017, the “weak dollar effect” has further strengthen the anti-deficit policy and caused the U.S Dollar to lost value significantly (13% since its 16-years high of 102.29 and now trading at 89.95). Normaly it would be a good thing, but since U.S has long been country who selling ideas and management rather than a manufacturer, U.S goods price may stir-up dramatically along with the cost of manufacturing, which would drag slower economy and high inflation (stagflation – which is even danger).

* Debt balance reach record high, lending still ease – In 2017, U.S bank industry witness total debt balance reach record high - highest since 2008 with total non-housing debt of $3.76 trillion and housing debt of $9.19 trillion. Credit card debt at highest level in the world with $0.81 trillion. Auto-loan debt is the worst, set a 6 year continous uptrend with 23 millions people buying under subprime mortage (aacount for 20% of new buying). Student loan, also have huge accumulation in total debt, The situation raise an alarm for an alike 2008 financial crisis seranio which is not noticed by much people. Bank lending still ease, with prime lending rate only increase 1.2%, while FED fund rate has up to 1.5% till recently, which could further worsen the debt situation.

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