No. 182: Scary optimism, a flu breakthrough and the red wine-no shrinkage diet

Fred Wilson picks the winners.

TG it’s F: A great end to the week everyone and welcome new readers Les, Gus, Blake, Gianni and Kelly. It’s Jan. 6, on which “Home of the Whopper” was trademarked in 1965.

It’s also National Bean Day. Please celebrate responsibly.

Just in: In a potentially huge breakthrough in the struggle against seasonal influenza mutations, Farmingdale-based Codagenix Inc. is preparing to release data demonstrating “multi-season efficacy” for its frontline flu vaccine – meaning the vaccine could prevent flu-related sicknesses even after the virus mutates.

CodaVax-H1N1 – Codagenx’s live-attenuated Influenza A vaccine – induced “a robust immune response to multiple seasonal strains of influenza,” making it a potential silver bullet against “seasonally drifted strains” of the common, but sometimes deadly virus.


Survey says: Local business managers expressed growing confidence in the regional economy in the latest AVZ economic poll, but the underlying job numbers don’t seem to support quite so much optimism.

House calls: Northwell Ventures, the investment arm of Northwell Health, has formed a partnership with Virginia-based telehealth company Avizia Inc. that will significantly ramp up remote delivery of medical care for Long Islanders.

Not really related: Despite a flagging national birth rate, Northwell delivered a record 40,000+ babies in 2016, or 1 percent of all U.S. births. (Our prediction: A surge in brain drain in 18 years.)

Between classes: Savvy Hires, the Westbury-based recruiting startup, has launched an intern collective that delivers pre-screened, trained and qualified interns – aka “potential pipeline hires” – to local businesses.

Free college tuition plan: Gov. Cuomo appears to have tried whatever it was Bernie Sanders was smoking.

$10 billion JFK revamp: Ditto.

ICYMI: Steve Israel’s new LIU gig leaves plenty of time for finishing the second novel, which takes aim at the gun lobby.

Missed a newsletter?  A whole bunch are archived here.

Let’s do more of this: The Port Authority has approved the final piece of the LaGuardia rehab, which will allow Delta to spend $3.6 billion on new terminals and gates. New York is kicking in $600 million.

Ouch: The state estimates the coming repeal of Obamacare will cost New York $3.7 billion. Also, the uninsured, previously 10 percent of all New Yorkers and now 5 percent, is expected to jump to 15 percent.

Always a hot time with him: NYC’s Streicker Center has Al Gore dropping by, Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m. $45 seats, $225 gets you into a face-time reception. Register here.

Also: Don’t forget our technology-focused cocktailer with LISTnet, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 5 p.m., Jewel in Melville, free apps, BYOBeverage. Let us know you’re coming.

And: Northwell Health honcho Michael Dowling keynotes the LIBDC’s Feb. 2 meeting, 5:30 p.m., Southward Ho Country Club in Bay Shore, call 516-314-8982.

We have the meets: The rest of the Innovate calendar is here.

About our sponsor: SUNY Old Westbury is a selective public liberal arts college serving more than 4,300 students from Long Island, New York City and around the world. With graduate programs in business, education, mental health counseling and more, Old Westbury offers cutting edge instruction and convenient scheduling, all at the affordable rate of SUNY tuition. Own your future.

A reminder: The state is handing out big bucks to colleges and universities interested in clean energy.

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Wilson picks it: Legendary venture capitalist Fred Wilson opines on the winners and losers of 2017, including Trump, AI, SaaS and more. (His own caveat: “The beauty of the VC business is you don’t have to be right all that often, as long as you are right about something big.”)

Take off, tune out: One of the few labor reforms that did not spark protests in France last year was the so-called “right to disconnect” regulation, which ordered companies to establish rules of conduct for contacting employees outside working hours.

“Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work,” Minister Benoit Hamon said in explaining the dangers of off-shift meddling by management. “They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash – like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails – they colonize the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down.”

Worth watching: Cambridge-based Jounce Therapeutics, which struck a licensing deal with Jersey-based Celgene that could be worth $2.5 billion, now plans to raise up to $75 million in an IPO.

The startup’s lead drug candidate, JTX-2011, works to fight cancer by activating a protein on the surface of T-cells. In the Celgene deal, Jounce got $225 million in up-front payments, plus a $36 million investment. Jounce is also eligible to earn another $2.3 billion in milestone payments and a share of JTX-2011 profits.

Admit it: You always secretly hoped Grand Theft Auto would end up as an app. That day is here. $4.99 on iOS or Android.

Turning a page: Amazon is opening its first bricks and mortar bookstore on Columbus Circle, not Hudson Yards as originally rumored.

Swat to look at: Babe Ruth’s scrapbooks have finally been digitized.

The Less Shrinkage Diet: Eating less meat and poultry, more fish and vegetables and drinking red wine can help control the loss of brain volume as you age.

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Compiled by John Kominicki. Thanks for reading.

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