Innovation4Alpha Se1 Ep1 — Correlation

Welcome to the all new Innovation4Alpha podcast. The goal of Innovation4Alpha is to provide insight and entertainment to the world of healthcare investing. AngelMD CEO Tobin Arthur and SVP of Clinical Investment Operations Jeff Ross lead the discussion, and welcome your feedback.

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Testing The Things

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Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

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Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

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Bacon ipsum dolor amet meatball andouille rump burgdoggen landjaeger, pork strip steak filet mignon pancetta. Kevin turducken porchetta tenderloin. Ham hock short ribs pancetta hamburger, meatloaf ribeye rump bacon burgdoggen andouille sausage leberkas. Meatball boudin tongue fatback. Sirloin t-bone spare ribs, picanha turkey venison tenderloin short ribs beef ham hock ribeye doner filet mignon kevin. Pig tenderloin rump frankfurter sausage short ribs.

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Sensulin: Diabetes Management, No Injections Necessary

For people with Type 1 (juvenile onset) Diabetes (T1D), daily life is a system of checks and balances. While times have gotten better with the advent of insulin pumps and less-invasive testing systems, there are still challenges to living with the disease. Sensulin, a company based out of Oklahoma, has developed a unique drug delivery method that acts similarly to a healthy pancreas. This Agglomerated Vesicle Technology (AVT) could also find its way to working with other drugs that require a stimulant response.

To better understand the problem that Sensulin is solving, we need to step back to look at its cause. T1D is caused by the body attacking the beta cells in the pancreas that create insulin. This inability for the body to create its own insulin means that the blood glucose level cannot be regulated through biological means. The T1D patient is therefore required to test multiple times daily, and regulate their insulin level through injection or via a pump. Missed meals, exercise, or high-glycemic foods can all cause sudden swings in blood glucose levels, leading to potentially dangerous (or even fatal) conditions.

Suffice it to say, multiple daily injections are far from convenient, and medication adherence is a constant concern for both the patient and the treating doctor. While there have been advances in an “artificial pancreas” — a device that would provide constant monitoring and insulin adjustment — that look promising, there is a cost concern as estimates range between $5,000 to $8,000 for the device itself plus thousands more each year for disposable sensors.

Sensulin’s Agglomerated Vesicle Technology takes a tested and verified method and adds a new element. AVT uses an insulin-containing liposome that has a boronate “glue” that will dissolve in the presence of sugar. As this glue dissolves, the AVT can release insulin into the body and regulate blood glucose levels back to a normal range.

T1D treatment is just the first stop for Sensulin. The company is also making strides in its research to bring the AVT system to other drugs that could benefit from stimulus triggers such as hypoxia or inflammation.

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AngelMD Friday Roundup – December 15th, 2017

The Friday Roundup is a collection of five stories that you need to know about each week. From policy, to innovations, look to us to keep you up to date on what’s happening in the healthcare industry.

Health of the Nation

The 2017 America’s Health Rankings report was released earlier this week. The report is conducted with four defined determinants of health: behaviors, community & environment, policy, and clinical care.

Massachusetts took to the number one spot and many Southern states landed in the bottom ten. The report also illustrated the disparity in health providers per state. Massachusetts had over 200 providers for 100,000 people whereas states like Utah and Idaho has less than 100 per 100,000.

Gene Therapy’s Trouble with Hemophilia

Hemophilia, a genetic disorder that prevents the blood from clotting correctly, has had some preliminary success with gene therapy, with an earlier genetic treatment inducing enough clotting to prevent serious bleeds.

However, the study had a small sample size, and there has been no study of possible long term effects. This leaves some hemophilia patients wondering if taking part in such treatments is worth it and weighing higher costs against dose uncertainty.

How Will the Loss of Net Neutrality Effect Research?

In a historic decision, the FCC overturned net neutrality this week, a vote that will likely be appealed in courts in the coming months. Removal of net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers can block or slow content for their customers.

An article in Nature points out that this means access to scholarly articles could also me impacted. Useful data could get stuck in the “slow lane,” and access to articles could be blocked meaning the scientific community bloomed in the internet age could be cut-down.

The Tax Bill’s Effect on Healthcare Providers

The House and Senate have voted in favor of a major overhaul of current tax policies which includes the reversal of the Affordable Care Act individual mandate penalty. Proponents of the bill argue this will be beneficial for the working class, and make the bill more “workable” for the public.

However, insurance companies largely supported this mandate because it stabilized the market as a whole. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the number of uninsured would grow to 13 million over the next 10 years and increase premiums by 10 percent, meaning the bill would have a significant impact on the future of healthcare in the U.S.

A New Treatment for Irregular Heartbeats

About 325,000 Americans die each year from heartbeat abnormalities, but a new treatment is emerging: radiation. The results of a small trial were published Thursday and detailed researchers from Washington University in St. Louis attempt to “kill” the cells causing electrical malfunctions in the heart.

Based on the results, the treatment appears to have worked, but unfortunately cannot be used on cardiac patients in need of immediate intervention as the treatment takes about a week to show full effect. All the patients included in the study had previously tried and failed to control their condition with drugs, making this treatment a welcome alternative.

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Beta Cat – Stopping Tumors at the Beta Catenin Source

While cancer treatments have gotten exponentially better over the years, almost every treatment relies on catching cancer early. Those who present with stage 3 or stage 4 cancers are often left with the difficult discussion about quality of life versus pushing back cancer’s progression. Beta Cat, a Houston-based company currently in residency at JLABS, is taking the unique approach of a beta catenin inhibitor, and the methods have shown extraordinarily promising results. Wnt and beta catenin causes tumors to behave like stem cells — they become fast-dividing, and the progress without checks. These tumors are then able to adapt and resist today’s treatments.

Cancer treatments need to start as close to the beginning of body processes as possible. Anything later in the process can have an adverse impact on normal body processes. In view of this, Wnt signaling pathways have been seen as a holy grail of treatment options since their discovery in 1982. The pathway is open in children and used as a fundamental transport for embryonic stem cells. In adults, cancers can reawaken the pathway and use it to mutate and resist current therapies.

Beta Cat has developed the first potent, specific inhibitor (called Tegavivint) that doesn’t have stem cell effects further down the pathway. CEO Jon Northrup tells us that all of the approaches that were used during the late 1990’s, and up to the latest in 2017, have failed.

The company’s visuals show the story, with cures in five of five treated mice, and only one case of metastases in the treated mice versus five in the control.

beta cat results

Beta Cat has submitted its Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA in order to acquire permission for its first clinical trials that are slated to start in January. According to Northrup, the team believes that they will have a clinical data set after one year that shows efficacy, and allows for an exit into the pharmacological sector if desired. That said, there is another option for the team as well.

The team has identified a few orphan diseases where their Wnt-focused treatment could push them to the top of the FDA’s leaderboard for accelerated approval. This path would allow Beta Cat to seek approval after phase 2 clinical trials in as little as three years, versus the eight years that are normally required.

Desmoid tumors, one area of focus for Beta Cat, have few effective treatments, and those treatments are often limited to a select group of patients. The other area of focus, osteosarcoma, can be treated via tumor removal. However, many patients find that the tumors have metastasized into the lungs as little as two years later. “We have phenomenal data in animal models showing that we can melt away the tumors via the pathway,” says Northrup.

This focus on orphan diseases offers the second pathway to exit for the team, should they so choose. While a longer and more complex process than the exit after stage 1 trials, it should provide an exponentially larger exit for the team and their associated investors.

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