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HPTN 084 Study Demonstrates Superiority of CAB LA to Oral FTC/TDF for the Prevention of HIV

Both cabotegravir and oral FTC/TDF have high efficacy for PrEP among women in sub-Saharan Africa

Durham, N.C., Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Researchers from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) announced today data from the HPTN 084 clinical trial indicate that a pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) regimen of long-acting cabotegravir (CAB LA) injections once every eight weeks was safe and superior to daily oral tenofovir/emtricitabine (FTC/TDF) for HIV prevention among cisgender women in sub-Saharan Africa. During a planned review of study data, an independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) recommended the study sponsor―the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health―stop the blinded phase of the trial and share the results. The study was originally designed to continue through 2022.

NIAID has accepted the DSMB’s recommendations and is releasing the results in the interest of public health. The study investigators will provide more detailed information about the study findings, including more comprehensive data, as soon as is feasible. The HPTN 084 study is jointly-funded through a unique partnership between NIAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and ViiV Healthcare. Study drugs are provided by ViiV Healthcare and Gilead Sciences, Inc.

“The results from HPTN 084 are incredibly important for women in Africa where lowering HIV incidence remains a priority,” said Dr. Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, HPTN 084 protocol chair, director of research at Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, and research professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.  “We know that adherence to a daily pill continues to be challenging, and an effective injectable product such as long-acting CAB is a very important additional HIV prevention option for them. We are grateful to the women who volunteered for this study and the research staff, as this study would not have been possible without their commitment to HIV prevention.”

Overall, HPTN 084 enrolled 3,223 cisgender women at research sites in Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.  The average age of study participants was 26 years and 57% of participants were 18-25 years old. Eighty-two percent of the women enrolled were not living with a partner, 55% reported two or more partners in the past month, with 34% having a primary partner who is reported to be living with HIV or having an unknown HIV status. A total of 38 HIV infections occurred during follow-up, with four infections in the CAB LA arm (incidence rate 0.21%) and 34 infections in the FTC/TDF arm (incidence rate 1.79%). The hazard ratio in the CAB LA versus FTC/TDF arm was 0.11 (95% CI 0.04-0.32). Approximately nine times more incident HIV infections occurred in the FTC/TDF arm than in the CAB arm. These results meet the statistical criteria for superiority of CAB LA compared to FTC/TDF in the HPTN 084 study population. The higher-than-expected level of adherence to FTC/TDF throughout the study and overall low incidence rate in both arms of the study clearly demonstrate both drugs were highly effective at preventing HIV acquisition.

“After years of evaluating HIV prevention strategies for women, I am thrilled that we have found CAB LA so effectively reduces HIV acquisition and provides women more choices in how to protect themselves,” said Dr. Mina Hosseinipour, HPTN 084 protocol co-chair, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and scientific director of UNC Project-Malawi in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Earlier this year, the HPTN 083 clinical trial showed that a PrEP regimen containing CAB LA injected once every eight weeks was superior to daily oral FTC/TDF for HIV prevention among cisgender men and transgender women who have sex with men.

“The results from HPTN 084 along with the HPTN 083 results released earlier this year show how far we have come in the fight against HIV,” said Dr. Myron Cohen, HPTN co-principal investigator and director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “A highly effective product like CAB LA that does not require a daily pill can be an important part of ending the epidemic globally.”

“The HPTN is thrilled by these outstanding results, a milestone for the prevention of HIV among women,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, HPTN co-principal investigator, director of ICAP and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia University in New York. “These findings motivate continued evaluation of the safety of CAB LA in adolescents, a group at substantial risk for HIV infection. Defining the safety of CAB LA in adolescents will hopefully lead to faster access to CAB LA, once approved for use as PrEP.”

About HPTN

The HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) is a worldwide collaborative clinical trials network that brings together investigators, ethicists, community members and other partners to develop and test the safety and efficacy of interventions designed to prevent the acquisition and transmission of HIV. NIAID, NIMH, Office of The Director, and NIDA, all part of NIH, co-fund the HPTN. The HPTN has collaborated with more than 85 clinical research sites in 19 countries to evaluate new HIV prevention interventions and strategies in populations that bear a disproportionate burden of infection. The HPTN research agenda – more than 50 trials ongoing or completed with over 161,000 participants enrolled and evaluated – is focused primarily on the use of integrated strategies; use of antiretroviral drugs (antiretroviral therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis); interventions for substance abuse, particularly injection drug use; behavioral risk reduction interventions and structural interventions. For more information, visit hptn.org.

Kevin Bokoch
HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN)

Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Granted Fast Track Designation by U.S. FDA

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX), a late-stage biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track Designation for NVX-CoV2373, the Company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Currently in late-phase clinical development, NVXCoV2373 is a stable, prefusion protein made using Novavax’ nanoparticle technology and includes its proprietary MatrixM™ adjuvant.

“The FDA’s decision to grant Fast Track Designation for NVX-CoV2373 reflects the urgent need for a safe and effective vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and we look forward to working closely with the agency to accelerate access to this vaccine,” said Gregory M. Glenn, M.D., President of Research and Development, Novavax. “While the regulatory review of this clinical program will be expedited, Novavax remains committed to a data-driven and scientifically rigorous approach in demonstrating safety and efficacy, which we believe will support confidence in the vaccine in the U.S. and globally.”

Novavax expects to begin its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in the United States and Mexico by the end of November. Data from the event-driven trial could support global authorization and approval, including in the U.S. The Company’s ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial in the UK to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of NVX-CoV2373 is expected to be fully enrolled by the end of November. Depending on the overall COVID-19 attack rate, interim data in the UK trial, which is also event-driven, are expected as soon as early first quarter 2021.

About NVX-CoV2373

NVX-CoV2373 is a vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. NVX-CoV2373 was created using Novavax’ recombinant nanoparticle technology to generate antigen derived from the coronavirus spike (S) protein and contains Novavax’ patented saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and cannot replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19. In preclinical trials, NVX-CoV2373 demonstrated induction of antibodies that block binding of spike protein to receptors targeted by the virus, a critical aspect for effective vaccine protection. In the Phase 1 portion of its Phase 1/2 clinical trial, NVX-CoV2373 was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody responses numerically superior to that seen in human convalescent sera. NVX-CoV2373 is also being evaluated in a Phase 3 trial in the UK and two ongoing Phase 2 studies that began in August; a Phase 2b trial in South Africa, and a Phase 1/2 continuation in the U.S. and Australia. Novavax has secured $2 billion in funding for its global coronavirus vaccine program, including up to $399 million in funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and almost $1.7 billion from the U.S. government.

About Fast Track Designation

Fast Track Designation by the U.S. FDA is a process designed to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need, with the intent of getting important new drugs to the patient earlier. Fast Track addresses a broad range of serious conditions. Specifically, Fast Track Designation facilitates meetings with FDA to discuss all aspects of development to support licensure and provides the opportunity to submit sections of a BLA on a rolling basis as data become available.

About Novavax

Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) is a late-stage biotechnology company that promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. Novavax is undertaking clinical trials for NVX-CoV2373, its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. NanoFlu™, its quadrivalent influenza nanoparticle vaccine, met all primary objectives in its pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial in older adults. Both vaccine candidates incorporate Novavax’ proprietary saponin-based Matrix-M™ adjuvant to enhance the immune response and stimulate high levels of neutralizing antibodies. Novavax is a leading innovator of recombinant vaccines; its proprietary recombinant technology platform combines the power and speed of genetic engineering to efficiently produce highly immunogenic nanoparticles in order to address urgent global health needs.

For more information, visit www.novavax.com and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Novavax Forward-Looking Statements

Statements herein relating to the future of Novavax and the ongoing development of its vaccine and adjuvant products are forward-looking statements. Novavax cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those identified under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Novavax Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2020, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We caution investors not to place considerable reliance on forward-looking statements contained in this press release. You are encouraged to read our filings with the SEC, available at sec.gov, for a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements in this press release speak only as of the date of this document, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of the statements. Our business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, including those referenced above. Investors, potential investors, and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.

Erika Trahan ir@novavax.com

Brandzone/KOGS Communication
Edna Kaplan kaplan@kogspr.com

Constellation Brands and E. & J. Gallo Sign Agreement With Federal Trade Commission Staff Relating to Consent Order on Pending Transaction; Constellation Provides Business Update for Fiscal 2021

VICTOR, N.Y., Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, announced today that it and E. & J. Gallo Winery have signed an Agreement Containing Consent Order with the Bureau of Competition of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding Gallo’s pending acquisition of a portion of Constellation’s wine and spirits portfolio principally priced at $11 retail and below, including certain related facilities located in California, New York, and Washington State. The proposed consent order marks the final stages in the FTC review process and remains subject to review and approval by the FTC Commissioners, who typically provide their final review within 30 to 45 days. Therefore, Constellation anticipates closing in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021.

The proposed consent order, if accepted by the FTC Commissioners, would allow Constellation and Gallo to complete the sale under the terms of the Second Amended and Restated Asset Purchase Agreement announced in May 2020. As set forth in the May 2020 agreement the transaction price is approximately $1.03 billion, subject to closing adjustments, of which $250 million is an earnout if brand performance provisions are met over a two-year period after closing. Constellation also expects to close its separate but related transactions with Gallo to divest the New Zealand-based Nobilo Wine brand and related assets for $130 million and with Sazerac to divest the Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy brand, related inventory and interests in certain contracts for approximately $255 million by the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021, subject to FTC acceptance of the proposed consent order.

In addition, now that the Company is nearing the end of its fiscal third quarter, Constellation is providing a business update for fiscal 2021. Despite COVID-related challenges, the company remains confident in the resiliency of its business in the midst of the pandemic. As such, Constellation’s Beer Business now expects to deliver results for fiscal 2021 that are in line with its medium-term goal of sales and operating income growth in the 7%-9% range. This assumes production of the company’s high-performing beer brands remains uninterrupted for the remainder of the year. Previously provided third quarter fiscal 2021 Wine and Spirits Business guidance remains unchanged with the Gallo transaction expected to close in the fourth quarter.

This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The word “expect” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain such identifying words. These statements may relate to business strategy, future operations, expected sales and operating income growth, prospects, plans and objectives of management, as well as information concerning expected actions of third parties. All forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and should not be construed in any manner as a guarantee that such results will in fact occur or will occur on any contemplated timetable. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and Constellation Brands undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The actual impact of COVID-19 and its associated operating environment may be materially
different than management’s expectations. The pending transaction between Constellation Brands and E. & J. Gallo Winery (the “Wine and Spirits Transaction”), the previously announced Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy transaction, and the previously announced concentrates and high color concentrate business transaction (collectively with the Wine and Spirits Transaction, the “Pending Transactions”) and the separate but related pending Nobilo transaction with E. & J. Gallo Winery, are each subject to the satisfaction of certain closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory clearances. The Nobilo transaction is also conditioned on completion of the Wine and Spirits Transaction. A condition to closing the concentrates business transaction is the FTC acceptance for public comment of a consent order relating to the Wine and Spirits Transaction. There can be no assurance that the Pending Transactions or the Nobilo transaction will occur or will occur on the terms or timetables contemplated hereby, that Constellation Brands will receive any specific amount of transaction proceeds from the Pending Transactions or the Nobilo transaction, or that Constellation Brands will receive any earnout (contingent consideration) or any specific amount of earnout (contingent consideration).

In addition to risks and uncertainties associated with ordinary business operations, the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are subject to other risks and uncertainties, including FTC acceptance of the consent order for public comment, approval of the Consent Decree by the Commissioners of the FTC, completion of the Pending Transactions and the Nobilo transaction on the expected terms, conditions and timetables; regulatory requirements; actual purchase price adjustments and other actual closing adjustments; the actual market performance of brands included in the contingent consideration payment opportunity; the duration and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to closure of non-essential businesses, which may include our manufacturing facilities, quarantines or curfews, and other governmental containment actions; production or shipment difficulties that could adversely affect our ability to supply our customers; the accuracy of all projections; and other factors and uncertainties disclosed from time-to-time in Constellation Brands’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended February 29, 2020, which could cause actual future performance to differ from current expectations.

At Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), our mission is to build brands that people love because we believe sharing a toast, unwinding after a day, celebrating milestones, and helping people connect, are Worth Reaching For. It’s worth our dedication, hard work, and the bold calculated risks we take to deliver more for our consumers, trade partners, shareholders, and communities in which we live and work. It’s what has made us one of the fastest-growing large CPG companies in the U.S. at retail, and it drives our pursuit to deliver what’s next.

Today, we are a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine, and spirits with operations in the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, and Italy. Every day, people reach for our high-end, iconic imported beer brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Corona Premier, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra, and Pacifico, and our high-quality premium wine and spirits brands, including the Robert Mondavi Brand Family, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, The Prisoner Brand Family, SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

But we won’t stop here. Our visionary leadership team and passionate employees from barrel room to boardroom are reaching for the next level, to explore the boundaries of the beverage alcohol industry and beyond. Join us in discovering what’s Worth Reaching For.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter @cbrands and visit www.cbrands.com.

Mike McGrew 773-251-4934 / michael.mcgrew@cbrands.com
Amy Martin 585-678-7141 / amy.martin@cbrands.com
Patty Yahn-Urlaub 585-678-7483 / patty.yahn-urlaub@cbrands.com
Marisa Pepelea 312-741-2316 / marisa.pepelea@cbrands.com

A downloadable PDF copy of this news release can be found here: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/416272d8-7cab-4de5-b2d8-c2747db91d50

Algernon Pharmaceuticals Announces Plans to Provide Interim Data from its Ifenprodil Phase 2b/3 COVID-19 Human Study

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CSE: AGN) (FRANKFURT: AGW) (OTCQB: AGNPF) (the “Company” or “Algernon”) a clinical stage pharmaceutical development company, is pleased to announce that it plans to conduct an interim data review of its multi-national Ifenprodil Phase 2b/3 COVID-19 human study. The Company will look at the primary endpoint of the World Health Organization (WHO) ordinal score and also secondary endpoints including the number of days that patients were in the intensive care unit and the hospital, as well as the number of days patients were on mechanical ventilation, and oxygen.

The data, from 75 patients on day 15 of the study, will be presented in a descriptive statistics format and the Company is projecting the data readout will be in the first week of December 2020.

The Company decided to conduct an enhanced interim data readout because of the surge in serious cases as a result of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic seen globally, the number of recent adverse events and safety issues with vaccine and antibody trials, and the Company’s belief that Ifenprodil has the potential to reduce the severity and duration of a COVID-19 infection.

“With the quickly increasing global threat from COVID-19, we believe we have an obligation to find out now how our COVID-19 trial is trending,” said Christopher J. Moreau, CEO of Algernon Pharmaceuticals. “If Ifenprodil has been performing well in the study, this early look at the data may allow us to accelerate our COVID-19 program accordingly.”

The Company advises that it is not making any express or implied claims that Ifenprodil has the ability to eliminate, cure or contain COVID-19 (or the SARS-2 Coronavirus) at this time.

Phase 2b/3 Study Protocol Summary

The Company’s multinational Phase 2b/3 human trial for COVID-19 is entitled, “A Randomized Open Label Phase 2b/3 Study of the Safety and Efficacy of NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the Treatment of Hospitalized Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 Disease.”

The trial has begun as a Phase 2b study of an aggregate of 150 patients. With positive data, the clinical trial will move directly into a Phase 3 trial. The data from the Phase 2b study will determine the number of patients needed to reach statistical significance in the Phase 3 trial.

Patients are being randomized in a one-to-one manner and will either be treated using an existing standard of care, or standard of care plus Ifenprodil 60 mg (taken as one 20 mg tablet three-times daily) for one arm or standard of care plus Ifenprodil 120 mg (taken as two 20 mg tablets three-times daily) for two weeks.

Over the testing period, doctors will observe whether there is an improvement in a number of secondary endpoints, including mortality, blood oxygen levels, time spent in intensive care and time to mechanical ventilation.

About NP-120 (Ifenprodil)

NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist specifically targeting the NMDA-type subunit 2B (GluN2B). Ifenprodil prevents glutamate signalling. The NMDA receptor is found on many tissues including lung cells, T-cells, and neutrophils.

The Company believes Ifenprodil can reduce the infiltration of neutrophils and T-cells into the lungs where they can release glutamate and cytokines respectively. The latter can result in the highly problematic cytokine storm that contributes to the loss of lung function and ultimately death as has been reported in COVID-19 infected patients.

About Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc. 

Algernon is a drug re-purposing company that investigates safe, already approved drugs for new disease applications, moving them efficiently and safely into new human trials, developing new formulations and seeking new regulatory approvals in global markets. Algernon specifically investigates compounds that have never been approved in the U.S. or Europe to avoid off label prescription writing.

Algernon has filed new intellectual property rights globally for NP-120 (Ifenprodil) for the treatment of respiratory diseases and is working to develop proprietary injectable and slow release formulations.


Christopher J. Moreau
Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc.
604.398.4175 ext 701


Neither the Canadian Securities Exchange nor its Market Regulator (as that term is defined in the policies of the Canadian Securities Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. The Canadian Securities Exchange has not in any way passed upon the merits of the proposed transaction and has neither approved nor disapproved the contents of this press release.

CAUTIONARY DISCLAIMER STATEMENT: No Securities Exchange has reviewed nor accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the content of this news release. This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to product development, licensing, commercialization and regulatory compliance issues and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as “will”, “may”, “should”, “anticipate”, “expects” and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations include the failure to satisfy the conditions of the relevant securities exchange(s) and other risks detailed from time to time in the filings made by the Company with securities regulations. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements as expressly required by applicable law.

Trip.com partners with global airlines to maximize customer benefits and propel travel recovery

Trip.com partners with global airlines to maximize customer benefits and propel travel recovery
Trip.com partners with global airlines to maximize customer benefits and propel travel recovery

SINGAPORE, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Trip.com, a leading international online travel service provider, has partnered with international airline brands to bring more benefits to loyalty program members.

Throughout the past year, Trip.com has entered into partnerships with top airline brands to offer their loyalty and frequent flyer program members rewards and access to deals on over 1.4 million properties in over 200 countries and regions, including business hotels, airport hotels, train station hotels, luxury hotels and resorts. In the past six months, Trip.com has announced partnerships with Bangkok AirwaysEtihad Airways, Jeju Air, Thai Airways and China Airlines.

There is a diversity of offers available to Trip.com partner airlines’ loyalty program members when they use their airline membership to book hotels on Trip.com. For example, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus members will now be rewarded with 6 Royal Orchid Plus miles for every THB 100 (or currency equivalent) spent when they book their stay with Trip.com via a dedicated link. Trip.com has set up dedicated links for airline partner members to make their bookings and earn rewards. Understanding that flexibility during these times is important, Trip.com provides customers special discounts or free cancellation guarantees on advance reservations.

“As travelers around the world look to set off on their next trips, we are delighted to be collaborating with global airline partners to maximize benefits for travelers around the world. This opportunity unties us with industry partners at a time when innovations in cooperation and customer engagement are leading the way for the future of travel,” said Trip.com Group Chief Marketing Officer Bo Sun.

By working together with industry partners to bring greater rewards to travelers, Trip.com is bolstering efforts to propel the revitalization of travel. Trip.com has partnered with global airline loyalty programs since 2017, the newly announced partnerships add to existing membership benefit agreements Trip.com has with Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Asiana Airlines. Trip.com’s airline loyalty program partnerships have strong coverage across the East Asia and Asia Pacific regions and, by partnering with more airline brands now has the global reach to bring benefits to users around the world.

These partnerships are part of Trip.com’s PointsPLUS, the easy way for partner airline frequent flyer members to earn reward miles or points when booking hotels.

About Trip.com

Trip.com is a leading international online one-stop travel service provider, available in 20 languages across 27 countries and regions. Our platform combines over 1.4 million hotels in 200 countries and regions, 2 million flights connecting more than 5,000 cities, and world-class 24/7 English language customer service as well as additional centres in Edinburgh, Tokyo and Seoul, ‘Creating the best travel experience’ for our millions of customers worldwide.

For additional information, visit Trip.com Newsroom

Media Relations Contact:
Trip.com PR
Tel: (+86) 21 3406 4880 ext 196455

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/5bc85469-dac0-40f4-a732-a9b1e41af329


Report from cyberbullying expert identifies ‘negligence’ towards student’s wellbeing at Institut Le Rosey

Source: Dr Sameer Hinduja, Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center

  • A report issued by Dr Hinduja of the Cyberbullying Research Center examines the failings at the world’s most expensive school, Le Rosey, in Switzerland
  • The report found that the school was ‘deliberately indifferent’ to the wellbeing of the student being bullied
  • He summarises that the actions of the school were ‘problematic’ and resulted in the ‘re-victimization’ of the student

The following is a statement by Dr Sameer Hinduja of the Cyberbullying Research Centre who calls upon schools to learn lessons from the failings at Institut Le Rosey when it comes to tackling bullying:

ORLANDO, Florida, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The primary goal of schools has always been to educate and support the students placed under their care. Essential to accomplishing that goal is the need to provide a safe environment for them. It is the school’s duty to do all that it can to prevent disruptions to the ability of students to learn and thrive there, free from harassment or abuse.

Despite this, a recent study conducted by the Cyberbullying Research Center found that 52% of teenage students across the US had been bullied at school in the last month. While the number varies across countries, it is clear that this is a serious problem affecting young people today.

The ubiquity of social media usage across the student body requires schools to keep pace with a rapidly changing digital landscape. Careful consideration is needed for the policies and programs to protect students – particularly with the potential rise in cyberbullying and an increase in digital learning because of COVID-19. Many schools across the globe are working dutifully to address bullying in a systematic and long-lasting way.

However, this has not been successfully implemented by all schools, and in fact, one of the most prestigious schools in the world is now facing litigation from Radhika and Pankaj Oswal, the parents of a student, because of negligence in doing so.

The case is a significant one that educators around the world should pay attention to. There are many important lessons that can be learned from Le Rosey’s failings. Furthermore, depending on the outcome, it could set an important legal precedent.

Institut Le Rosey in Switzerland, known for its cost of tuition as the world’s most expensive school, as well as its numerous notable alumni, has been labelled as “deliberately indifferent” to the well-being of a student facing serious acts of bullying and cyberbullying. The student’s experience led to serious emotional scarring and an impact on her psychological well-being as was certified by a medical professional, but this was seemingly largely ignored by the school.

Unfortunately, instead of placing the welfare of the bullied student first, the school appeared to trivialize the issue and dismissed it as common behaviour among 14-year-olds that did not warrant formal investigation or intervention. Having spent years working in the field of bullying prevention, Dr Sameer Hinduja said that “this is a key mistake and one that is problematic for any school, let alone an ‘elite’ school such as Le Rosey.”

School administrators have an obligation to take meaningful action when any form of bullying is brought to their attention. The age of the student does not matter, and without a serious and thorough investigation into the incident and its surrounding circumstances, it is unacceptable to trivialize the potential of harm taking place.

In this case, the student was allegedly subjected to direct harm in the form of insults and aggression as well as indirect harm in the forms of exclusion and rejection. Moreover, it was perpetrated by a number of aggressors on campus at Le Rosey.

Another key issue is that some of the abuse appears to have been racial or ethnic in nature. Research clearly shows that identity-based bullying often inflicts a more serious level of harm on the victim, as it attacks the identity from which a child derives their beliefs, value system and customs. In fact, some countries even consider and classify such forms of aggression as hate crimes, underscoring the seriousness of such an offence.

It is surprising that a school such as Le Rosey, which prides itself on having an international student-base, apparently continually failed to address such issues in an appropriate manner. Compounding this is the lack of sufficient policies in place at school to address this in the first instance.

Further to this, the insufficient response by Le Rosey likely subjected the student to additional trauma through what is known as secondary victimization. This is when targets feel re-victimized due to the insensitive or inadequate response of the authorities who are supposed to come to their aid.

It is shocking how, in response to reasonable requests made by the parents for help and protection, included the possibility of the student sleeping at home – away from the trauma-inducing environment, the school allegedly came to the conclusion that it was in the best interests of everyone involved to cancel the student’s enrollment.

The priority of any school should be the health and well-being of the students under its care. Instead of working with the parents to implement enhanced bullying prevention and response policies and programs, the school dropped the student’s conduct grades and ultimately cancelled her enrollment approximately one month after the first incident. These actions were entirely unfounded given the high achievement of the student and a subsequent recommendation letter. It seems as though the school had made the decision that it was not worth the hassle, and chose instead to move on from the student and her family.

Such a response was at best a callous mistake, and at worst a multiplier of traumatic outcomes experienced by the victim. Either way, the school should have done more.

Based on the known facts of this case, it appears Le Rosey fell severely short not only in their response efforts, but also in their preventive measures – which were piecemeal, ad hoc, and woefully inadequate.

Schools need to continually work on and evolve their anti-bullying policies and programming. First and foremost, all teachers and staff within a school should be properly trained on how to handle cases of bullying to ensure they treat all reports seriously and with equal merit.

Second, all schools should have some meaningful type of evidence-based social and emotional learning programming that has been proven by research to reduce bullying. Third, their codes of conduct and related policy must be clear, comprehensive, and detailed in its coverage not just of prohibited behaviours and proportional consequences, but also procedures for identifying, reporting, investigating, and preventing bullying and cyberbullying.

Dr Hinduja comments “Unfortunately, the effects of negligence in these areas are often long-lasting. Such negligence has not only failed the student in this particular case, but it will likely reduce the confidence of other students, and their families, in the ability of schools such as Le Rosey to proactively handle future bullying and cyberbullying incidents.”

Notes to Editors:

  • The Cyberbullying Research Center is a US-based think tank that employs research to address bullying, cyberbullying, and related harms among young people. It exists to uncover and share best practices in identification, prevention, and response to educators, counselors, health professionals, youth-serving organizations, families, and communities so that they can best support those under their care.
  • Dr Sameer Hinduja is the Co-Director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, Professor of Criminology at Florida Atlantic University, and Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center.
Email: sameer@hinduja.org

Congenica Completes $50m Series C Funding Round to Advance Clinical Genomic Analysis Software and Data Platform

Congenica Completes $50m Series C Funding Round to Advance Clinical Genomic Analysis Software and Data Platform

New Funds to Drive Further Commercialisation of Rare and Inherited Cancer Applications and Expansion into Oncology, Wellness and Pharma Collaborations

Cambridge, United Kingdom – 9 November 2020Congenica, the digital health company enabling rapid and accurate analysis of complex genomic data to transform people’s lives, is pleased to announce the completion of its Series C funding round, raising US$50m/£39m.

The round was co-led by Tencent and Legal & General and included other new investors Xeraya, Puhua Capital and IDO Investments. Existing investors Parkwalk, Cambridge Innovation Capital and Downing also participated. The global nature of this important financing round brings new strategic and geographic capabilities that will further advance Congenica’s existing global footprint.

A pioneer in genomic analysis, Congenica has established a diverse, global customer-base of hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, academic medical centres and pharmaceutical companies based on its exceptional scientific heritage from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and as the exclusive Clinical Decision Support service provider in the delivery of the ground-breaking UK NHS Genomic Medicine Service. Congenica’s initial commercial success has led to a customer network spanning 18 countries.

Congenica is recognised as a leader in the genomic analysis of rare diseases and inherited cancer. The new funding is aimed at accelerating international market development and driving further expansion of Congenica’s product platform into somatic cancer, wellness and through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. Furthermore, Congenica will deliver advanced capabilities including the ability to integrate with existing electronic health systems and deliver fully automated interpretation capability. Underpinning Congenica’s value is its unparalleled use of a vast range of high quality data sources.

By integrating its software into existing systems and infrastructure, and further developing ground-breaking machine learning capabilities, Congenica is building a future where personalised decisions and treatments, guided by genomic information, can be routinely used to transform the health and wellness of individuals around the world.

Lazard acted as sole financial advisor to the Company.

Dr David Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, Congenica: “Genomic medicine is revolutionising healthcare, transforming outcomes for patients by providing clinicians with fast, accurate and early diagnoses and the information needed to provide life-changing answers for their patients, improving wellbeing and disease management. This new funding will allow us to build on our established foundation in rare disease and bring the power of our platform to new indications and new markets. We welcome our new investors to Congenica and are grateful to our existing investors for their continued support.”

Dr Ling Ge, Chief European Representative and General Manager, Tencent: “Congenica’s market leading technology is designed to enable the delivery of personalised medicine at scale and be fully integrated into routine healthcare customers’ clinical practice on a global basis. This represents a significant competitive advantage and the potential to bring genomic medicine into routine use across multiple disease areas driving healthcare systems internationally. We look forward to supporting Congenica as it continues to find innovative solutions to transform healthcare”.

Jessica McCreadie, Investment Director of Health & Care, Legal & General Retail Retirement: “We are growing our reputation as an investor in the health, wellness and longevity sectors as part of our desire to help people live longer, happier and healthier lives. Congenica’s technology platform is market leading and the expanding team has the experience to deliver on its huge potential. We are excited by the change Congenica will affect over the coming years in delivering preventative, personalised healthcare.”

About Congenica

Congenica is a digital health company enabling the rapid analysis and interpretation of genomic data, empowering researchers to provide life-changing answers that will in future improve wellbeing and disease management.

Congenica’s world-leading software enables rapid genomic data analysis at scale, performing 20x faster than industry averages and providing a 30% higher analytical yield, reducing genomic interpretation costs by up to 95%.

Born out of pioneering research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the NHS, Congenica has a global footprint supporting leading international laboratories, academic medical centres and biopharmaceutical companies and is the exclusive Clinical Decision Support partner for the NHS Genomic Medicine Service.

For more information visit www.congenica.com.

Contact details for editorial enquiries:

Noah Konig, Head of Marketing at Congenica

Email: noah.konig@congenica.com

Consilium Strategic Communications

Chris Gardner, Angela Gray, David Daley

Email: Congenica@consilium-comms.com

Tel: +44 (0)20 3709 5700