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BioLumic Appoints Steve Sibulkin as CEO

Proven Ag and Tech Leader to Drive Photogenics Company’s Continued Product Development Efforts and Global Growth

NEW YORK and PALMERSTON NORTH, New Zealand, June 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioLumic Ltd. (“BioLumic”), the leader in using plant photogenics to unlock the genetic potential of seeds and seedlings, today announced the appointment of Steve Sibulkin as Chief Executive Officer. Based on decades of experience in the agriculture and technology industries, Sibulkin will lead the company’s global expansion and accelerate its UV light treatment innovation based on the groundbreaking BioLumic photogenics platform.

“An exceptional sustainable agriculture innovator tackling complex farming challenges, BioLumic is at a critical juncture as it prepares for the immense opportunities ahead and the rigors of global commercialization,” noted Dr. Adrian Percy, BioLumic Chairman of the Board and CTO of UPL Ltd. “With a proven track record building industry leading ag and tech companies, Steve will help BioLumic move faster and deepen relationships with key partners, while accelerating the company’s ability to bring its innovations to the market.”

Sibulkin joins BioLumic from Yara International, where he led enterprise sustainability, partnership and digital initiatives after the company acquired the precision agriculture company he co-founded, Agronomic Technology Corp (ATC), in 2017. As the CEO of ATC, Sibulkin commercialized and grew the Adapt-N nitrogen recommendation solution, which was originally developed by a team at Cornell University. Under his leadership, ATC conducted over one billion simulations, expanded its product portfolio, signed enterprise partners, and became an industry-standard with growers, agriculture industry leaders and sustainably focused organizations. Before joining Yara, Sibulkin was a multi-time CEO, entrepreneur and strategic advisor, and held leadership positions at Sapient, Ogilvy & Mather, and Mainspring.

“BioLumic’s discoveries around plant signaling responses harness the natural genetic potential of seeds and seedlings for yield improvement, disease resistance and the ability to withstand environmental stress — all without requiring additional inputs or genetic modification. This is a huge win for farmer profitability, the food and agriculture supply chain and the environment,” said Sibulkin. “BioLumic perfectly aligns with the movement toward more resilient and productive agriculture, and the opportunity to accelerate the growth of this transformative technology is one I couldn’t resist.”

Rooted in more than a decade of research into UV light treatments in plants and spun out from Massey University in New Zealand, BioLumic’s proven technology offers seed producers and growers new opportunities to grow more valuable and sustainable crops. Its scientifically validated photogenics platform uses a combination of artificial intelligence and precise light treatments to activate the natural plant signaling response to UV light, triggering plant growth that enhances crop yield, crop quality, drought tolerance, and natural disease and pest resistance.

“Our proprietary technology cultivates stronger, healthier plants to meet rising food demands, and we are ready to focus on commercialization and building a global footprint,” added Dr. Jason Wargent, founder and chief science officer. ”A respected leader in sustainable agriculture, Steve’s wealth of experience leading cross-disciplinary teams around new categories of product innovation will help drive the adoption of our novel light treatments in the global ag marketplace.”

Positive outcomes from produce such as broccoli, lettuce, strawberries and tomatoes have accelerated the development of BioLumic’s high-quality seed and plant treatment innovations for indoor farming, row crops like soybeans, and high-value crops like cannabis. BioLumic is actively growing its team to support the acceleration and expansion of its UV light treatment initiatives.

“With recent trials showing the extensibility of this novel technology across crops, we know growers around the globe will see improved profit from their seed and seedling investments,” added Sibulkin. “Our next step involves deepening our partnerships with seed companies, seed dealers, sustainability-focused organizations and enterprises that have aligned interest in utilizing and expanding this technology.”

Sibulkin earned a B.A. in political science from UCLA and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management, where he graduated with Beta Gamma Sigma distinction and co-founded the Net Impact Chapter. He currently resides in New York City.

About BioLumic
BioLumic harnesses the power of ultraviolet (UV) light to empower growers and seed producers around the globe. BioLumic’s pioneering technology activates natural mechanisms in seeds and seedlings that increase plant growth, vigor, and natural defense mechanisms — resulting in increased yields at harvest without the use of chemical input or genetic modification. Backed by top Ag investors, BioLumic is headquartered in New Zealand and is actively growing its presence in North America. To learn more, visit www.biolumic.com.

Media Contact:
Erica Camilo
Connexa Communications for BioLumic
C: 610.639.5644
Email: Erica@connexacommunications.com

Helsinn announces FDA acceptance of IND application

Helsinn announces FDA acceptance of IND application for TAS0953/HM06 in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors with RET Gene Abnormalities

Lugano, Switzerland, June 8, 2020: Helsinn, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care and rare diseases products, today announced that on April 1, 2020 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed the review of the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for TAS0953/HM06 and released a “Study May Proceed” letter for the Phase 1/2 Study of TAS0953/HM06 in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors with RET Gene Abnormalities.

The study is intended to be conducted globally and is due to commence in the third quarter of 2020.

TAS0953/HM06 is being developed together with its partner Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.  In 2017, Helsinn and Taiho signed a global co-development and commercialization agreement for TAS0953/HM06.

TAS0953/HM06 is an investigational oral treatment which inhibits several RET abnormalities identified as oncogenic driver alterations in NSCLC, papillary and medullary thyroid cancers, and several other tumor types. This innovative drug candidate offers several differentiating features as compared to other RET inhibitors.

Sergio Cantoreggi, Group Chief Scientific Officer and Head of R&D at Helsinn, commented: “Helsinn and Taiho have been working closely together as part of a global development partnership and we’re delighted to have reached this latest milestone that will allow us to start treating patients with TAS0953/HM06 in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial starting in the next quarter. We are excited by the potential of TAS0953/HM06 to treat NSCLC and other tumors which harbor RET abnormalities and look forward to working with Taiho to progress the treatment through the clinic.”

TAS0953/HM06 is an investigational agent and is not approved for commercial use in any country.

About TAS0953/HM06

TAS0953/HM06 is an oral RET inhibitor in development for advanced or metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) and other tumors which express RET gene abnormalities. Preclinical data showed several differentiating features in comparison to other targeted therapies acting on RET abnormalities.

Taiho and Helsinn signed a co-development and commercialization agreement for TAS0953/HM06 in 2017 and will continue to pursue together all preclinical, clinical and CMC developments. This alliance also includes efforts to reach as many patients as possible around the world through their own commercial infrastructures or through valued partners.

About RET abnormalities in NSCLC and other cancers1

RET kinase abnormalities have been identified as targetable oncogenic drivers in NSCLC, papillary and medullary thyroid cancers, and several other tumor types. In NSCLC, RET fusions are more common in younger patients with no prior history of smoking and in those with adenocarcinomas, however the underlying mechanisms remain unknown.

1Helsinn and Taiho research and analysis of ASCO 2018; ASCO 2019; Cancer Biol Ther 2015; Cell Rep 2017; JCO 2018; Johns Hopkins 2019; Nat Med 2012; Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2018; OMIM; Onco Targets Ther 2019


About the Helsinn Group:

Helsinn is a privately-owned Swiss Pharma Company which, since 1976, has been improving the lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality. The Group has an extensive portfolio of marketed innovative cancer and rare disease therapies, a robust drug development pipeline and ambitions to further accelerate its growth through in-licensing and acquisition to address unmet medical needs. Helsinn operates a unique integrated licensing business model, achieving success with over 80 long-standing partners in 190 countries, who share our values. The Group’s pharmaceutical business (Helsinn Healthcare) is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland with operating subsidiaries in the U.S. (Helsinn Therapeutics US) and China (Helsinn Pharmaceuticals China) which market the Group’s products directly in these countries. The Group has additional operating subsidiaries in Switzerland (Helsinn Advanced Synthesis, an active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer) and Ireland (Helsinn Birex Pharmaceuticals, a drug product manufacturer). Helsinn Investment Fund was created to enhance the future of healthcare by providing funding and strategic support to innovative companies.

Helsinn Group plays an active and central role in promoting social transformation in favor of people and the environment. Corporate social responsibility is at the heart of everything we do which is reinforced in the company’s strategic plan by a commitment to sustainable growth.

To learn more about Helsinn Group please visit www.helsinn.com

About Taiho Pharmaceutical

Taiho Pharmaceutical, a subsidiary of Otsuka Holdings Co., Ltd., is an R&D-driven specialty pharma focusing on the three fields of oncology, allergy and immunology, and urology. Its corporate philosophy takes the form of a pledge: “We strive to improve human health and contribute to a society enriched by smiles.” In the field of oncology in particular, Taiho Pharmaceutical is known as a leading company in Japan for developing innovative medicines for the treatment of cancer, a reputation that is rapidly expanding through their extensive global R&D efforts. In areas other than oncology, as well, the company creates and markets quality products that effectively treat medical conditions and can help improve people’s quality of life. Always putting customers first, Taiho Pharmaceutical also aims to offer consumer healthcare products that support people’s efforts to lead fulfilling and rewarding lives. For more information about Taiho Pharmaceutical, please visit: https://www.taiho.co.jp/en/

Media Contacts:

Helsinn Group Media Contact

Paola Bonvicini

Group Head of Communication

Lugano, Switzerland

Tel: +41 (0) 91 985 21 21


For more information, please visit www.helsinn.com and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo

Anaqua Named as GM’s End-to-End IP Management Provider

Global automotive innovator drives IP lifecycle efficiencies through Anaqua software and services

BOSTON, June 08, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Anaqua, the leading provider of innovation and intellectual property management solutions, today announced that General Motors (GM) has selected Anaqua to help manage its extensive global patent and design portfolio.

Through the agreement, GM will leverage Anaqua’s fully integrated software and services to streamline their IP management lifecycle globally. As the company’s centralized IP management system, Anaqua will help support GM’s invention, patent, and design management, enhance internal and outside counsel collaboration, provide patent annuity payment services, and offer real-time IP data analytics and forecasting capabilities for enhanced IP strategy.

“We are excited to welcome General Motors, one of the largest and most innovative automobile manufacturers globally, as they join Anaqua’s client roster,” said Bob Romeo, CEO of Anaqua. “For GM to place their trust in Anaqua further demonstrates the importance of successful IP management in the auto industry around the globe, and Anaqua’s position as a key partner in the industry’s continued innovation worldwide.”

GM is a global company committed to delivering safer, better, and more sustainable ways for people to get around. GM, its subsidiaries, and its joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Holden, Bajoun, and Wuling brands.

About Anaqua
Anaqua is a premium provider of integrated, end-to-end innovation and intellectual property (IP) management solutions, serving more than 50% of the top 25 U.S. patent filers, more than 50% of the top 25 global brands, and a growing number of the most prestigious, forward-looking law firms. The company’s global operations are headquartered in Boston, with offices across Europe and Asia. Anaqua’s IP platform is used by nearly one million IP executives, attorneys, paralegals, administrators, and innovators globally. Its solution suite merges best practice workflows with big data analytics and tech-enabled services to create one intelligent environment designed to inform IP strategy, enable IP decision-making, and streamline IP operations. For additional information, please visit anaqua.com.

Company Contact:
Amanda Hollis
PR Manager, Anaqua

CNH Industrial announces updates on its investment in Nikola Corporation

London, June 8, 2020

CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) today announced the following updates on the $250 million  investment, made through its IVECO commercial vehicle segment, in Nikola Corporation (NASDAQ: NKLA) as a consequence of the completion, on June 3, 2020, of the previously announced merger between VectoIQ Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company, and Nikola Corporation (the ‘Merger’).

Under the terms and conditions of the Merger, the former shareholders of Nikola received 1.901 shares of VectoIQ for every one share held in Nikola and became shareholders of VectoIQ, which, in turn, changed its name to “Nikola Corporation”. Nikola Corporation shares began trading on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol “NKLA” on June 4, 2020.

As a result of the Merger, IVECO now holds 25,661,449 shares of Nikola Corporation, corresponding to approximately 7.11% of Nikola outstanding share capital.

Until the closing of the Merger, in accordance with US GAAP, our investment in Nikola was accounted for using the cost method in the absence of a readily determinable fair value. Following the listing of Nikola Corporation, such investment will be valued at Fair Value Through Profit or Loss (“FVTPL”), with any changes in fair value recorded in Profit or Loss in our US GAAP consolidated financial statements. We plan to exclude any fair value adjustments of this investment from the calculation of our Non-GAAP “Adjusted” measures, and, in particular, from our Adjusted diluted EPS, in order to enhance the readers’ ability to assess the financial performance of our businesses. This approach will be consistently applied at each reporting date.

For completeness of information, in our IFRS consolidated financial statements the above mentioned fair value changes will be recorded through Other Comprehensive Income, without any impacts through Profit or Loss.

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

Nikola Corporation is globally transforming the transportation industry. As a designer and manufacturer of zero-emission battery-electric and hydrogen-electric vehicles, electric vehicle drivetrains, vehicle components, energy storage systems, and hydrogen fueling station infrastructure, Nikola is driven to revolutionize the economic and environmental impact of commerce as we know it today. Founded in 2015, Nikola Corporation is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit nikolamotor.com or Twitter: @nikolamotor.


Corporate Communications

Email: mediarelations@cnhind.com

Investor Relations

Email: investor.relations@cnhind.com


US FDA Grants Mexiletine Orphan Drug Designation

US FDA Grants Mexiletine Orphan Drug Designation

Zug, Switzerland, 8 June 2019: Lupin is pleased to announce that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) to mexiletine hydrochloride for the treatment of myotonic disorders.

Myotonic disorders are a group of heterogeneous, inherited, neuromuscular disorders characterized by a shared symptom called myotonia. Myotonia is an inability to relax a contraction of skeletal muscle which originates from a voluntary muscular contraction such as shaking someone’s hand and blinking, or everyday activities such as walking across a street and climbing stairs. Mexiletine reduces myotonia symptoms, resulting in a significant improvement in patient quality-of-life and other functional outcomes1.

The FDA grants ODD status to medicines intended for the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or disorders that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the US.

Vinita Gupta, CEO of Lupin, said: “There is a serious unmet medical need for the management of symptoms in patients with myotonic disorders. The decision by the US FDA to grant orphan drug designation to mexiletine brings us closer to providing a licensed treatment option for patients in the US, and we are pleased to have this opportunity to further our commitment to these patients.”

For further information or queries please contact:

Consilium Strategic Communications
Amber Fennell / Sukaina Virji / Lizzie Seeley
Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700
Email: lupin@consilium-comms.com

Notes for Editors

About Myotonic Disorders
Myotonic disorders are a group of heterogeneous, inherited, neuromuscular disorders characterized by a shared symptom called myotonia. Myotonia is described as an inability to relax a contraction of skeletal muscle which originates from a voluntary muscular contraction such as shaking someone’s hand and blinking, or everyday activities such as walking across a street and climbing stairs. Taken together, these myotonic disorders are rare and comprise two groups: the myotonic dystrophies and the non-dystrophic myotonic disorders3.

Myotonic dystrophy (DM) affects multiple systems in the body. The two types of DM (DM1 and DM2) differ in prevalence, affected genes, disease progression, symptoms and severity of symptoms, with sub classifications based on disease onset, making it difficult to know how the disorder will affect patients. DM1 is the most common form, with the global consensus that myotonic dystrophies, based upon estimates from the NIH and others for western European and North American populations, affect 12.5 per 100,000 individuals4,5.

Non-dystrophic myotonias (NDM) are caused by mutations within ion channels in the sarcolemma membrane of skeletal muscles and affects 1 in 100,000 people2. Non-dystrophic myotonias exhibit both sodium and chloride channelopathies which result in altered membrane excitability. Unlike DM, for patients with NDM myotonia is the most prominent symptom and demonstrates different phenotypes in subgroups of NDM disorders, and can affect different parts of the body, such as legs, arms or facial muscles, more severely.

Myotonia in NDM patients has an onset in childhood and persists across their lifetime. Patients perceive that myotonia increases in severity over time, impacting daily life. Myotonia is described by patients in a variety of ways (stiffness, cramps, pain, difficulty releasing a fist, or difficulty swallowing or eating) which can contribute to substantial delays in diagnosis and treatment, leading to decreased patient quality-of-life and often significant disability.

About mexiletine
In randomized controlled trials in adult patients with non-dystrophic myotonia, mexiletine (167 to 500 mg/day) has been shown to significantly reduce myotonia compared to placebo, reducing skeletal muscle hyperexcitability through its use-dependent, voltage-gated, sodium channel blocking actions which are independent of the cause of channel function. This resulted in an improvement in patient quality-of-life and other functional outcomes, with gastro-intestinal discomfort reported as the most common adverse event, demonstrating mexiletine to be safe and well tolerated in this patient population1,5.

About Lupin Limited
Lupin is an innovation-led transnational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Mumbai, India. The Company develops and commercializes a wide range of branded and generic formulations, biotechnology products and APIs in over 100 markets in the U.S., India, South Africa and across Asia Pacific (APAC), Latin America (LATAM), Europe and Middle-East regions.

The Company enjoys leadership position in the cardiovascular, anti-diabetic, and respiratory segments and has significant presence in the anti-infective, gastro-intestinal (GI), central nervous system (CNS) and women’s health areas. Lupin is the third largest pharmaceutical company in the U.S. by prescriptions and in India by global revenues. The Company invests 9.6 % of its revenues on research and development.

Lupin has fifteen manufacturing sites, seven research centers, more than 20,000 professionals working globally, and has been consistently recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’ in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals sector.

Please visit www.lupin.com for more information. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LupinGlobal| LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/lupin/ | Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LupinWorld/

PENJANA: Employers must utilise financial aid to ensure workers’ wellbeing

KUALA LUMPUR Employers’ integrity and sincerity play an important role in ensuring holistic and fair management of the financial aid allocated by the government under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).


Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said employers who received the financial aid should not deviate from its objective, that is to encourage employment and save jobs.


“The initiative is to help companies to stay afloat during this challenging situation of COVID-19, but most importantly, to enable them to keep their workers. Employers must be sincere and not retrench their workers despite getting the aid.




“Furthermore, if we lay off our well-trained workers and the economy bounces back later, the company will have to recruit new workers and train them. All these processes will cost money,” he told Bernama.


Shamsuddin also said that it was only right that the government trusts the employer or company in managing the aid without having to set up an monitoring body to monitor it, and with action can still be taken through existing mechanisms against the errant employers.


“For example, an employer may name 100 workers to receive a salary subsidy under the aid allocation, but if the employer is later found to have retrenched one or some of the workers, it will be an offence. In this case, the Social Security Organisation (Socso) through its Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) can take action against the company,” he said.



Meanwhile, Shamsuddin also described the initiatives featured in PENJANA as the right move to stimulate the economy, especially the tourism sector which was the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Among other related challenges is the low demand for goods and services as the people are not so sure of spending their money especially when their jobs are not so secured amid this economic uncertainty.


Economic analyst Dr Baayah Baba, on the other hand, said the factories or the manufacturing sector should make optimal use of the financial initiative to keep afloat, if not bounce back, from the effects of the Control Movement Order (MCO) to curb COVID-19 in the country.


She said the expansion of the extension of the wage subsidy programme for a further three months to September which was set at RM600 per employee per month for up to 200 workers per company was very practical to help employers manage their workers’ salaries.


“During this economic uncertainty, we can see that people are spending more on necessities rather than buying furniture for example, so when the government announces this financial initiative, the affected sectors need to take the opportunity to revitalize their businesses.


“I believe the initiative will help employers continue to employ and pay their workers’ salaries. I believe with this effort, companies can recover their sales and launch corporate management,” she said.


Nevertheless, Baayah said employers who receive the aid from the government need to be honest and transparent in order to help stimulate the country’s economy.


Last Friday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin unveiled the employee-related initiatives, which include the extension of the wage subsidy programme for a further three months with an allocation of RM5 billion and the re-introduction of the employee recruitment incentive programme (RM1.5 billion) under PENJANA, which will benefit three million workforce in the country.


The Prime Minister said, according to the Malaysian Statistics Department on May 14, the rate of unemployment in the country is expected to increase to 5.5 per cent or more than  860,000 jobless persons this year.


The two programmes, which will run until December 2020, will see youth receiving an allowance of RM600 a month, unemployed below the age of 40 to receive RM800 a month, unemployed above the age of 40 to receive RM1,000 a month, and the unemployed person with disabilities (OKU) to receive RM1,000 a month, all for a maximum period of six months. Also provided is a training allowance of RM4,000 for those who have lost their job during the MCO.



Source: BERNAMA News Agency


SAR operation for missing man in Teluk Cowie called off

TAWAU The search and rescue (SAR) operation for Nurul Maslan Sabran who was reported missing at Teluk Cowie on Friday, has been called off after his body was found floating on Tinagat waters here today.


Tawau Maritime Zone director Maritime Captain V. Siva Kumar said the operation was officially ended after the victim’s family confirmed the identity of the deceased at noon.


“The SAR operation was activated since June 6 and the body was found at 9.9 nautical miles southeast of the Tinagat waters about 10.30 am today.





“The Tawau Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) was alerted about the discovery of the body which was later handed over to Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) to be sent to mainland Tawau,” he said in a statement here today.


On Friday, Nurul Maslan, 34, was reported missing in Teluk Cowie after setting off from mainland Tawau to his farm in Sungai Melayu, Pulau Sebatik on a boat at 2.30 pm.


However, he failed to arrive at his destination and the marine police patrol team found an unmanned boat with the engine still on, in the waters off Ice Box at 5.50 pm.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency