27-year-old Search Marketing CEO Lands 13-stop U.S. Speaking Tour

Directive Consulting | May 29, 2019

Garrett Mehrguth, the CEO and co-founder of the B2B and enterprise search marketing agency, Directive, recently was selected to speak at 13 stops of the Digital Summit tour. Digital Summit, the largest conference series in the digital marketing industry, has invited Mehrguth to share his unique presentation, "5 Data-Validated Tactics to Increase the Experienced Marketer's Qualified Lead Volume (...and 3 Tactics That Are Guaranteed to Fail)" with their audiences across the nation. Mehrguth will continue to discuss how B2B and enterprise marketers can advance their digital "discoverability" and take control of their residency on search engine results pages. This approach has catalyzed Directive's growth by 300 percent year-over-year. It also is the foundation that the firm's strategies are built on, which is utilized across their portfolio of over 75 clients. "I've had the pleasure of working with Garrett over the past year, as he has proven to be a stand-out speaker in our Digital Summit Series," said Leah Harris, content and product strategist for Digital Summit. "We curate 20 marketing conferences with over 1,000 speakers in total, and Garrett consistently engages the crowd with his expertise and surveys in the top 20 percent of speakers."

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Gabriele Riedner, World Health Organization Representative in Lebanon, describes how the health authorities in Lebanon are improving the quality of mental health care using the QualityRights approach developed by the World Health Organization.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

House Rx Secures $30 Million in Financing to Improve the Specialty Pharmacy Experience for Patients and Their Care Teams

House Rx | March 15, 2022

House Rx, a health technology platform focused on improving affordability and patient access to specialty medications, announced it has secured $25 million in Series A financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, bringing total funding to $30 million. House Rx's technology platform and pharmacy service enable specialty practices to offer medically-integrated dispensing, which means patients can receive both their physician and pharmacy care from one team, collaborating on a unified technology platform. Since it launched in March 2021, House Rx has partnered with four medical specialty practices and 30 prescribers in California and Washington. "We have a simple idea: partner with specialty clinics all over the country to enable medically integrated dispensing where the physician, pharmacist, nurses and techs can work together as one team, under one proverbial roof, to improve patient care. Our vision for the future of specialty pharmacy is a more local, more collaborative, and ultimately a more affordable system that leads to much better outcomes for patients." Ogi Kavazovic, CEO and a co-founder Specialty medications, which include treatments for cancers, rheumatic diseases and other chronic and acute conditions, are some of the most expensive drugs available. Unlike infused therapies which are administered in the clinics, the burden of specialty medication access and adherence often falls on patients, who typically need to battle several large bureaucracies to gain access to their medications. These often lead to multi-week delays in treatment and much lower adherence rates compared to medications administered in clinics. Currently, specialty medications are mainly dispensed via mail by a patient's insurance company, not their doctor or a pharmacy a patient chooses. A growing body of research demonstrates that when patients obtain timely access to cancer treatments directly from their care team, they have better outcomes, including improved quality of life and increased survivability. House Rx currently has over 30 employees, who are mostly software engineers and pharmacy operations. In addition to Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Character.vc, and 1984.vc participated in the Series A funding. First Round Capital led the seed round as the initial investor alongside Khosla Ventures, Maverick Ventures, and 1984.vc. The funding from this latest round will go towards continued investments in House Rx's technology platform and scaling pharmacy operations. "The specialty pharmacy market is in much need of a new approach - the current system severely lacks in patient choice and innovation, and we think House Rx's vision for a more modern, more decentralized approach will have incredible impact," said Steve Kraus, Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners. "Bessemer is proud to back a company with a mission to ultimately make it easier and more cost effective for patients to get the treatment they need." In addition to Kavazovic, the health technology start-up was co-founded by Tesh Khullar, who serves as the company's President. Kavazovic and Khullar are former Flatiron Health executives, where they gained experience working closely with hundreds of oncology clinics. The company's Chief Pharmacy & Operating Officer is Denali Cahoon, PharmD, who is a former executive at Trellis Rx. "The antiquated pharmacy systems developed decades ago inhibit coordinated patient care and increase costs. The current system also prevents patients from choosing where they can get their medically prescribed life-sustaining therapies," said Tesh Khullar, President and a co-founder. "We started House Rx to make the medically integrated dispensing model the new normal in specialty pharmacy. With the right technology, and the right distribution partners, we can re-establish the partnership between physicians and pharmacists that brings a new level of transparency and patient care." House Rx's technology platform helps prescribers and pharmacists collaborate more effectively via one integrated system. Built based on in-depth feedback from pharmacists and physicians, the platform is designed specifically for the management of specialty medication, and includes built-in analytics to enable continuous improvement in operational efficiency and quality of care. The specialty medical practices that have already partnered with House Rx include Care Oncology Center, California; Sarcoma Oncology, California; Arthritis Northwest Washington; and Northwest Medical Specialties, Washington. About House Rx House Rx is a technology-enabled service company focused on making specialty medication more accessible and affordable. We do so by helping clinics dispense specialty medications to their patients in a medically-integrated way using pharmacist expertise and modern technology. By helping physicians and pharmacists collaborate on patient care, we're able to improve patient outcomes, lower the cost of care, and create a better experience for patients and their caregivers.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Brainlab Announces the Majority Acquisition of medPhoton

Brainlab | May 13, 2022

Brainlab, a digital medical technology company, announced today the majority acquisition of medPhoton GmbH, a Salzburg, Austria-based company, that develops and manufactures robotic imaging solutions for image guided radiation therapy and surgery. Over the last years, medPhoton has maintained a close partnership with Brainlab in the field of intraoperative imaging. This collaboration resulted in the market launch of the mobile imaging robot, Loop-X®, in 2020. Brainlab strategically invested in medPhoton, co-funded the development of Loop-X and became the exclusive distributor of the mobile imaging robot in the field of surgery. "Through the completion of this majority acquisition, we want to build on the previous success of Loop-X and decisively shape the future of intraoperative imaging. In this way, we can combine and align the entrepreneurial pursuits and innovative potential of both companies. Our united goal is to expand the market position of Loop-X as a 3D imaging device for surgery so that doctors can gain access to cutting edge equipment for patient treatment." Stefan Vilsmeier, President and CEO of Brainlab Loop-X mobile imaging robot is central to the Brainlab robotics portfolio and already part of everyday clinical practice in numerous hospitals worldwide. Loop-X sets new standards in surgery with automated imaging steps and robotic assistance. With the support of Loop-X, surgeons and staff gain flexibility and freedom of movement during surgery through access to high resolution 2D and 3D imaging. The independent movement of the imaging components and collimation capabilities allow non-isocentric imaging. Structures can be covered that are much larger—for example, the pelvis—but, patient tailored imaging now also covers much smaller areas—reducing the radiation volume to where it is needed. Beyond diagnostic imaging, this intelligent robot can capture partial information, “digitizing” anatomical intraoperative changes in order to update a “digital model” of the patient previously generated by aggregating pre-operative images. Heinz Deutschmann, CEO of medPhoton, looks forward to the expansion of the strategic partnership: "From the very beginning, Brainlab believed in the strength of our innovation, creativity and drive in the field of radiotherapy. Through our partnership, Brainlab provided us with significant support as we established our presence in the surgical device market and developed our production capabilities. Moving forward, we will continue to advance the production of Loop-X as well as coordinate research and development efforts to build next-generation systems with the objective of exploring new medical applications to improve surgical procedures and therapies. The majority acquisition by Brainlab is therefore the next logical step for us to achieve our most important goal: to advance research and development work at the highest level and expand the production of best-in-class medical technology to provide efficient therapies with optimal safety for patients." medPhoton will continue to operate as an independent research and development company within the Brainlab Group. Together, Brainlab and medPhoton will explore additional areas of application for the technology including radiotherapy, such as brachytherapy, particle therapy and intraoperative radiation therapy. Both companies will also further expand the capabilities at the medPhoton site in Salzburg, Austria. About Brainlab Brainlab is a digital medical technology pioneer founded in 1989 and headquartered in Munich. The company employs more than 2000 people in 25 locations around the globe. Brainlab serves physicians, medical professionals and their patients in over 6000 hospitals in 121 countries. Brainlab creates software-driven medical solutions that digitize, automate and optimize clinical workflows for neurosurgery, spine, trauma, craniomaxillofacial (CMF), general and vascular surgery as well as radiotherapy and radiosurgery. Core products center around surgical navigation, radiotherapy, digital operating room integration, and information and knowledge exchange. The Brainlab open framework operating system will allow third parties to develop medical applications to further advance the field of spatial computing and mixed reality. Brainlab is dedicated to creating an impact in healthcare. The company connects opportunities from emerging digital technologies to transform healthcare at scale and help improve the lives of patients worldwide. About medPhoton medPhoton develops and manufactures CE marked and FDA cleared medical devices for image guided procedures in surgery and radiation therapy, with a strong focus on particle therapy. Advanced product development centers on innovative, universal solutions for robotic, navigated applications in surgery, interventional radiology, brachytherapy and intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). The company’s core competencies and patented solutions with X-ray-based imaging chains and algorithms are being customized for system integrators in B2B partnerships worldwide.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Laborie Medical Technologies Acquires GI Supply

Laborie Medical Technologies | April 21, 2022

Leading diagnostic and therapeutic medical technology company, Laborie Medical Technologies Corp. announced that it has completed the acquisition of GI Supply, a leader in specialty endoscopy and paracentesis products for gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, and interventional radiologists. As part of the transaction, GI Supply and all its employees will be fully integrated into the Laborie business. "We've had the opportunity to work closely with the GI Supply team for two years and are delighted to welcome them into the Laborie family," said Michael Frazzette, President & CEO of Laborie Medical Technologies. "We look forward to working together in our mission to deliver innovative technologies that help preserve and restore human dignity. Gastroenterology will continue to be a core segment for Laborie and legacy GI Supply will lead our effort." In 2020, Laborie and Signet Healthcare Partners, a healthcare growth equity firm, signed an agreement to acquire GI Supply. The combined GI Supply and Laborie product portfolio and commercial capabilities enabled the organizations to reach a larger customer base and offer healthcare practitioners a broad portfolio of innovative gastroenterology products. "We are delighted with the growth and progress of GI Supply over the past several years. We thank Patricia Industries and Laborie for their partnership in helping to develop this business. The future is very bright for GI Supply as part of Laborie." Ashley Friedman, Managing Director at Signet Healthcare Partners Yuriy Prilutskiy, Head of North America at Patricia Industries, a part of Investor AB and majority owner of Laborie Medical Technologies added, "Patricia Industries is excited to continue investing in Laborie's long-term growth with this acquisition. We continue to support Laborie in its mission to provide patients and healthcare professionals with innovative and effective therapeutic and diagnostic technologies that preserve and restore human dignity." About Laborie Medical Technologies Headquartered in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Laborie is a global medical technology company focused on Urology, Urogynecology, Gastroenterology, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Neonatal Health. We manufacture and deliver high-quality, high-impact diagnostic and therapeutic products that help clinicians and hospitals preserve and restore patient dignity. Clinicians and hospitals look to us as the market-leading experts in our business segments, and we support our products with a world-class Clinical Education & Information program. Laborie is a portfolio company of Patricia Industries. About GI Supply As a physician-founded company, we strive for deep clinical input into all that we do. GI Supply is broadening its portfolio with solutions that allow physicians to perform more-advanced procedures safely and efficiently. We help doctors do their jobs faster, safer and simpler. About Patricia Industries Patricia Industries, a part of Investor AB, invests in best-in-class companies with strong market positions, brands and corporate cultures within industries positioned for secular growth. We invest with an indefinite holding period and partner with great management teams to create value for people and society by building strong and sustainable businesses. About Investor AB Investor, founded by the Wallenberg family in 1916, is an engaged owner of high-quality, global companies. We have a long-term investment perspective. Through our board participation, industrial experience, global network and financial strength, we work continuously to support our companies to remain or become best-in-class. About Signet Healthcare Partners Signet Healthcare Partners is an established provider of growth capital to innovative healthcare companies. Signet invests in commercial-stage healthcare companies that are revenue generating or preparing for commercial launch. The firm invests primarily in pharmaceutical and medical device companies. As an active investor, Signet partners closely with its companies to build their value including facilitating activities between portfolio companies. During Signet's 24-year history, the firm has developed a strong reputation and track record of successful healthcare investments. Signet has raised funds with total capital commitments of over $500 million and has invested in more than 55 companies.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Ascensus Closes Newport Merger Agreement

Ascensus | April 11, 2022

Ascensus—whose technology and expertise help millions of people save for retirement, education, and healthcare—and Newport, the Walnut Creek, California-based retirement services provider—announced today that the two companies have closed their previously announced merger, the first step in their journey together as a combined organization. The union combines the capabilities and talents of two market leaders in tax-advantaged savings and related services, serving more than 15 million savers and overseeing more than $745 billion in assets under administration as of December 31, 2021. Together, the unified company employs more than 5,400 employees across the U.S. David Musto, president and chief executive officer of Ascensus, will serve as CEO of the combined company. Laura Ramanis, who has served as interim CEO of Newport since the announcement of the transaction last fall, and Kurt Laning, executive vice president of Newport Non-Qualified and Insurance Solutions, will join the Ascensus executive leadership team, reporting to Musto. "With today's announcement, Ascensus and Newport have taken an important step in our journey towards a stronger, unified company. Clients across our lines of business will benefit from our expanded capabilities—accelerated investments in technology, data analytics, and user experiences—and broadened expertise. And both Ascensus and Newport associates can look forward to new opportunities for personal growth and enhanced career development." Musto "Ascensus and Newport share a passion for helping people save for their futures and supporting the growth and success of our partners," said Ramanis. "We look forward to continuing that mission as a combined company." With industry-leading qualified and non-qualified retirement plan services, corporate and bank-owned life insurance (COLI and BOLI) practices, fiduciary and trust solutions, and other total rewards capabilities, Newport expands the services and expertise Ascensus provides to its clients and advisor partners. Newport's clients will benefit from greater access to unique tax-advantaged savings solutions across retirement, education, and health provided by Ascensus. The combined company's investments in technology, digital capabilities, and analytics will deliver enhanced value to clients, expand client relationships, and create even better outcomes for savers. Both the Ascensus and Newport brands remain in use at closing, with the Ascensus brand representing the unified company. "Our goal over the next several months is the successful unification of our company—built on the principle of 'best of the best' and our shared cultural attributes, and executed with the interests, quality, and stability of our client relationships foremost in mind," added Musto. "As a unified organization, Ascensus and Newport share a strong commitment to serving our clients and offering more—across the tax-advantaged retirement, education, and health savings expertise for which Ascensus is known, and capitalizing on Newport's well-established qualified and non-qualified retirement services, and fiduciary and COLI/BOLI capabilities as well." Evercore acted as exclusive financial advisor to Newport in connection with the transaction. Goldman Sachs Bank USA, SPC Financing Company LLC, and KKR Capital Markets LLC led the financing consortium. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as transactional counsel to Ascensus and Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as financing counsel to Ascensus. Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel to Newport. About Ascensus Ascensus helps millions of people save for what matters—retirement, education, and healthcare. Through co-branded, private-labeled, and other governmental partnerships, our technology, market insights, and business knowledge enhance the growth and success of our partners, their clients, and savers. Ascensus is a leading recordkeeping services provider, third-party administrator, and government savings facilitator in the United States. About Newport Headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, Newport is a leading retirement services provider that helps employers—and the advisors who serve them—prepare employees for a more financially secure retirement. The company has more than $150 billion in retirement assets under administration and more than $300 billion in corporate retirement and insurance assets. Newport maintains investment objectivity, fee transparency and a commitment to flexible, responsive service. Staffed by an exceptional team of nearly 1,500 retirement, insurance, and consulting professionals, the company provides retirement solutions tailored to the needs of employers of every size, from small businesses to the Fortune 1000.

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Spotlight

Gabriele Riedner, World Health Organization Representative in Lebanon, describes how the health authorities in Lebanon are improving the quality of mental health care using the QualityRights approach developed by the World Health Organization.

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