Employers will spend up to 6% more on healthcare next year, PwC finds

beckershospitalreview | June 20, 2019

Despite efforts to cut healthcare costs through high deductibles and other cost sharing, private employer medical costs are projected to increase by 6 percent in 2020, according to PwC Health Research Institute's annual medical cost trend survey.For its Behind the Numbers report, the institute conducted 55 interviews with health industry executives, health benefits experts and health plan actuaries. Additionally, it analyzed results from its national consumer survey of 2,500 adults and a 2019 health and well-being touchstone survey of more than 550 employers from 37 industries.

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Flowers have become a universal sign of love and affection, but are there other reasons to love these colorful plants? Not only can a bouquet of colorful flowers lend a touch of beauty and a pleasant aroma to the room, they can actually have a whole host of other health benefits, too.


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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Medicago Announces Publication of Phase 3 COVID-19 Vaccine Study Results in New England Journal of Medicine

Medicago | May 06, 2022

Medicago announced the publication of the results from the Phase 3 study of COVIFENZ®, COVID-19 vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted, in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Phase 3 trial studied the two-dose regimen of COVIFENZ® given 21 days apart versus placebo in over 24,000 subjects aged 18 and above. Common side effects in the vaccine group included injection site pain, headache, fatigue, fever, muscle aches, and chills. COVIFENZ® is indicated for active immunization to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 in individuals 18 to 64 years of age. The safety and efficacy of COVIFENZ® in individuals younger than 18 years of age or 65 years and older have not been established. COVIFENZ® has not yet received approval in other jurisdictions. “We are proud to have our Phase 3 clinical trial published in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine to be shared with the larger scientific community. Medicago’s scientific team has dedicated decades to the development of our proprietary plant-based vaccine manufacturing platform, and we are thrilled to see our results disseminated in this way. We hope that this exchange of research and knowledge will encourage and inspire future innovation in biomedical science and clinical practice.” Marc-André D’Aoust, Executive Vice President, Innovation, Development and Medical Affairs at Medicago COVIFENZ® was authorized for use by Health Canada on February 24, 2022. This is the first authorized COVID-19 vaccine developed by a Canadian-headquartered company, and the first that uses a plant-based protein technology. “The world needs a diverse range of vaccine options to continue to fight COVID-19, and we are proud to be able to contribute,” said Toshifumi Tada, CEO and President at Medicago. About Medicago Medicago is on a mission to help improve global public health using the power of plants. Founded in 1999 with the belief that innovative approaches and rigorous research would bring new solutions in healthcare, Medicago is a pioneer in plant-based therapeutics. We are proudly rooted in Quebec, with manufacturing capacity in both Canada and the US. Our passionate and curious team of over 500 scientific experts and employees are dedicated to using our technology to provide rapid responses to emerging global health challenges, and to advancing therapeutics against life-threatening diseases worldwide. Medicago is an affiliated company of Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation. About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation, the majority parent company of Medicago, is one of the large Japanese pharmaceutical companies, with its headquarters in Osaka, Japan. It positions vaccines as one of its key R&D areas and is also working to develop new modalities of vaccines. MTPC will further contribute to the prevention of infectious diseases which is one of the world’s important social issues, by delivering a new option of plant-based VLP vaccine as a new type of vaccine. MTPC is a member of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

PulsePoint Releases Next Generation Health Media Platform With Advanced Automation And AI

PulsePoint | July 06, 2021

PulsePoint, a technology company revolutionizing health decision-making in real-time, today announced the next generation launch of its digital media buying platform, Life by PulsePoint™. Its enhanced AI and automation simplifies and supercharges the media planning, activation, and optimization processes. Designed for the self-serve programmatic trader, these updates promote efficiencies and surface predictive and in-flight campaign analytics for quick strategic decisioning to yield higher media return on investment. Built upon PulsePoint's extensive data foundation, Genome™, that proactively uses microdata to capture attention when intent is signaled, Life is the leading healthcare end-to-end programmatic platform. Life's automated machine learning and AI allows marketers to quickly create highly-customized segments that classify populations in real-time, and deliver sequential messaging to drive customer actions in the moment and across the health journey. This next generation of the Life platform includes: • Advanced media planning innovations: Life offers an AI-powered forecasting tool used to run simulations to generate predictive performance metrics and intelligent audience insights. This makes it easier for marketers to preview budgets and ideate and adjust tactics to obtain their desired campaign outcomes, all before a single dollar is spent. Each forecast is powered by detailed supply and channel insights, like expected delivery, and campaign performance can be viewed by a variety of dimensions, including creative types, domains/apps, condition categories, healthcare professional specialties, geographies, among others. • Better campaign management with advanced dashboard: An automated and real-time view of line item performance and pacing gives traders a deeper, more granular look into their campaigns, making it easier for them to optimize their spend based on flight delivery and anticipate new incremental opportunities. The dashboard not only surfaces key numbers, but it also includes dynamic performance charts to uncover real-time campaign insights. • Turnkey PMP (private marketplaces) deal builder: Enhanced with turnkey end-to-end functionality, self-serve traders can now enable the deals that they negotiated directly with publishers and/or SSPs through Life's UI, decreasing the time it takes to launch PMPs. "Life was built for the healthcare marketer to simplify and optimize marketing campaigns," said Andrew Stark, CRO of PulsePoint. "Our newest capabilities increase efficiencies through advanced forecasting and real-time performance optimization, enabling more control and enhanced campaign management." Life by PulsePoint provides access to over 110 billion daily impressions across more than 2 million health pages, reaching 1.8M+ opted-in, verified healthcare professionals and over 90% of the online U.S. population. This release is just another step in PulsePoint's journey to deliver personalized messaging at each stage of the health journey using predictive insights built on real-time data. The company was recently acquired by Internet Brands, a KKR portfolio company and owner of WebMD Health Corp. PulsePoint's teams will continue to operate as their own division from their existing hubs in New York, San Francisco, and London. About PulsePoint PulsePoint is a leading technology company that uses real-world data in real-time to optimize campaign performance and revolutionize health decision-making. Leveraging proprietary datasets and methodology, PulsePoint targets healthcare professionals and patients with an unprecedented level of accuracy—delivering unparalleled results to the clients we serve.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

GeneQuantum and AIMEDBIO Collaborate on a First-in-Class Antibody -Drug-Conjugate

GeneQuantum Healthcare | April 19, 2022

GeneQuantum Healthcare Co., Ltd., a company specializing in site-specific bioconjugation for next generation biotherapeutics, has signed an agreement with a Korean biotech company, Aimed Bio Inc., to co-develop a First-in-Class therapeutic antibody drug conjugate (ADC). Aimed Bio, a spin-off company from Samsung Medical Center, is focusing on developing innovative antibody-centric drugs for brain diseases with few treatment options. Additional details were not disclosed. GeneQuantum focuses on next generation Antibody Drug Conjugate development. Taking advantage of the proprietary 'Ligase Dependent Conjugation' technology platform, which allows a site-specific conjugation of cytotoxins or other type of payloads to antibodies, the company has successfully developed a robust pipeline with more than 10 assets, with several at or approaching clinical stage. In addition to expanding the unique technology platform, the company has entered into a number of partnerships with domestic biotech/pharmaceutical companies and international partners. The growing number of partnerships speaks to the power of the GeneQuantum platform technology for not only improving key therapeutic characteristics of existing molecules, but also for creating new classes of molecules, ultimately increasing the number of available treatment options for patients worldwide. GeneQuantum is excited about the significant potential of partnerships with business partners and will continue to expand its deal pipeline in the antibody drug conjugate and protein therapeutic market. The collaborating ADC is a first-in-class asset with highly differentiated antibody against a unique target, a stable linker design and a novel payload with a strong by-stander killing effect. The resulting ADC is expected to treat brain and other cancers with huge unmet needs. "As an innovative antibody+ company, we look for complementary partners to maximize value of our platform technology. Aimed Bio not only has differentiated antibody acting on a unique target but also has deep knowledge and expertise in the field of brain tumor & CNS diseases. This collaboration is based on an excellent match between the two companies to generate a FIC ADC. Through close partnership, we are thrilled to bring revolutionary therapy for those patients without efficient treatment at this moment." Dr. Gang Qin, the Founder & Chairman, CEO of GeneQuantum Dr. Dohyun Nam, the Founder & Chairman, CTO of Aimed Bio and internationally renowned neurosurgeon with 32 years of experience in brain tumor & CNS diseases commented: "Aimed Bio has been successfully expanding its R&D pipeline for the past 2 years, and I am pleased to start this collaboration with GeneQuantum. After evaluating the data, the linker-payload and conjugation technology GeneQuantum provides proved to be very safe and effective. With the best antibody and brain tumor expertise of Aimed Bio, I believe the collaborating ADC will bring a tremendous impact on the field. We look forward to initiating clinical trial as soon as possible." About GeneQuantum Healthcare Co., Ltd. GeneQuantum Healthcare Co., Ltd. is a high-tech biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of innovative biotherapeutics. The company is focused on the development of a next generation of bioconjugate therapeutics to meet the unmet medical needs of cancer patients globally. For more information, visit www.genequantum.com. About AIMEDBIO Inc. AIMEDBIO is a spin-off company from Samsung Medical Center established in August 2018. AIMEDBIO aims to provide therapeutic solutions to patients with serious brain diseases, including neuro-oncological and -degenerative diseases, to save patients' lives and improve patients' quality of life. Based on solid global networks with key opinion leaders in the field, an excellent research team with profound achievements, and R&D pipelines with an outstanding drug development platform, AIMEDBIO is an emerging leader for development of innovative therapeutics against diverse brain diseases.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Texas Children's Hospital And Baylor College of Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Technology Secures Emergency Use Authorization In India

Texas Children Hospital | December 29, 2021

Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine announced today that CORBEVAX™, a protein sub-unit COVID-19 Vaccine, whose technology was created and engineered at its Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval from the Drugs Controller General ofIndia(DCGI)to launch inIndiawith other underserved countries to follow. Dubbed "The World's COVID-19 Vaccine", it uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that will enable its production at large scales making it widely accessible to inoculate the global population. The initial construct and production process of the vaccine antigen was developed at Texas Children's Hospital CVD, led by co-directors Drs. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Peter Hotez and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine's integrated commercialization team, to Hyderabad-based vaccine and pharmaceutical company Biological E. Limited (BE). CORBEVAX™ after completing two Phase III clinical trials involving more than 3000 subjects was found to be safe, well tolerated and immunogenic: CORBEVAX™ demonstrated superior immune response in comparison with COVISHIELD™ vaccine when assessed for Neutralizing Antibody (nAb) Geometric Mean Titers (GMT) against the Ancestral-Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta variant. CORBEVAX™ vaccination also generated significant Th1 skewed cellular immune response. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against Ancestral-Wuhan strain is indicative of vaccine effectiveness of >90% for prevention of symptomatic infections based on the Correlates of Protection assessment performed during Moderna and Astra-Zeneca vaccine Phase III studies. CORBEVAX™ nAb GMT against the Delta strain indicates a vaccine effectiveness of >80 percent for the prevention of symptomatic infections based on published studies. While none of the subjects who took CORBEVAX™ or COVISHIELD™ had serious adverse events, CORBEVAX™ had 50 percent fewer adverse events than COVISHIELD™. In the continuous monitoring of phase II studies, CORBEVAX™ showed high persistence of immune response as indicated by <30% drop in nAb GMT till 6 months second dose as compared to >80% drop observed with majority of the vaccines. "Protein-based vaccines have been widely used to prevent many other diseases, have proven safety records, and use economies of scale to achieve low-cost scalability across the world," said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, Professor and Associate Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Our decade-long studies advancing coronavirus vaccine prototypes has led to the creation of this vaccine, which will fill the access gap created by the more expensive, newer vaccine technologies and that today are still not able to be quickly scaled for global production." The need for safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccines for middle- to low-income countries is central to the world's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread vaccination of populations in the Global South, additional virus variants will arise, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries. "This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant," said Dr. Peter Hotez, Professor and Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and Co-Director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. "Widespread and global vaccination with our Texas Children's-Baylor-BE vaccine would also forestall the emergence of new variants. We have previously missed that opportunity for the alpha and delta variant. Now is our chance to prevent a new global wave from what might follow." "Over the years, we have worked to make quality vaccines and pharmaceutical products accessible to families around the world. With this as our backdrop, we resolved to develop an affordable and effective COVID-19 vaccine. It has now become a reality. We deeply appreciate Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, Baylor, CEPI, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the government of India for their continuous support and cooperation during this journey. The combined efforts & unceasing support demonstrate that we can collectively overcome any challenge". Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E. Limited ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children's hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children's has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women's health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children's Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children's care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children's HealthPlan, the nation's first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children's Pediatrics; Texas Children's Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that's channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children's Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children's Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. ABOUT TEXAS CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE DEVELOPMENT Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is one of the leading vaccine development centers in the world. Established in Washington DC as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (PDP) in the year 2000 and after relocating to the Texas Medical Center in 2011, it rebranded as Texas Children's Center for Vaccine Development. For the past two decades it has acquired an international reputation as a non-profit PDP, advancing vaccines for poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases of pandemic importance. In addition, it builds and strengthens capacity for vaccine development locally and with foreign nations and leads global efforts to guide and influence vaccine policy and advocacy through "vaccine diplomacy" as an international bridge for peace and vaccine development capacity. ABOUT BCM VENTURES Baylor College of Medicine Ventures is the commercial engine of the health sciences university, created to support the translation of academic knowledge and intellectual assets for the benefit of society. We do this by engaging university innovators, entrepreneurs and industry to fully develop ideas along their best commercial path. We foster a culture of commercialization and engage with industry to identify market opportunities for collaborative ventures. ABOUT BIOLOGICAL E. LIMITED Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company founded in 1953, is the first private sector biological products company in India and the first pharmaceutical company in Southern India. BE develops, manufactures and supplies vaccines and therapeutics. BE supplies its vaccines to over 100 countries and its therapeutic products are sold in India and the USA. BE currently has 8 WHO-prequalified vaccines in its portfolio. In recent years, BE has embarked on new initiatives for organisational expansion such as developing generic injectable products for the regulated markets, exploring synthetic biology and metabolic engineering as a means to manufacture APIs sustainably and developing novel vaccines for the global market.

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Spotlight

Flowers have become a universal sign of love and affection, but are there other reasons to love these colorful plants? Not only can a bouquet of colorful flowers lend a touch of beauty and a pleasant aroma to the room, they can actually have a whole host of other health benefits, too.

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