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AGC Biologics Appoints Jun Takami to General Manager/Site Head of Their Chiba, Japan Site

Chiba, April 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AGC Biologics, a leading global Biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), has announced the appointment of Jun Takami as the General Manager/Site Head, to lead the continued successful operations as well as continuous improvements at its Chiba, Japan site.

Mr. Takami’s transition to the Site Head comes after a tremendously successful tenure as the Project Manager Director at the Japan facility – a role he assumed in 2017 when joining AGC Biologics.

“We are incredibly pleased that Mr. Takami has accepted the promotion to become the General Manager/Site Head for the Chiba site. He brings rich technical experience from our industry, and deep experience across many of our core business functions,” said AGC Biologics Chief Technical Officer, Kasper Møller. “I’m fully confident that Mr. Takami will ensure successful delivery of all of our customer programs at our Chiba facility and further expand the site operations to meet future demands.”

Mr. Takami brings over 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with roles in process development, GMP manufacturing, process engineering and PLI activities with the Roche group at Chugai Pharmaceuticals. He holds a Master of Biological Science from Kobe University.

About AGC Biologics:
AGC Biologics is a leading global biopharmaceutical Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with a strong commitment to deliver the highest standard of service as we work side-by-side with our clients and partners, every step of the way. We provide world-class development and manufacture of mammalian and microbial-based therapeutic proteins, plasmid DNA (pDNA), viral vectors and genetically engineered cells. Our global network spans the U.S., Europe and Asia, with cGMP-compliant facilities in Seattle, Washington; Boulder, Colorado; Copenhagen, Denmark; Heidelberg, Germany; Milan, Italy; and Chiba, Japan and we currently employ more than 1,600 employees worldwide. Our commitment to continuous innovation fosters the technical creativity to solve our clients’ most complex challenges, including specialization in fast-track projects and rare diseases. AGC Biologics is the partner of choice. To learn more, visit www.agcbio.com.

David Self
AGC Biologics


Philips and Ibex Medical Analytics team to accelerate adoption of AI-powered digital pathology

April 8, 2021

  • Philips and Ibex Medical Analytics cooperate to globally commercialize clinically proven, AI-powered digital pathology solutions
  • Combination of Philips’ digital pathology solutions and Ibex’s AI-powered Galen platform has improved reporting efficiency by 27%, driven 37% productivity gains, and improved consistency and accuracy to enhance diagnostic confidence
  • Collaboration furthers Philips’ commitment to integrated diagnostics providing a clear path to precision diagnosis

Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Tel Aviv, Israel – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Ibex Medical Analytics, a pioneer in artificial intelligence (AI) based cancer diagnostics, today announced a strategic collaboration to jointly promote their digital pathology and AI solutions to hospitals, health networks and pathology labs worldwide. The combination of Philips digital pathology solution (Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution) and Ibex’s Galen™ AI-powered cancer diagnostics platform [1], currently in clinical use in Europe and the Middle East, empowers pathologists to generate objective, reproducible results, increase diagnostic confidence, and enable the productivity and efficiency improvements needed to cope with ever-increasing demand for pathology-based diagnostics.

Today’s announcement marks the latest extension to Philips’ AI-enabled Precision Diagnosis solutions portfolio, which leverages Philips and third-party AI solutions to deliver cutting-edge clinical decision support and optimized workflows that enable healthcare providers to deliver on the Quadruple Aim of better patient outcomes, improved patient and staff experiences, and lower cost of care.

The trend towards centralized pathology labs, the global shortage of trained pathologists, and increasing demands on histopathology posed by the growing number of cancer patients, leads pathology labs to actively seek efficiency-enhancing solutions that enable to maintain high accuracy levels. Digital pathology, enabled by solutions such as Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution has already been shown to improve pathology lab productivity by 25% [2], while also allowing remote image reading by specialists and the immediate sharing of images with referring hospitals as part of comprehensive pathology reports. Ibex’s AI-powered Galen platform further streamlines workflow and improves accuracy via automated case prioritization, cancer heatmaps, grading and other productivity-enhancing tools.

“Building on our strong portfolio to support clinical decision-making in oncology, we bring together the power of imaging, pathology, genomics and longitudinal data with insights from artificial intelligence (AI) to help empower clinicians to deliver clear care pathways with predictable outcomes for every patient,” said Kees Wesdorp, Chief Business Leader, Precision Diagnosis at Philips. “By teaming with Ibex to incorporate their AI into our Digital Pathology Solutions, we’re further able to provide a continuous pathway, where critical patient data is made visible to both pathologists and oncologists to help improve the clinician experience and patient outcomes.”

“Pathology is transforming at an increasing pace and AI is one of the major drivers, supporting a more rapid and accurate cancer diagnosis,” said Joseph Mossel, CEO and Co-founder of Ibex Medical Analytics. “By joining forces with Philips, the leader in digital pathology deployments, we can offer new end-to-end solutions enabling pathologists to implement integrated, AI-powered workflows across a broader segment of the diagnostic pathway, improving the quality of patient care and strengthening the business case for digitization.”

Ibex’s Galen platform adds AI-powered cancer detection, case prioritization, grading and other productivity-enhancing insights. Users have reported significant improvements in diagnostic efficiency, with 27% reduction in time-to-diagnosis compared to conventional microscope viewing, 1- to 2-day reductions in total turnaround time, and 37% productivity gain [3]. In addition to cancer, the AI platform supports pathologists in the accurate grading, as well as detection and diagnosis of multiple clinical features, such as tumor size, perineural invasion, high-grade PIN (Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia) and more. The accuracy level of Galen Prostate for cancer detection was the highest level reported in the field, with a sensitivity rate of 98.46%, specificity of 97.33% and an AUC of 0.991 [4]. When used as an automated ‘second read,’ the platform alerts pathologists when discrepancies between their diagnosis and the AI algorithm’s findings are detected, providing a safety net against error or misdiagnosis, previously reported as high as 12% [5], and increasing overall quality of care.

“We have been using Philips’ IntelliSite Pathology Solution together with Ibex’s Galen™ platform as part of our routine practice since 2020, and this ‘second read’ implementation has already helped us improve our diagnostic quality,” said Delphine Raoux, MD, pathologist and Head of Innovation Technologies at Medipath, the largest network of private pathology labs in France. “The work we presented recently showed that Ibex’s AI platform can further provide significant productivity gains when used during primary diagnosis and helps us reduce total turnaround time. This is an important step forward as we look for new technologies that can help meet an increasing demand for pathology services and could enable seamless remote reading of biopsies in times of COVID restrictions.”

Philips digital pathology solution is a comprehensive turnkey solution that helps to speed and simplify access to histopathology information across cancer care and beyond, supports full-scale digitization of histology in pathology labs and lab networks, and help increases workflow efficiency. At the heart is Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution, which comprises an ultra-fast pathology slide scanner, an image management system and display [6], which includes advanced software tools to manage slide scanning, image storage, case review, and the sharing of patient information. By fully digitizing post-sample-preparation histopathology, it facilitates the streamlining of pathology workflows and enables the connectivity needed between multi-disciplinary teams and specialties when making complex cancer diagnosis and treatment decisions, from early detection and precision diagnosis through to precision treatment and predictable outcomes.

Through breakthrough innovations and partnerships, Philips integrates intelligence and automation into its Precision Diagnosis portfolio, including smart diagnostic systems, integrated workflow solutions that transform departmental operations, advanced informatics that provides diagnostic confidence, and care pathway solutions that allow medical professionals to tailor treatment to individual patients. By developing and integrating these AI-enabled applications, the company aims to enhance the ability to turn data into actionable insights and drive the right care in the right sequence at the right time.

Today’s partnership announcement with Ibex follows recent AI partnership announcements with DiA Imaging Analysis for AI-powered ultrasound applications, and AI software provider Lunit, incorporating its chest detection suite into Philips diagnostic X-ray suite. These partner solutions complement Philips own AI solutions in personal health, precision diagnosis and treatment, and connected care.

[1] Galen Prostate is CE marked and approved in additional territories. Galen Prostate is not FDA approved and is for Research Use Only (RUO) in the United States.
[2] Survey with 52 physicians in Europe, 2018. Results are specific to the institution where they were obtained and may not reflect the results achievable at other institutions.
[3] Raoux D, et al, Novel AI Based Solution for Supporting Primary Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer Increases the Accuracy and Efficiency of Reporting in Clinical Routine https://uscap.econference.io/public/fYVk0yI/main/sessions/9644/31166
[4] The LANCET Digital Health, Aug 2020, Pantanowitz et al, An artificial intelligence algorithm for prostate cancer diagnosis in whole slide images of core needle biopsies: a blinded clinical validation and deployment study https://www.thelancet.com/journals/landig/article/PIIS2589-7500(20)30159-X/fulltext
[5] Laifenfeld D et al, Performance of an AI-based cancer diagnosis system in France’s largest network of pathology institutes https://ibex-ai.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/poster-v6-web.pdf
[6] The display is part of the medical device in the United States.

For further information, please contact:

Kathy O’Reilly
Philips Global Press Office
Tel.: +1 978-221-8919
E-mail : kathy.oreilly@philips.com
Twitter: @kathyoreilly

Tal Frieman
Ibex Medical Analytics
Tel.: +972 50-515-2195
E-mail : tal.frieman@ibex-ai.com

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and well-being, and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum – from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2020 sales of EUR 19.5 billion and employs approximately 82,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

About Ibex Medical Analytics
Ibex uses AI to develop clinical-grade solutions that help pathologists detect and grade cancer in biopsies. The Galen™ platform is the first-ever AI-powered cancer diagnostics solution in routine clinical use in pathology and deployed worldwide, empowering pathologists to improve diagnostic accuracy, integrate comprehensive quality control and enable more efficient workflows. Ibex’s solutions are built on Deep Learning algorithms trained by a team of pathologists, data scientists and software engineers. For more information, go to www.ibex-ai.com



Constellation Brands Reports Fiscal Year and Fourth Quarter 2021 Results and Fiscal 2022 Outlook

VICTOR, N.Y., April 08, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a leading beverage alcohol company, reported today its fiscal year and fourth quarter 2021 results and fiscal year 2022 outlook. A conference call to discuss the financial results and outlook will be hosted by President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Newlands and Chief Financial Officer Garth Hankinson on Thursday, April 8, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. (EDT).

Visit cbrands.com/investors/events to locate information for joining the conference call, or a live, listen-only webcast of the conference call.

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 PDF containing our Fiscal Year and Fourth Quarter 2021 Results and Fiscal Year 2022 Outlook and full financial tables is available at: http://ml.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/9070a135-4560-4760-9ca7-171d49f900d6

PRA’s remote patient monitoring platform selected by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to work in combination with its human growth hormone treatment system

PRA’s cloud-based infrastructure enables Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to deliver a better product experience and scale for future enhancements

RALEIGH, N.C. , April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PRA Health Sciences (NASDAQ: PRAH) announced today that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, known in the United States as EMD Serono, selected PRA’s remote patient monitoring platform to work in combination with its human growth hormone (HGH) treatment system. Under this agreement, PRA’s remote patient monitoring platform backs Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s HGH treatment system, including growlinkTM, a mobile app for patients prescribed with HGH treatment, and easypod® Connect, a secure platform for healthcare professionals (HCP) in the field of endocrinology to monitor patients’ adherence, review injection history, and share information about patients’ progression with growth hormone disorder.

“Patients and payers expect us to offer new technologies, such as treatment-supporting apps, with the highest levels of privacy and data security,” said Andre Musto, Senior Vice President and Head of Cardiovascular Metabolism & Endocrinology, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. “With growlink and easypod Connect, supported by PRA’s remote patient monitoring platform, we can offer patients innovative tools to help manage their condition and assure payers of the effective use of treatments while fully respecting their privacy and data security.”

Human growth hormone treatments are frequently prescribed for children and adolescents with growth hormone deficiency, a condition that impacts approximately 1:4,000 to 1:10,000 children1 each year in the U.S. Despite the prevalence of growth hormone deficiency and treatment options, one of the biggest challenges is ensuring patients’ adherence to the regimen. Adding this layer of technology to HGH treatments better facilitates patient engagement, helps HCPs make better use of patient visits, and ensures the treatment is taken regularly and at the right dosage, optimizing treatment outcome and driving payer confidence.

In a real-world setting, an HCP would use easypod Connect to invite patients to download the mobile app, growlink. Then the patient downloads the mobile app, signs an eConsent form on the app, and syncs the app with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s HGH injector medical device, easypod. This device is able to self-regulate the appropriate dosage of HGH based on the treatment protocol. The four-part system – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s mobile app (growlink), connected device (easypod), and HCP platform (easypod Connect ) underpinned by PRA’s remote patient monitoring technology – enables HCPs to see an accurate picture of patients’ adherence, height, weight, and other outcomes while offering patients a more convenient way to follow to their treatment regimen and manage their condition.

“For many years, PRA has been focused on designing an end-to-end digital health platform that supports mobile healthcare delivery, such as remote patient monitoring,” said Kent Thoelke, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, PRA Health Sciences. “Our collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to support growlink and easypod Connect is an example of how the industry is advancing with the patient at the center of our innovation.”

PRA hosted a webinar called, How Digital Therapeutics and Remote Patient Monitoring Can Drive Pharmaceutical Product Differentiation, to help create differentiation. Access the replay webinar today.

For more information about PRA’s remote patient monitoring solutions, visit www.prahs.com.

1 Stanley T. Diagnosis of Growth Hormone Deficiency in Childhood. HHS Public Access. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3279941/

About PRA Health Sciences

PRA Health Sciences 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, Africa, Australia and the Middle East and more than 19,000 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. To learn more about PRA, please visit www.prahs.com.

INVESTOR INQUIRIES: InvestorRelations@prahs.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES: Laurie Hurst, Sr. Director, Communications and Public Relations
hurstlaurie@prahs.com | +1 (919) 786-8435

Foldable kiosk for women petty traders in Perak

— The Perak government has launched a kiosk assistance programme for women small traders (Biznita) to enable them to operate their business from home, with the COVID-19 pandemic still not over.

State Women, Family and Community Development Committee chairman Datuk Dr Wan Norashikin Wan Noordin said the government had allocated RM350,000 for the programme this year, involving 215 Biznita kiosks.

“This kiosk is specially designed for women and the OKU traders. It is easy to be carried around and can be folded into the car, and this year we are giving it in time for Ramadan so that the women traders can continue to generate income to help their families from home,” she said.

She said this when met after the handing over of the kiosks by Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad in conjunction with the Menteri Besar with the People’s Programme (MESRA) today.

The state government, she said, would also launch the BizBro programme after Ramadan for the male traders.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

MAFI encourages farming community to sell produce online

— The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries (MAFI) is encouraging the farming community to use the latest technology such as e-commerce platform to market their produce online.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the move was important as the use of technology had been proven to increase sales.

Citing an example, he said MAFI recorded more than RM300 million in agricultural sales revenue through the three e-commerce platforms developed since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country a year ago.

He said the platforms were Agro Bazaar Online, Nekmatbiz and e-peladang which were operated by the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority, National Fishermen’s Association (NEKMAT), and Farmers’ Organisation Authority (LPP), respectively.

“So, we’ve seen online business during the COVID-19 pandemic as an effective sales and marketing tool or alternative.

“We hope such platform will continue to be used by consumers or organisations such as the Area Farmers’ Organisation to promote the purchase or sale of their agricultural products.

“At the same time, we also do not prevent the private sector (farming community) from developing their own e-commerce platform for the same purpose,” he said after officiating the national level Peladang Outlet at the Kluang Area Farmers’ Organisation’s Agricultural Product Collection Centre here today.

Ronald was commenting on whether MAFI plans to develop its own online application to facilitate the marketing and sale of agricultural products in the country.

Present were Johor Agriculture, Agro-based Industry and Rural Development Committee chairman Datuk Samsolbari Jamali, LPP chairman Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, and LPP director-general Datuk Azulita Salim.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Leaked audio recording: No reports received so far – Saifuddin

The audio recording of a conversation purportedly between UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and his PKR counterpart Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would be investigated only if a report on it is lodged.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said both the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and CyberSecurity Malaysia have yet to receive any report on the matter.

“We will wait and if there are reports lodged, such cases will be investigated by CyberSecurity (Malaysia), and so far there have been no reports received by us… not that easy (to act against those who spread content), if there are reports we will investigate,” he told reporters before being granted an audience with the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail at Istana Arau here today.

Saifuddin was asked to comment on an audio recording of a conversation between two individuals with voices resembling Ahmad Zahid and Anwar, which allegedly took place after the UMNO General Assembly.

The recording has gone viral on social media.

On his audience with the Raja of Perlis, Saifuddin said Internet connectivity and the development of the digital economy were among the topics discussed with Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin.

“Tuanku Raja Perlis was very interested not only in connectivity but also in Perlis’ progress in terms of the digital economy,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency