Moderna stock continues its climb

On the heels of its biggest one-day gain Tuesday, Moderna Inc. stock soared nearly 23 percent Wednesday after revealing the development of an experimental vaccine for a virus tied to birth defects is advancing faster than expected. The Cambridge company’s stock surged 28 percent Tuesday after revealing that vials of a vaccine for the coronavirus had been shipped to the National Institutes of Health’s Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for clinical testing. Enrollment in mid-stage study of Moderna’s mRNA-1647, a vaccine for cytomegalovirus or CMV, an infection that can lead to birth defects, has been completed for two of the three dosing arms. A third arm is well on its way to being completed, with more than 85 percent of the needed patients already enrolled. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Tough Mudder taken over by Spartan Race

Tough Mudder Inc., the organizer of extreme obstacle races that was forced into bankruptcy by creditors, will be taken over by its main competitor, Spartan Race. Under a deal approved Tuesday in federal court in Wilmington, Spartan will pay $700,000 and assume as much as $10 million in liabilities, including the requirement to honor pre-paid tickets to Tough Mudder events. Spartan hosts 250 events a year in about 40 countries in which participants run, crawl through mud, and climb over obstacles. —BLOOMBERG NEWS


scuttling third runway at Heathrow amounts to ‘financial suicide,’ CEO says

London Heathrow Airport stepped up its defense of a $20 billion third runway, saying a government decision to block the project would amount to “financial suicide” and hamper UK efforts to boost trade after Brexit. Chief executive John Holland-Kaye sees a larger Heathrow, opposed by campaigners and some politicians because of its environmental impact, as “essential for a global Britain.” Thwarting the plan will only benefit competing economies such as France, he said in an interview on Wednesday. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is already set to take the title of Europe’s busiest hub from Heathrow within two years, Holland-Kaye said, with the London site unable to respond due to a lack of capacity. Heathrow’s expansion is in doubt after Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who fought against the runway as London mayor. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Bayer chairman steps down early in wake of Monsanto lawsuits

Bayer chairman Werner Wenning is leaving the German drugs and chemicals company before his term expires, capping a half-century of dealmaking that culminated in the contentious Monsanto acquisition and a blizzard of lawsuits over its Roundup weedkiller. Wenning, 73, will be succeeded in April by Norbert Winkeljohann, 62, who joined Bayer’s supervisory board in May 2018 just before the Monsanto deal closed. The $63 billion purchase was the idea of Wenning and chief executive Werner Baumann, who was censured by shareholders at last year’s annual meeting. Bayer bought Monsanto in order to solidify its hold on the lucrative agro-chemicals and seeds market. But the transaction has saddled Bayer with suits from tens of thousands of plaintiffs claiming the Roundup herbicide causes cancer. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


firm that doesn’t rely on coding raises $51m more

Unqork, a New York-based software company, raised an additional $51 million from backers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to accelerate a global expansion and move into new industries beyond insurance and financial services. The 2-year-old startup is an application platform that doesn’t require any coding, allowing big companies, such as Liberty Mutual, John Hancock Life Insurance Co., and Manulife Financial Corp., to create custom software quicker and cheaper than the traditional way. Unqork’s no-code app platform allows developers to build visually, by dragging and dropping components on the screen. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Panasonic PULLS POWER PLUG ON tESLA partnership

Panasonic is pulling out of its partnership with Tesla to produce solar panels at a factory in New York state, the Japanese electronics maker said Wednesday. Panasonic’s production at the factory in Buffalo will end by May, with an exit by September, it said in a statement. The decision is to streamline the company’s global solar energy operations, it said. Panasonic will continue making batteries for Tesla’s electric vehicles in another factory in Nevada, it said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


justices side with workers on deadline for suing retirement plans

The US Supreme Court sided with workers on the deadlines for suing their retirement plans, saying a three-year clock for suits doesn’t start to run just because the plan sends e-mails offering details about how the money is invested. The justices, voting unanimously in a case involving Intel Corp., said courts can’t assume workers read complicated materials that might provide reason to think their investments are being mishandled. The case centered on a US employee-benefit law that gives workers three years to sue after they have “actual knowledge” of an alleged violation. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


SmileDirectClub stock plummets

SmileDirectClub Inc. shares tumbled nearly 30 percent Wednesday after analysts said disappointing quarterly results and 2020 guidance could further push out profitability for the maker of teeth-straightening products. The poor quarter comes at a bad time for the disruptor of the orthodontic market. Early investors and some insiders will soon get their first chance to sell when the initial public offering lockup expires. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Sales of new homes up nearly 8 percent

Sales of new homes jumped 7.9 percent in January to the fastest pace in more than 12 years, a positive sign for economic growth. The Commerce Department said Wednesday new homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 764,000 last month. That’s the highest sales rate since July 2007, shortly before the US economy slumped into the Great Recession. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Starbucks goes trenta on fake meat

Starbucks customers in Canada will soon be able to down fake meat with their frappuccinos. The coffee chain said Wednesday it will soon start selling a sandwich featuring a meat-free patty from Beyond Meat, the California company whose products are being put on the menus of other fast food chains as well. Restaurants have been rushing to add patties that mimic meat to their menus to try and boost sales. Burger King sells a Whopper stuffed with a patty from rival Impossible Foods. And coffee chain Dunkin’ already has a breakfast sandwich with a Beyond Meat patty. — ASSOCIATED PRESS