London-based Alsa Ventures reported the first closing of its European biotechnology investment fund with commitments of $59 million. Established in 2019 by Alek Safarian, founder and ex-CEO of clinical CRO Novotech, the Alsa team has already made three European biotech investments, which will now become portfolio companies in Alsa Ventures. The fund is targeting raising $150 million in total. To date, the Alsa team has invested in U.K.-based companies Epsilogen Ltd. and Oxford Biotherapeutics, as well as the Belgian startup Montis Biosciences SA.
Vancouver, British Columbia-based Avricore Health Inc. signed a letter of intent (LOI) with a prominent, publicly traded health care technology company and drugmaker to integrate a point-of-care blood chemistry analyzer into Avricore’s Healthtab real-time data reporting system. Under the terms of the LOI, Avricore will offer the Healthtab +Rastr system and technology for the collection, analysis and reporting of client data in the form of a web-faced and mobile application both for consumers and sponsors. The integration will enable Healthtab to offer HbA1c blood glucose testing for diabetes patients. The companies will work together to license and market the new program.
Seattle-based Boeing Co. agreed to a patent and technology license with Florida-based Healthe Inc. today under which Healthe will manufacture an ultraviolet (UV) wand designed to sanitize airplane interiors. Boeing designed and developed the UV wand as part of the company's Confident Travel Initiative to support customers and enhance the safety and well-being of passengers and crews during the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthe will produce and distribute the commercial wand, helping airlines and potentially others combat the coronavirus pandemic. The technology could be available for airlines in late fall. The UV wand uses 222 nanometer UVC light.
Cloud Dx Inc., of Kitchener, Ontario, reported the U.S. launch of its updated Connected Health Kit alongside a new quick-start program enabling health care providers and care teams to quickly and cost-effectively expand remote patient monitoring during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stafford, Texas-based Detectachem Inc. said its MD-Bio (Mobiledetect Bio) BCP19 Test Pouch for COVID-19 detection successfully passed the initial deep dive phase in July and is advancing quickly through phase I of NIH’s RADx (Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics) tech initiative. The MD-Bio BCP19 Test Pouch is a high-throughput, portable point-of-care test that detects nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and can produce results for numerous samples simultaneously in 30 minutes.
Elitechgroup MDx LLC, of Bothell, Wash., reported the release SARS-CoV-2 Plus for research use only in the U.S., beginning in early October. The test uses nasopharyngeal and nasal swab specimens to test for five infectious targets including SARS-CoV-2 (both ORF1ab and ORF8), influenza A and B and respiratory syncytial virus.
New York-based Medigate Inc. has entered an agreement with Arrow Electronics Inc., of Centennial, Colo., to bring internet-of-things (IoT) security to health care institutions.
Lewisville, Texas-based Orthofix Medical Inc. is partnering with Neo Medical SA, of Villette, Switzerland, to develop outcome-driven solutions for spinal procedures. The collaboration will focus on developing a cervical platform and deploying single-use, sterile-packed procedure solutions, including co-development of single-use instrumentation for cervical spine procedures. Under the agreement, Orthofix will also exclusively distribute Neo Medical’s thoracolumbar procedure solut9ois to certain U.S. accounts. Orthofix is investing $10 million in Neo Medical to support the partnership, through a combination of convertible loan and an equity investment.
Renalytix AI plc, a Cardiff, U.K.-based company focused on artificial intelligence-enabled diagnostics to help manage kidney disease, said its Salt Lake City clinical lab has received California commercial laboratory certification. With this certification, the company is licensed to provide its Kidneyintelix testing services for patients in 49 states.
Second Sight Medical Products Inc., of Sylmar, Calif., reported the resumption of its early feasibility study of the Orion visual cortical prosthesis system at UCLA Medical Center. The study, which includes four participants at UCLA and two participants at Baylor College of Medicine, was paused for in-person visits following the guidelines for clinical trials at each institution in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Study visits have now been resumed; several UCLA participants are being examined this week, and Baylor is anticipated to resume its study soon. The first human subject was implanted with Orion in January 2018.
Todos Medical Ltd., of Rehovot, Israel, said it has expanded its agreement with a Wisconsin-based laboratory to supply it with the necessary testing equipment and supplies to ramp up to 12,000 tests a day, for a total contract value of $47.5 million in reagent sales by Todos Medical over the next seven months. Todos will be supplying automated extraction machines, liquid handlers and PCR machines. Todos has also been granted a priority right to supply the lab with up to 100,000 COVID PCR tests per day in the event the laboratory sees significant additional testing demand.
Transmed7 LLC, of Phoenix, said that the first of the vacuum-assisted, Single Insertion-Multiple Collection (SIMC) breast biopsy procedures using its Speedbird 38 soft tissue biopsy device was successfully performed. Transmed7 will report the clinical data on the extended use of its FDA-cleared Speedbird platform and Concorde platform at the next American Society of Breast Surgeons meeting.
Campbell, Calif.-based Vivalnk Inc. reported that the University of California, San Francisco, will be utilizing its continuous wearable electrocardiogram sensor for a 3,000 subject multiyear study on atrial fibrillation (AF). Spanning up to 10 years, the study aims to detect biomarkers of early atrial transformation in AF.