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Coalition urges federal officials to put new research agency in Mass.

The Coalition for Health Advances & Research in Massachusetts released a letter on Thursday with some 80 signatories stating that the state has the “density of resources” necessary for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, aka ARPA-H. That list of signatures has been shared with President Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary, Xavier Becerra, and the new ARPA-H director, Renee Wegrzyn, pictured here.Sarah Silbiger/NYT


Coalition urges federal officials to put new research agency in Mass.

A group of universities, hospitals, and life science companies is ramping up its efforts to persuade federal officials to locate a new federal health research agency in Massachusetts. The Coalition for Health Advances & Research in Massachusetts released a letter on Thursday with some 80 signatories stating that the state has the “density of resources” necessary for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, aka ARPA-H. That list of signatures — a mix of Massachusetts university leaders, biotech executives, trade groups, and hospital administrators — has been shared with the new ARPA-H director, Renee Wegrzyn, and President Biden’s Health and Human Services secretary, Xavier Becerra. The decision about where to locate ARPA-H will likely be up to Wegrzyn and Becerra. However, a debate has ensued in Congress about whether ARPA-H should be located in the Washington, D.C., area or away from it. Among other things, the letter states: “ARPA-H was created to move scientific breakthroughs forward more quickly to solve global health challenges. Massachusetts boasts innovative organizations that are not only driving cutting edge research and development but are also well versed in technology transfer and commercialization.” — JON CHESTO



Rates continuing climbing, on the verge of 7 percent

Average long-term US mortgage rates inched up this week ahead of another expected rate increase by the Federal Reserve when it meets early next month. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average on the key 30-year rate ticked up this week to 6.94 percent from 6.92 percent last week. Last year at this time, the rate was 3.09 percent. The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate mortgages, popular among those looking to refinance their homes, jumped to 6.23 percent from 6.09 percent last week. One year ago, the 15-year rate was 2.33 percent. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Texas sues Google over biometric data

Texas sued Google over claims that the search engine giant is illegally capturing the biometric data of users without their consent, the latest in a series of lawsuits by the state against tech companies over online privacy. Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., has collected millions of biometric identifiers from Texas residents, including voice prints and records of face geometry through products like Google Photos and Google Assistant, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday in a statement. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Sneakers on display inside an Adidas AG store in London.Hollie Adams/Photographer: Hollie Adams/Bloom


Adidas has lots of unsold sneakers

Adidas warned that unsold goods are piling up as consumer demand weakens across China and western markets, prompting a fresh profit warning from the sneaker maker. The German company said it now expects an operating margin of 4 percent this fiscal year, down from a prior forecast of 7 percent. Its full-year revenues will grow at a mid-single-digit rather than mid- to high-single-digit rate. The warning extends a run of bad news from Adidas. Earlier this month the company put its relationship with Kanye West under review amid growing acrimony and erratic behavior from the hip-hop icon and designer. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Home sales down again in September

Sales of previously occupied US homes fell in September for the eighth month in a row, matching the prepandemic sales pace from 10 years ago, as house hunters grappled with sharply higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a still tight supply of properties on the market. The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that existing home sales fell 1.5 percent last month from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million. Sales fell 23.8 percent from September of last year and are now at the slowest annual pace since September 2012, excluding the steep slowdown in sales that occurred in May 2020 near the start of the pandemic. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



American joins United and Delta in reporting a banner summer

DALLAS — The three biggest US airlines enjoyed a boffo summer, reaping a combined profit of more than $2 billion as Americans jammed onto planes despite fares that were sharply higher than a year ago. What pandemic? American Airlines said Thursday that it earned $483 million on record-breaking revenue that more than offset higher fuel costs in the third quarter. American predicted that profit will continue to exceed Wall Street expectations during the holiday-packed remainder of 2022. The results from American, however, weren’t quite as grand as figures from its more prosperous rivals. United Airlines reported a $942 million profit on Tuesday, and Delta Air Lines posted third-quarter earnings of $695 million last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

A logo sits on display on a building at the Novartis AG campus in Basel, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg


Novartis allows manufacture of generic leukemia treatment

Novartis agreed to allow generic drugmakers in seven middle-income nations to produce a leukemia treatment, the first time a voluntary license has been granted for a patented cancer drug as part of a public health initiative. The oral drug, nilotinib, is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia and may be made in Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Tunisia, according to the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed public health organization. Patents on the drug are either pending or in force in those countries. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Even working from home, nearly everyone sticks to 9 to 5

Even as more companies accept remote work arrangements, the norm of being available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shows little sign of fading. That’s even though 94 percent of desk workers want flexibility in when they work, according to a new survey by Slack Technologies’ Future Forum, compared with 80 percent who say they want location flexibility. Slack polled more than 10,000 desk workers in the United States, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK. Asynchronous arrangements — meaning that employees get work done on their own schedules and aren’t required to be online at the same time as their coworkers — remain rare outside some startups and tech companies. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Royal Caribbean to set sail with world’s largest ship

The cruise industry may still be struggling to recover from the pandemic, but Royal Caribbean will soon begin taking reservations for its newest vessel, set to be the largest in the world. The Icon of the Seas will accommodate 5,610 passengers and 2,350 crew. At 250,800 gross tons, it will be the largest by that industry measure, according to Jay Schneider, chief product innovation officer for the company’s Royal Caribbean line. The company’s Wonder of the Seas is the current record holder. Royal Caribbean will take reservations from the public starting Oct. 25. Icon won’t set sail until Jan. 28, 2024, when it will offer seven-night voyages in the Caribbean. It’s the first of three ships in the Icon class, costing close to $2 billion each to build. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Amazon sued in UK over algorithm

Amazon faces a UK class-action lawsuit over claims the tech giant uses a “secretive” algorithm to abuse its dominant position in the online marketplace. Amazon has made millions of customers pay more by hiding better deals on platforms to boost its own products, Hausfeld, the law firm behind the case, alleges. It does this by using a “secretive and self-favoring algorithm” in its Buy Box feature. A spokesperson for the Seattle-based company said the claim “is without merit and we’re confident that will become clear through the legal process.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS