Denali, Takeda reach $155M deal to develop Alzheimer’s drug

YOUR NEWS FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 8, 2018

Intel faces scrutiny as questions swirl over chip security

Intel faces a big test: two serious security issues with its chips that could have implications for nearly everyone touched by computing. And so far Intel has failed to quiet critics, putting it in an awkward position this week as its chief executive prepares to take the stage at one of the world’s biggest tech trade shows. The cause of the public relations crisis is the disclosure of two new ways to filch data from the microprocessors.(New York Times)

Wells Fargo trails its peers as legacy of scandal persists

Rivals including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are due to post their highest post-crisis annual net income during results season, which begins on Friday. In contrast, figures from Wells are expected to show how long it is taking to recover after thousands of its staff created up to 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts for customers without their permission.
(Financial Times)

More funding for robo-advisers doesn’t quell skeptics

Wealthfront closed yet another round of funding. Along with news reports touting the firm’s $75 million capital inflow to help it develop new products for its growing client base, it inspired yet another round of skepticism from the traditional financial advice industry. Andy Rachleff, chief executive of Wealthfront, said the funding brought in by a group led by Tiger Global Management would be “more than enough” to turn the digital wealth management firm profitable.(InvestmentNews)

Denali, Takeda reach $155M deal to develop Alzheimer’s drug

Denali Therapeutics and Takeda Pharmaceutical have agreed to work together to develop up to three drugs for neurodegenerative diseases, including a compound that could treat Alzheimer’s disease. The deal calls for Takeda to pay Denali $155 million, a combination of cash and stock purchases. If South San Francisco-based Denali successfully advances the compounds to human testing, the company could win $90 million more in payments.(Xconomy)

IBM, Comcast Ventures back fund for blockchain startups

International Business Machines Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s venture arm will become the largest supporters of an investment fund for startups that help corporations use blockchain, the digital ledger that’s become a hot technology. The startup accelerator, called MState, plans to invest $25,000 to $50,000 apiece in five or six companies over the next six months, co-founder Rob Bailey said in a phone interview.(Bloomberg)

AR/VR startups raised $3B last year

Tech companies working with augmented reality and virtual reality technologies raised more than $3 billion in venture funding in 2017. This data comes from analytics firm Digi-Capital and suggests that while the buzz surrounding the AR/VR space has tapered off, the sheer amount of cash getting pumped into the industry is continuing to surge.(TechCrunch)

Why Uber can find you but 911 can’t

Software on Apple Inc.’s iPhones and Google’s Android smartphones help mobile apps like Uber and Facebook to pinpoint a user’s location, making it possible to order a car, check in at a local restaurant or receive targeted advertising. But 911, with a far more pressing purpose, is stuck in the past. Better technology would be especially helpful, regulators say, when a caller can’t speak or identify his or her location.(Wall Street Journal)

Report: Renault-Nissan set up $200M fund to tap startups

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is pooling $200 million in a new mobility tech fund, three sources said, in the latest move by major automakers to adapt to rapid industry change by investing in startups through their own venture capital arms. The fund is due to be unveiled by alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn at the CES tech industry show in Las Vegas on Tuesday.(Automotive News Europe)

How pot is cutting into MillerCoors’ light beer biz

For years, sales of domestic light beer have tanked as imbibers turn to craft brews, wine and spirits. Now an even bigger threat looms: the growing reality of legal, readily available and socially condoned marijuana. That doesn’t bode well for Anheuser-Busch InBev or MillerCoors, which has pledged to revitalize Coors Light and Miller Lite this year and next. One industry expert says the industry stands to lose 7.1 percent of its overall sales, or more than $2 billion.(Crain’s Chicago Business)

2018 outlook in equity investing is mostly bright

Most investment strategists think 2018 will go down in history as “not quite as good as 2017.” And that doesn’t mean it will be a bad year. But in 2017, stocks ran to 20 percent gains and volatility was as gentle as a newborn foal. Leading equity managers are betting on technology, with Fidelity’s Will Danoff explaining why stocks like Facebook and Amazon are in very different positions today than firms like Cisco and Oracle were back in 2000.(InvestmentNews)

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 I am skeptical with any new neuro drugs as the brain is influenced by the immune system, metabolism and toxins in the intestines.

Connie Dello Buono

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