September 27, 2022


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ONE three billionaires renew their philanthropic pledges to accelerate the development of diagnostic tests for Alzheimer’s disease. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former Estee Lauder chairman Leonard Lauder are donating another $11.25 million to the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. Forbes’ Kerry Dolan reports. In total, the foundation has raised a new $50 million from funders that also include pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Lilly. It has raised $100 million for the effort to date. About 6 million Americans have Alzheimer’s, with about half of cases going undiagnosed, according to the foundation. The goal is to create new diagnostics similar to blood tests known as liquid biopsies currently used for early cancer detection, as well as eye scans and smartphone-based detection tools.


This startup raised $50 million to bring more doctors to rural areas

Homeward Health, founded by former Livongo executives, brings primary and specialty care to places without access to health care. The company has raised $50 million in Series B funding, just four months after raising $20 million in Series A. For co-founder and CEO Dr. Jennifer Schneider, the struggle is personal: She grew up in Winona County, Minnesota, and her family still resides there. He believes the new investment round will allow Homeward Health to expand and advance its mission – to “break what’s really broken in rural America.” Read more here.


Offers of the week

Suicide Prevention: Oui Therapeutics, a startup based in New Haven, Connecticut, has raised $26 million for its digital therapy aimed at preventing suicide. The mobile app, which is undergoing a clinical trial, will be prescribed to patients who have experienced a suicidal crisis to help teach risk reduction skills. Investors include First Round Capital, CVS Health and pharmaceutical company Otsuka.

Biomarker Library: Intelligent Lab on Fiber , a UK- and Portugal-based startup that uses artificial intelligence to mine biomarkers to accelerate drug discovery, has raised $5 million for its digital biomarker library. Investors include Faber, Microsoft venture fund M12 and Quiet Capital. Co-founders Joana Paiva and Luis Valente were on the Under 30 Europe Healthcare & Science 2020 list.


Remarkable

Abortion will remain legal Kansas, after voters rejected a ballot measure that would have paved the way for new restrictions. Here’s a rundown of where abortion will be on the ballot in other states in the midterm elections. In addition, the Biden administration issued her second executive order to protect abortion rights.

CVS Health, which owns the nation’s third-largest health insurer Aetna, reported quarterly earnings of nearly $3 billion as it saw growth across its business lines, from health plans to pharmacies.

The United Nations has entered into an agreement with ViiV Healthcare, an HIV-focused business owned by drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Shionogi, to increase access to a long-acting injectable HIV prevention drug in low-income countries.

California and Illinois became the latest state government to declare monkeypox a public health emergency this week.

Updates on the coronavirus

Anywhere from 7.7 million to 23 million Americans have developed prolonged Covid, meaning symptoms or conditions that develop or persist for more than a month after initial infection, according to government estimates. On Wednesday, the Biden administration made the announcement national plan to coordinate research and treatment for long-term Covid, which is expected to have long-lasting effects on health care outcomes and costs far beyond the current pandemic. This includes the creation of the Office of Long Covid Research and Practice, which will be led by Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Rachel Levine. Management too published report outlining where people with long-term Covid can go for help, ranging from discrimination to mental health support services to housing.

Thanks to Forbes colleague Ariyana Griffin for her contribution to this newsletter!


From AIDS to Covid to Monkeypox: Experts agree that inequalities are driving public health crises

Infectious disease expert Dave Wessner reports from the 24th International AIDS Conference, where the big picture focused on how everyone should have access to scientific advances that improve public health. Read more here.

More news about the coronavirus

About half of the people who tested positive for Covid using a quick test after 5 days of infection they are most likely not contagious, according to a new study.

President Biden he returned to isolation over the weekend. He tested positive for a Covid infection after taking the antiviral drug Paxlovid, although he remains asymptomatic.

Hospitalized Covid-19 patients may be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers warn inflammation caused by the virus.

A study suggests that pharmacies and health care facilities in US counties with Black populations over 42% were less likely to offer Covid-19 vaccines compared to counties where the black population was below 12.5%, highlighting issues of vaccine equity and access.

All over Forbes

Weed vs. Greed: How America Botched Legalizing Pot

Meet the billionaire couple making their fortune in right-wing politics

Donald Trump’s Great Escape: How the Former President Solved His Debt Crisis

What else are we reading?

Citing a mental health crisis among young people, California lawmakers take aim at social media (Kaiser Health News)

Hybrid brains: the ethics of transplanting human neurons into animals (Nature)

Biden Covid Case Highlights CDC’s Confused Guidance on Ending Isolation (The Washington Post)



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