Booz Allen Hamilton awarded the 2019 INFORMS Prize for Operations Research

eurekalert | April 15, 2019

The leading international association for operations research and analytics professionals, announced that Booz Allen Hamilton has been awarded the 2019 INFORMS Prize for their pioneering and enduring integration of operations research (O.R.) and analytics programs into their organization. Recognizing the increasing role that O.R. and analytics was playing in the future of their clients' missions, Booz Allen consolidated their firm-wide O.R. talent into a single, centralized organization to enhance cross-disciplinary exchanges as well as accelerate internal research and development projects. This new practice, Booz Allen's Analytics Practice, integrated traditional O.R. practitioners from its Defense business with experts in high-performance computing from its National Security business and solution architects from its Civil and Commercial businesses. Together, Booz Allen's team of O.R. practitioners have pioneered the application of data science to minimize vaccine production variability, detect pharmaceutical safety issues, prevent entitlement fraud, and disrupt threat networks. Booz Allen has also repeatedly incorporated O.R. into its internal culture to achieve efficiencies and enhance employee and customer experiences. Some of firm's notable programs include the Data Science Bowl, one of the largest data science-for-social-good competition in the world. Booz Allen also established the Data Science 5K, an internal workforce development program that has rapidly grown Booz Allen's data science talent by more than 1,600 data scientists in just the past three years.


Is the current big pharma drug development model dead and buried or just resting? pharmaphorum speaks with international expert Dr Kenneth Kaitin for some answers.

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BD Completes Acquisition of Parata Systems

BD | July 19, 2022

BD announced it has completed the acquisition of Parata Systems. Parata advances BD's transformative solutions strategy by providing a portfolio of innovative pharmacy automation solutions that power a growing network of pharmacies to reduce costs, enhance patient safety and improve the patient experience for retail, hospital and long-term care pharmacies. As a combined company, BD is positioned to offer a comprehensive set of technologies to the $600 million pharmacy automation market segment that is expected to grow approximately 10% annually to $1.5 billion in the U.S. alone over 10 years. "Completing this acquisition represents an important step towards advancing our 2025 growth strategy around smart, connected care and enabling new care settings. I'd like to officially welcome the Parata team to BD as we join together to uniquely provide a more comprehensive set of smart, connected care technologies to support our customers as they expand care to new settings and centralize their pharmacy operations." Tom Polen, chairman, chief executive officer and president of BD The acquisition builds on BD's legacy and experience of seamlessly integrating teams to drive future growth and innovation. The Parata portfolio will become part of the solutions offered by BD's Medication Management Solutions business within the BD Medical segment. Together, the combined BD and Parata team will help pharmacy leaders address critical trends, such as clinician shortages, wage inflation, centralization of pharmacy services and increased clinical demands on pharmacy staff. About BD BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 75,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help enhance the safety and efficiency of clinicians' care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to accurately detect disease and advance researchers' capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care.

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Standigm Signs MOU with Merck Korea for AI drug Discovery Research

Standigm | June 02, 2022

Standigm Inc. the leading workflow artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Merck Korea, for AI-based drug discovery research. The MOU signing took place on May 30 at the headquarters of Standigm, attended by Sojeong Yun, CEO of Standigm, and Stephen Namkoo Lee, the Head of Science and Lab Solutions, Life Science business sector of Merck Korea. Under the MOU, Standigm will accelerate its drug discovery research by adopting Merck's AI software SYNTHIA™. which can help Standigm's novel compound synthesis. SYNTHIA™ is a computer-aided retrosynthetic design tool and unites network theory, modern high-power computing, and expert chemical knowledge to rapidly design synthetic pathways. "Applying AI to the drug discovery process can dramatically reduce time in discovering novel drug candidates and finding optimized synthesis paths. By pooling know-how in AI synthesis of Merck and Standigm's AI technology together, we expect better results in drug discovery faster, compared to the traditional AI drug discovery method," Sojeong Yun, co-founder and CEO of Standigm "Candidate chemical discovery using AI technology for new drug development is playing a crucial role in the growth of local bioindustry," said Stephen Nam-Koo Lee, Head of Science and Lab Solutions for South Korea, Life Science business sector, Merck Korea. As a leading workflow AI drug discovery company, Standigm has actively conducted research on AI technology in organic synthesis at its own Synthetic Research Center, established last year. About Standigm Standigm is a workflow AI-driven drug discovery company headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and Standigm has expanded its operations across the world, recently opening offices in the U.S. and UK. Standigm has proprietary AI platforms encompassing novel target identification to compound design, to generate commercially valuable drug pipelines. Founded in 2015, Standigm has established an early-stage drug discovery workflow AI to generate multiple First-in-Class compounds within seven months. Pursuing full-stack, AI-driven industrializing drug discovery, Standigm has achieved the automation of molecular design workflow, and the automation effort has been expanding to the whole drug discovery process based on Standigm AI platforms, including Standigm ASK™ for novel target discovery, Standigm BEST™ for novel compound generation. About Merck Merck a leading science and technology company, operates across life science, healthcare and electronics. Around 60,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2021, Merck generated sales of € 19.7 billion in 66 countries.

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Athira Pharma Announces Topline Results from ACT-AD Phase 2 Proof of Concept Study of Fosgonimeton in Mild-to-Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease

Athira Pharma, Inc. | June 27, 2022

Athira Pharma, Inc. a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and slow neurodegeneration, today announced topline results from its exploratory ACT-AD Phase 2 study of fosgonimeton in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. Fosgonimeton is a small molecule designed to enhance the activity of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and its receptor, MET, which are expressed in the central nervous system to promote brain health and function. “Following compelling ERP P300 latency biomarker data from a small Phase 1b trial over eight days in Alzheimer’s patients on fosgonimeton monotherapy, this Phase 2 trial provides valuable insights into the nature of this novel intervention over 26 weeks. ACT-AD was designed as a learning study to further investigate the ERP P300 biomarker signal over 6 months, assess safety in a patient population more representative of the real world, by allowing the use of add-on standard-of-care acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEIs, e.g., donepezil), and explore fosgonimeton’s effect on psychometric outcomes, including ADAS-Cog11, to inform the ongoing Phase 3 LIFT-AD study. To that end, this study achieved its goal,” said Hans Moebius, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Athira. “The study was intended to show differences on the biomarker ERP P300 latency. This primary endpoint was not met by protocoled analysis, however a pre-specified subgroup analysis indicated a potential diminished effect of fosgonimeton when given in combination with AChEIs. A subsequent post hoc analysis of the data from patients on fosgonimeton monotherapy showed a meaningful improvement in both ERP P300 latency and cognitive performance compared to placebo at 26 weeks. “These data points are very encouraging as they indicate the expected pharmacological activity of fosgonimeton by parallel improvement on ERP P300 latency and ADAS-Cog11 and show a favorable safety profile over six months. This is the first time monotherapy fosgonimeton has shown an effect on ADAS-Cog11, suggesting a potential cognitive benefit. We will use these insights for a rational optimization of the ongoing LIFT-AD trial. We plan to seek advice from our scientific advisors, investigators, and ultimately regulators on how to expeditiously analyze and potentially adapt the LIFT-AD study,” Dr. Moebius “The data from the fosgonimeton monotherapy analysis are encouraging and show biologic activity that may support the potential role of the HGF/MET pathway in neurodegenerative diseases,” said Marwan Sabbagh, M.D., FAAN, professor of neurology at Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, AZ. “ACT-AD adds to the body of literature suggesting ERP P300 latency as an important biomarker for cognitive status.”

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ColubrisMX, Inc. Announces Corporate Rebranding to ENDOQUEST Robotics™

ColubrisMX | July 01, 2022

ColubrisMX, Inc., developer of the world's first flexible endoluminal robotic system which enables scar-free and less invasive surgical procedures, announced that the Company has rebranded to ENDOQUEST Robotics™. The Company also announced the simultaneous launch of its new website, "Since being founded, our company has made rapid progress in the development of technologies that represent historic advances in endoluminal surgery, with the potential to bring millions of patients access to procedures that are less invasive and scar-free. This rebranding as ENDOQUEST Robotics reinforces our commitment to being the leader in innovation in flexible robotic technology for a wide range of needs in endoscopic surgeries in the years ahead." Kurt Azarbarzin, Chief Executive Officer of ENDOQUEST Robotics ENDOQUEST's advanced robotic platform enables therapeutic endoscopists and surgeons to perform endoluminal surgeries through the body's existing lumens, eliminating the need for incisions that lead to visible scarring. ENDOQUEST's Endoluminal Surgical System combines the flexibility of conventional endoscopy with the advantages of traditional surgical techniques that can improve control and precision. The Company's proprietary endoscope is a flexible and steerable overtube that functions as a robotic delivery system able to deliver two surgical instruments and a flexible videoscope to a surgical target. With the enhanced capabilities of the ENDOQUEST ELS System, advanced endoscopists and surgeons can access locations in the digestive tract through a body's natural orifice using traditional surgical techniques not previously possible. "Following completion of our successful $76 million Series C financing, we remain very encouraged by the growing levels of investor, gastroenterologist and surgeon interest in our ELS System technology and are working aggressively to advance this development program to an Investigational Device Exemption filing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," Azarbarzin added. "We look forward to providing an update on our progress on July 1, 2022 at the Society of Robotic and Digital Surgery's Annual Meeting at the Disney World Yacht and Beach Club Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida." About ENDOQUEST Robotics ENDOQUEST Robotics has developed the ENDOQUEST Endoluminal Surgical System, the world's first endoluminal robotic surgical system that makes it possible for therapeutic endoscopists and surgeons to perform upper and lower gastrointestinal surgery less-invasively through a trans-oral or trans-anal approach. ENDOQUEST's robotic platform combines the flexibility of endoscopy that is able to navigate the curvature of patients' anatomy with instrumentation that allows the physician to use a conventional two-handed surgical technique. The ENDOQUEST ELS System has further potential applications in a range of minimally invasive surgeries including appendectomy and cholecystectomy that can be performed with no external incisions.

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