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Diligent Robotics Announces $10M Series A Funding

Backed by DNX Ventures, the Austin-based robotics company is announcing its Series A funding

Diligent Robotics founders

Diligent Robotics founders, Andrea Thomaz (CEO) and Vivian Chu (CTO)

AUSTIN, Texas, March 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Diligent Robotics, the A.I. company building socially intelligent robots for the future of work, announced that it has raised a $10 million series A investment, led by DNX Ventures, and participation from existing investors True Ventures, Ubiquity Ventures and Next Coast Ventures; E14 Fund, Promus Ventures, and Grit Ventures also joined the round.

Their first commercialized product is a hospital robot assistant named Moxi, designed to take some of the busywork off the hands of clinical staff, so they can spend more time focused on patient care.  A landmark report by the Institute of Medicine (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25009849) highlights the central role of nursing in patient safety and documents that nurses are increasingly spending more time on non-nursing activities.  Over 30% of hospitals report they cannot find enough candidates to fill open clinical positions, and clinician turnover is at the highest levels at almost 20%. Nursing burnout costs $9B for hospitals annually and $14B for the healthcare system overall. Now more than ever, it is critical for hospitals to find ways to relieve any burdens they can from overworked clinical staff.

Founded in 2017, Diligent Robotics has quickly become the leader in the social robotics sector as the first company to build a robot with social intelligence and mobile manipulation capabilities that helps healthcare staff in their work environments. Last year, Diligent Robotics launched Moxi into the hospital market, and was named one of TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions 2019.  CTO and Co-Founder, Vivian Chu, received MIT Technology Review’s highly prestigious 35 Under 35 for 2019 award, and CEO Andrea Thomaz was named one of Inc Magazine’s 100 Female Founders Building America’s Most Innovative & Ambitious Businesses.

“We envision a future powered by robots that work seamlessly with human teams,” said Dr. Andrea Thomaz, co-founder and chief executive officer of Diligent Robotics.  “We are enabling our hospital customers redesign workflows for their frontline teams, letting nurses make full use of their specialized skills, letting robots handle tedious fetching tasks and other routine work.”

“We build artificial intelligence that enables service robots to collaborate with people and adapt to dynamic human environments,” said Dr. Vivian Chu, co-founder and chief technology officer of Diligent Robotics. “Diligent Robotics is delivering a new class of hospital service robots by building a solution that can autonomously navigate a hospital to perform collaborative tasks with nursing staff.”

The investment from this round will help Diligent Robotics scale their solution to a wider customer base as well as their continued investment in product strategy and development in both hardware and software.

“As the current pandemic and circumstance has shown, the real heroes are our healthcare providers,” said Q Motiwala, partner at DNX Ventures and newly named board member for Diligent Robotics, “Diligent Robotics has built a hospital robot assistant, Moxi, to help solve one of healthcare provider’s biggest challenges: nursing shortages.”

About Diligent Robotics
Diligent Robotics is an Austin-based A.I. company that creates robot assistants that help people with their chores so they can focus on the work they care most about. Moxi is our hospital robot assistant that helps clinical staff with routine, non-patient-facing tasks so they have more time for patient care, and hospitals save money on staff burnout and turnover costs. Moxi has been successfully deployed in several US hospitals and focuses fetch and deliver tasks for frontline clinicians. As a company founded by social robotics experts, we’re proud to be at the forefront of creating robots that incorporate mobile manipulation, social intelligence, and human-guided learning capabilities. We believe that if we can give people the resources that they need to do the work they care most about, we will transform the meaning of “work.” www.diligentrobots.com

About DNX Ventures
DNX Ventures is an early-stage VC firm focusing on B2B Startups that are shaping industries and transforming the way we live and work. Established in 2011, the firm manages multiple funds with AUM about $600 million dollars. We have, across our two existing funds, invested in more than 70 companies with 13 exits, including two IPOs. One of our core value-add services for our portfolio companies is business development support between startups and global conglomerates and we’ve facilitated over 100 signed partnerships so far. Our areas of expertise vary from Enterprise software, Cybersecurity, Frontier Tech, Hardware, Retail tech, to Fintech. https://www.dnx.vc/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f89a358a-0dbd-4011-a379-e708ac07bec6

Media Contact:

Diligent Robotics
Andrea Thomaz
Phone: 617-784-7154 
Email: athomaz@diligentrobots.com

PRA Health Sciences Launches COVID-19 Monitoring Program

RALEIGH, N.C., March 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PRA Health Sciences announced today the commercial availability of the COVID-19 Monitoring Program, a mobile app-driven, tiered initiative that allows employers, payers, providers and health systems to track the health and wellbeing of individuals who may be asymptomatic, exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Based on an individual’s COVID-19 disease status, they are assigned to one of three groups:

  • The educational program, which provides vital sign tracking, prevention techniques and mental health support for those who are asymptomatic.
  • The quarantine program, which delivers insights on what to watch for, addresses feelings of fear and isolation, and connects with a healthcare professional for those who have been exposed to COVID-19.
  • The in-depth monitoring program, which addresses symptom management, frequent monitoring by a healthcare professional and care coordination for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who are still at home.

By downloading the program’s app on their personal mobile devices, participants in the program will be able to report key health metrics related to COVID-19 such as body temperature, heart rate and pulse oximetry. In addition, participants report on symptoms of COVID-19 like shortness of breath, fatigue and changes in coughing. Participants benefit from PRA’s nurse-led clinical call center staff, who monitor the information reported through the app on a daily basis. The trained staff can address physical symptoms, as well as the social and psychological impacts they may be experiencing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the critical need for organizations of all sizes to be able to remotely assist individuals in monitoring their health and wellbeing,” said Kent Thoelke, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer at PRA Health Sciences. “Given the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are about to see our healthcare system and its infrastructure significantly stretched. With this program, individuals can have the peace of mind that they can connect with a healthcare professional from the comfort of their own homes while maintaining social distancing. Having the ability to interact with individuals remotely during this uncertain time is critical to maintaining the infrastructure and capability of the healthcare system as well as safety of patients and business continuity.”

The program, which was created by Care Innovations, a PRA Health Sciences company, can be deployed within days. Built on the cloud based Health Harmony Digital Health Platform, the program can also scale immediately and receive updated content as guidelines are changed.

PRA is deploying the COVID-19 Monitoring Program and mobile app to healthcare organizations, large employers, and the company is in discussions with academic institutions, governmental organizations, health departments and other private businesses to roll out the program.

For more information on the COVID-19 Monitoring Program, please contact Care Innovations at https://www.careinnovations.com/contact/ or by phone at 855-885-CARE.


PRA (NASDAQ: PRAH) is one of the world’s leading global contract research organizations by revenue, providing outsourced clinical development and data solution services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. PRA’s global clinical development platform includes more than 75 offices across North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East and more than 17,500 employees worldwide. Since 2000, PRA has participated in approximately 4,000 clinical trials worldwide. In addition, PRA has participated in the pivotal or supportive trials that led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration or international regulatory approval of more than 95 drugs.

INVESTOR INQUIRIES: InvestorRelations@prahs.com

Laurie Hurst, Director, Communications and Public Relations
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Junshi Biosciences Announces Co-Development Agreement with IMCAS to Advance Neutralizing Antibodies as Potential Novel Treatment for COVID-19

SHANGHAI, China, March 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Junshi Biosciences (HKEK: 1877) announced that it has recently signed a collaboration agreement with the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) to jointly develop neutralizing antibodies, a potential novel treatment for COVID-19.

Junshi Biosciences and IMCAS have been working together to explore innovative treatments for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. Currently, they have obtained multiple strains of neutralizing antibodies (NAb) capable of effectively blocking viral invasion in laboratory assays and have conducted animal experiments. Preliminary in vitro and in vivo studies have verified the blocking activity of the NAb strains. It is in the process of verifying the preclinical toxicology and in vivo activity of the antibodies in order to file Investigative New Drug (IND) applications with domestic and overseas regulatory agencies.

A neutralizing antibody (NAb) is an antibody capable of keeping an infectious agent, usually a virus, from infecting a cell by neutralizing or inhibiting its biological effect. It could potentially facilitate virus clearance, altering the course of infection. Antibody-based therapies have several advantages: they can be therapeutic as well as prophylactic, protecting health workers in a high-risk environment; they are generally safe given their specificity to pathogen; and compared with the serum of recovered patients, antibodies are more consistent in quality and can be readily mass-produced through biological engineering, thereby ensuring ample clinical supply for the pandemic.

As a leading pharmaceutical innovator in China specialized in therapeutic antibody development, Junshi Biosciences has established long-term cooperation with IMCAS with its proprietary antibody development platform to carry out screening for various pathogen host receptors and anti-pathogen antibodies, from patients recovered from the infection. Since the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, these two parties have been actively collaborating to combat the epidemic and develop neutralizing antibodies.

Dr. Ning Li, CEO of Junshi Biosciences, commented, “There has not yet been an effective antibody drug approved for treating the novel coronavirus in humans. It is our responsibility as a local pharmaceutical innovator to harness our proprietary antibody platform and R&D capabilities to diligently develop a treatment in the near-future. We believe our collaboration with IMCAS will help accelerate the clinical development of an antibody therapy. We look forward to facilitating the use of antibody-based therapy as a treatment option for COVID-19, both in China and globally.”

About Junshi Biosciences

Established in 2012, Junshi Biosciences is committed to developing first-in-class and best-in-class drugs through original innovation and becoming a pioneer in the area of translational medicine to provide patients with treatment options that work better and cost less. On December 24, 2018, Junshi Biosciences was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code: 1877.HK. The Company has established a diversified R&D pipeline comprising 20 drug candidates with therapeutic areas covering anti-tumor, metabolic diseases, autoimmune diseases, and neurologic diseases. Product types include monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins, ADCs, and small molecule drugs. With a 33,000L fermentation capacity of biopharmaceutical production established in Shanghai and Wujiang by the end of 2019, we will satisfy the needs for commercialization and provide our partners and patients with a global supply chain network.


The Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IMCAS) was founded on December 3, 1958, through the merger of the Institute of Applied Mycology and the Beijing Laboratories of Microbiology, both of which were affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). After over 50 years of development, it has become the nation’s largest comprehensive research institution of microbiological science with 5 State and CAS key laboratories. IMCAS owns the largest fungal herbarium in Asia with nearly 500,000 specimens and the largest microbiological culture collection in China with more than 41,000 strains. In addition, it possesses a microbiological information center, a core facility, a Biosafety Level-3 laboratory and other supporting platforms.

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CNH Industrial announces two week suspension of its assembly operations in Europe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

London, 20 March 2020

CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) announced today that, in light of the supply chain constrains caused by the COVID-19 emergency in Europe, it is suspending the majority of its European assembly operations for a two week period. This suspension applies to the Company’s agricultural, construction, commercial and specialty vehicles production facilities. Most component facilities will remain operational at low speed, always in strict compliance with national health directives, in order ensure the continuation of supply to the Company’s manufacturing facilities located outside of Europe. European parts depots and most dealer locations will also remain open to maintain uninterrupted service to its customer base. CNH Industrial is working in close consultation with unions and works councils to implement the temporary shut downs and the re-opening of the plants.

“The Company takes the health and wellbeing of its entire workforce very seriously, and we have implemented all measures to protect the employee population, as well as to help in the fight to contain the spread of the pandemic,” said Hubertus Mühlhäuser, Chief Executive Officer, CNH Industrial. “The decision to shut down our European assembly plants for a two week period is driven by disruptions in our European supply chain, that do not allow for an efficient operation. During these temporary shutdowns, we will also undertake further extensive sanitization and deep cleaning procedures” concludes Mr. Mühlhäuser.

Alongside these measures, and those already in place at the Company’s locations around the world, the CNH Industrial’s COVID-19 global taskforce is constantly monitoring the situation in all markets in which it operates, and will take further measures as required, while continuing to respond to end market demand and service requirements for its mission critical capital goods.

CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI /MI: CNHI) is a global leader in the capital goods sector with established industrial experience, a wide range of products and a worldwide presence. Each of the individual brands belonging to the Company is a major international force in its specific industrial sector: Case IH, New Holland Agriculture and Steyr for tractors and agricultural machinery; Case and New Holland Construction for earth moving equipment; Iveco for commercial vehicles; Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus for buses and coaches; Iveco Astra for quarry and construction vehicles; Magirus for firefighting vehicles; Iveco Defence Vehicles for defence and civil protection; and FPT Industrial for engines and transmissions. More information can be found on the corporate website: www.cnhindustrial.com


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