Colorado startup developing supersonic plane - BetaBoston

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PHARMACEUTICALS

Lilly to buy company that develops treatments for Parkinson’s

Eli Lilly & Co. said it will buy Prevail Therapeutics Inc. for about $1 billion to gain gene therapies that treat neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s. Prevail’s gene therapy program, aimed at conditions like Parkinson’s disease and certain forms of dementia, will create a new avenue for drug discovery and development at Lilly. The move follows a trend toward rare-disease treatments at big drugmakers, one that AstraZeneca jumped into this week with its $39 billion deal for Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TECHNOLOGY

Pinterest to pay $22.5 million to settle gender discrimination case

Pinterest on Monday agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination and retaliation lawsuit from Françoise Brougher, its former chief operating officer, in one of the largest publicly announced individual settlements for gender discrimination. As part of the agreement, Pinterest and Brougher said they planned to jointly donate $2.5 million toward charities that support women and underrepresented minorities in tech with a focus on education, funding, and advocacy. The donations are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The agreement may signal a shift in how Silicon Valley handles such suits. In the past, tech companies have typically fought back, such as when the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers disputed a suit brought by one of its former investors, Ellen Pao, in 2012. (Pao lost the case.) Tech companies have also settled such suits in private. Brougher is among the most prominent female tech executives to file a gender discrimination suit against a former employer. In July, Emily Kramer, a former vice president for marketing at Carta, sued the financial technology startup for discrimination and retaliation. Carta has disputed the claims. — NEW YORK TIMES

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PHILANTHROPY

Scott giving away her fortune at a brisk pace

MacKenzie Scott is giving away her fortune at an unprecedented pace, donating more than $4 billion in four months after announcing an additional $1.7 billion in gifts in July. The world’s 18th-richest person with a $60.7 billion net worth announced the latest gifts in a blog post, saying she asked her team to figure out how to give away her fortune faster. Scott’s wealth has climbed $23.6 billion this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as Amazon.com Inc, the primary source of her fortune, has surged. Scott, 50, who was formerly married to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, signed the Giving Pledge in 2019, promising to give away the majority of her fortune. After considering almost 6,500 organizations for possible contributions, her advisers ultimately zeroed-in on 384 groups to receive gifts, Scott said in a post on Medium. “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling,” she wrote. “Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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MEDIA

Harry and Meghan to do podcasts on Spotify

The royals are following the Obama playbook. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will produce and host podcasts for Spotify, adding to the Swedish streaming giant’s burgeoning podcast empire. The royal couple’s Archewell organization has signed a multiyear agreement with the company, with the first series coming next year. Harry and Meghan have been tiptoeing into public life since stepping back from their royal roles and relocating to the United States. After signing with a bureau for public speaking and creating a philanthropic group, they are now entering the world of entertainment — following a path similar to that of the Obamas after they left the White House. First they signed a deal to produce films and TV shows for Netflix. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

DIAMONDS

De Beers to raise prices for first time since pandemic struck

De Beers raised diamond prices for the first time since the outbreak of global pandemic, signaling growing confidence in a rebound for the struggling industry. Prices increased by about 2 percent to 3 percent at the diamond giant’s final sale of the year last week, according to people familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified as the information is private. That’s the first time De Beers has been able to start reversing steep cuts made earlier this year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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AGRICULTURE

Giant food companies urge halt to soybean trading that harms forests in Brazil

Some of the world’s largest food companies and grocers urged commodity suppliers including Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Bunge Ltd., Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus Co. to stop trading soybeans associated with deforestation in the Cerrado region of Brazil, a hive of biodiversity and one of the country’s most important carbon sinks. Nestle, Unilever, McDonald’s, Walmart, Tesco, and other consumer-goods companies demanded in a letter that the traders refuse to trade soya from deforested regions of the Cerrado starting next year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRANSPORTATION

New runway for Heathrow could be approved when it’s no longer needed

London’s Heathrow airport is waiting for a ruling from the UK Supreme Court Wednesday that could give it permission to build a third runway that it may no longer need. An appeals court ruled in February that the government failed to take full account of the Paris Climate Agreement when approving the airport’s expansion. Heathrow was allowed to appeal in May, but by then its growth outlook had diminished amid the collapse in travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic. That’s still the case as the Supreme Court prepares to decide whether to uphold the lower court’s ruling or overturn it. Borders are restricted, with the number of passengers passing through Europe’s busiest hub down 88 percent in November, and 72 percent year-to-date. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



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