GNS Healthcare presents verified use of AI to classify drivers of response to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy

GNS Healthcare | July 22, 2020

GNS Healthcare (GNS), a leading AI and simulation company, presents results that validate the use of AI to accurately classify tumors based on their immunogenicity and predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy using real-world data. The study showcases the power of causal AI to capture biomarkers and mechanisms, in addition to PD(L)1 and tumor mutation burden (TMB), that are consistent with known immunology. These markers, including CXCL13 upregulation and STK11 mutation, are in line with the targets that are currently being explored for stratification of responders vs. non-responders to ICI therapy, cohort selection, enrichment of future immunoncology trials, or ICI efficacy improvement through combination therapy. The study applied AI to tumor data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to identify the drivers of immune response. The data from nearly 700 NSCLC and over 400 HNSCC patients were fed into REFS, GNS's causal AI and simulation platform, which reverse-engineered in silico patients which accurately classified tumors based on their response. Macrophage activation and polarization, which is driven in part by metabolic reprogramming, was identified as the primary driver of tumor immunogenicity which can allow for a more targeted approach to patient care and clinical trial design. "Over the past decade we have seen nearly a dozen immuno-oncology treatments approved but treatment protocols are still based only on a few biomarkers. The presentation of our work is not only a validation of how AI can extract critical insights from real-world data, but also a milestone in our mission to make precision oncology a reality," said Colin Hill, GNS Healthcare CEO and Co-Founder. These findings from these in silico patients can be used by biopharma companies to select optimal patient populations for clinical trials based on likelihood of response and discover novel biomarkers that make tumors more susceptible to immune therapy, irrespective of response to PD(L)1 therapy. The findings are also beginning to unlock the value of investments in real-world and clinical data to inform future trial design, enable discovery of novel drug targets, and better position drugs across global markets.

Spotlight

We have fun at Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital! Our Hemby team (and an 8-year-old patient!) choreographed and performed a flash mob showcasing the walls of our children's hospital. While initially created for viewing at a North Carolina Nurses Association event, we decided their dance talents were too good to be kept from everyone. Enjoy!


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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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MEDICAL DEVICES

Medtronic announces regulatory approval and launch in Japan of Micra AV Transcatheter Pacing System

Medtronic | January 11, 2022

Medtronic plc, a global leader in healthcare technology,today announced it has received approval fromJapan'sMinistry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the sale and reimbursement of the Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), and the company will launch the product this month. This approval expands the number of patients inJapan– one of the largest markets in the world – who are eligible to receive the Micra TPS, the world's smallest pacemaker. The Micra AV is indicated for the treatment of patients with AV block, a condition in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricle) are impaired. The Micra TPS is the first-ever leadless pacemaker; its first version (the Micra VR) was approved inJapanin 2017 for patients who only require single-chamber pacing. "Pacemakers have made significant progress over their approximately 60-year history, including miniaturization, improvements in pacing technology, MRI compatibility, and remote monitoring," explainedKyoko Soejima, professor of cardiovascular internal medicine at Kyorin University Hospital and a member of the Micra TPS Global Clinical Trial steering committee. "The first Micra system transformed the concept of pacemakers by eliminating surgical pockets and leads, and Micra AV promises to deliver the benefits of leadless pacing to a larger number of patients because ventricular pacing can be performed synchronously with the atrium." Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called "leads." Identical in size and shape to the original Micra TPS, Micra AV has several additional algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing "AV synchronous" pacing therapy to patients with AV block. The Micra AV approval is based on data from the MARVEL 2 (Micra Atrial Tracking Using A Ventricular accELerometer) study, which evaluated the safety and effectiveness of accelerometer-based atrial sensing algorithms. The study evaluated the ability of the Micra's internal sensor to monitor and detect atrial contractions and enable coordinated pacing between the atrium and ventricle, thereby providing AV synchrony. "Since introducing the first battery-powered external pacemaker in 1957 to the innovative Micra leadless pacemaker portfolio, Medtronic continues to pioneer pacing innovations for physicians and their patients." Rob Kowal, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of the Cardiac Rhythm Management business at Medtronic About the Micra Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS) The Micra TPS received CE Mark inApril 2015and U.S. FDA approval in 2016. Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is attached to the heart with small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device. Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require leads or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, so potential sources of complications related to leads and pockets are reduced, and there is no visible sign of the device. About Medtronic Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered inDublin, Ireland, is the leading global healthcare technology company that boldly attacks the most challenging health problems facing humanity by searching out and finding solutions. Our Mission — to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life — unites a global team of 90,000+ passionate people across 150 countries. Our technologies and therapies treat 70 health conditions and include cardiac devices, surgical robotics, insulin pumps, surgical tools, patient monitoring systems, and more. Powered by our diverse knowledge, insatiable curiosity, and desire to help all those who need it, we deliver innovative technologies that transform the lives of two people every second, every hour, every day. Expect more from us as we empower insight-driven care, experiences that put people first, and better outcomes for our world. In everything we do, we are engineering the extraordinary.

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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

WELL Health Enters into Automatic Share Purchase Plan

WELL Health Technologies Corp. | June 16, 2022

WELL Health Technologies Corp.ca company focused on positively impacting health outcomes by leveraging technology to empower practitioners and their patients globally, announced today that it has entered into an automatic share purchase plancwith a broker in order to facilitate repurchases of the Company's common shares under its previously announced normal course issuer bid. WELL previously announced that it had received approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange to, during the 12-month period commencing June 1, 2022 and terminating May 31, 2023, purchase up to 5,555,386 Common Shares, representing approximately 2.5% of the 222,215,443 Common Shares issued and outstanding as of May 30, 2022, by way of a NCIB on the TSX or through alternative trading systems or by such other means as may be permitted under applicable law. During the effective period of WELL's ASPP, WELL's broker may purchase Common Shares at times when WELL would not be active in the market due to insider trading rules and its own internal trading blackout periods. Purchases will be made by WELL's broker based upon parameters set by WELL when it is not in possession of any undisclosed material information about itself and its securities, and in accordance with the terms of the ASPP. Outside of the effective period of the ASPP, Common Shares may continue to be purchased in accordance with WELL's discretion, subject to applicable law. The ASPP has been entered into in accordance with the requirements of applicable Canadian securities laws. About WELL Health Technologies Corp. WELL is a practitioner focused digital healthcare company whose overarching objective is to positively impact health outcomes to empower and support healthcare practitioners and their patients. WELL has built an innovative practitioner enablement platform that includes comprehensive end to end practice management tools inclusive of virtual care and digital patient engagement capabilities as well as Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Revenue Cycle Management (RCM) and data protection services. WELL uses this platform to power healthcare practitioners both inside and outside of WELL's own omni-channel patient services offerings. As such, WELL owns and operates Canada's largest network of outpatient medical clinics serving primary and specialized healthcare services and is the provider of a leading multinational, multi-disciplinary telehealth offering. WELL is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WELL" and is part of the TSX Composite Index. The Company also trades on the OTCQX Markets under the symbol "WHTCF".

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Northwell Health and Aegis Ventures Launch Ascertain – Healthcare AI Company Creation Platform to Improve Quality and Access to Care

Northwell Health | April 13, 2022

Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a New York-based startup studio announced at their inaugural Healthcare AI Innovation Summit the finalization of definitive agreements to launch Ascertain, a joint company creation platform. Ascertain is a first-of-its-kind partnership that pairs a dynamic venture studio with one of the nation’s largest and most impactful health systems to develop and commercialize breakthrough healthcare AI companies that improve quality and access to care and close health equity gaps. Ascertain represents a novel, more targeted approach to the way entrepreneurs and healthcare systems collaborate to solve major healthcare challenges. The platform combines clinical and business leadership, expert technical and product teams, access to Northwell’s leading, diverse datasets, and capital resources within a single ecosystem – with a sole focus on building and validating effective solutions that can be rapidly brought to market. “Ascertain brings a unique structure, an innovative approach, and a compelling vision to create breakthrough healthcare AI companies that are set up for success. We are all driven by the idea that everyone deserves access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. Our aim is clear: to find new, cost-efficient ways to create and accelerate companies that deliver real, equitable solutions.” Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health Ascertain has commenced the creation of its first portfolio companies in partnership with Northwell’s clinicians and administrators. One such collaboration is focused on bringing substantive improvements in maternal health, working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s recently launched Center for Maternal Health to develop new approaches to detecting and managing serious complications for expectant mothers and babies. Ascertain’s data science team has been working hand-in-hand with Northwell’s Maternal and Fetal Medicine team to examine tens of thousands of cases of preeclampsia, a hypertensive pregnancy complication that disproportionately affects Black mothers in the United States. Using cutting-edge data science techniques, the Ascertain team aims to deliver an AI solution that helps clinicians predict the risk of developing preeclampsia, enabling them to intervene earlier than previously possible. “Existing approaches to the detection of preeclampsia often occur too late in pregnancy, once the condition has begun to manifest. An important enabler for a solution to this challenge is predictive analytics, applying available knowledge of a patient's history to enable action far earlier with simple, yet life-saving, clinical interventions. We believe the AI solution Ascertain is currently developing will enable this,” shared Burt Rochelson, MD, Chief of Maternal Medicine at Northwell Health. “Aegis and Northwell’s multidisciplinary teams are pursuing innovation through a systematic approach that will bring validated solutions to patients more quickly and at a lower cost,” said Bill Schoenfeld, Aegis Ventures Chairman. “Our skillsets are extraordinarily complementary and enable us to address healthcare’s most entrenched quality, equity, and cost problems far more powerfully than either organization could alone.” Ascertain is preparing to launch multiple companies in 2022 that focus on maternal health, chronic disease detection and management, and next-generation AI tools. Ascertain’s Chairman Tom Manning shared, “Together, we’re paving a new way forward, a monumental step toward real, proven AI solutions that can bring impact to the world. It is a bold collaboration to drive AI-backed companies that save lives and resolve long-standing health inequities – and realize results that deliver something greater in healthcare.” Ascertain is committed to building exceptional teams that will embrace this unique opportunity to create unparalleled impact. To learn more about Ascertain or register your interest, please visit https://ascertain.com/. About Ascertain Ascertain is a revolutionary new partnership between Northwell Health, New York’s largest healthcare provider, and Aegis Ventures, a dynamic startup studio. This unique partnership assembles leading medical, technology, and business resources to create a first-of-its-kind company creation platform for healthcare innovation to address healthcare’s most challenging quality, equity, and cost problems. Ascertain brings $100M in seed-stage capital to bear in pursuit of a three-pronged approach to company creation: internal ideation, commercialization of scientific breakthroughs, and US market entry partnerships for global ventures. Ascertain creates companies that improve quality of care, patient experience, and long-standing health, placing patient needs at the center of every business model, technology solution, and product. About Northwell Health Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 830 outpatient facilities and more than 16,600 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 77,000 employees – 18,900 nurses and 4,800 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change healthcare for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. About Aegis Ventures Aegis Ventures is a next-generation startup studio that partners with entrepreneurs and industry leaders to originate, launch, and scale transformative companies. Our platform brings together market-shaping ideas, permanent growth capital, and ambitious individuals driven to solve major societal problems. We aim to build companies with the capacity for vast impact, with an initial focus on artificial intelligence and digital health. Within these verticals, Aegis seeks to create companies that leverage technology to better optimize tradeoffs between quality, access, and cost, focusing on innovations that promote seamless continuity of care, patient empowerment, and better-informed clinical decision-making.

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Spotlight

We have fun at Novant Health Hemby Children's Hospital! Our Hemby team (and an 8-year-old patient!) choreographed and performed a flash mob showcasing the walls of our children's hospital. While initially created for viewing at a North Carolina Nurses Association event, we decided their dance talents were too good to be kept from everyone. Enjoy!

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