You’d think that if Jim Simons was going to put his family’s money up to end a deadly disease, it would be lung cancer. But no: Jim Simons already knows how to stop adenocarcinoma, and it’s by quitting smoking, something that he has not done at the age of 81. So instead, the Simons billions are going toward ensuring that if we do, contrary to Larry Kudlow’s assurances, face a coronavirus pandemic, it will be for the first and only time.

Simons, through his family office, started investing in the company, called Codagenix, at least four years ago and now owns a little more than a 25% stake.

“It still takes a while to get a vaccination program underway,” Simons, 81, said Tuesday on the sidelines of the MoMath Masters Tournament in New York.

No word yet on whether Bob Mercer’s piss stockpile may play a role, or if Simons’ former partner is eager for the potential Darwinian implications of a true pandemic.

Jim Simons-Backed Codagenix Is Developing a Coronavirus Vaccine [Bloomberg Law]
Codagenix and Serum Institute of India Initiate Co-Development of a Scalable, Live-Attenuated Vaccine Against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 [press release]

Related

This Is A Story About A Guy Telling A Random Dude On The Street "I'm actually building a hedge fund that uses quantitative strategies to pick stocks" And That Dude Actually Being Jim Simons

Something we've long-maintained around the Dealbreaker office is that hedge fund manager Jim Simons would make a great fairy godmother, what with his soothing voice, white beard, and the fact that he's really just a lovable math teacher who happened to make a zillion dollars by tinkering away the computers in his garage and would be happy to lend the powers of his magic cigarette wand to those in need.  So we were extremely pleased to have our attention brought to an anecdote from Scott Patterson's Dark Pools, in which Simons seems to appear out of nowhere, just like a FGM would, sprinkles unexpected gifts on a young man and woman (of both hope* and nicotine), and then disappears as quickly as he came via golden carriage. (We also appreciate that Simons is the kind of FGM that will laugh in your face as you explain to him what a quant fund is, not realizing he's got some experience there.) One day in the summer of 2006, Fleiss was having lunch outdoors with his girlfriend at a restaurant on the Upper East Side. As they chatted in the sun after their meal, an elderly man dressed in a modest suit walked out of the restaurant and lit up a cigarette. Fleiss's girlfriend bummed a smoke off him, and they began to chat. "So what do you do?" he asked Fleiss. "I'm actually building a hedge fund that uses quantitative strategies to pick stocks," he said. "Oh really?" The man laughed. "Where did you go to school?" "Amherst." "Good school. You know, I'm also in the quant biz." Fleiss asked where he worked, but the man wouldn't answer. But Fleiss kept pushing. Finally, the man said he ran a fund called Renaissance Technologies. Fleiss nearly fell out of his chair. He wanted to talk more, but a gleaming Bentley had just pulled to the curb and Jim Simons quickly disappeared into it. Dark Pools [Scott Patterson] Related: Who Wants to Become A Rebellion Research Investor? *That some of his quant-i-ness would rub off on the guy.