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Researchers reported Monday in the journal Science that a drug developed to fight multiple myeloma has proved 27.5 times more effective at treating COVID-19 than remdesivir in laboratory studies with infected human lung and kidney cells. The drug, Aplidin or Plitidepsin, was also effective at fighting COVID-19 in lab mice. Aplidin was developed in Spain from a tubular, plantlike marine animal called a sea squirt. It has gone through a Phase II trial against COVID-19 and is awaiting a Phase III trial. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, started exploring Aplidin's use as a treatment for COVID-19 in March. Instead of looking through databases of existing drugs to find one that targeted the virus, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the UC San Francisco team sought out drugs that would protect key human proteins from being hijacked by the coronavirus. Experts not involved in the study said the research was promising but needed confirmation in human trials. Effective treatments will be crucial for keeping down the death toll as new, more contagious variants of the coronavirus emerge and spread. The approved COVID-19 vaccines appear slightly less effective against the new strains, and scientists have yet to show that vaccinated people stop transmitting the coronavirus. A second study, not yet published or peer-reviewed, suggests that Aplidin is equally effective against one of the new strains that had spread throughout Britain. "Work on treatments has been ongoing since the outbreak began and we have seen the benefits," Chris Beyrer, professor of public health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told the Journal Sentinel. "Survival is actually better than it was in March, April, May." More stories from theweek.comMitch McConnell is the GOATWho is the Cinderella in the GameStop fairy tale?The left's fake Senate majority
Simu Liu, star of “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” felt very emotional the first time he donned his superhero costume but became jokingly irritated by it days later. The 31-year-old Canadian actor spoke to Toronto Life on Jan. 19 about his jump from playing Jung Kim on the television sitcom "Kim's Convenience" to becoming the first Asian lead in a Marvel movie. During the interview, Liu mentioned that putting on his superhero costume for the first time was one of the most memorable moments for him during production.
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The Phoenix Suns forward says he's upped his security efforts amid regular death threats in his inbox.
(Bloomberg) -- New York’s apartment investors are suddenly waist-deep in distress.By December, they were behind on $395 million of debt backed by mortgage bonds, almost 150 times the level a year earlier, according to Trepp data on commercial mortgage-backed securities. Tenants in rent-stabilized units owe at least $1 billion in rent and wealthier ones are fleeing the city, leaving behind vacancies and pushing newly-built luxury towers into foreclosure.For years, as crime dwindled and rent climbed in New York, investors gobbled up apartment buildings. But with the city’s economy and culture crushed by Covid-19, mounting job losses have derailed the gentrification boom and put financial pressure on landlords.“The people who specialize in mortgage workouts are the busiest people in New York real estate,” said Barry Hersh, a clinical associate professor of real estate at New York University.The developers who are in the most trouble pushed hard into Harlem and the Brooklyn hipster hubs of Crown Heights, Flatbush and Bushwick, squeezing out working-class residents by building new expensive units. Now, they’re grappling with eviction bans and new tenant protections as rent falls across New York.Colony 1209, a steel-gray apartment building, opened six years ago in the heart of Bushwick, an industrial vision of urban chic, with a billiards room and 24-hour doorman. The website pitched one bedrooms for $2,500 to “like-minded settlers” in the mostly Black and Hispanic neighborhood, which it called Brooklyn’s “new frontier.”Now Colony, renamed Dekalb 1209, faces foreclosure after owner Spruce Capital Partners defaulted on a $46 million mortgage. The five-year interest-only loan matured in October and was not extended, triggering the default, according to monthly filings by the loan’s servicer, Wells Fargo & Co.The lender is filing to repossess the building -- as soon as New York’s foreclosure moratorium expires -- while simultaneously discussing workout alternatives with the borrower. Spruce could not be reached for comment.Right before Covid hit, investors were willing to pay top-dollar for luxury buildings like Colony. They wanted alternatives to rent-regulated buildings, which saw values crimped by a 2019 law that banned tactics landlords depended on to convert rent-stabilized units to market-rate.“That was the bright spot until the pandemic happened,” said Victor Sozio, executive vice president at Ariel Property Advisors, a commercial brokerage firm in New York City.Plans ‘Stymied’Emerald Equities, a fast-growing condo conversion specialist, filed for bankruptcy in December on buildings in Harlem. In its filing, the company said its “well-laid plans were stymied” by the tenant-friendly law. Residents organized a rent strike, then collections plunged even more after the pandemic, driving Emerald to hand ownership to LoanCore Capital, which loaned $203 million for the project.Doug Kellner, an attorney for Emerald tenants, blames the current market troubles on New York’s eviction ban because it came without any accompanying financial support.“Everybody realizes that rent is the green blood that keeps a building operational,” Kellner said.Across the boroughs, rents are on a downward spiral, as landlords try to fill empty apartments with ever-sweeter tenant concessions -- only to see the number of vacant listings surge further.In Manhattan, available units nearly tripled in December from a year earlier, and the median rent plunged 17% to $2,800, according to data from Miller Samuel Inc. and Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Rents are down 11% in Brooklyn and 18% in Northwest Queens, where starry-eyed developers built glassy apartment fortresses along the waterfront for young midtown professionals.In some ways, investors may be better insulated than after the 2008 financial crisis. Lenders generally required bigger down payments and underwrote loans based on current rents rather than expectations for the future, said Shimon Shkury, Ariel’s president. If the vaccine works and college students and office workers start to return, so will the market, Shkury said.“I don’t think there will be as much distress as you think,” he said.Deregulating RentsLenders have already put $1.4 billion of commercial-backed multifamily debt on watchlists because of issues such as rising vacancies or impending maturities. That’s 19% of all outstanding debt, compared with 22% at the nadir of the financial crisis.The trouble will filter from highly-leveraged investors who expanded quickly to lenders with the most aggressive underwriting, says NYU’s Hersh.“There will be banks that go under,” he said.At the same time, the market for multifamily buildings has gone soft. The total dollar volume of New York City multifamily sales was $4.5 billion in 2020, a 61% plunge from 2018, before the pandemic or the new rent laws, according to a report by Ariel.Still, firms such Limekiln Real Estate Investment Management, see opportunities. The company made $224 million in New York multifamily loans in the second half of 2020, up from $9.3 million before the pandemic. It’s easier to extract better terms in a “lender’s market,” said Scott Waynebern, Limekiln’s president.“It’s tricky to find where the bottom is,” he said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.