Morning Report: FTSE 100 on back foot over fears it could take years to find effective vaccine

Headlines from the Proactive UK newsroom.

The FTSE 100 is on the back foot on fears it might take years to find an effective vaccine or treatment against coronavirus. The blue-chip index dropped 70 points to 5,755.

Overnight, US firm Gilead Sciences terminated a highly anticipated Chinese trial of a potential treatment for the virus. Draft documents accidentally published by the World Health Organisation claimed that remdesivir had been unsuccessful, though Gilead said it had halted the trial due to low enrolment.

AIM-listed Scancell's (LON:SCLP) a top riser as it threw its hat into ring to find an effective inoculation against the virus. Using Scancell's DNA vaccines, the project will be led by its Chief Scientific Officer and Professor of Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Nottingham.

Burberrymeanwhile revealed it has turned its coat factory in Castleford, UK to produce personal protection equipment (PPE) for medical and care workers during the coronavirus crisis. The FTSE 100-listed fashion group said it is also sourcing surgical masks through its supply chain and has donated more than 100,000 pieces of PPE to the NHS and charities so far.

Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group says the coronavirus uncertainty is now affecting its banking lines and its suppliers' credit insurance, where cover is being temporarily withdrawn due to the number of store closures. Frasers added it had also not been accepted as eligible for the government’s Covid loan scheme.

Genedrive PLC(LON:GDR) and Inspiration Healthcare Group PLC (LON:IHC) are collaborating to distribute an antibiotic-induced hearing loss (AIHL) test in the UK & Ireland. The company's also to engage Inspiration Healthcare's network of more than 50 neonatal-focused sub-distributors around the world.

SDX Energy PLC (LON:SDX) has confirmed more successful well testing results at the recently drilled Sobhi well, at South Disouq in Egypt. The company said that following a review of data it anticipates the well will produce at an optimum stabilised rate of 10-12mln cubic feet of gas per day.

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