Humana Foundation Allots $7.6M to Social Determinants of Health

Samantha McGrail | January 31, 2020

The Humana Foundation announced it is investing $7.6 million in eight communities across the southeastern United States to address social determinants of health (SDOH), according to a recent press release. The most recent investment is part of the philanthropic organization’s Strategic Community Investment program, which aims to address some of the most common social determinants of health, including post-secondary attainment and sustaining employment, social connectedness, financial asset security, and food security. As part of its ongoing program, the foundation recently engaged in two new investments in New Orleans totaling $1 million. The investments will address financial asset security, post-secondary attainment and sustaining employment and food security. Additionally, the Humana Foundation will continue its existing investments with ten organizations in seven other communities, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. to Launch State of the Art Technology for Diabetic Foot Ulcer Management

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. | January 13, 2022

Alkem Laboratories Ltd. (Alkem) hereby announces to launch a unique patented technology for the treatment of Diabetic Foot Ulcer (DFU) in India. The solution would be based on disruptive 4D Bioprinting technology, which would be used to treat deep, non-healing chronic wounds and is expected to be launched in the Indian market in the latter half of 2022 post regulatory approval. This advanced technology for DFU management has a high scope of preventing amputations in diabetic patients. This technology will be available at affordable rates to Indian patients at a time when there is no definitive treatment for DFU in India. India currently has approximately 77 mn diabetes patients, the second highest in the world. A diabetic foot ulcer is one of the most significant and devastating complications of diabetes and is defined as a foot affected by ulceration that is associated with neuropathy and/or peripheral arterial disease of the lower limb in a patient with diabetes. Approximately, 12-15% with diabetes suffer from DFU at least once in a lifetime. 5–24% of them will finally lead to limb amputation within 6–18 months after the first evaluation. The risk of foot ulceration and limb amputation increases with age and the duration of diabetes. Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc. to commercialize the technology in India to help reduce amputation amongst DFU patients considering the negative impact of amputation on a patient's quality of life and the associated economic burden on the healthcare system. "In India, Diabetes is one of the major healthcare challenges. The challenge in itself is so huge that diabetic foot ulcers often get ignored. Approximately 1 lac people have to undergo amputation every year and compromise on their quality of life. To address the problem, Alkem has collaborated with Rokit Healthcare Inc., a global regenerative solutions company, to bring out novel solutions for the management of diabetic foot ulcers." Mr. Sandeep Singh, Managing Director, Alkem Laboratories Ltd Adding further, Mr. Sandeep asserted, "Alkem, over the years, has always been at the forefront in delivering high-quality patient care, through its innovation and patient-centric initiatives." About Alkem Laboratories Ltd Established in 1973 and headquartered in Mumbai, Alkemis a leading Indian pharmaceutical company with global operations, engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical products. The Company produces branded generics, generic drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), and nutraceuticals, which it markets in India and International markets. With a portfolio of more than 800 brands in India, Alkem is ranked the fifth largest pharmaceutical company in India in terms of domestic sales. The Company also has presence in more than 40 international markets, with the United States being its key focus market.

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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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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Hekka Labs Introduces the First Decentralized Chronic Disease Data Management Ecosystem in South Asia

Hekka Labs | January 15, 2022

Hekka Labs launches a game changing decentralized healthcare ecosystem for a far more efficient health record management. The firm will concentrate on the Southeast Asia market, starting with India, where it will establish the largest chronic disease data management network. Hekka then intends to connect to the rest of the world's healthcare market through the design and implementation of proprietary Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Hekka has cemented initial partnerships with 3 Indian healthcare solution providers, Curisin, a healthcare company with a wide network of 30 million patients and 40,000 partnered doctors which as recently agreed to provide a minimum of 1.5 million medical records in 2022. A further agreement to provide up to 20 separate blood biomarkers together with Covid 19 data on 100,000 patients, will form the basis of an initial trial for its blockchain audit trail platform. IMMUNIDEX, a healthcare solution provider offering tests and applications that are driven by proprietary AI that can identify early immune-related risks and is well placed to capture highly valuable data for the Hekka network. TELEMEDICINE INDIAN CO, a start-up offering multi telemedicine services, multiple blood tests, and health screening including COVID-19 testing will form another integral part of data generation for the Hekka ecosystem. Hekka Labs with the integration of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) offers a plug and go solution that allows users to interact with the HEKKA ecosystem without major disruption. This set up can solve the inherent problems that occur on a regular basis in the healthcare industry such as inefficient biomarker management, document hogging and unstructured data management. Hekka Labs has set out to become the leading chronic illness and immunology platform in India. Hekka's private and public blockchain network solution will generate a new trust in Indian healthcare data management and can open up significant opportunity for both the domestic and global collaboration. This will lead to new levels of ethical standards and excellence for the Indian healthcare market. In the long run, Hekka plans to evolve as a significant decentralized healthcare ecosystem by connecting the network of medical and associated healthcare providers culminating in a targeted community of over 500 million patients. As a result, tens of billions of chronic disease digital biomarkers can be made available for Deep Learning, potentially speeding up new healthcare discoveries. HEK is the native token of the Hekka ecosystem, which is launched in the Ethereum network's ERC-20 standards for its intensive security and global reputation, ensuring the confidence of delivering the most sophisticated healthcare data management service. The HEK token is a token complimented by an ATOM token (Points) system which is the primary source of HEKKA 's data transfers. This ensures the value of the token. The HEK token will be a key component in serving all prospective users' interactions with the platform's different levels of service.

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DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Purpose Investments Announces Launch of Purpose Healthcare Innovation Yield ETF, Canada’s First Fund to Focus on Innovation in Biotech and Healthcare

Purpose Investments | January 19, 2022

Purpose Investments Inc. (“Purpose Investments” or “Purpose”) is pleased to announce the launch of Purpose Healthcare Innovation Yield ETF (the “Fund”). The Fund has closed the offering of its initial units, and units of the Fund will begin trading today on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker, HEAL. The Fund is the first of its kind in Canada to provide actively managed exposure to innovation leaders in biotech and healthcare. The recent advances in healthcare are only the beginning of what Purpose believes to be a new multi-year cycle in biotech and healthcare breakthroughs that will provide investors with opportunity for attractive long-term returns. The Fund will invest in an all-cap portfolio in the high-growth areas of gene-editing, digital healthcare, medical testing, dental, health maintenance, hospitals, pharmacies, and animal health. The portfolio holdings are primed for long-term growth and armed with commercialization opportunities and a strong pipeline of products under development. The Fund will also employ a covered call options strategy to generate additional yield and will have a more attractive income profile than the broad healthcare index. “The past two years have shown just how important it is to have innovative companies develop vaccines and push forward medical advancements. Between the pandemic and our aging population, the spotlight is on the industry to really grow and innovate. We launched this Fund to give Canadians an opportunity to get actively managed exposure to the healthcare companies that are changing the world with cutting-edge medical and technological advancements.” Som Seif, founder and CEO of Purpose Investments Purpose is the manager of the Fund and Next Edge Capital Corp. (“Next Edge Capital”) will act as the Fund’s sub-advisor. The Fund will be actively managed by Eden Rahimof Next Edge Capital, one of the world’s leading experts in healthcare investing. Mr. Rahim has an academic background in molecular genetics and extensive experience managing life-science and biotech portfolios. His active management, informed by his science background and industry experience, will position the Fund to capitalize on high-growth opportunities in the biotech and healthcare sectors. “With this Fund, we will work to strategically identify key healthcare companies developing innovations that will profoundly improve people’s lives,” says Rahim. “Purpose Healthcare Innovation Yield ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to unique opportunities that may not be on their radar, so they can reap the full rewards of the high-growth areas in healthcare and science.” “Eden is one of the leading global experts in healthcare investing, and someone who understands the math as well as the science backing the portfolio. We are excited to have such a seasoned portfolio manager help us maximize the growth opportunities in the space and provide investors with a strategy to generate attractive yield,” Seif concluded. About Purpose Investments Purpose Investments Inc. is an asset management company with approximately $14 billion in assets under management. Purpose has an unrelenting focus on client-centric innovation, and offers a range of outcome-focused products. Purpose Investments is led by well-known entrepreneur Som Seif and is a division of Purpose Financial, an independent technology-driven financial services company.

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