A pair of Israeli health tech companies, Beyond Verbal and Healthymize, plan to merge to form Newton, Mass.-based Vocalis Health. The company will be focused on developing vocal biomarkers, which track voice patterns via phone calls or smart devices to screen for various voice-indicating ailments including chronic respiratory and cardiac conditions, as well as depression. Vocalis has raised a $9 million financing led by Israeli health tech and life science venture firm Amoon to accumulate additional clinical data and enhance its voice database.
Current Health Ltd., of Edinburgh, Scotland, scooped up $11.5 million in a series A financing that was led by MMC Ventures. The funds are earmarked to scale up Current Health’s patient management platform, with the aim of preventing global illness in 1 million patients by 2021. Legal & General Group plc, a London-based financial services company, was the largest investor in the round and represents Current Health’s first corporate investor.
PARIS – Grapheal SAS, of Grenoble, France, is developing a new generation of dressings integrating an embedded electronic biosensor. The Grapheal device consists of monolayer graphene on a polymer layer 0.3 nanometers thick. “This noninvasive embedded device collects data from the wound. The wireless e-health wound monitoring system, or smart patch, remotely reports the status of chronic wounds to the care team,” Vincent Bouchiat, co-founder and CEO at Grapheal, told BioWorld MedTech.
Orthogrid Systems Inc., of Salt Lake City, has received a green light from the U.S. FDA for the latest application on its intraoperable PhantomMSK platform, this one for use in orthopedic trauma cases. The new PhantomMSK Trauma application, which Orthogrid plans to formally roll out next spring, joins currently available applications for total hip and hip preservation. The Trauma application is an orthopedic surgical software that helps surgeons achieve and confirm the alignment of bone fractures and improves intraoperative efficiency via artificial intelligence-trained and augmented reality-based decision support and assistance for the placement of surgical instruments.
The Chapel Hill, N.C.-based non-profit Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) and Tanjo Inc., a machine learning company headquartered in Carrboro, N.C., will launch their Community Health Utility Grid (HUG) Initiative in North Carolina in early 2020. The collaboration aims to improve healthcare outcomes for underserved populations in the state by collecting, analyzing, and sharing individual, household and community level health data.
The U.S. FDA has granted investigational device exemption approval for the use of Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc.’s (PGDx) elio tissue complete assay in a Merck & Co. Inc. trial of a Keytruda (pembrolizumab)-based combination therapy. Specifically, the assay will be used during the trial to analyze genomic markers to direct patient enrollment and stratification.
The U.S. FDA has granted breakthrough device designation for Righteye LLC’s eye movement-tracking vision system as a test for Parkinson’s disease. Developed by researchers at PADRECC and Virginia Commonwealth University with funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and licensed to Righteye in 2016, the test requires patients to sit in front of an all-in-one tablet-looking device and follow a series of moving targets. The goal is to identify ocular tremors, a persistent issue with Parkinson’s patients that prevents steady fixation on objects and images. The noninvasive test, which measures an individual’s ability to follow objects on a screen, could help doctors not only confirm the difficult-to-diagnose disease, but also detect it at earlier stages.
Boston-based conglomerate GE worked to make the case for its health care business to investors at a Dec. 2 event, but Wall Street seemed underwhelmed. The company’s share price remains hovering around lows not seen since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.
HONG KONG – Neurophet Inc., a South Korean AI-based brain disease diagnostics company, has secured ₩6 billion (US$5.1 million) in series A funding. The med-tech startup produces solutions based on Segengine, the company’s own technology that automatically segments brain magnetic resonance (MR) images into 107 regions within a minute.
A new web-based tool allowing rapid in silico prediction of the ability of candidate antibiotics to accumulate in Gram-negative bacteria should enable subsequent prioritization of new compounds for synthesis and further evaluation, U.S. researchers reported Nov. 18, 2019, in Nature Microbiology.