‘We’re confident’: Russia to share legal risks of COVID-19 vaccine

first_imgRussia is so confident in its COVID-19 vaccine that it will shoulder some of the legal liability should anything go wrong, rather than requiring buyers to take on the full risk, the head of the state fund bankrolling the project told Reuters.The decision leaves the vaccine’s state-backed developers open to potentially costly compensation claims should there be any unexpected side-effects. It is something many vaccine-makers have sought to avoid, by asking for full indemnity – complete protection from liability claims – from nations they sell to.The approach is different from many places in the world. In the United States, for example, liability for COVID-19 vaccines has been shifted fully to the U.S. government. This shields the developers because widespread inoculation against the disease is considered a benefit to society. Topics : With the global vaccine race hotting up, and dozens of candidates being tested on humans, backers of Russia’s ‘Sputnik-V’ shot see liability as a key battleground as they aim to capture market share.”Russia is so confident in its vaccine that it has not asked for full indemnity and this is a major differentiating factor versus any Western vaccine,” said Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the state sovereign wealth fund that is backing the vaccine.”All of them are asking for full indemnity of legal risks.”Dmitriev did not say whether buyers of the Russian vaccine would be asked to take on partial liability, and did not give details about indemnity clauses. His representatives said he had nothing more to add.center_img However, the health secretary of the Brazilian state of Bahia, which plans to buy 50 million doses of Russia’s vaccine, told Reuters the legal risks would be carried by Russian entities.Vaccine developers around the world are compressing years of development into months, raising the possibility of unexpected consequences and making the issue of compensation claims a key point in supply deal negotiations.For example, British drugmaker AstraZeneca, which has developed a vaccine with Oxford University, has been granted full protection from any future liability claims by many countries with which it has signed supply deals, a senior executive told Reuters in July.Dmitriev’s comments came after some scientists expressed concerns about the safety and efficacy of Sputnik-V, which the Russian government approved for use before completing large-scale human trials.Brazilian buyersSputnik-V was developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, a state research body. The RDIF, which is marketing the vaccine abroad, will shoulder some of the legal risks in supply contracts along with pharmaceutical firms in the fund’s portfolio which are producing the shot.”We are confident in the long-term consequences,” Dmitriev said. “We are putting our money where our mouth is by not asking for full indemnity in partnerships we create in different countries.”Thus far, RDIF has announced deals to supply just over 200 million doses, half to Latin America and half to India. The fund says it has orders for as much as 1 billion doses.Fábio Vilas-Boas, health secretary of Brazil’s Bahia state, which is placing the 50-million-dose order, told Reuters the legal risks would be carried by the Russian pharmaceutical firms producing and supplying the vaccine.”In the case of any adverse event, nothing will stop people who feel they have been harmed from filing a class action against any of the pharmaceutical companies,” said Fábio Vilas-Boas, who negotiated the testing and letter of intent with RDIF.Neither Bahia nor Paraná, a Brazilian state which plans to conduct trials of Sputnik-V on 10,000 volunteers, have actually signed contracts for supply of the vaccine, according to Bahia’s Vilas-Boas and the Paraná state governor’s chief of staff, Guto Silva, who also negotiated with the Russian side.Thus far, deals have been formalized only in memorandums of understanding, as contracts are awaiting the vaccine’s approval by Brazil’s health regulators.Insurance for volunteersRussia has staked its scientific reputation on the results after approving the vaccine for domestic use before mass testing had even begun, becoming the first country to license a COVID-19 vaccine.Late-stage trials, known as Phase III, are currently ongoing in Russia, with at least 40,000 volunteers taking part. Initial results are expected in October or November.Volunteers in its Phase III trial are unpaid, but their insurance is covered, including a payout of 2 million rubles ($26,430) in case of death, one volunteer told Reuters.RDIF also expects to run trials of the vaccine abroad, with plans already in place with Indian pharmaceutical firm Dr Reddy’s and with Brazil’s Paraná state, both pending regulatory approval.Many people involved in the Sputnik-V’s development, including Dmitriev, have tried the jab on themselves in a bid to convince the world of the safety of a Russian-made vaccine.Dmitriev said he was not concerned about the risk of compensation claims against RDIF.”We know it will not happen. Because the vaccine has been studied for decades,” he said.”We know we will not have … billions and billions of liabilities because we have a proven platform and they don’t,” he said. “Simple.”last_img read more

​PKA’s Damgaard Jensen to quit as CEO next year

first_imgPeter Damgaard Jensen, a prominent figure in the Danish pensions sector for decades, has announced he will quit as chief executive of labour market pension fund PKA in a year’s time.He will step down in the spring of 2020 after 19 years in the role, according to an announcement from the DKK275bn (€36.9bn) pension provider.Damgaard Jensen said: “I have been very happy to lead PKA for so many years, and I am proud of what we have achieved.”PKA was in a strong position today, creating “great value for members, while making a positive difference to our environment” through its investments, he said. Peter Damgaard Jensen, PKAHe has agreed with Stephanie Lose, chair of PKA, to step down as chief executive next spring, to coincide with his 66th birthday.Lose said Damgaard Jensen had been at the heart of the positive development PKA had undergone.“He has been in charge of a PKA which today is stronger than ever, when it comes to the number of members, value creation and accountability,” she said. “So I appreciate the good dialogue we have had about the decision, and the fact that Peter has chosen to continue until April next year, so we have plenty of time to find the right replacement.”PKA, which runs four pension funds in the social and healthcare sectors, said its supervisory board would now start the process of recruiting a new chief executive.Damgaard Jensen is chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change and is a board member at Forsikring & Pension, the Danish trade body for insurers and pension providers. He also sits on the advisory boards of outsourced services provider Forca and Copenhagen-based private equity group Axcel.Further readingInterview: Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change Peter Damgaard Jensen spoke to IPE in April 2017 shortly after becoming chair of the IIGCC, outlining his plans to push climate change issues up the corporate agenda “For the same reason, I have considered that it is the right time to lay down a plan for when to pass on the assignment,” said Damgaard Jensen.last_img read more

Hass: Composed Syracuse core continues to close games at elite level

first_img Published on January 26, 2014 at 11:55 pm CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Syracuse is the ultimate tease.The other team always thinks it’s getting some, but never ends up scoring late in the game.The Orange lets an inferior team hang around, then pulls away in the waning minutes. It’s happened all season. Every time the possibility of an upset emerges, it quickly fades.That’s because this Syracuse (19-0, 6-0 Atlantic Coast) team is built to thrive in the clutch. Tyler Ennis, C.J. Fair and company turn on their mojo when it matters most. They’re wired to win. And playing in these close games will help Syracuse tremendously in the big dance.“This team has made plays at the end of games,” said SU head coach Jim Boeheim. “I don’t care what our record is. We’ve had seven games just like this one that could have easily gone the other way.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All seven games, somebody’s made a play.”SU’s latest victim was Miami (10-9, 2-5) on Saturday afternoon at the BankUnited Center. The Hurricanes catapulted back into contention, but Syracuse extinguished their comeback attempt without much difficulty.As he sat at the podium, Boeheim rattled off the games Syracuse could have easily lost this year: St. Francis, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Miami — twice. There were two more he couldn’t recall.The fact that the usually razor-sharp Boeheim didn’t immediately remember all of SU’s close games shows just how many tight games Syracuse has been in, and won.Competitive games early in the season prepare teams for March. And as we’ve watched the Orange come away with a win time and again, we’ve learned that SU is equipped to put teams away.Syracuse never panics or shows much fire. While the other team does everything it possibly can to climb back into the game, it does so with emotion. When Davon Reed scored a bucket, he grinned and shook both arms with vigor, bellowing before Tonye Jekiri helped him up.But when Ennis hit a floater down the other end to give SU the lead for good, he just jogged down the court like nothing important had happened. Just another day at the office. One more play for NBA scouts to salivate over and for Ennis — and the rest of the Orange — to downplay.The fact that no one on Syracuse is hotheaded or full of too much emotion might ultimately prove golden. Grant’s probably the most vivacious of the core seven players, but he’s all business on the court.Fair is soft spoken. Ennis is imperturbable. Cooney shows emotion sometimes, but overall he just goes about his way unaffected.It’s almost like Syracuse is just playing mind games with the other team. Oh, Boston College, you think you can hang? Nope. Time for a run. Pittsburgh, same to you. And Miami, same deal coming your way. You know the drill by now.Just like most savvy coaches, though, Boeheim would like to see fewer close games. Winning close games is great, but they also expose flaws.“That’s a great attribute to have,” Boeheim said, “but it also reminds you that you’re perilously close to having three or four losses.”He reminded the media just how stacked the ACC is. Though the conference isn’t what it was chalked up to be back in the preseason, it still features six or seven probable tournament teams, and three or four others vying for a spot in the dance.Wake Forest, for example, Syracuse’s next opponent, is 14-6 and just knocked off Notre Dame. There’s no easy out, which makes the ability to win close games that much more imperative.Winning close games with regularity is sometimes more indicative of a team’s success long term, though. Not every game’s going to be a cakewalk, like SU’s 22-point win over Colgate in November.Cakewalks don’t come frequently in college basketball, and there aren’t any more on Syracuse’s schedule. Every game will continue to show fans why the Orange is a trendy and logical pick to return to the Final Four.When the game is on the line, no team in the country is better at closing the deal.And why is that?“Well, we have good players,” Boeheim said. “It can’t be coaching. It’s got to be players.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell focuses on pre-game routine over comparisons to Emmanuel Mudiay

first_imgAs he held a basketball by his side, Lakers rookie guard D’Angelo Russell stood on the practice court on Monday and listened intently to coach Byron Scott. The two talked for a few minutes, with Scott explaining things in what appeared to be a constructive manner. Russell stared at Scott and soaked in every word.Once the talk ended, Russell left the court. He did not work on his shooting stroke. He did not run more offensive drills. He did not study film. And it appears that is exactly what Scott wanted amid Russell’s early-season struggles to fulfill the pressure that goes along with being the NBA’s No. 2 draft pick.“I tend to work a little too hard and I’m always on my feet,” Russell said. “I’m trying to stay on the court and (Scott) said that’s not a good routine. So I’ll try to figure out a routine that relaxes me and gets me ready for the game.”Russell will not have a lot of time to figure out his routine. The Lakers (0-3) play the Denver Nuggets (1-2) tonight at Staples Center in a game that will provide another reminder of Russell’s slow progress. He will match up with rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay, the No. 7 overall pick who is averaging 12.7 points and 5.3 assists. Meanwhile, Russell has averaged 9.7 points on 36.7 percent shooting and 1.7 assists. “I didn’t think he was a true point guard,” Scott said of Mudiay. “I didn’t think he was a guy who made great decisions when we saw him and had him here. I thought that was something he would have to learn to do to run that position.” Scott still predicted Mudiay “was going to be pretty good.” But Scott argued that Russell “absolutely” had the qualities that Mudiay lacked. Russell averaged 19.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and five assists while shooting 41 percent from 3-point range during his freshman season with the Buckeyes. After the Lakers drafted Russell on June 25, Scott envisioned Russell eventually becoming an NBA superstar.“His workouts were extremely good,” Scott said on draft night. “You saw the leadership qualities that he had. You saw the ability to pass the ball and make other guys better, the ability to get to the basket and the ability to knock down 3s, open jump shots and off-the-dribble shots. He had the total package offensively. Defensively, the one thing I thought he did was he competed.” So far, Russell has not shown any of those qualities. But he has argued it has remained unfair to compare his journey to other rookies, including Mudiay, because of the varying roles each player faces amid varying circumstances with each team.“Kobe said he went through the same thing where he had a learning curve and he didn’t play. That time was so important to him,” Russell said. “I can’t worry about the other rookies. I’m just worried about this time now.” There’s plenty of things Russell has to worry about with the Lakers. Russell began the season playing as an off-ball shooting guard, a position he had not practiced at all during training camp. Russell admitted he has struggled adapting to the NBA’s pace. Through three games, the Lakers have shot 40.1 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from 3-point range. “I’m just figuring it out,” he said. “I’m trying to figure it out day-by-day and translate what we do in the practice into the game.”That explains why Russell has often stayed after practice and arrived early for pregame warmups to improve his outside shooting. He admitted the “excitement” he feels over that routine in hopes to accelerate his rookie learning curve. So even if he stresses he does not feel tired only through three NBA games, Russell will scale back his pregame preparation in hopes that it somehow prepares him for the games much better. “I have to just keep chipping away at it,” Russell said. “Once I get everybody’s trust, it’ll make it easier for everybody.” Even with Mudiay also shooting only 33.3 percent from the field and averaging 6.3 turnovers per game, Russell praised Mudiay for playing “really well” and for “controlling the offense and competing.” But Russell repeatedly shook his head and said, “Nah,” when pressed about the upcoming matchup with Mudiay, something they once both experienced in high school and in the AAU circuit. “Just contain him and compete,” Russell said about defending Mudiay. “It’s a team effort on the defensive end.” Only a few months ago, Russell had bragging rights over Mudiay when the Lakers worked out both point guards twice prior to the NBA Draft. Mudiay experienced playing against former NBA players after averaging 17.7 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 5.1 assists with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. Scott also described Mudiay as a “pretty athletic” guard who played with “a little edge.” But Scott confirmed concerns amid talent evaluators about Mudiay’s outside shooting. He shot only 37.4 percent from 3-point range and 57.4 percent from the foul line last year in China. During a private workout open to a handful of reporters in Reseda, Mudiay showed inconsistency with 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers and free throws. center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more