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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: December 2017

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Leonhardt’s Launchpads Organ Regeneration Technology Showcase January 8th San Francisco

Press Release – Playa Vista, California and Salt Lake City, Utah (PRBUZZ) – December, 28th, 2017 – Today Leonhardt’s Launchpads, an innovation accelerator focused on organ regeneration technologies, announced a technology showcase Monday January 8th, 2018 at WeWork SoMa, 156 2nd St, San Francisco, CA 94105 @ 5pm to 6:30pm (less than 1 mile from JP Morgan Healthcare Conference). Leonhardt’s Launchpads has startup support and innovation acceleration labs in Northern and Southern California as well as in Salt Lake City, Utah and currently incubates 27 organ regeneration and recovery focused startups. These startups and their innovations will be showcased with short pitches on each with followup time for questions. The sessions about 12 minutes each in order will be Heart & Cardiovascular, Brain, Cosmetic & Personal Care, Major Organ Regeneration and Cancer.

Links to web sites, slide decks and videos for each startup may be reached via www.leonhardtventures.com ; Most of the startups are based on the core technologies of bioelectric stimulation controlled release of proteins (including stem homing, proliferation and differentiation signals), a re-fillable micro infusion pump and a mixed organ regeneration composition comprised of stem cells, growth factors, exosomes, Micro RNAs, selected alkaloids, nutrient hydrogel and organ specific matrix.

HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR

BioLeonhardt – total heart regeneration.
AortaCell – aorta regeneration.
BioPace – biological pacemaker regeneration.
Valvublator – heart valve decalcification and regeneration.
VibroCell (includes CoroStim) – vibrational energy to prevent clots, plaque, calcification.
HeartScore – genomics and bioelectric based heart failure, inflammation and stroke management.
VascuStim (formerly MyoStim Peripheral, includes EndoCell) – limb salvage regeneration, blood flow improvement for critical limb ischemia, diabetic leg and foot ulcer treatment, artery regeneration.
Second Heart Assist, Inc. – wireless powered chronic or temporary circulatory assist pump in aortic stents
PressureStim – bioelectric treatment of high blood pressure via improved arterial elasticity and bioelectric membrane potentials management.

BRAIN

CerebraCell (includes CerebraCell Brain-N-Hance and CerebraCell Concussion) – brain regeneration, cognitive function improvement, concussion recovery.

COSMETIC and PERSONAL CARE

Stem Cell Bra – breast regeneration.
DentaCell Accelerator – innovation accelerator focused on dentistry based on bioelectric, stem cell, growth factor and holistic approaches.
OrthodontiCell – bioelectric stimulator for accelerated tooth movement and stablization.
SkinCell Stimulator by MyoStim Skin – skin regeneration.
MyoStim ED – bioelectric erectile dysfunction treatment.
HairCell – hair regeneration.

MAJOR ORGAN REGENERATION

EyeCell – eye regeneration.
PancreaCell – pancreas regeneration.
RegenaLung (includes ECMO-Cath) – lung regeneration and ARDS treatment (includes 50% owned subsidiary RegenaLung COPD).
LiverCell – liver regeneration.
KidneyCell – kidney regeneration.
EarCell – ear hearing regeneration.
BladderCell – bladder regeneration.
MucosaCell – sub-mucosa regeneration.
InStim – bioelectric real time inflammation management
BioLeonhardt Whole Body Regeneration – whole body regeneration and Bod-Stim bioelectric yoga and athletic pants.

CANCER TREATMENT

CancerCell – bioelectric cancer tumor treatment + regeneration.

Leonhardt’s Launchpads startups announced earlier this year…

> License agreement for IP estate for bioelectric cancer tumor treatment from Neuro Code Tech Holdings.
> Filing of new patents pending for multiple modality bioelectric cancer tumor treatment.
> Launch of InStim startup focused on real time bioelectric inflammation monitoring and management.
> Launch of PressureStim and licensing of patents for bioelectric blood pressure control.
> $1 million raised for startup Second Heart Assist, Inc. and launch of pre-clinical studies.
> License agreement with Caltech for IP estate related to circulatory assist support.
> Launch of VascuStim clinical research program for diabetic ulcer treatment.
> Launch of DentaCell Accelerator focused on accelerating dentistry innovations.
> Patent filing for vibration harmonic resonance technology to prevent blood clots, calcification and plaque formations on blood contact surfaces.
> Patent filings for controlled expression of PDGF, HIF1 alpha, CXCL5 and other key regeneration promoting proteins.

See https://leonhardtventures.com/news/ to links to previous news stories. Leonhardt’s Launchpads startups filed over 75 new U.S. patent claims in 2017.

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads:

Operated by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads is the innovation and startup accelerator arm of Leonhardt Ventures and inventor Howard J. Leonhardt. The five year accelerator is incubating 27 regenerative medtech and 3 regenerative economy startups and licensable technology platforms (LTPs). The accelerator has affiliated offices and labs in Santa Monica, Petaluma, Playa Vista, Torrance and Pasadena, California and in Salt Lake City, Utah. Life science incubator/accelerator operations began in 2008 at the University of Northern California Science & Technology Innovation Center (UNC STIC) in Santa Rosa, California under Leonhardt Ventures (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures founded in 2005). In 2013 the organization was incorporated and moved its headquarters to Santa Monica, California and in 2017 expanded to Playa Vista, California where its primary headquarters are now.

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc.:

Founded in November 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah, just off the campus of the University of Utah, is an organ regeneration focused innovation and startup accelerator. The company has lab space at the USTAR BioInnovations Gateway Utah facility at 2500 S. State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah and employs 5 biomedical engineers and biologists at this time and has recruited a half dozen local Utah based advisors.

About Leonhardt Ventures (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures):

Founded in 1982 as a sole proprietorship is the patent holding vehicle and venture capital arm of inventor Howard J. Leonhardt (formed into Califiornia LLC in 2005). In the 1980’s Leonhardt patented and developed a market leading cardiovascular balloon catheter, in the 1990’s the leading stent graft system for endovascular aortic aneurysm repair and one of the first percutaneous heart valves and biological pacemakers. Since 2000 the focus has been on organ regeneration technologies with a combination of bioelectric signaling and repeat delivery of mixed stem cell + growth factor based compositions. More recently Leonhardt has added a strong estate of IP related to bioelectric cancer tumor treatment, real time inflammation and blood pressure management as well as a “brain saving helmet” designed for cerebral stroke patients. Leonhardt has over 21 U.S. Patents with over 100 issued patent claims and dozens more pending. Leonhardt inventions have been used to treat more than 400,000 patients to date.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements in this press release regarding the efficacy, safety, and intended utilization of Leonhardt’s Launchpads product candidates; the conduct, size, timing and results of discovery efforts and clinical trials; scope, duration, validity and enforceability of intellectual property rights; plans regarding regulatory filings, future research and clinical trials; plans regarding current and future collaborative activities and the ownership of commercial rights; future royalty streams, and any other statements about Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. DBA Leonhardt’s Launchpads, Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures, or Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. management team’s future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans or prospects constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact (including statements containing the words “believes,” “plans,” “could,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. More information about these and other risks that may impact our business are set forth in our 506D part C Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. private placement memorandum originally filed in 2013 and updated via our Annual Reports. All forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to us as of the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Web Site:

Leonhardt Ventures www.leonhardtventures.com – this site includes links to all portfolio startup individual web sites.


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Saving, What’s That? Proven Tips to Help Cash-Strapped Young People Start the Saving Habit in 2018

Are you tired of being bad with money? Start the new year off on the right financial footing with these cash-saving tips from Eric Tyson, MBA.

Press Release – Hoboken, NJ (December 2017)—As the new year approaches, people are excitedly planning their goals for the future. But cash-strapped young people may not be in the mood for celebrating or making resolutions as many of them face student-loan debt, work in jobs that pay them less than they hoped, and worry about achieving financial stability in a highly competitive global economy. Financial expert and best-selling author Eric Tyson says there are powerful steps younger people can take right now to make the most of their money and save up for a brighter future. In fact, he says adopting a savings mindset could be the most important New Year’s resolution of all!

“Where and how you spend your money is of course a matter of personal choice,” says Tyson, author of Personal Finance in Your 20s & 30s For Dummies® (Wiley, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-119-43141-1, $19.99). “But if you can resolve to make smart choices now, there’s no reason you can’t build better financial security for yourself in both the short and long term. The new year is the perfect time to improve your spending habits and start saving to prepare for the kind of future you want.”

According to Tyson, a savings mindset involves getting the most from your spending while also spending less money in general. It also means living within your means, sticking to a budget, and saving as much as you can.

“You can get into the habit of saving even when your income is low,” adds Tyson. “Even if you can set aside just $10 or $20 every paycheck, you’re on the right road. And the good news is, even if you haven’t been an exemplary saver so far, it’s not too late to start—especially when you’re young and time is on your side.”

Are you ready to start the new year off right by adopting a savings mindset? Keep reading for proven tips and tricks that will add up to big savings in the future.

Save on Your Housing Costs

Consider living with roommates or family. When you’re younger and free of dependents, living in a low-cost fashion is much easier than it is later in life. The best route is to live with roommates. Living solo is a pricey luxury most younger people can’t afford. But sharing a rental lowers your per-person costs and may even brighten your social life. Another option is living with relatives. Just be sure to talk it through with everyone in the household first to set expectations, raise concerns, and establish costs and rental agreements.

Choose a low-cost rental. You may currently be living beyond your means. If you’ve allowed your champagne tastes to exceed your beer budget, consider completing your current lease and moving to a rental that costs less. The less you’re spending each month, the more you can save toward buying your own place. Just remember to factor in all the costs of moving to and living in a new rental.

Negotiate your rental increases. Some landlords increase their tenants’ rent no matter how good the tenant and regardless of the state of the economy. If your local economy is weak and the rental market is soft or your living quarters are deteriorating, negotiate with your landlord. You have more leverage and power than you probably realize. Landlords don’t want to lose good tenants who pay rent on time, and filling vacancies takes time and money. Craft a polite note or pay a personal visit to make your case.

Cut your utility bills. Whether you own or rent, try to keep utility costs low. (Landlords factor your energy consumption into future rental hike decisions.) Adjust your thermostat and wear layers in the winter, and keep your home warmer during summer months. If you own, try to beef up your property’s insulation. And if you pay for garbage service, recycle as much as possible.

Keep Insurance Costs Down

Use high deductibles. The deductible is the amount that must come out of your pocket before your coverage kicks in on any kind of insurance. They greatly help you lower your premiums (unless you have a lot of claims, in which case you won’t come out ahead using this method).

Take care of your health. “Exercise at least a few times per week and eat healthfully,” says Tyson. “Lose and keep off that extra weight if you’re now overweight. You get only one body and one life to take care of it.”

Manage Healthcare Expenses

Shop around for the best insurance and healthcare. Many different plan designs are available with a wide variation in costs. Also, remember medical providers have a profit motive, so they may recommend something that isn’t your best option, including extra testing that you may not need or benefit from. Always get a second opinion for any major surgery.

Kick your addictions. Smoking, alcohol, drugs, and gambling can cost you financially and emotionally. Be honest with yourself about the damage these habits are causing and quit today.

Cut Your Taxes

Contribute to a retirement plan. Tucking away money in employer-based retirement plans, such as 401(k) or 403(b) accounts, or self-employed retirement plans is a great way to exclude money from your taxable income. It also helps you build a nest egg so you don’t have to work for the rest of your life.

Use a health savings account. You can reduce your taxable income and sock away money for future healthcare expenses by taking advantage of a health savings account (HSA). In fact, HSAs can offer superior tax savings versus retirement accounts because in addition to providing upfront tax breaks on contributions and tax-free accumulation of investment earnings, you can also withdraw money from HSAs tax-free so long as the money is used for healthcare costs. No other retirement accounts offer this triple tax-free benefit.

Reduce the amount of sales tax you pay. “Remember that part of a savings mentality is choosing to spend less so you can save more,” says Tyson. “When you buy most consumer products, you pay sales tax. Therefore, if you spend less money and save it in a retirement account instead, you end up reducing both your income taxes and sales taxes.”

Increase your deductions. The IRS allows two methods for determining your total deduction and allows you to select the method that leads to greater deductions and lower taxes. The standard deduction is appropriate for those with relatively simple financial lives. The itemized deduction makes more sense for those who earn a high income, own their own home, and/or have unusually large expenses from medical bills and charitable contributions. Make sure you are choosing the method that benefits you the most.

Reduce Your Food Costs

Learn to cook. If you don’t already know how to cook, learn now. Eating three meals a day adds up to over 1,000 meals a year. Cook in large quantities and freeze leftovers for later.

Consider store brands. Name-brand companies spend a lot on advertising, which the consumer pays for in higher prices. You can save a considerable amount of money by buying the store brand (like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value), which is usually the same quality product at a lower price.

Buy in bulk. Wholesale superstores like Costco and Sam’s Club help you save by buying most items in larger sizes. As a further advantage, this requires fewer shopping trips and saves you in money for gasoline.

Kick the bottled water habit. Save hundreds of dollars annually and drink cleaner water by installing a water filtration system at home and improving your tap or well water.

Brown bag your lunch. Eating out daily racks up a lot of expense over time. Pack your lunch instead, saving dining out for special occasions.

Trim Transportation Expenses

Take public transit or ride a bike. Choose to live in an area that offers reliable public transportation, such as a subway or bus system. You can often purchase monthly passes at a reasonable rate. During the warmer months, use your bike to get from place to place.

Buy your car in cash. Tyson says spending money on cars is one of the leading causes of overspending and undersaving. The main reason people spend more than they can afford on a car is that they finance the purchase. When buying a car, choose one you can afford and pay in cash. For many, this means buying a good-quality used car.

Reduce Your Fashion Budget

Stop chasing the trends. “You don’t need to buy lots of new clothes every year,” says Tyson. “In fact, if your clothes aren’t lasting ten years, you’re probably tossing them before their time or buying clothing that isn’t very durable. Stick to the classics—they never go out of style.”

Buy gently used fashion. Check out consignment shops, vintage shops, or online for good bargains on pieces that have been previously owned.

Minimize accessories. How many shoes, jewelry items, and handbags do you really need? Chances are, very few. Don’t spend on accessories you won’t use and save your money instead.

Relax and Save

Don’t equate spending money with having fun. Cultivate some interests and hobbies that are free or low cost, like visiting with friends, hiking, reading, and playing sports.

Take vacations you can really afford. Take shorter vacations that are close to home and don’t borrow on credit cards to finance your trips. Or take a staycation and visit sites in your local area. For longer-distance travel, go during the off-season and off-peak times and days for airfare and hotel deals.

“You can create a better financial picture for yourself sooner and easier than you think,” concludes Tyson. “The new year is the perfect time to get started—because no matter your age and stage in life, now is always the perfect time to do all you can to ensure a better financial future.”


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Carfilzomib Can Lead to Cardiovascular Toxicity in Multiple Myeloma Patients

Penn study finds proteasome inhibitor leads to higher than expected rates of cardiovascular adverse events

Press Release – PHILADELPHIA – The proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib has taken on an increasing role in the treatment of multiple myeloma, but new research from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania shows the therapy comes with the risk of cardiovascular problems in a higher than expected percentage of patients. An analysis of past studies shows 18 percent of multiple myeloma patients receiving carfilzomib experience cardiovascular adverse events (CVAE) such as hypertension, heart failure, heart attacks, or arrhythmia. More than eight percent of patients experience high-grade CVAEs that are more severe, which is more than twice as common as with other drugs for treating relapsed myeloma. Researchers published their findings today in JAMA Oncology.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a bone marrow cancer that affects plasma cells. Normal plasma cells work as part of the immune system, but in MM these cells become cancerous and grow out of control, leading to multiple painful bone tumors, as well as anemia, kidney failure, and recurrent infections. The American Cancer Society estimates there were more than 30,200 new cases of MM in 2017. Standard treatments include chemotherapy and radiation. Survival of these patients has improved with the use of proteasome inhibitors.

Carfilzomib is one of three proteasome inhibitors currently approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Proteasomes are essentially garbage workers that break down and eliminate proteins inside a cell. Diseases that require more protein turnover to survive, like MM, need more proteasomes. The inhibitor drugs block them from doing their job, causing the cells to fill up with protein and die.

“Like any cancer therapy, the concern with this approach is that it may have an effect on an otherwise healthy part of the body – in this case, the heart,” said the study’s lead author Adam J. Waxman, MD, a Hematology Oncology fellow in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Brendan M. Weiss, MD, an adjunct professor of Hematology Oncology at Penn, is the study’s senior author. Weiss also works in research and development at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, which does not manufacture or support any of the drugs involved in this analysis.

Researchers gathered data from 24 studies reported from 2007 through 2017, which included information on 2,594 MM patients. They found 18.1 percent of patients who took carfilzomib experienced CVAE, with 8.2 percent of those cases being grade three or higher, meaning they are categorized as severe. For comparison, a similar review of bortezomib, another proteasome inhibitor, found just 3.8 percent of patients experienced CVAE and only 2.3 percent were severe.

The most common CVAEs were hypertension (12.2 percent) and heart failure (4.1 percent). Arrhythmias (2.4 percent) and ischemic events (1.8) – in which there isn’t enough blood flow to the heart leading to the death of heart muscle – were observed less commonly.

Researchers also found that higher doses of carfilzomib are associated with higher rates of CVAE, and that carfilzomib was associated with an elevated risk of CVAE compared to control groups who did not receive carfilzomib.

“Taken together, these findings argue that carfilzomib is responsible for an elevated risk, and anyone who is treating patients with this drug needs to be aware that this is a common event,” Waxman said.

Researchers say these findings are particularly important since there are already overlapping risk factors for both MM and cardiovascular disease, such as older age and obesity. Previous studies have shown nearly two-thirds of MM patients had cardiovascular disease at baseline, and 70 percent experienced cardiovascular events within six years.

“Clinicians should be paying attention to who may be at highest risk for these events so they can tailor their therapy accordingly,” Waxman said.

Researchers also called for further clinical trials to specifically evaluate this connection, arguing that it may be underrepresented by current data.

“If you’re not specifically looking for this, you might report it differently,” Waxman said.

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (T32-GM075766).


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Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation Announces Inaugural Slate Of President’s Advisory Council

Press Release – Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF), headquartered in New York City, today announced the inaugural slate of President’s Advisory Council (PAC) members. The Council members represent a diversity of backgrounds from business, medicine, politics, finance and nonprofits, among others. Each member brings extraordinary experience and expertise to the table. All provide counsel to Dr. Gary D. Jaworski, CBTF’s new president, as he advances the mission and reach of the foundation around the country and globally.

PAC inaugural members are Stuart Essig, Chairman of the Board of IntegraLifeSciences Holdings Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of Codman neurosurgical care products, and orthopedics and tissue technologies; Dr. Heidi Horsley, Executive Director for the Open to Hope Foundation, adjunct professor at Columbia University, and board member of The Compassionate Friends; Ginny Shulman, board member, Jenna’s Rainbow Foundation, a nonprofit that supports special projects aimed toward critically ill children and their families; Joe Sestak, retired Rear Admiral in the United States Navy and former congressman from Pennsylvania (D); and Susan L. Weiner, Ph.D., a national advocate for children with brain tumors who was CBTF’s first Executive Director and is the founder of Children’s Cause for Cancer Advocacy and the Mary McDowell Friends School.

“We are pleased and fortunate to have such a strong and diverse group of advisors in our inaugural slate,” said Jaworski. “The PAC will help provide thought leadership as CBTF redoubles our efforts to expand awareness of pediatric brain tumors, advance scientific research aimed at a cure, and provide best-in-class quality of life programs to survivors and families.”

About Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation

Established in 1988, Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation (CBTF) aims to improve the quality of life for pediatric brain tumor patients and their families through research, information, programs and advocacy. CBTF is the founding funder of the Children’s Brain Tumor Tissue Consortium and has provided over $10 million to the best doctors, researchers and institutions leading the charge toward the cure for childhood brain tumors and nearly $1 million for professional training and clinical fellowships in the field of pediatric neuro-oncology. CBTF is the only national organization to provide quality-of-life research and programs for all members of the family throughout the brain tumor continuum. CBTF has helped over 50,000 families through its Bereavement, Survivorship, Family 2 Family and Advocacy programs.

For more information, please visit www.cbtf.org.


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Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer Announces the Death of President and Founder Debbie Zelman

Press Release – PLANTATION, Fla., Dec. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) announced with heavy hearts that Debbie Zelman, visionary President and Founder of DDF, died at the age of 50 on December 23, 2017. Zelman led the organization since its inception in 2009 which has contributed more than $700,000 in research funds; advocated for increased federal funding that resulted in more than $18 million awarded to stomach cancer researchers by the Department of Defense; grown to 27 chapters worldwide including chapters in the United States, Canada, and Germany; and has made a difference in the lives of countless stomach cancer patients, caregivers, and their families.

Debbie’s courageous journey captured the hearts and attention of many prominent figures. In 2011, she was featured on an episode of the Dr. Oz Show about stomach cancer. In April 2017, New York Yankees Manager, Joe Girardi, spoke candidly during a pre-game press conference about Debbie’s miraculous journey with stomach cancer, after losing his sister-in-law to the disease a few years prior. Debbie worked closely with congressional members to raise awareness about stomach cancer and create change at state and federal levels. Stomach cancer patients, their caregivers, and their family members often credit Debbie’s story as the reason they’ve found hope and resources to help them navigate this deadly disease.

DDF Executive Director, Andrea Eidelman, made the following statement Saturday to the DDF Board of Directors and staff, “DDF has lost a courageous, inspirational leader and the world has lost an incredible human being. Debbie inspired us every day with her unparalleled strength and determination. No words can sufficiently express our sorrow about Debbie’s death. We lost our hero today and we will honor her memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work to which she was so passionately devoted.”

For more information about DDF, visit www.DebbiesDream.org, or call 954-475-1200. In lieu of flowers or condolence gifts, the family asks that donations be made to DDF. In addition, condolence messages can be shared at https://m.facebook.com/RememberingDebbieZelman.

About Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer

Debbie’s Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer (DDF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about stomach cancer, advancing funding for research, and providing education and support internationally to patients, families, and caregivers. Debbie’s Dream Foundation seeks as its ultimate goal to make the cure for stomach cancer a reality.

DDF was founded in 2009 by Debbie Zelman after she was diagnosed with stage IV incurable gastric cancer in 2008 and given only weeks to live. DDF now has a Scientific and Medical Advisory Board of world renowned doctors and chapters throughout the United States and in Canada and Germany. To learn more about DDF, please visit us at www.DebbiesDream.org.


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Partnership for A Healthier America Now Accepts Bitcoin Donations

Press Release – December 26, 2017 (Washington DC) At the Partnership for a Healthier America, we believe healthy innovation and market disruption are necessary to make nutritious food and safe play more accessible to American families. In fact, we believe that innovation is the foundation for the revolution to raise a healthier generation of children – and that working toward this common goal propels companies forward in today’s rapidly evolving marketplace. That’s why today PHA announced it has begun accepting Bitcoin donations: https://bitpay.com/949858/donate

“We’re making it part of our mission to drive and showcase innovation with the intent to accelerate change,” said Nancy E. Roman, PHA President and CEO. “Donating bitcoin directly to PHA is a win for donors and a win for the families and children across the country who are benefiting from access to better food and movement.”

“At PHA, our goal is that all children – especially those disproportionately affected – live at a healthier weight, growing up to be adults free from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with excess weight,” Roman said. “There is room for everyone in this country to be part of our movement. We encourage you to join with us.”

Donate to PHA here: https://bitpay.com/949858/donate

About PHA

PHA’s mission is to leverage the power of the private sector to bring lasting systemic changes that improve the food supply, increase healthy choices, increase physical activity and contribute to a culture of health. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with – but independent from – Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA identifies, accelerates and celebrates voluntary business practices that improve or increase choice or lead to new norms and behavior around food and physical activity. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.


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Connections Unbound: The Urban Land Institute’s Latest Annual Report Showcases the Impact of Members in Leading the Future of Global Urban Development

Press Release – WASHINGTON (December 21, 2017) – The successful efforts of the Urban Land Institute’s 40,000-plus members to lead the future of global urban development through the creation of vibrant, sustainable communities are documented in the Institute’s latest annual report, which showcases member impact during fiscal year 2017 (July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017).

The report illustrates ULI’s evolution into a member-centric organization that is committed to fully leveraging the expertise of its members to reinforce ULI’s brand as the world’s most influential authority on responsible land use and community building. The organization’s substantial reach is reflected in numerous achievements, including the launch of several tools to improve member engagement and enhance the member experience, as well as myriad results-oriented activities that demonstrate leadership in each of the regions in which the organization has a presence – the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific. ULI’s accomplishments in FY 2017 include:

  • An increase in global membership to more than 40,000 – the highest level achieved since the Great Recession, with membership increases in all regions;
  • More than 1,900 events in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific that reinforced ULI’s position as a global authority on land use and real estate, including major global and regional meetings collectively drawing more than 13,000 members;
  • A new program to recognize and leverage the substantial expertise of ULI’s most senior leaders by providing more opportunities to engage with the institute
  • The introduction of member-facing technology – Navigator, which matches member interests to volunteer opportunities; and a revamped Member Directory, which includes options for personalization and will strengthen member-to-member connections;
  • Steady growth of ULI’s Advisory Services Program, which in FY 2017 provided urban development recommendations on a broad variety of issues, from increasing affordable housing in Collier County, Florida to rethinking future development in Hong Kong;
  • The expansion in Europe of UrbanPlan — ULI’s high school and undergraduate planning and design course – to Germany, Poland and Ireland, following its highly successful launch in the UK;
  • Research from the Terwilliger Center for Housing on the impact of immigration on U.S. housing markets, and well as the evolution of America’s suburbs to meet the needs and preferences of people from different generations and income groups;
  • And, the launch of the Tenant Energy Optimization Program, which helps commercial building tenants reduce energy consumption and energy costs.

The report also features a new series of video dialogues that brings together five ULI global leaders with other established and emerging ULI leaders for intimate, candid conversations related to their involvement with ULI. ULI Global Chairman Thomas W. Toomey, ULI Americas Chairman Trish Healy, ULI Asia Pacific Chairman Dr. N.H. Seek, ULI Europe Chairman Jon H. Zehner, and Immediate Past ULI Global Chairman Randall K. Rowe are among the leaders discussing a wide range of issues, including the influence of ULI on their own career paths.

“Our annual report is a testament to the positive impact – on both ULI and our communities — that results from stronger member participation and leadership,” said ULI’s Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “FY 2017 marked the start of a new era of self-improvement and growth that will help ULI continue to attract the best and brightest for generations to come. We will continue this progress by always bearing in mind that ULI is its members.”

The report website is easy to navigate: The Leaders section contains the video dialogues; the Stories section shows how ULI fosters connections, champions innovation, and delivers impact; the Numbers section shows ULI’s progress through key data points; and the Supporters section recognizes the individuals and organizations who provide resources to advance ULI’s mission globally.

About the Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit uli.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


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WITH Association and Bpifrance to Spotlight Emerging Biotech Opportunities during J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

The rich global ecosystem of the biotechnology sector presents attractive investment opportunities

Press Release – PARIS, France — December 20, 2017 — The association of Women Innovating Together in Healthcare (WITH Association), an international organization of senior female biotech, medtech, and healthcare executives, and Bpifrance, the French public investment bank, are together putting a spotlight on leaders and emerging companies coming out of the booming French biotech sector at an event they will host during the 36th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. WITH and Bpifrance have co-organized Vive la Biotech 2018! to be held in San Francisco on Sunday, January 7, 2018. The event will be presented in collaboration with Sanofi.

The invitation-only event will feature two panel discussions looking at the importance of investment and the biotech ecosystem to the growth and success of emerging biotech companies and the medical innovations they produce with a focus on the French biotech landscape.

The global biotechnology market size was estimated at $369.62 billion in 2016[1], and is expected to reach $727.1 billion by 2025[2], according to Grand View Research. In France, there were approximately 400 biotechnology companies in 2015—about 50 of these were public and the total market cap combined approaching €5 billion[3]. During the first half of 2017, approximately €492 million was raised by French biotech and medtech companies[4].

Rafaèle Tordjman, MD, PhD, the Founder and Chairwoman of the WITH Association and a biotech venture capital expert with more than 16 years of experience, will introduce a fireside chat featuring Olivier Brandicourt, MD, and CEO of Sanofi, and Nicolas Dufourcq, CEO of Bpifrance. The conversation will be moderated by Karen Bernstein, Co-Founder and Chairman of BioCentury Inc.

“Biotechnology is a fast-growing industry, and innovations in the field are increasingly coming from both major and emerging companies. Therefore, we are very excited and honored to be co-hosting Vive la Biotech 2018! to shine a light on these companies, their contributions and the industry at large” said Dr. Tordjman. “The mission of W.I.T.H. is to enable accomplished female leaders from various backgrounds in the field to come together with the goal of developing innovative solutions for global healthcare issues, and this event is an excellent opportunity for our members to share information with industry giants and emerging leaders in the space.”

Mr. Dufourcq said: “Bpifrance is strongly involved in the development of a dynamic French biotechnology sector. We’re pleased to emphasize the attractiveness of this ecosystem and to have this opportunity to illustrate the significance of female leadership in this industry. This event allows us to highlight the achievements of the emerging companies participating in the event, exemplifying our broad strategy to help similar biotech companies access capital and expand their businesses.”

Attendees will also hear from other successful leaders in the field with excellent track records from a variety of companies, including Citigroup, U.S. venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, Roche Partnering, DBV Technologies and Lysogene. Vive la Biotech 2018! is sponsored by global law firm Dechert LLP and BioCentury, among many others.

About WITH:

Founded in 2010, the WITH Association (Women Innovating Together in Healthcare) is an international organization of senior female biotech, medtech, and healthcare executives from across the entire healthcare value chain—industry, medicine, research, charity and finance. WITH members representing the European Union, North America, Asia and Brazil all share a deep knowledge of the life sciences and an admirable records of high achievement in their respective fields. The organization inspires and supports the growth of participating individuals and the network as a whole, and was established on the values of openness, collaboration, creativity, generosity, and commitment. Founded and chaired by Rafaèle Tordjman, a 16-year venture capitalist with an impeccable track record in the life sciences industry, WITH aims to support industry growth from within by connecting leading executives to support the delivery of innovative healthcare solutions for the benefit of patients globally. For more information, visit http://with-association.com/.

About Bpifrance:

Bpifrance, a subsidiary of the French state and the Caisse des Dépôts and the entrepreneurs’ trusted partner, finances businesses from the seed phase to IPO, through loans, guarantees and equity investments. Bpifrance also provides operational services and strong support for innovation, export, and external growth in partnership with Business France. Bpifrance offers to businesses a large range of financing opportunities at each key step of their development, including offers adapted to regional specificities. With its 48 regional offices (90% of decisions are made locally) Bpifrance represents a strategic tool for economic competitiveness dedicated to entrepreneurs. Bpifrance acts as a back-up for initiatives driven by the French State and the Regions to tackle 3 goals:

  • Contributing to SME’s growth
  • Preparing tomorrow’s competitiveness
  • Contributing to the development of a positive entrepreneur ecosystem.

With Bpifrance, businesses benefit from a powerful, efficient and close representative, to answer all their needs in terms of financing, innovation and investment.

More info: @ www.bpifrance.fr – Follow us: @bpifrance@BpifrancePresse

[1] http://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/biotechnology-market

[2] http://www.grandviewresearch.com/press-release/global-biotechnology-market

[3] https://labiotech.eu/what-is-the-landscape-of-biotech-industry-in-france/

[4] http://www.france-biotech.fr/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Financing-S1_2017.pdf


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Finance for Forests Shows Promise for Countries to Reach Climate Goals, Needs to Grow

Press Release – Washington, DC | 20 December 2017 | Many of the 195 countries who signed the historical Paris Agreement in 2015 look to forests as tools for achieving their climate goals because of forests’ potential to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Policies that stop deforestation and encourage replanting practices could contribute over one-third of the total emissions reductions countries need to achieve by 2030. But to play their part successfully, forests need to be more valuable standing than cleared.

Putting a price on the carbon stored within forests is an important step in this context and key to financing sustainable forests. Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace recently released the latest report in a series that looks at how much money goes towards carbon storage in forests through carbon offsets. The report examines where such finance currently goes (which countries, which types of projects), and why – providing details around what facilitates forest carbon transactions, and identifying supply and demand trends.

For 2016, the report found that:

  • More governments are beginning to finance forests by including forest carbon in their compliance markets or by encouraging citizens to protect forests by creating domestic voluntary markets. In 2016, we tracked seven markets in development that have indicated they will include forest carbon, and 18 voluntary or compliance forest carbon markets already in operation. As more countries seek to meet their climate goals through the creation of carbon markets, these operational and upcoming markets can provide a template for including forest carbon.
  • In voluntary markets, where participants purchase offsets for public relations or personal reasons, retirement volumes were the second-highest ever. “Retired” offsets represent emissions reductions permanently removed from trading and greenhouse gases that were effectively offset.
    They are indicative of the actual market demand.
  • Many buyers are attracted to forest carbon offsets because they provide benefits other than maintaining forests, such as improving access to clean water and preserving habitat of endangered species. These benefits mattered to the buyers of almost all (92%) offsets sold in 2016.
  • Public finance for tropical forests has the potential to dramatically increase in 2018. In 2017 the Green Climate Fund pledged $500M to pay Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programs and the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility pledged up to $686M to pay for country REDD+ programs. However, these payments are contingent on more REDD+ programs becoming operational.

“Despite commendable progress towards protecting forests, carbon finance is still dwarfed by investments in the drivers of deforestation, like infrastructure development and agriculture,” says Kelley Hamrick, Senior Associate at Forest Trends’ Ecosystem Marketplace and lead author of the report. “To bring forest carbon finance to scale, more carbon pricing systems need to include forest and land-use carbon and forest conservation, and restoration needs to occur at larger scales. For the latter, REDD+ programs are particularly effective because they have potential to halt deforestation across entire jurisdictions or countries, and many are almost operational. The groundwork has been laid, now it is time to forge ahead.”


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Seva Selected as One of 11 “Best Bets” by Center for High Impact Philanthropy

Selected from 1,900 Applicants to MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change Competition

Press Release – BERKELEY, CA, December 20 – Officials at Seva announced today that the organization has been named a “Best Bet” from the pool of top applicants to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. Best Bets were selected by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy based on their ability to offer high-impact philanthropic solutions to some of today’s most critical issues. Seva works with communities to develop self-sustaining eye care programs around the world. Now on the brink of its 40th year of service, Seva has restored sight to 4 million people worldwide.

The new 100&Change competition awarded $100 million to a single winning initiative that tackles a critical challenge in the world. The MacArthur Foundation announced today that the winner of the competition was a joint project by Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee.

“We also wanted to spotlight some of the worthy ideas that were not selected as 100&Change semifinalists,” explained Dr. Cecilia Conrad, Managing Director of MacArthur Fellows & 100&Change for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. “Our hope was that other donors might support these projects and the organizations behind them.”

From the top 200 entrants to this competition that were not among the eight semi-finalists, the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High-Impact Philanthropy selected 11 organizations and initiatives, including Seva, for its Best Bets list. This list is intended to serve as an actionable public resource for philanthropists and donors at every level, to drive high-impact giving.

“Eighty-one applications stood out for the clarity of their social impact goal and the logic of their proposed solution. From this list, a panel of CHIP senior staff, analysts, fellows, and experienced funders—with expertise ranging from community development to public health, education to impact investing—identified 11 projects that it felt had the greatest potential for impact,” added Katherina M. Rosqueta, Founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. “These 11 are our ‘Best Bets’ suggestions for you.”

Seva Transforms Lives by Restoring Sight

Today 285 million people are affected by visual impairment; of those, 36 million are blind. 75% of these impairments can be solved with relatively simple, cost-effective interventions. For example, something as simple as a pair of prescription glasses can keep a child in school, opening a lifetime of opportunity. A 15-minute, $50 cataract surgery can restore sight to a blind person, allowing them to go back to work to support their family rather than being a burden. But geographic, financial, educational and social obstacles in low- and middle-income nations prevent many people from receiving treatment.

“Resolving vision problems is one of the most effective ways to combat poverty and expand opportunity,” said Kate Moynihan, Executive Director of Seva. “Being selected as one of the ‘best bets’ from this prestigious competition affirms the approach we have taken over 40 years to provide quality eye care and build capacity to expand access to eye health services to people in developing areas.”

Seva partners with organizations in underserved communities around the world to restore sight and prevent blindness. Working in a consortium with Seva Canada and the two largest providers of vision care in developing countries, Aravind Eye Care System and LV Prasad Eye Institute, one of Seva’s main efforts is to establish community-based Vision Centers (VCs) in rural and underserved communities. Equipped with modern technology and staffed by trained, local eye technicians, these VCs provide eye exams, prescription glasses, eye health diagnoses, and referrals for those in need of further interventions such as cataract surgery.

Vision Centers are a tested and proven solution to the problem of untreated vision impairment and blindness. For the 100&Change competition, Seva and the consortium proposed scaling up the VC model eight-fold to establish 2000 to 2300 VCs and reach 175 to 200 million people. Though they did not win the competition, Seva and its consortium partners continue their work to establish VCs and train community-based health workers. Their goal is to reach a tipping point and scale up to bring sustainable eye care to one billion of the world’s poorest residents.

About Seva (www.seva.org)

Seva is a global nonprofit eye care organization that transforms lives by restoring sight and preventing blindness. Their programs build self-sustaining eye clinics that provide critical eye care to underserved communities, especially women, children, and indigenous communities. An estimated 253 million people in the world suffer with visual impairment and blindness, 75% of which can be prevented or cured. In more than 20 countries, Seva has helped 4 million people who were blind to regain their sight and provided eyeglasses and other sight-saving services to tens of millions of people in need.

About the Center for High Impact Philanthropy (www.impact.upenn.edu)

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) at the University of Pennsylvania is the only university-based center with a singular focus on philanthropy for social impact. Founded as a collaboration between the School of Social Policy & Practice and alumni of the Wharton School, it is a trusted source of knowledge and education to help donors around the world do more good.


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