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.
FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE
Virtua Health | December 16, 2021
Virtua Health and Medtronic plc announce a five-year partnership focused on improving delivery of quality care for residents of South Jersey, particularly those who reside in underserved communities or face systemic barriers to care. Medtronic LABS, an independent impact-focused organization funded by Medtronic plc, will simultaneously launch a separate pilot collaboration with the Cherry Hill Free Clinic and Virtua to address care and food access for people with chronic conditions – the first U.S.-based initiative for Medtronic LABS.
"I truly believe technology is the path forward to improving human welfare," said Geoff Martha, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic. "This new partnership and collaboration demonstrate the opportunity to use technology to tackle health challenges in a localized, grassroots way. By taking a data-informed approach, we can help improve access and outcomes for patients with chronic conditions in southern New Jersey."
"This partnership presents a significant opportunity to accelerate health equity and better outcomes for individuals and families in our community. Together, we will apply the latest research and innovation to the fundamentals of community-based care, allowing us to identify and empower those who need support to achieve the best-possible quality of life."
Dennis W. Pullin, FACHE, president and CEO of Virtua Health
The scope of the partnership includes the following projects and will expand over time.
Heart Health: Medtronic plc and Virtua Health will develop a program to optimize care for hospital patients diagnosed with heart failure, with a focus on slowing the progression of the disease and enhancing the experience of both patient and provider. By employing Medtronic's data-driven, decision-support tools, Virtua clinicians will provide ongoing resources post-hospitalization, minimizing the likelihood of readmission and creating sustainable, enriching solutions for the individual.
Outpatient Care Continuity: The partnership will also optimize patient care in high-value outpatient settings, including ambulatory surgery centers. Additionally, Medtronic plc and Virtua will expand Virtua's hospital at home program, which is due to launch officially in early 2022 and aims to reduce the resource-strain on the health system while allowing eligible patients to heal from the comfort of home.
Medtronic LABS' collaboration intends to address population health in the following ways:
Community Health and the Cherry Hill Free Clinic: Community health workers and clinicians at the Cherry Hill Free Clinic will utilize Medtronic LABS' digital health platform, extending their reach through mobile tools and point-of-care diagnostics. Those identified as having (or being at risk for) chronic illnesses, such as Type 2 diabetes or hypertension, will then connect to the Cherry Hill Free Clinic for follow-up care. Over time, the platform will become more sophisticated and specific as the data accumulates and reveals localized trends and challenges.
Food Access: Medtronic LABS will also support Virtua's Eat Well food access programs, specifically the Food Farmacies located inside Virtua Mount Holly Hospital and the Virtua Health & Wellness Center – Camden. Medtronic LABS and Virtua will identify those at risk for food insecurity – due to financial circumstances or limited health literacy – and connect them to free food, nutrition education, and social-work services.
"I am honored that Medtronic LABS and Virtua recognize the essential services we provide at the Cherry Hill Free Clinic, and that they are combining their resources and expertise toward enhancing continuity of care for existing and prospective patients," said Jubril Oyeyemi, MD, founder and chief medical officer of the Cherry Hill Free Clinic. "The CDC estimates that 20 percent of Camden County residents do not have health insurance. By creating pathways to care, we build healthier communities."
"Medtronic LABS has trained more than 2,000 health workers and provided screenings to more than a million people worldwide. To date, we have focused our efforts on communities in Kenya, Ghana, India, and the Philippines, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Virtua Health on our first U.S.-based endeavor," said Ruchika Singhal, vice president of Medtronic LABS. "In time, this collaboration will create scalable, replicable improvements to the care-delivery model while advancing health and wellness on an individual level."
About the Partners
Medtronic: Bold thinking. Bolder actions. We are Medtronic. Medtronic plc, headquartered in Dublin, 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.
Medtronic LABS is an independent, non-profit structure with multiple entities including an operating foundation, a social business, an in-country non-profit, and for-profit subsidiaries. Medtronic LABS is setting out to design the health system of the future: one that is equitable, tech-enabled, and patient-centered. To date, Medtronic LABS has screened more than 1M patients and improved clinical outcomes for over 35K patients in Kenya, Ghana, India, and the Philippines.
Virtua Health is an integrated health care system and the trusted partner for personalized health care and wellness for communities in southern New Jersey. With more than 280 locations and 14,000 colleagues, Virtua provides high-quality care with more than two million annual encounters across the full range of community and tertiary health services – from preventive care to urgent care through specialty services in cancer, women's health, neuroscience, and orthopedics to complex minimally invasive cardiac surgery and organ transplantation. Performing more than 175,000 surgeries at its hospitals and network of ambulatory centers, Virtua is one of the largest providers of surgery in the state. As a not-for-profit leader, Virtua continues to improve social determinants in health and has distributed more than 160,000 pounds of fresh produce in underserved areas to address food insecurity. Virtua is advancing important partnerships into the future to help you be well, get well, and stay well.
Cherry Hill Free Clinic (CHFC) is an independent 501(c)(3) with the mission of providing free primary care to the uninsured and under-insured. CHFC is supported by Virtua Health, which provides lab, radiology and, in some cases, specialty care to CHFC patients.
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.
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.