Payer Roundup—Utah takes another step toward slimmed-down Medicaid expansion

FierceHealthcare | February 12, 2019

Payer Roundup—Utah takes another step toward slimmed-down Medicaid expansion
Utah’s state House has approved legislation that would scale back the number of people eligible for the voter-mandated Medicaid expansion. Voters in the state approved Medicaid expansion in the 2018 election, and under the Affordable Care Act that would allow the state’s program to add people making up to 138% of the poverty level to the rolls. However, the newly passed House tweak would cut that to 100% of the poverty level. Such a change would need to be approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services before being finalized. The state’s Senate and governor would also need to sign off on the plan. “We’re doing the very best we can, and I think we’ve got a great solution here,” Stuart Adams, president of the state’s Senate, said.

Spotlight

Alicia Staley, Senior Director, Patient Engagement at Medidata Solutions, discusses the digital transformation of healthcare in our ‘Transforming Life Sciences’ podcast series.


Other News
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.

Read More

HEALTH TECHNOLOGY

Dura Software Acquires Leading Cloud-Based Telehealth Software Platform SecureVideo

Dura Software | January 20, 2022

Dura Software, specialists in acquiring and operating hyperniche software products, announced it has acquired SecureVideo, a cloud-based software company with extensive experience developing a secure SaaS telehealth platform for the healthcare industry. Expanding the Dura portfolio, SecureVideo is the ninth acquisition for Dura Software and furthers the Dura mission of acquiring niche software companies that serve critical business needs. "We are excited to welcome SecureVideo into the Dura portfolio of companies. Jonathan Taylor and his team have created a highly scalable SaaS solution that enables a loyal group of physicians and practitioners to serve their patients safely and effectively every day. SecureVideo has a seasoned team that understands the healthcare market and how to best leverage technology to make the lives of healthcare professionals and patients easier. " Paul Salisbury, CEO of Dura Software Serving the healthcare industry, SecureVideo produces a HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based telehealth platform designed to aid clients with quickly mastering their telehealth workflow. During 2020, SecureVideo's usage grew significantly, expanding to 30 times its typical usage, prompting the company to quickly scale its operations while it successfully met the growing needs of new and existing customers. As a trusted partner in the healthcare space, SecureVideo provides a flexible, reliable telehealth technology solution to behavioral health organizations, medical groups, hospitals, physician offices, specialty healthcare organizations and other medical organizations. The CEO of SecureVideo, Jonathan Taylor, will lead the company as it transitions into the Dura Software portfolio of companies. "The acquisition of SecureVideo by Dura Software will provide the resources and expertise we need to scale our product capabilities, customer support, and market reach well beyond what would have otherwise been possible," says Taylor. "With Dura's assistance, the company will be able to rapidly add important features and functionality to our world-class product, amplify our customer-first culture, and expand our customer footprint, all while maintaining the high standard of excellence we have always worked to achieve." Based in Alameda, California, SecureVideo will move its headquarters to San Antonio, while all employees will remain in their current locations. About Dura Software Dura Software is an expert in acquiring, owning and operating "Hyper-Niche" software businesses. Over the coming years, Dura will continue to expand by acquiring additional great businesses and by generating sustained profitable growth from business operations. Dura Software is based in downtown San Antonio and operates a portfolio of companies that includes 6Connex, DB Technology, Lane, DVSAnalytics, Eventory, Moki, NordicIT and Vertex Systems.

Read More

DIGITAL HEALTHCARE

Nemaura Medical Launches Metabolic Health Program for Employers and Insurers

Nemaura Medical, Inc | January 14, 2022

Nemaura Medical, Inc.(“Nemaura” or the “Company”), a medical technology company focused on developing and commercializing non-invasive wearable diagnostic devices and supporting personalized lifestyle coaching programs, announces the launch for employers and insurers of Miboko, a new metabolic health program using a non-invasive glucose sensor along with an AI mobile application. The Company’s goal is to achieve broad adoption of Miboko as a form of preventative medicine for a wide user base through these commercial channels and is aligned with the general trend in consumer digital healthcare. “Introducing Miboko to the population at-large through employers and insurers will allow Nemaura to reach a much wider audience in much faster fashion than solely relying on a direct-to-consumer campaign, and in the Western world, these institutions are the most reliable gateway toward wider adoption of preventative health maintenance practices. Being aware of one’s metabolic health and how the body uniquely regulates sugar is key to one’s health. Patients, of course, want to be as informed as possible about their health, and employers and insurers are also aligned with patients in that regard, given the massive productivity losses and healthcare costs at stake on a larger scale across their employee and insured base, respectively. Miboko can help address this substantial market opportunity through our non-invasive, revolutionary approach to healthcare.” Nemaura CEO Dr. Faz Chowdhury Nemaura has also submitted a Premarket Approval (PMA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval of its glucose monitoring device as a Class 3 medical device. The Company’s PMA was the subject an on-site FDA bioresearch monitoring (BIMO) audit that generated a single Form 483 observation, for which the Company has committed to a full response this quarter. A follow-up BIMO audit of the clinical investigator site has also been scheduled for the current financial quarter. Miboko has been in development for nearly two years and addresses a significant mass market opportunity that the Company believes could benefit roughly a third to half of the population by using a non-invasive glucose sensor to measure and monitor a user’s metabolic health score, which is based on glucose tolerance or insulin resistance. Those with prediabetes or obesity concerns -- or even those looking to maintain better health through more careful glucose control -- may benefit from such a metabolic health program. How one’s body metabolizes sugar is the main influencer of one’s appetite, weight, sleep quality, and energy and mood levels and even plays a critical factor in chronic diseases (beyond just diabetes), such as heart disease and dementia. At the heart of the Miboko offering is Nemaura’s non-invasive glucose sensor that is designed to measure insulin resistance, reported as a metabolic health score, and priced to be highly affordable with the program running for an initial two-year period. The program also uses a mobile app to provide users with personalized information by tracking their metabolism. A user can find out how well their body responds to sugar through their metabolic health score — and how what they eat and what they do every day uniquely affects their metabolic health. Along with the capability to follow metabolic health progress on the app, Miboko users receive weekly and monthly reports that show and explain their body’s unique metabolic health score and a breakdown of how each of their habits are impacting their overall health and wellbeing. Suggestions for small, manageable changes to daily routines, such as eating more or less of a certain kind of food or exercising at a different time of day to coincide with peak energy levels, provide Miboko users with personalized, usable data. About Nemaura Medical, Inc. Nemaura Medical Inc. is a medical technology company developing and commercializing non-invasive wearable diagnostic devices. The company is currently commercializing sugarBEAT® and proBEAT™. sugarBEAT®, a CE mark approved Class IIb medical device, is a non-invasive and flexible continuous glucose monitor (CGM) providing actionable insights derived from real time glucose measurements and daily glucose trend data, which may help people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to better manage, reverse, and prevent the onset of diabetes. Nemaura has submitted a PMA (Premarket Approval Application) for sugarBEAT® to the U.S. FDA. proBEAT™ combines non-invasive glucose data processed using artificial intelligence and a digital healthcare subscription service and has been launched in the U.S. as a general wellness product as part of its BEAT®diabetes program that is currently undergoing pilot studies. Additionally, Nemaura has launched Miboko, a new metabolic health and well-being program using a non-invasive glucose sensor along with an AI mobile application that helps a user understand how certain foods and lifestyle habits can impact one’s overall metabolic health and well-being. Nemaura believes that up to half the population could benefit from a sensor and program that monitors metabolic health and well-being. The Company sits at the intersection of the global Type 2 diabetes market that is expected to reach nearly $59 billion by 2025, the $50+ billion pre-diabetic market, and the wearable health-tech sector for weight loss and wellness applications that is estimated to reach $60 billion by 2023.

Read More

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.

Read More