Walgreens Boots Alliance and CareCentrix | September 01, 2022
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. announced it has completed its previously announced majority share acquisition of CareCentrix, Inc.—the leading independent home-centered platform that coordinates care to the home for health plans, patients and providers. The majority investment in CareCentrix accelerates Walgreens Health’s capabilities in delivering quality healthcare across a spectrum of settings including primary care, specialty pharmacy care, post-acute care and home care.
By bringing together Walgreens trusted health services and community presence with CareCentrix’s technology-enabled, care-at-home solutions, the partnership better addresses the needs of people with complex or chronic conditions as they transition out of the hospital. CareCentrix’s advanced data analytics capabilities enable highly personalized care plans to help people transition to the right site of care, prioritizing care in the home when appropriate. This approach supports both care quality and value by reducing hospital readmissions and improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.
“We created Walgreens Health to reimagine local healthcare and wellbeing for all. This partnership advances our ability to address the needs of people across care settings immediately following hospital discharge. Our collaboration with CareCentrix is one of the many ways we are expanding on our pharmacy and patient expertise to surround individuals with care when and how they need it.”
Roz Brewer, CEO, WBA
Healthcare services delivered after discharge, including care delivered in the home, are one of the fastest growing segments in healthcare today. Caring for patients from the hospital to the home represents more than $75 billion in annual healthcare costs for payers, providers and patients.
“The most challenging part of the healthcare journey is the last mile – extending healthcare delivery into people’s homes,” said John Driscoll, CEO, CareCentrix. “Together with Walgreens Health, CareCentrix is able to combine Walgreens trusted community presence with our powerful technology-enabled care to better address patients’ unique health needs in their homes.”
In addition to home-based care, CareCentrix connects patients to appropriate providers and sites of care post-discharge, utilizing a predictive analytics platform, HomeFirst Analytics. This level of customization also includes pairing patients with care transition teams that support patient engagement for 90 days post-discharge to improve quality metrics.
Walgreens Health will continue to advance capabilities that integrate CareCentrix data analytics and home care expertise with WBA’s portfolio of health solutions to identify and close care gaps, as well as coordinate patient care across conditions, settings and provider networks. These capabilities will enable Walgreens to support medication reconciliation for CareCentrix patients transitioning from hospital to home and provide primary care options to patients when needed, including Village Medical physicians and advanced practice providers. CareCentrix will also play a critical role in Walgreens Health integrated offerings to manage population level risk for benefits management and post-acute spend and outcomes.
CareCentrix manages care for 19 million members through approximately 7,400 provider locations, and empowers more people to live, heal and age at home. By partnering with health plans and health systems, CareCentrix has reduced total cost of care for members by 20 percent, including a greater than 11 percent reduction in emergency department usage and a 23 percent reduction in skilled nursing costs.
This investment gives WBA majority ownership of CareCentrix, investing approximately $330 million for 55 percent of the company at an $800 million valuation, net of debt, with the option to acquire the remaining equity interests in the future. In WBA’s fiscal year 2021, CareCentrix delivered pro forma sales of $1.5 billion. Following the completion of the investment, CareCentrix will continue to operate as an independent company under its current executive leadership.
Sidley Austin LLP acted as lead legal advisor for WBA, along with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Citi acted as financial advisor for CareCentrix, Inc., and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as lead legal advisor.
About Walgreens Boots Alliance
Walgreens Boots Alliance is an integrated healthcare, pharmacy and retail leader serving millions of customers and patients every day, with a 170-year heritage of caring for communities.
A trusted, global innovator in retail pharmacy with approximately 13,000 locations across the U.S., Europe and Latin America, WBA plays a critical role in the healthcare ecosystem. The company is reimagining local healthcare and well-being for all as part of its purpose – to create more joyful lives through better health. Through dispensing medicines, improving access to a wide range of health services, providing high quality health and beauty products and offering anytime, anywhere convenience across its digital platforms, WBA is shaping the future of healthcare.
WBA has more than 315,000 team members and a presence in nine countries through its portfolio of consumer brands: Walgreens, Boots, Duane Reade, the No7 Beauty Company, Benavides in Mexico and Ahumada in Chile. Additionally, WBA has a portfolio of healthcare-focused investments located in several countries, including China and the U.S.
CareCentrix offers value-based home solutions to payors and health systems to help more of their members access the home care they need, when they need it. Through a single platform, CareCentrix coordinates multiple, complex home care needs for over 19 million members through a national network of approximately 7,400 provider locations, resulting in a simplified patient and physician experience. For over 25 years, CareCentrix’s focus on the whole person has improved continuity of care, reduced unnecessary readmissions and unnecessary emergency department utilization, and has delivered positive financial results for health plans. With proprietary HomeFirst Analytics to stratify risk and optimize care delivery, CareCentrix takes on the complexities of care coordination and management of care in the home to provide our clients with essential insights into care at home. CareCentrix has been named one of Fierce Healthcare’s 2022 “Fierce 15” companies and FORTUNE’s Best Workplaces for Aging Services.
Tris Pharma, Inc. | July 28, 2022
Tris Pharma, Inc. a fully integrated pharmaceutical company with a robust portfolio of CNS products announced that it has successfully developed an oxybate formulation for the treatment of cataplexy or excessive daytime sleepiness n patients 7 years of age and older with narcolepsy that has the potential to be significantly advantageous to existing approved therapies, such as Jazz Pharmaceuticals' blockbuster XYWAV® and XYREM® franchise. The Tris oxybate formulation is believed to provide an advantage over approved therapies by utilizing Tris's proprietary LiquiXR technology platform and our newly developed RaftWorks design to provide a unique oxybate formulation offering both once-nightly dosing, and very low sodium content. The Tris oxybate formulation is investigational and not yet approved by any regulatory agency.
Both XYWAV® and XYREM® require twice a night dosing – once at bedtime and again 2.5 to 4 hours later for the second dose. Further, XYREM contains an express warning based on its high sodium content and associated risk to patients with heart failure, hypertension or impaired renal function. The Tris oxybate formulation seeks to improve on existing therapies by providing convenient once per night dosing, and significantly reduced sodium content such that it will contain less than 100 mg of sodium per 9.0 gm of maximum sodium oxybate equivalent dose. Based on the significant potential advantage the Tris oxybate formulation could provide over existing available therapies, Tris is pursuing an Orphan Drug Designation for its unique oxybate formulation.
In a human clinical study, Tris established about 100% bioavailability for one dose of its formulation against two doses of XYREM at 4.5 gm each, equivalent to the 9.0 gm maximum dose of sodium oxybate. If approved, the Tris product will provide significant advantages in that patients will not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take a second dose and will have all the benefits of a very low sodium product.
The Tris oxybate product achieved its clinical objectives by combining two distinct proprietary Tris technologies: the LiquiXR platform, and the newly developed RaftWorks design. Working together, these unique formulation platforms provide an interpenetrating network raft in-situ, in which sodium-free drug particles are entrapped in a raft that allows for extended release of the active ingredient. Many drugs, such as oxybate, are poorly absorbed because they have a narrow window of absorption within the human gastro-intestinal tract. The RaftWorks approach permits a slow and extended release of oxybate from a floating raft in-situ, thereby facilitating absorption of the active ingredient within the targeted area in the gastro-intestinal tract. Further, the raft disintegrates at a predetermined time due to the trigger mechanism that is built into the formulation.
"This unique formulation design by Tris scientists potentially achieves drug delivery capabilities that have never previously been achieved within our industry. We are looking to build on this approach and develop extended-release formulations for other drugs that are limited by their narrow window of absorption."
Ketan Mehta, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tris
Narcolepsy, a chronic and disabling neurological disorder that affects the stability of sleep and wakefulness, is characterized primarily by excessive daytime sleepiness, with or without episodic loss of muscle tone usually triggered by strong emotions during wakefulness (cataplexy) 1-4. Additional symptoms can vary by person and may include disrupted nighttime sleep, and REM-sleep phenomena (sleep paralysis, hallucinations). The exact number of individuals with narcolepsy in the United States is unknown. Several studies have estimated the prevalence of narcolepsy in the United States to be approximately 1 (range: 0.6 to 1.6) in 2,000 people 2,4-6. There is currently no cure for narcolepsy; treatment of symptoms includes medications and lifestyle modifications 1.
About Tris Pharma
Tris is a fully integrated, innovation-driven CNS company that provides a differentiated approach to target unmet medical needs, including the application of novel technologies designed to enhance patient benefits across therapeutic categories. Tris's CNS portfolio includes treatments for pain; addiction; spasticity in multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy; narcolepsy; and ADHD.
Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 20, 2022
Astellas Venture Management LLC a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. and Mission Bay Capital BioLabs a life-science incubator, today announced their collaboration on the "Astellas Future Innovator Prize" formerly known as the Astellas Golden Ticket competition. Building on over three successful years, the competition offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one year's priority usage of MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art lab facility and access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders.
With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are continuing their partnership to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms. The 2022 competition will prioritize innovative research that compliment Astellas' Focus Area Approach and pipeline.
"We are truly thrilled to host the Astellas Future Innovator Prize again this year. Through our long-term collaboration with MBC BioLabs, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation to thrive. The Astellas Future Innovator Prize enables us to provide biotech companies with expertise and capabilities to turn an innovative idea into a real solution, which could transform the lives of patients in need around the world."
William Watt, President, AVM
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Astellas to uncover the innovators of tomorrow," said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. "The past winners of the Astellas Future Innovator Prize show what can be achieved by combining Astellas' support, advice and expertise with our laboratory incubator, and we are excited to see the result of our ongoing collaboration."
Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science and biotechnology start-ups have until November 4, 2022 to enter the Astellas Future Innovator Prize.
About the Astellas Future Innovator Prize at MBC BioLabs
Astellas is offering up to two prizes for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas' areas of interest in alignment with its Focus Area Approach and pipeline, including Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria, Genetic Regulation, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy, and other areas.
The 2021 Astellas Future Innovator Prize winners were Vcreate and Weatherwax Biotechnologies, chosen for the potential of their innovations to deliver therapeutic advances for unmet medical needs and their potential synergy with Astellas' Focus Area Approach.
About Astellas Venture Management LLC
AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 15 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research.
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.
About MBC BioLabs
MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, MBC BioLabs allows companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. It has three sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and two campuses in San Carlos, California. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one. MBC BioLabs has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital. These partnerships provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Since opening in 2013, MBC BioLabs has helped launch and grow 290 companies. These companies have brought 58 programs to the clinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $14 billion.