Georgia State Spinoff Receives $225,000 To Develop Safe, Effective RSV Vaccine
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 09:24 AM

Advac, LLC, a vaccine research company founded by Sang-Moo Kang, a professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University, has received $225,000 from the National Institutes of Health to develop a safer, more effective vaccine for human respiratory syncytial virus.

RSV is a common respiratory virus that can cause serious complications in infants and older adults. It is the leading cause of hospitalization among children less than one year old in the United States.

A vaccine was designed to protect infants and toddlers against the virus in the 1960s, but a large portion of those who were immunized went on to develop a heightened infection, known as enhanced respiratory disease. Many of the children were hospitalized, and two immunized toddlers died. Today, there is still no FDA-approved vaccination for RSV.

Kang plans to assess the safety and efficacy of two promising vaccines that would not induce enhanced respiratory disease. One will use an inactivated split virus—a virus that is killed with chemicals, then split apart—rather than an inactivated whole virus. This is the same method used to create the seasonal flu vaccine, but it has not successfully been developed in an RSV vaccine. Kang’s preliminary data show it is effective, safer and less likely to trigger enhanced respiratory disease.

Kang has also found that vaccines containing virus-like particles (VLP), which are engineered to resemble viruses but do not contain the viral genome, offer protection against RSV by controlling the replication of the virus in the lungs without causing detectable enhanced respiratory disease. He plans to test an RSV VLP vaccine formulated in combination with split RSV vaccine in mice. He believes that the combined approach may boost the vaccine’s efficacy without compromising safety.

Nutrisystem, Inc. Launches Groundbreaking DNA Body Blueprint™ Nationwide
Monday, July 16, 2018 11:32 AM

Nutrisystem, Inc. (Nasdaq: NTRI), a leading provider of health and wellness and weight management products and services including Nutrisystem® and South Beach Diet® brands, today announced the launch of DNA Body Blueprint™, a genetic-based product using a proprietary algorithm that provides an integrated personal action plan focused on eating behaviors, nutrition and metabolism. The national marketing campaign will debut this week.

“By providing a personalized overview that is the ultimate roadmap for an individual’s ongoing nutritional needs, this product delivers on our mission of helping consumers make more informed choices and achieve outcomes that drive overall health,” commented Dawn Zier, President and CEO, Nutrisystem, Inc. “This groundbreaking use of DNA technology is a major step forward in the areas of weight loss, maintenance, and personalized nutrition. Consumer interest is high and we believe this product will attract new consumers to our brand as well as allow us to extend our relationship with them as they transition from weight loss to an ongoing healthy lifestyle.”

Rimidi Closes $6.575 Million Series A with Strategic Investment from Eli Lilly
Wednesday, July 11, 2018 08:54 AM
Rimidi Inc., a digital health company that provides software and clinical analytics for chronic disease management, raised $6.575 million in Series A-1 financing, which includes a strategic investment by Eli Lilly and Co., an investment from Turner Investments, and participation from existing investors Cox Enterprises, Village Capital, The Jump Fund, and JAMB Global. Both Lilly and Turner will take board seats.

Rimidi, founded by Dr. Lucie Ide, is a health technology company in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Signature portfolio.

The Series A-1 financing will fuel Rimidi’s growth and accelerate its market penetration. Formerly known as Rimidi Diabetes Inc., the company is rebranding to Rimidi Inc. to reflect the expansion of its platform and mission to broadly address cardiometabolic disease.

“We are excited to close this successful round, and focus on the road ahead,” said Rimidi CEO Josh Claman. “Helping healthcare providers transition to more proactive and data-driven care delivery models is proving again and again to improve health outcomes and reduce the avoidable complications of these diseases. This round will allow us to push more aggressively into the market and accelerate our expansion into other cardio-metabolic comorbidities.

Shire Receives U.S. FDA Approval for New State-of-the-Art Plasma Manufacturing Facility Near Covington, Georgia
Monday, June 25, 2018 10:31 AM

Dublin, Ireland – June 21, 2018 – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global biotechnology leader in rare diseases, announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company’s first submission for its new plasma manufacturing facility near Covington, Georgia for the production of GAMMAGARD LIQUID® [Immune Globulin Infusion (Human)] 10% Solution, a replacement therapy for primary humoral immunodeficiency (PI). 

The Covington facility will add approximately 30% capacity to Shire’s internal plasma manufacturing network once fully operational. Commercial production at the site began in January 2018, and Shire expects to distribute product shortly now that approval has been granted. 

“The approval of our Covington, Georgia facility is a significant milestone for Shire and for the patients we serve,” said Matt Walker, Head of Technical Operations for Shire. “The increased manufacturing capacity from the site will support Shire’s growing Immunology franchise and further strengthens our ability to deliver complex therapies for patients around the world living with a range of rare and immune-mediated conditions.”

CryoLife adds health system CEO to board of directors
Friday, June 22, 2018 12:00 AM

Atlanta biomedical company CryoLife has bolstered its board of directors by adding a health care CEO as its ninth member.

CryoLife Inc. (NYSE: CRY) announced Tuesday that it increased the size of its board with the appointment of Marna Borgstrom. Since 2005, Borgstrom has worked as president, Chief Executive Officer and board member of the Yale New Haven Health System, an integrated health care delivery system that operates in Connecticut, western Rhode Island and Westchester County in New York.

Borgstrom serves on several other boards, including Vizient Inc., a privately held health care performance improvement company, the Coalition to Protect America's Healthcare, and the Healthcare Institute.

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