Verto Health Raises $2.0M seed round led by MaRS Investment to Transform Healthcare Interoperability and Care Coordination

Business Wire | August 27, 2020

Verto Health, a leader in connection and communication software for the healthcare industry, announced today it has raised a $2.0M seed round led by MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund in conjunction with Verstra Ventures, Amplify Capital and strategic angel investors in the digital health space. The Verto platform, based on digital twin technology, leverages smart integrations to connect hospital information systems (HIS), electronic medical records (EMR), laboratory information systems (LIS) as well as devices and mobile app data, making it easier to access relevant information appropriate to a patient’s current stage of care. It debunks decades-old myths that healthcare data connectivity and data sharing need to involve complex, time-consuming and expensive integration work.

Spotlight

Digital screens are quickly becoming integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. The average American spends 11 hours in front of screens every day while the average child spends seven. It is important to take steps to minimize these effects by implementing the 20-20-20 rule and reducing screen glare. The symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, back pain and neck pain, to name a few. Screens can also affect our vision in other ways, including causing retinal damage and increasing the risk of long-term vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.


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HEALTHTECH SECURITY

Forescout Acquires CyberMDX to Expand Healthcare Cybersecurity Focus

Forescout Technologies | February 02, 2022

Forescout Technologies, the leader in Active Defense for the Enterprise of Things, today announced its acquisition of CyberMDX, a leading healthcare cybersecurity provider delivering visibility and threat prevention for medical devices and clinical networks. The acquisition further strengthens Forescout’s position as the industry leader in out-of-the-box support for the broadest set of connected device types across IT, IoT, OT and IoMT devices. “Forescout is seeing rapid growth in healthcare, a market the company has always focused attention on from a technology and sales perspective. Cybersecurity for IoMT, much like cybersecurity for OT devices, requires specific expertise and technologies. We are pleased to have the CyberMDX team join Forescout as we continue delivering new capabilities on our market-leading platform and grow our R&D center.” Wael Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer of Forescout Forescout is recognized by many of the world’s largest organizations as the leader in device visibility and control, ensuring customers can see all the devices connected to their networks, continuously and in real-time, and then take automated action to mitigate risks. CyberMDX offers a leading solution for visibility and risk management of IoMT devices. Together, Forescout and CyberMDX have a powerful platform that delivers an easy-to-use, scalable and agentless approach to device visibility, classification, threat detection and incident response focused on IoMT devices to better serve healthcare organizations. “CyberMDX enables hospitals to provide quality care by securing and protecting the systems and devices they rely on every day to treat patients and save lives,” said Amir Magner, President and Co-Founder of CyberMDX. “We are thrilled to join the Forescout team where our innovation can continue to make a profound difference to healthcare organizations around the world.” Broad coverage across all device types is essential as larger organizations, such as healthcare, almost always have a wide variety of device types, including IT and a rapidly expanding number of IoT devices, in addition to IoMT and OT devices. In 2018, Forescout acquired Security Matters, a leading providing of solutions for visibility and risk management for OT systems, which are also known as industrial control systems (ICS). Forescout has the largest number of deployments of OT infrastructure protection solutions globally, with major deployments in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy and utilities. Forrester recently recognized Forescout in its inaugural Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Security Solutions Wave, 2021 as the top vendor for market presence for product revenue, total number of customers and deal size. CyberMDX, which was recognized as a Medical Device Security Solution Leader in The Forrester New Wave™: Connected Medical Device Security, Q2 2020, further demonstrates Forescout’s commitment to providing organizations with the most comprehensive solution across all device types. Recently, Forescout announced that its platform discovered 66% more devices than originally expected at the University Health Network (UHN), a group of four hospitals in Toronto, Canada that includes The Toronto General Hospital, which Newsweek ranked in 2021 as the 4thbest hospital in the world. Among many benefits, UHN is leveraging the Forescout platform to “deal with the exponential increase in the number of IoT devices and ever-increasing volume of sophisticated threats, including ransomware,” according to Kashif Parvaiz, Chief Information Security Officer, at UHN. With the addition of CyberMDX’s solution, Forescout customers will be able to gain deeper visibility and risk management of their IoMT and medical devices. Over the past 20 years, Forescout has built unique strength in device intelligence and network fabric technology for device discovery and classification. The company’s Device Cloud database contains over 15 million device fingerprints and ensures Forescout's customers automatically receive highly specific, out-of-the-box device classification capabilities from the Forescout platform for millions of different types of devices. About Forescout Forescout Technologies, Inc. actively defends the Enterprise of Things by identifying, segmenting and enforcing compliance of every connected thing. Fortune 1000 companies trust Forescout as it provides one of the most widely deployed, enterprise-class platforms at scale across IT, IoT, OT and IoMT managed and unmanaged devices. Forescout arms customers with extensive device intelligence, data and policies to allow organizations across every industry to accurately classify risk, detect anomalies and quickly remediate cyberthreats without disruption of critical business assets. Don’t just see it. Secure it.

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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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FUTURE OF HEALTHCARE

Althea Expands Its Growing Broadband Coverage Area to Tacoma WA

Althea | March 26, 2022

Althea is proud to announce Tacoma, WA is the latest addition to its growing broadband coverage area, with installations and infrastructure investment focused in the Hilltop neighborhood. Founded in 2017, Althea’s mission is rooted in the belief that affordable broadband connectivity is a fundamental right for all people that strengthens communities, economic growth, educational opportunities, and healthcare access. Althea is a distributed Internet Service Provider which works together with local communities and network operators to provide sustainable high speed and low cost broadband access. This is made possible by Althea’s unique technology, infrastructure, and routing protocol. Althea’s routing protocol allows the service and accounting layers of the ISP to be almost entirely automated, and maximizes bandwidth utilization (i.e. delivers lower latency and higher speeds than one would typically experience from a given network connection, when compared to a traditional ISP routing protocol). This technology negates the need for contracts, late fees, and other drawbacks of traditional internet delivery. The mesh topology used to connect users also allows individuals to host infrastructure themselves, growing the network, and earning revenue share for doing so. This keeps value in the community, encourages community involvement, maintains low costs, and creates an ever more resilient network architecture. Althea uses a unique pay-as-you-go payment model, making it easy for users to manage costs. Additionally, each user has access to the always-on free tier, guaranteeing they will have access to no-cost basic internet, regardless of their financial situation. Unlike traditional ISPs, Althea’s technology does not artificially throttle bandwidth or utilize speed tiers either, so users always get the maximum speed their equipment is capable of delivering. Althea users in Tacoma can expect speeds around 100 Mbps and pay, on average, around $25/month. “Many people don’t have access to the internet, not because of availability, but costs and other barriers keep them from this vital resource.We believe internet access is a human right, which is why we provide an always-on, free tier of internet.” Deborah Simpier, Althea CEO and co-founder Hilltop, Tacoma was also one of the first proof-of-concept networks for Althea, partnering in 2020 with Tacoma Cooperative Network and the University of Washington to build and test community led LTE networks. Through this work in Open5GS, Althea developed KeyLTE, which is an embedded EPC inside an Althea home router, which provides flexibility to build and grow LTE/5G networks anywhere, quickly and affordably.

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Spotlight

Digital screens are quickly becoming integrated into all aspects of our daily lives. The average American spends 11 hours in front of screens every day while the average child spends seven. It is important to take steps to minimize these effects by implementing the 20-20-20 rule and reducing screen glare. The symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, back pain and neck pain, to name a few. Screens can also affect our vision in other ways, including causing retinal damage and increasing the risk of long-term vision problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

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