Optum drives UnitedHealth’s better-than-expected earnings

MedCity News - | January 16, 2020

In a year when healthcare costs continued to increase, UnitedHealth Group reported better-than-expected results at the end of 2019. The company reported earnings of $19.68 billion in 2019, up 13 percent year-over-year. UnitedHealth saw improving margins in most of its business segments, with its Optum segment reporting double-digit growth across the board. The company also managed to grow its already large presence in the Medicare Advantage market, despite several new competitors. Overall, UnitedHealth Group’s revenues fell below expectations, at $242.15 billion, though they were still up 7 percent form 2018. As with previous years, the amount it collected in premiums has continued to creep up. In 2019, UnitedHealth Group collected $189.7 billion. The prior year, it collected $178.1 billion.

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This is what gardening looks like at Radicle Medical Marijuana, a licensed cannabis producer for medical patients and for the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation.

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This is what gardening looks like at Radicle Medical Marijuana, a licensed cannabis producer for medical patients and for the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Athira Pharma Advances Phase 2/3 LIFT-AD Clinical Study of Fosgonimeton in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Patients

Athira Pharma, Inc. | October 18, 2022

Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced that following an unblinded interim efficacy and futility analysis, an independent data monitoring committee recommended continuation of the LIFT-AD study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The committee also determined that, with the additional enrollment of fewer than 150 patients for a total enrollment of less than 300 patients without background therapy the study will be well powered for the primary endpoint given the preliminary effect size observed. The primary endpoint of LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition and function. Results from the completed exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study showed a favorable safety profile and suggested positive effects on measures of cognition function and neurodegeneration in patients taking fosgonimeton without background therapy. Guided by these results, the Company proactively amended LIFT-AD to focus on patients not on background therapy. The unblinded interim analysis was then conducted in approximately 100 patients not on background therapy to corroborate observations from ACT-AD and ensure LIFT-AD is well powered to determine the effect of fosgonimeton on clinically meaningful and commercially relevant endpoints. “The results from the data monitoring committee’s unblinded analysis give us confidence in a potentially positive outcome for LIFT-AD, as stringent evaluation criteria were applied based on validated and clinically meaningful cognitive and functional outcomes. This analysis supports the potential clinical benefits of fosgonimeton treatment and underscores the rationale for continued development of this promising new therapy.” Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira “We are very excited by the results of this independent review as we believe they mitigate the risk of the fosgonimeton development plan, support the potential clinical benefit of fosgonimeton and inform the sample size needed to achieve success with LIFT-AD,” said Mark Litton, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Athira. “We are now targeting to complete enrollment in mid-2023 and report topline data in early 2024. Importantly, we have a strong balance sheet to execute our plans through key data readouts and beyond. Moving forward, we remain keenly focused on advancing this novel investigational therapy with the hope of positively impacting the lives of millions of Alzheimer’s patients. “Our goal with fosgonimeton is to demonstrate its ability to improve cognition and function and to ultimately provide neuroprotection. The ACT-AD study suggested these benefits, and the results of the LIFT-AD interim analysis corroborate those findings,” added Dr. Litton. “We believe any drug that can demonstrate neuroprotection could become a treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s patients.” About the LIFT-AD Clinical Study LIFT-AD is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of fosgonimeton for patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Patients are randomized across two dose groups and one placebo group on a 1:1:1 basis to receive a subcutaneous injection of fosgonimeton or placebo once daily over a treatment course of 26 weeks. The primary endpoint for LIFT-AD is the Global Statistical Test, an unweighted composite score comprising measures of cognition (Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale and function. Additional information on the LIFT-AD study can be found at: NCT04488419. About Fosgonimeton Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, MET, to impact neurodegeneration and regenerate brain tissue. The function of the HGF/MET receptor system may be impaired in the brain under conditions of neurodegeneration. In addition to Alzheimer’s disease, fosgonimeton has the potential to address the broader dementia population, including Parkinson’s disease dementia and Dementia with Lewy bodies, as the mode of action focuses on network recovery and synaptic signal transmission in the brain. The ACT-AD trial was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01AG06268. The information presented in this press release is solely the responsibility of Athira and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. About Athira Pharma, Inc. Athira Pharma, Inc., headquartered in the Seattle, Washington area, is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration. Athira aims to provide rapid cognitive improvement and alter the course of neurological diseases with its novel mechanism of action. Athira is currently advancing its pipeline of therapeutic candidates targeting the HGF/MET neurotrophic system for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease dementia, Dementia with Lewy bodies and neuropsychiatric indications.

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PHARMA TECH

Alimentiv, Satisfai Health, and Virgo Announce Partnership to use AI-driven technology to Enhance Clinical Trials in IBD and other GI Diseases

Alimentiv Inc. | October 06, 2022

Alimentiv Inc. Satisfai Health, Inc and Virgo Surgical Video Solutions, Inc. announced a strategic partnership to revolutionize central reading, data capture, decision support, and patient recruitment in the clinical trial domain for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and allied GI conditions. Satisfai, a global leader in developing artificial intelligence solutions for gastroenterology, and Virgo, an industry leader in endoscopy video capture technology, will leverage their combined strengths to work in partnership with Alimentiv, a leading CRO in gastroenterology, to realize the full potential of AI-powered precision imaging in the GI clinical trials space. "This synergy of Satisfai and Virgo with Alimentiv is a positive development for patients with IBD and the drug development space. Clinical trials have many pain points, and this strategic partnership will enable advances in improving the efficiency of clinical trials and make some significant changes to how trials are run. We are delighted to enter this arrangement to bring the next generation of imaging technology to clinical trials in gastroenterology." Jeff Smith, CEO of Alimentiv "Artificial Intelligence in medicine is being increasingly adopted across various clinical specialties, with gastroenterology being one key field of use, particularly endoscopy," said Dr. Michael Byrne, CEO and founder of Satisfai Health, Clinical Professor of Medicine and gastroenterologist in Vancouver. "Working with Virgo, we are excited to bring AI-driven solutions to the IBD clinical trials arena. To be able to do so with Alimentiv — a leading Gastroenterology and imaging CRO—is a great opportunity. Our clear ambition is to change the clinical trial paradigm for IBD and other disease states such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis. As three groups working together, we are confident we can do so." "Combining Satisfai's marquis AI solutions with Virgo's HIPAA and SOC 2 compliant automated cloud video capture technology and Alimentiv's 21CFR11 compliant solutions, expansive site community, and imaging expertise is very powerful. We truly look forward to realizing this vision and bringing real-time, in-line AI solutions to GI clinical trials worldwide," said Matthew Schwartz, CEO and co-founder at Virgo. This partnership will facilitate Alimentiv's continued leadership in GI Clinical Trials through exclusive access to Satisfai's SmartScore Central Reading tool and Virgo's fully integrated, hands-free, cloud-based high-definition video-capture fleet. In addition, this will provide pharmaceutical and biotech sponsors with access to the ongoing development of novel endpoints, scoring methodologies, and scalable solutions geared toward bringing novel therapies to market faster. About Alimentiv Inc. Alimentiv is a global contract research organization (CRO) providing clinical trials, central image management, precision medicine, and real-world evidence services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Headquartered in London, Ontario, Alimentiv employs more than 500 people across its operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. The organization's unique model combines the efforts of internationally recognized academic researchers and operational experts to offer integrated solutions to customers. Over the past 20 years, Alimentiv has become a recognized expert in clinical trial design, central image management solutions, outcome measure development, and precision medicine for drug development in IBD. Today, Alimentiv provides services in more than 50 countries worldwide, collaborates with leading universities and academic institutions across the globe, and partners with many leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology organizations to bring new and improved treatment options to patients. Alimentiv is committed to investment in medical research and development, focusing on identifying barriers to drug development and pursuing solutions that advance IBD research. The research findings are operationalized into an efficient clinical trial methodology for clients that aligns with emerging regulatory standards. In collaboration with leading experts, Alimentiv has pioneered the development, validation, and standardization of outcome measures and technology, shaping the evolving clinical trial landscape for multiple indications and providing meaningful long-term consequences for patients, their treatment, and society. About Satisfai Health Satisfai is a leading medical solutions provider specializing in AI applications applied to large addressable markets in gastroenterology. Satisfai's solutions deliver real-time medical imagery analysis, providing clinicians with decision support intelligence that dramatically improves patient outcomes. Satisfai is supported by a highly respected board of medical clinicians and key opinion leaders who operate at the top of their fields in the many areas of gastroenterology. Satisfai enjoys a strong voice on academic panels, leading GI societies, and direct access to prominent industry players seeking to adopt new AI technologies in gastroenterology. About Virgo Virgo provides the leading cloud video capture, management, and artificial intelligence analysis platform for endoscopic medicine. Academic, integrated, and private practice healthcare providers use the Virgo platform to advance patient care through video-based research and training initiatives. Since launching, Virgo has helped physicians capture over 400,000 endoscopy procedures using industry-leading HIPAA, HITRUST, and SOC 2-compliant cloud service providers. Virgo also supports integration with all leading electronic health records systems. In 2021, Virgo launched a suite of tools called VirgoTrials, which help pharmaceutical trial sponsors and their participating trial sites accelerate patient recruitment and shorten the overall enrollment period for trials.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Vetsource Unveils New Brand Reflecting Company's Growth

Vetsource | November 17, 2022

Vetsource®, a pet health company designed to provide innovative pharmacy, technology and business services to those who care for pets, launched a new brand identity to signal the official start of three brands coming together as a single, unified portfolio of solutions for the veterinary industry. Already established as a leading provider of innovative prescription management and home delivery services for veterinary practices and pet owners since 2008, Vetsource announced the acquisitions of VetSuccess, a data and analytics provider, and Vet2Pet, a client engagement system, in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Since the acquisitions, the three companies have largely worked together under Vetsource corporate, while still maintaining their separate identities, to allow time to formalize and ease the transition for customers. Information about Vetsource's client engagement, and data and insights services can be found on Vetsource's new website at Vetsource.com, which received a complete redesign to reflect the company's rebrand and comprehensive solutions. The Vet2Pet and VetSuccess websites will be automatically redirected to Vetsource.com and will support access to customer logins. "Adding client engagement, and data and insights, to the Vetsource portfolio allows us to leverage their combined strength to add greater value for the industry. Our goal is to foster strong relationships and positive experiences so veterinarians can focus on what they do best – caring for pets." Kurt Green, Vetsource CEO The product sign-in URLs will remain the same for all three products. The Vet2Pet name will be retained as a product name under Vetsource's client engagement services. "There will be no disruption of service for any of our customers. They will receive the same support and access to services they always have," said Green. "When the companies joined, so too did the same innovative and talented team of people their customers know and trust. We're lucky to now count them as part of the Vetsource family." VMX attendees can find Vetsource at booth #1230 exhibiting its prescription management, client engagement and data and insights solutions for the first time as one united brand. About Vetsource Vetsource provides innovative pharmacy, technology and business services to the pet health industry. At Vetsource, we strive to be the most trusted advocate in a rapidly evolving world and constantly seek new ways to help our customers chart a course for a better, brighter future for pets and those who care for them. Our data-powered platform eliminates complexities and simplifies workflows to help veterinarians, retailers and others in the pet health industry foster engagement, loyalty and positive experiences that ensure strong relationships. Vetsource's solutions include prescription management, data and insights, and client engagement.

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