Peerfit Closes $8 Million Funding Round, Adds Second Professional Sports Team Owner to Board


Peerfit, the market leader in connecting employers and carriers with flexible fitness experiences, announced today the closing of an $8 million funding round. Veteran Peerfit investors Ark Applications and PAR, Inc led the round.

This round includes not only a new investor, but another professional sports team owner to their group of investors. Wyc Grousbeck, the Boston Celtics’ owner, and his investment group, Causeway Media Partners, joined as a majority investor in the round. Grousbeck, whose investment firm focuses on sports technology companies, is making the jump into the wellness space with Peerfit. Grousbeck will also be joining the Peerfit Board of Directors as a result of this investment.

Peerfit continues to level up their existing group of investors who doubled down and invested again during the round including Lee Arnold, Colliers International Florida Executive Chairman and Jeff Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL). This funding round will help fuel growth for the digital health company, whose ARR has already increased 5x since the start of 2018.

“We are thrilled to continue to raise funds from individuals and small groups of like-minded, successful business people, without going the more traditional VC fundraising route up to this point,” said Peerfit CEO, Ed Buckley. “The caliber of investors we continue to add to our table speaks to the quality of the product and service we are building at Peerfit, helping to redefine wellness for employees across the country.”

Peerfit has raised more than $23 million, grown their team to nearly 70 people, and continues to expand their Peerfit Studio Network across 46 states.

“At Causeway we look for companies with great leadership and impressive performance in growing markets,” said Boston Celtics’ owner, Wyc Grousbeck. “Peerfit has all of that and more. We are very glad to partner with Ed and his team, and legendary investor (and my good friend) Jeff Vinik on their exciting mission to completely redo and improve corporate and individual wellness.”

Cancer Is Tough, But The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Is Tougher


-LLS is leading the way to cancer cures, during Blood Cancer Awareness Month and beyond


Contributing to nearly every advance in blood cancer research and treatment in decades, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has invested more than $1.2 billion in cancer research, with groundbreaking results in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine that are improving and saving lives of patients. These revolutionary new treatments are powering LLS’s efforts to attack cancer from every angle.

Blood Cancer Awareness Month – every September – provides the opportunity for LLS, the world’s largest nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancer, to educate and engage the public about the blood cancers – leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma – which are the third leading cause of cancer deaths among Americans. LLS is at the forefront of the fight to cure cancer, dedicated to finding cures for the nearly 1.3 million people in the U.S. who are living with, or are in remission from, leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma and other blood cancers.

“Cancer is not a one-size-fits-all disease. We prioritize research based on unmet medical needs, and are ushering in a new era of cancer therapy that centers on giving the right treatment to the right patient at the right time,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and CEO. “Further, we are seeing our vision for and approaches to treating the blood cancers now helping patients with other cancers, which is why we are proud to say that beating cancer is in our blood.”

Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma – Latest Treatment Advancements

2017 was one of the most historic years on record for therapy approvals for blood cancers. In all, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 18 therapies to treat patients with blood cancers, and LLS supported 15 of them. To date, we have seen 10 FDA approvals for blood cancer therapies in 2018, and LLS has supported eight of these at some point in their development.

Leukemia. In 2017, the FDA approved a revolutionary treatment called CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) T-cell immunotherapy, a game-changing approach that involves genetically reprogramming a patient’s own immune cells to find and attack cancer cells. LLS supported the research leading to this discovery for more than two decades. The therapy, tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah®), was approved for children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who have relapsed more than once, marking significant progress for patients up to age 25 who have otherwise run out of treatment options.

After 40 years of little change in standard of care for patients with another deadly blood cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), novel targeted therapies have been emerging at a rapid pace over the past year. Four therapies for AML, all supported with LLS investment, achieved FDA approval in 2017. Researchers are now able to home in on specific genetic drivers of the disease – opening to the door to a more personalized approach to treatment. In 2018 alone, the FDA approved two more new treatments for AML and several more are currently under FDA review.

Lymphoma. In 2017, the FDA approved a second CAR T-cell immunotherapy, axicabtagene ciloleucel (Yescarta®), bringing a new treatment option to adults with several types of relapsed and refractory large B-cell lymphomas. In May 2018, the FDA granted tisagenlecleucel its second approval, also for patients with several types of large B-cell lymphomas.

The FDA also approved another type of immunotherapy for a very rare subset of lymphoma called primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) in June 2018. This immunotherapy, called pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), is known as a checkpoint inhibitor that works by releasing the brakes on the immune system so it can attack cancer cells. Pembrolizumab and another checkpoint inhibitor, nivolumab (Opdivo®), were also both recently approved for Hodgkin lymphoma patients who have relapsed from standard therapy.

Myeloma. Remarkable advances have been achieved over the past decade in treating myeloma. While a cure has not yet been achieved, survival rates have been dramatically extended with the median five-year survival rate improved from 34.6 percent in 2000 to 52.4 percent in 2015, thanks to a multitude of new therapies over the past decade. With so many new agents to work with, the next phase for physicians who treat patients with multiple myeloma is to optimize dosing and combinations.

CAR-T is now being tested in myeloma, targeting a protein on the surface of the cancer cells called BCMA. The data to date are encouraging, showing that the average median survival was extended for about a year with no significant safety risks. More than 95% of the 22 patients in the small early study responded; 50% had a complete response, meaning no cancer cells could be detected. While it’s not yet clear if cures are being achieved, the results are promising.

“Our long-term investment in research has resulted in significant breakthroughs leading to higher survival rates and lives saved, but at LLS, we do so much more,” DeGennaro shared. “To advance our mission we focus on cures and ensuring that patients have access to lifesaving therapies. We provide free information, education and support services for those who have been impacted by blood cancer. We fight for lifesaving policy changes at the state and federal level to ensure access to quality, affordable, coordinated care. We are committed to working tirelessly toward our mission every single day, until we find a cure.”

Cancer is a tough opponent, but at LLS, we are tougher.

While significant progress has been made, there is more work to be done. More than one-third of blood cancer patients still do not survive five years after their diagnosis. By funding the most innovative research, breakthroughs for patients who urgently need them can be achieved faster.

“Help raise awareness of blood cancer this month. Everyone can make an impact,” said DeGennaro. “Learn more about the LLS mission, volunteer and get involved in a fundraising campaign or donate to LLS directly. Join the fight this September, visit to learn more. Beating cancer is in our blood.”

Singapore’s first clinical trial approval for T cell engineered (TCR) immunotherapy for treatment of Liver cancer


Lion TCR Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based Biotech company receives approval from Health Sciences Authority (HSA), Singapore, for its Phase I/II multicentre clinical study of its product candidate (LioCyx™) for treatment of relapsed liver cancer post-liver transplantation. The first such trial in Singapore and for the region that uses precision T cell receptor (TCR) immune cell therapy to target Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related liver cancer, which forms at least 80% of liver cancers in Asia. 80% of the 800,000 new liver cancer cases in the world yearly are diagnosed in Asia Pacific, including ChinaVietnamThailandIndonesiaSouth Korea and Singapore. Liver cancer is the world’s third most deadly cancer with very limited treatment options and poor treatment outcome. There is currently no effective treatment available for liver cancer relapsed patients post-liver transplantation.

LioCyx™ is developed by Lion TCR’s scientific founder, Prof. Antonio Bertoletti, a world-renowned HBV-liver cancer clinician scientist. Several Investigator-sponsored trials of LioCyx™ in Singapore and China have showed results of good safety profile and encouraging signs of efficacy. “We are very delighted with the approval of Phase I/II clinical trial of our LioCyx™, the first engineered TCR-T cell therapy for treatment of liver cancer in Singapore. It is an utmost encouragement on the recognition of innovative therapy for patients in need. Singapore HSA has been very efficient, transparent and professional in reviewing our application for the clinical trial of this innovative immunotherapy”, said Dr. Victor Li Lietao, founder and CEO of Lion TCR.

Patients recruitment for the Phase I/II clinical trial will begin with National UniversityHospital (NUH), Singapore. Lion TCR is in the midst of including more medical centres in Singapore and China into the trial.

More than 6,300 Pan-Mass Challenge Cyclists Hit the Road to Raise Record Breaking $52 Million During 2018 Ride


PMC Aims to Exceed $650 Million Raised for Cancer Care Advancements at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute with Most Ambitious Fundraising Goal to Date


Today, the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) commenced its 2018 ride, drawing in more than 6,300 cyclists from 43 states and ten countries to pedal varying routes across Massachusetts. On the heels of last year’s record-breaking fundraising campaign, in which the organization exceeded its goal by more than $3 million, this year’s participants will be riding with the hopes of collectively raising $52 million for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Dana-Farber). The PMC, which raises more money for charity than any other single athletic event, is Dana-Farber’s largest single contributor, raising more than 53 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue. If this year’s goal is reached, the PMC’s 39-year contribution to cancer research and care will exceed $650 million.

During Ride Weekend, the PMC unites cyclists ranging in age from 13 to 85 under the common mission of raising funds for cancer research and treatment. Designed to cater to all levels of cycling and fundraising abilities, the PMC offers riders the choice of 12 routes of varying distance, starting from 25 miles all the way up to the hallmark, two-day 192-mile ride passing through 46 towns from Sturbridge, Mass. through Provincetown that the organization is known for. Many ride in honor of a family member or friend lost to, or being treated for, cancer, as 100 percent of every rider raised dollar goes directly to Dana-Farber. At the cornerstone of the PMC community are more than 900 PMC riders and volunteers that are cancer survivors or current patients, considered “Living Proof” of the PMC spirit and mission to find a cure.

“Each year, I am in complete awe of the commitment and drive that our riders, volunteers, sponsors, staff and donors demonstrate as we work together towards our common goal of contributing critical funds to support the incredible advancements in cancer treatment and care being made at Dana-Farber,” said Billy Starr, founder and executive director of the PMC. “It’s been almost four decades yet is still humbling to say that once again, we are on track to increase our impact by raising even more money for Dana-Farber than last year. I’d like to wish my fellow riders a safe and successful PMC, and thank our community for their unwavering support.”

“I’m honored to pedal alongside this incredibly dedicated group of riders in the PMC this weekend. All of us at Dana-Farber have enormous gratitude for the commitment of the PMC community – the impact their contributions make on the cancer community worldwide is truly immeasurable,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Dana-Farber, who will be riding the 85-mile route to Bourne, Massachusetts. “The unrestricted funding provided by the PMC is crucial to the life-saving work being done at Dana-Farber and beyond by world-class physicians in pursuit of one day eradicating cancer.”

One-day routes include rides from Wellesley or Sturbridge to Bourne, Wellesley to Patriot Place and Bourne to Provincetown. Two-day routes include Wellesley or Sturbridge to Provincetown, and Wellesley or Sturbridge to Bourne and back. The average cyclist trains for three months, solicits 40 sponsors, and raises more than $7,000.

Started in 1980 when Billy Starr and 35 of his friends rode across Massachusetts and raised $10,200 for cancer research, the PMC is now recognized as the pioneering event that connected athleticism to charitable fundraising. Today, athletic fundraising events annually raise more than $4 billion, funding crucial programs at health and human service organizations nationwide.

The PMC is presented by New Balance and the Red Sox Foundation. Each year, an additional 200 companies support the event by providing more than $7 million in goods and services, and more than 4,000 volunteers donate their time to support the organization during Ride Weekend and beyond. To make a financial contribution to a rider, visit, or call (800) WE-CYCLE. Connect with #PanMass2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About the Pan-Mass Challenge

The Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) is a bike-a-thon that today raises more money for charity than any other single athletic fundraising event in the world. The 39th PMC will take place on August 4 and 5, 2018. The PMC was founded in 1980 by Billy Starr, who remains the event’s executive director, an annual cyclist, and a fundraiser. The PMC has since raised $598 million for adult and pediatric patient care and cancer research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. The event donates 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar directly to the cause. The PMC generates more than 53 percent of the Jimmy Fund’s annual revenue and is Dana-Farber’s single largest contributor. The PMC has successfully melded support from committed cyclists, volunteers, corporate sponsors and individual contributors. All are essential to the PMC’s goal and model: to attain maximum fundraising efficiency while increasing its annual gift. The PMC’s hope and aspiration is to provide Dana-Farber’s doctors and researchers with the necessary resources to discover cures for all cancers. For more information on the Pan-Mass Challenge, log onto

Communities in New Brunswick to benefit from improved water and wastewater infrastructure

Governance, Health

The governments of Canada and New Brunswick are investing in local infrastructure that ensures Canadians and their families have access to modern, reliable water and wastewater services that meet their needs. These investments safeguard the health and well-being of residents, protect waterways and preserve local ecosystems.

René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for Madawaska–Restigouche, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and the Honourable Gilles LePage, Minister of Labour, Employment and Population Growth, today announced more than $3 million in funding for three water and wastewater infrastructure projects for the Town of Dalhousie, the Village of Kedgwick and the Town of Saint-Quentin.

The Government of Canada is contributing more than $1.5 million to these projects through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and the Government of New Brunswickis providing more than $750,000. The communities are responsible for the remainder of the project costs.

Thanks to this investment, residents in Dalhousie will benefit from improved water and wastewater services. This project involves the separation and renewal of the combined sanitary and storm sewer located along Adelaïde Street, from Brunswick Street to Renfrew Street. In addition, two clean water improvement projects will soon be underway in Kedgwick and Saint-Quentin, which will see the replacement of drinking water, wastewater, sewage and stormwater sewers. Projects like these will keep the waterways in New Brunswick clean and the communities healthy for years to come.

This investment is part of an agreement between Canada and New Brunswick for clean water and wastewater.


“By investing in modern and efficient water and wastewater infrastructure, the Government of Canada is supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a clean, sustainable growth economy and creating well-paying middle class jobs. The improvements to water infrastructure in DalhousieKedgwick, and Saint-Quentin will ensure residents continue to have access to safe drinking water while protecting the local environment.”

René Arseneault, Member of Parliament for MadawaskaRestigouche, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“The Government of New Brunswick recognizes the importance of investing in essential services like clean drinking water and reliable wastewater services. These investments will have a lasting positive impact on the quality of life for New Brunswickers, as well as contribute to economic growth, a clean environment and stronger communities.”

The Honourable Gilles LePage, Minister of Labour, Employment and Population Growth, on behalf of the Honourable Andrew Harvey, Minister of Environment and Local Government

“This investment will go a long way helping our citizens have a better quality of life. We are thankful to both the provincial and federal governments in joining hands with us to make this happen.”

His worship Normand Pelletier, Mayor of Dalhousie

Quick facts

  • For the Adelaïde Street Sewer Separation and Watermain Renewal project in Dalhousie, the Government of Canada is contributing $274,792. The Government of New Brunswick and the Town of Dalhousie are each contributing $137,396.
  • For the Infrastructure Improvement Monseigneur Martin Street West project in Saint-Quentin, the Government of Canada is contributing $528,409. The Government of New Brunswick and the Town of Saint-Quentin are each contributing $264,204.
  • For the Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Update Project in Kedgwick, the Government of Canada is contributing $704,772. The Government of New Brunswick and the Village of Kedgwick are each contributing $352,386.
  • The Government of Canada will invest more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and northern communities.
  • $26.9 billion of this funding will support green infrastructure projects, including $5 billion that will be available for investment through the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

‘Stigma and discrimination still persists’ against people living with HIV – UN labour agency

Health, Society, World

Based on 13 country team surveys throughout the world, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) HIV Stigma and Discrimination in the World of Work: Findings from the People Living with HIV Stigma Index, draws on interviews with more than 100,000 people living with the virus.

“It is sad to see that despite years of work, stigma and discrimination still persist,” said Shauna Olney, Chief of the ILO branch which deals with gender, equality, diversity and AIDS, speaking in Amsterdam at the launch.

“But treatment alone is not sufficient. We must work harder to reduce stigma and discrimination for people living with HIV at workplaces. They have a right to work and no one should deny them that,” she added.

Co-written with the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the report was introduced during the biennial International AIDS Conference “AIDS 2018”, which has been taking place this week; the largest conference on any global health or development issue in the world.

The data highlights a number of findings, such as that 10 out of 13 countries recorded a 30 per cent or higher unemployment rate for people living with HIV, with a greater rate among HIV-positive youth.

And women living with HIV are less likely to be employed then their male counterparts because of unpaid care responsibilities, and a lack of independent income.

Moreover, unemployment among HIV-positive transgender people in all countries remains high.

Hiding their HIV status

Another key finding reveals that their HIV status costs many people their jobs – often because of employer or co-worker discrimination.

“When information about my [HIV] status reached my manager, he called me to his office,” said an anonymous individual facing discrimination, in the report. “First he told me I was working badly – doing too little work. Then he asked me to submit my resignation, without any serious explanation – as if I were resigning voluntarily.”

As a result, many people are hesitant to disclose their HIV status. to employers or even co-workers. Testimony from Cameroon, in West Africa, shows the extent of the problem of accessing employment:

“I went to pick up my appointment letter only to be told that I had to undergo a medical examination. I already knew my sero-status, which I told the human resource officer about. She said I had to do the examination which confirmed my HIV-positive status. That marked the end of getting the job as they could not recruit me even though I had passed the interview,” said one anonymous interviewee.

Similarly, HIV-related discrimination remains a major cause for not receiving job promotions.

“What this report shows is that we still have a long way to go in our efforts to combat workplace related stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV,” said Sasha Volgina, GNP+ Programme Manager. “Access to healthcare and access to employment are inextricably linked and as such a meaningful commitment towards stemming the epidemic and securing the wellbeing of all people living with HIV, cannot be met without prioritizing ending HIV stigma in the workplace.”

Hyundai Hope On Wheels Presents Yale Cancer Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital With $100,000 Hyundai Impact Award To Support Pediatric Cancer Research


Hyundai Hope On Wheels® 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization celebrates its 20th year in the fight funding pediatric cancer research and will present Dr. Shilpa Hattangadi of Yale Cancer Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital with a $100,000 Hyundai Impact Award. This institution is one of 21 recipients of this year’s award, which is given to pediatric oncology departments at select children’s hospitals nationwide. The $100,000 Hyundai Impact Award will be officially presented to Dr. Hattangadi and Yale Cancer Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital on Wednesday, July 25th at 10:00 a.m.

In 2018, Hope On Wheels will award over $15 million toward pediatric cancer research and programs. This brings the organization’s donation total to $145 million since Hyundai joined the fight against pediatric cancer 20 years ago in 1998. With this latest grant, Yale School of Medicine has received more than $1,000,000 from Hope On Wheels.

“Throughout the country, talented doctors are working tirelessly to help kids fight cancer by conducting research or providing bedside care,” said Scott Fink, chairman, Hyundai Hope On Wheels Board of Directors. “Our goal at Hope On Wheels is to provide these doctors with the grant funds they need to perform their lifesaving work.”

During the event, children being treated at Yale Cancer Center’s who are battling cancer will participate in the program’s signature Handprint Ceremony, in which they’ll dip their hands in paint and place their handprints on a white canvas. Their colorful handprints on the canvas will represent their individual and collective journeys, hopes and dreams.

For more information about Hyundai Hope On Wheels and to view a complete list of this year’s grant winners, please visit Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at, or

Philanthropists Step Up With $109 Million For Alzheimer’s Research


Philanthropists across the USA answered the call to accelerate the pace of Alzheimer’s research by giving an unprecedented $109 million to the Alzheimer’s Association for research, it was announced today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2018 in Chicago. Private philanthropy has enabled the Association to increase the pace of innovative research funding commitments to $160 million for more than 400 best-in-field projects in 21 countries.

“The only way we will achieve the national goal of effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer’s disease by 2025 is through research, and that is why we have led the charge to increase both public and private funding of Alzheimer’s research,” said Alzheimer’s Association President and CEO Harry Johns. “Research funding is the fuel for discovery and has changed the trajectory of heart disease, HIV and many cancers, and we are confident that this funding will do the same for Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association is leading the way to ensure that the robust research pipeline has the money needed to make critical discoveries that will lead us to fulfill the national goal.”

Since 2014, nearly 140 donors, including individuals, corporations and organizations, made gifts ranging from $100,000 to $5 million for research to the Alzheimer’s Association via its philanthropic initiative Step Up the Pace: Accelerating Alzheimer’s Research.

Dick Kipper of Woody Creek, Colorado, and John Beuerlein of Clayton, Missouri, served as co-chairs of the Step Up the Pace’s first phase. “I have been active in this cause for more than two decades, and the level of enthusiasm and commitment over the past four years has been unprecedented. Donors are eager to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association because of the strategic focus of the organization to accelerate research and fund new opportunities quickly in order to fuel the discovery this cause so desperately needs,” Kipper said.

The Alzheimer’s Association is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s disease research in the world. It is also the nonprofit with the highest impact in Alzheimer’s disease research worldwide, with its impact exceeded only by that of the U.S. and Chinese governments, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters InCites. By increasing private philanthropy, the Association has doubled its annual funding of research projects, advancing discovery science, early detection and diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Through Step Up the Pace, private philanthropy has enabled, expanded and enhanced 10 large-scale research projects. These include clinical trials of an innovative “drug cocktail” to treat Alzheimer’s and drug trials designed to prevent dementia symptoms before they occur.  Funded studies also include hundreds of smaller-scale investigations vetted by an international network of 6,000 dementia scientists.

The announcement comes within weeks of the U.S. Senate and House Appropriations Committees’ approval of a more than $400 million increase for Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which Alzheimer’s Association advocates have been calling for. If signed into law, this will mark the fourth consecutive year of historic increases and bring total federal funding of Alzheimer’s research to $2.3 billion annually.

“The dramatic expansion in government funding requires an equally dramatic increase in projects to feed the pipeline,” John Beuerlein added. “The Alzheimer’s Association has an unparalleled track record for identifying and funding high-potential studies early to ensure that the pipeline is wide-ranging and scientists are enthusiastic to join this field of research.”

The results of the Association’s funding efforts have also led to the Alzheimer’s Association-led U.S. POINTER study. U.S. POINTER is a two-year clinical trial to evaluate whether lifestyle interventions that simultaneously target multiple risk factors protect cognitive function in older adults (age 60-79) at increased risk for cognitive decline. It is the first such study to be conducted in a large group of Americans.

“It’s estimated that more than one-third of global dementia cases may be preventable by addressing lifestyle factors,” said Maria Carrillo, Ph.D., chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. “Heart disease and some cancers can now be effectively treated and prevented with a combination of medical and behavioral management. It’s time to see if we can see the same benefits for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.”

Microsoft and Partners Showcase a New ‘Molecule’ for Better Health Outcomes

Health, Technology

At the Intelligent Medicines’ Future Decoded event co-hosted by Microsoft, Indegene and PAREXEL, life sciences leaders reunited at the Microsoft Research Lab in Cambridge and showcased digital advances in their industry. CIOs, CMOs, Digital Strategy, Medical Affairs and Clinical Research leaders from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Shire Teva, Takeda, UCB and others discussed the commencement of a new era and the opportunity to work with a new ‘molecule’ to accelerate transformation.

The new ‘molecule’ combines data, intelligence, trust and innovative digital empowerment at a time when there is an unprecedented ability to reason over vast genomic, clinical, personal health and commercial data. It infuses intelligence everywhere to drive insights for health care professionals (HCPs), generates new care experiences and creates preventative pathways. It focuses on trust as a gatekeeper to adoption with enhanced levels of privacy, security and compliance by design. It brings forward new governance approaches with data-sharing models such as data donation and interoperable yet accessible data platforms. Finally, it delivers innovative digital empowerment to effectively engage the industry’s customers.

Innovations highlighted included Omnipresence, a solution developed by Indegene and Microsoft, which adds predictive algorithms to interactions with HCPs through intelligent actions and content for sales reps, MSLs, KAMs (learn about Omnipresence here). DNAnexus showcased how Microsoft’s cloud computational pipeline is used at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital to accelerate research and power scientific collaboration in the search for cures to pediatric cancer (read the full case here).

Captario, PAREXEL and digitalECMT (Digital Experimental Cancer Medicine Team) shared innovations built on Microsoft Azure Cloud to accelerate drug development. Captario SUM is a leading decision analysis tool for drug development. Novartis uses Captario SUM for the evaluation of its entire portfolio. PAREXEL’s Perceptive Cloud® helps improve how sponsors perform clinical trials, control and share data, track and report patient outcomes, manage regulatory information and capture real-world evidence for payers. The digitalECMT is based within the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Manchester Institute, part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. This clinical research group is developing new ways of conducting early clinical trials and in collaboration with AstraZeneca delivers the iDecide research programme to  transform decision-making and the patient’s role (see the video summary here).

“Empowering health to achieve more with technology relies on a human-centric vision for better outcomes. Data, intelligence, trust and new forms of governance make up the new molecule to decode the future of pharma and unlock digital advantages,” said Elena Bonfiglioli, EMEA Lead for Health and Life sciences, Microsoft, on the occasion. “Indegene Omnipresence creates so many opportunities to empower life sciences organisations through modern innovations such as deep customer graphs, conversational AI, medical bots…it is a very exciting time,” added Sanjay Virmani, EVP, Indegene.

About Indegene 

Indegene ( ) enables global healthcare organisations to address complex challenges by seamlessly integrating analytics, technology, operations and medical expertise and drives better health and business outcomes. Indegene’s IP-based solutions help clients drive revenues and productivity by making transformational leaps in digitalisation of customer engagement, health reform, healthcare cost reduction and health outcomes improvement.

Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple Propel the Life Sciences Industry with Strategic Partnerships

Health, Technology

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Global Life Sciences Industry Outlook, 2018, finds that healthcare digitization and consumerization, the explosion of patient data, and the emergence of value-based reimbursement models, are propelling the life sciences industry towards the $1.5 trillion milestone. The convergence of biopharmaceuticals, drug delivery devices, and companion diagnostics —enabled by digital connectivity— is driving regulatory and commercial changes in many exciting ways for the industry.

“The scope for synergies among disciplines is attracting big tech companies such as GoogleAmazonFacebookApple (GAFA) to the life sciences industry,” said Unmesh Lal, Program Manager, Transformational Health. “The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based solutions for drug discovery and clinical trial workflow is improving the overall efficiency of production. Additionally, pathology and research laboratories are increasingly adopting health analytics solutions to track the test utilization and efficiently tackle reimbursement issues.”

For further information on this analysis, please visit:

In 2018, innovations and new business models spun around data monetization as a result of value-based medicine; a connected ecosystem will be the most talked about areas. Incorporation of advanced technologies will drive the delivery of precision healthcare, raising the following growth opportunities:

  • AI and cloud deployment in pharma research and development (R&D): Drug discovery and clinical development IT solutions spending to exceed $10 billion in 2018;
  • Convergence of molecular diagnostics and big data analytics:Disruptive startups with oncology diagnostics portfolio will see high rewards from their investments;
  • Smart genomics: Research labs jump-start spending on cloud, NGS and big data analytics solutions;
  • Biopharma partnerships with contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMO) and contract research organizations (CRO): Outsourcing of bio-analytical and current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) services is expected to reach $8.5 billion in 2018;
  • Liquid biopsy and companion diagnostics: Roughly $500 millionin venture capital funding is expected to flood the liquid biopsy space as companion diagnostic-based liquid biopsy tests gain approval from the regulatory authority; and
  • Biotech expansion into CAR-T and gene therapies: Favorable tax reforms and competition for new assets could lead to higher valuations and product deal amounts.

“While the cell and gene therapy segments have shown potential, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies continue to invest in the promising segments of oncology, cardiovascular, diabetes, and immunology. These segments not only have high unmet needs but also have high acceptability across regions,” noted Lal. “Overall personalization, decentralization, collaboration, and prevention are amplifying precision health, thereby shaping the future business models and the workforce of life sciences companies.”

Global Life Sciences Industry Outlook, 2018 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Life Sciences Growth Partnership Service program.