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Biotech startup DiscGenics raises $50 Million in Series C funding to develop regenerative cell-based therapies for treatment of chronic back pain

Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a chronic condition that is characterized by inflammation and breakdown of the extracellular matrix within the intervertebral disc. DDD often results in chronic low back pain, which is a leading cause of disability worldwide and […]

The post Biotech startup DiscGenics raises $50 Million in Series C funding to develop regenerative cell-based therapies for treatment of chronic back pain appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Degenerative disc disease (DDD) is a chronic condition that is characterized by inflammation and breakdown of the extracellular matrix within the intervertebral disc. DDD often results in chronic low back pain, which is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is the most common non-cancer reason for opioid prescriptions in the U.S. Each year, 266 million individuals (3.63%) worldwide are diagnosed with lumbar DDD (3).

The condition affects more than 24 million individuals in the U.S. and Canada and is estimated to cost the U.S. healthcare system over $100 billion each year, creating a significant burden on the economy and individual patients. In Japan, epidemiological studies have indicated that there could be more than 30 million patients suffering from spinal disorders in the country, with approximately 160,000 patients needing lumbar spine surgical intervention each year.

DiscGenics is a Salt Lake, Utah-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical startup company revolutionizing care for chronic back pain by developing regenerative cell-based therapies to improve the lives of those suffering from the debilitating effects of degenerative diseases of the spine.

Today, DiscGenics announced it has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round to support ongoing clinical trials of its injectable Discogenic Cell Therapy (IDCT) for lumbar degenerative disc disease (DDD), to fund future commercialization activities in the U.S. and Japan, and for the scale-up and scale-out of its allogeneic cell manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City, UT.

The round, which brings the company’s total investment to just over $71 million, was led by Ci:z Investment LLP with participation from new investors, Eagle Fund SP1 LLP, Medical Incubator Japan (MIJ), CareNet of Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd, and other existing long-term investors.

Founded in 2007 by Christopher Duntsch, Flagg Flanagan, John Robertson, Kevin T. Foley, Mark Cohen, Mike Moffat, Rand Page, and Valery Kukekov, DiscGenics is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing regenerative cell-based therapies that alleviate pain and restore function in patients with degenerative diseases of the spine.

“We are extremely pleased and humbled by the interest and support we have received in this round of funding,” said Flagg Flanagan, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors for DiscGenics. “I would like to sincerely thank the team at DiscGenics for their tremendous efficiency over the past several years in the use of our resources and capital to achieve clinical capacity on two continents while building out our manufacturing facility in preparation for anticipated commercial demand of our product.”

DiscGenics is currently conducting two concurrent regulator-allowed, prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled, multicenter clinical trials in the U.S. and Japan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of IDCT in subjects with symptomatic, single-level, mild to moderate lumbar DDD. In the U.S., all 60 subjects have been treated and no safety issues have been reported. In Japan, IDCT passed the initial planned safety review and trial enrollment is ongoing.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/08/25/biotech-startup-discgenics-raises-50-million-series-c-funding-develop-regenerative-cell-based-therapies-treatment-chronic-back-pain/

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President Trump’s campaign website hacked by cryptocurrency scammers

President Trump’s campaign website – www.donaldjtrump.com – was hacked by cryptocurrency scammers. The hackers took over the site at around 1920ET and replaced the landing page with the following threat. In an ironic piece of timing, the hacking took place shortly after […]

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President Trump’s campaign website – www.donaldjtrump.com – was hacked by cryptocurrency scammers. The hackers took over the site at around 1920ET and replaced the landing page with the following threat. In an ironic piece of timing, the hacking took place shortly after US officials issues a warning about a hacking group from North Korea.

The hackers behind the stunt claimed to have compromised multiple of the president’s devices, which gave them “full access” to Trump and his relatives, along with access to confidential information. “Strictly classified information is exposed proving that the Trump gov is involved in the origin of the coronavirus.”

“We have evidence that completely discredits mr trump as a president, proving his criminal involvement and cooperation with foreign actors manipulating the 2020 elections. the US citizens have no choice.”

We have blurred the crypto addresses (which were Monero, a private cryptocurrency) where readers were supposed to send contributions to unlock the mysterious information that would discredit the president.

While we will be accused of racism, we are sure, we strongly suspect this attackers were foreign given the typos and grammar: “the world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded by president donald j trump.”

Shortly after the site was taken down, presumably by Trump campaign officials, but the usual 404-page was not present…


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/27/president-trumps-campaign-website-hacked-cryptocurrency-scammers/

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New CDC data shows that hospitals counted heart attacks as COVID-19 deaths; CDC counts over 51,0000 patients actually died from heart attacks instead of COVID-19

Back in August, we wrote about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after the agency reported its updated provisional death counts for the reporting period 2/1/2020 through 8/22/2020.  According to the stats, CDC said that only 6% of the […]

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Back in August, we wrote about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after the agency reported its updated provisional death counts for the reporting period 2/1/2020 through 8/22/2020.  According to the stats, CDC said that only 6% of the 153,504 US deaths are related to COVID-19 only.

The other 94% had, on average, 2+ pre-existing conditions or causes per death. In other words, 94% of Americans who died from COVID-19 had other “types of health conditions and contributing causes” in addition to the virus, CDC said in the new report. Nearly 60% of all deaths were over 75 years of age.

To date, the U.S. has recorded 226,524 COVID-19 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. However, that number may not tell the whole story. According to the new CDC data collected from hospitals across the country for the period ending October 21, CDC found that over 51,0000 patients actually died from heart attacks instead of COVID-19. CDC data reveals that hospitals have been counting patients who died from serious preexisting conditions as COVID-19 deaths.

The overreporting by the hospitals may be due in part to incentives the hospitals receive for treating COVID-19 patients. Medicare is paying a 20 percent add-on to its regular hospital payments for the treatment of COVID-19 victims. For example, If a patient has coronavirus in their diagnosis, whether they were hospitalized for COVID-19 or not, the reporting hospital receives a reimbursement of $13,000 — and an extra $39,000 if the patient is put on a ventilator.

According to the latest CDC data, about 10,000 patients actually died of COVID-19 as the sole cause of their deaths.

Below is a video analysis of the CDC data, courtesy of OANN.


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/27/new-cdc-data-shows-hospitals-counted-heart-attacks-covid-19-deaths-cdc-counts-510000-patients-actually-died-heart-attacks-instead-covid-19-deaths/

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New data shows that Influenza (flu) cases drop by 98 percent worldwide from the same time in 2019. Are flu cases being labeled or misreported as COVID-19 or are patients being misdiagnosed?

Last week, we wrote a piece about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data which showed that the number of influenza (flu) cases has dropped by 95 percent from the same time last year. We later asked whether there was […]

The post New data shows that Influenza (flu) cases drop by 98 percent worldwide from the same time in 2019. Are flu cases being labeled or misreported as COVID-19 or are patients being misdiagnosed? appeared first on Tech News | Startups News.

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Last week, we wrote a piece about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data which showed that the number of influenza (flu) cases has dropped by 95 percent from the same time last year. We later asked whether there was a correlation between the recent rise in the number of coronavirus cases and the sudden plunge in the number of flu cases from the same time a year ago.

According to the CDC official data, seasonal influenza (flu) activity in the United States remains low, CDC said in its Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report. The data shows that there were 1251 flu cases reported to the CDC during weeks 40-41 in 2019. The number is about average when compared to previous years. However, in 2020, CDC only reported a total of 60 flu cases during the same period in 2012.

CDC went on to explain that the sudden drop in the number of flu cases this year could be due to behavioral changes during the COVID-19 pandemic such as the practice of good hygiene like washing of hands and social distancing. Here is exactly how the CDC explained it:

“Healthcare seeking behaviors have changed dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic. While outpatient ILI activity remains low, many people are accessing the healthcare system in alternative settings.”

However, other research by Public Health England may provide a better clue. Globally, it is estimated that rates of flu may have plunged by 98 percent compared with the same time last year, the agency said. Influenza’s surveillance’ data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO), further shows how swiftly the flu rates have plummeted in 2020.

In the Southern Hemisphere, where the flu season happens during our summer months, the WHO data suggests it never took off at all. In Australia, just 14 positive flu cases were recorded in April, compared with 367 during the same month in 2019 – a 96 percent drop. By June, usually the peak of its flu season, there were none. In fact, Australia has not reported a positive case to the WHO since July. In Chile, just 12 cases of flu were detected between April and October. There were nearly 7,000 during the same period in 2019.

So, the question many experts are asking is: Where does flu go? Has Covid killed off the flu? So, we may find some clues in this report from England. According to a report from the UK, “patients aren’t routinely tested for flu, even if it’s suspected, but a number of sentinel general practices (GP) surgeries and hospitals do carry out diagnostic screening on those who have symptoms, and this data gives us the most accurate picture of how much flu is in circulation.”

So where has the flu gone? And what does it mean for our winter? There are intriguing theories – some more outlandish than others. There are those who claim flu cases haven’t vanished at all, but are instead being recorded as Covid-19. Skeptics say Covid tests are unable to distinguish between coronavirus and flu, but this is simply untrue.

Public Health England studied samples taken from about 20,000 people during the first four months of this year, as coronavirus took hold, and found those who had flu were 58 percent less likely to also have coronavirus. Scientists said this may be more to do with behavior when you have a virus – staying in bed, or not going out – which means you’re less likely to come into contact with another virus, Prof James Stewart,  Chair of Molecular Virology Infection Biology at the University of Liverpool, explained.

Yet the study also theorized ‘possible pathogenic competition’ between the two, because co-infection – people with flu and Covid-19 at the same time – was strikingly rare.

A Chinese study on two previous coronavirus outbreaks, SARS and MERS, has also shown the same effect. Infection with another virus, such as flu, protects to some degree against a coronavirus infection.

But what isn’t clear, and hasn’t been tested, is what happens the other way around. Can a coronavirus infection, with or without symptoms, kill the flu? Dr. Groppelli says: ‘The only thing we can say is that, right now, before winter hits, is it’s a bit too early to tell.’

Most scientists agree there was not enough COVID-19 in circulation in March to explain the dramatic drop in flu cases. And the same holds true as we approach winter. A new study from a team of Chinese researchers found that “modifications to the structure of human cells caused by a flu bug can make it easier for the coronavirus to invade them.” In other words, co-infection with influenza can speed up the replication of pathogen that causes Covid-19.

“Co-infection with influenza caused up to a 10,000-fold increase of coronavirus replication in human cells in a laboratory test, according to a new study by Chinese scientists.”


Source: https://techstartups.com/2020/10/27/new-data-shows-influenza-flu-cases-drop-98-percent-worldwide-time-2019-flu-cases-labeled-misreported-covid-19-patients-misdiagnosed-c/

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