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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

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Leonhardt Startup CancerCell Expands IP Estate for Bioelectric Treatment of Cancer Tumors

First bioelectric cancer tumor therapy designed for early detection, personalized real time reading, customized communication jamming, stopping cell division, starving blood supply, changing surface protein expression to trigger immunotherapy, customized real time inflammation management and then regenerating the affected organ after cancer tumor is eradicated

Press Release – Playa Vista, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah / PRBUZZ / October 19th, 2017 / CancerCell a startup incubating within the Leonhardt’s Launchpads innovation accelerator labs in California and Utah has announced it has filed new provisional patent application claims for bioelectric cancer tumor treatment. These claims include:

  1. Bioelectric signals to provide early detection of cancer tumors.
  2. Bioelectric signal to read real time the communication signals and protein expressions of a cancer tumor.
  3. Delivery of customized bioelectric signals real time to jam the ability of a cancer tumor to communicate.
  4. Delivery of a sequence of bioelectric signals to stop uncontrolled cell division.
  5. Delivery of a sequence of bioelectric signals to starve a cancer tumor of blood supply.
  6. Delivery of a sequence of bioelectric signals to change the surface protein expressions of a cancer tumor to that the body attacks it – immunotherapy.
  7. Reading real time and adjusting real time bioelectric signals to manage inflammation.
  8. After cancer tumor has been eradicated from organ a sequence of bioelectric signals to regenerate that organ back to full health and function which includes stem cell homing, controlled proliferation, differentiation and blood vessel sprouting, growth and maturation expression proteins.

“We are delighted to expand the intellectual property around our CancerCell bioelectric therapy designed for destroying cancer tumors and regenerating organs. We have hope that bioelectric cancer therapies can be more effective and less toxic than traditional chemo and radiation therapy protocols. We believe we are the only bioelectric therapy that delivers multiple modalities of treatment to fight the nemesis of cancer tumor growth. We are the only combination therapy known to address eradication of the cancer but also regeneration of the organ following cancer treatment.” stated Howard J. Leonhardt, lead inventor and Executive Chairman & CEO of CancerCell and Leonhardt’s Launchpads.

“Our team at the Pacific NeuroSciences Institute and the John Wayne Cancer Institute is delighted to have the opportunity to be the first site given the opportunity to study via translational research this unique multi-modality bioelectric therapy for cancer treatment and patient recovery. We look forward to sharing study results soon.” Stated Dr. Santosh Kesari, Dr. Santosh Kesari is a board-certified neurologist and neuro-oncologist and is currently Chair and Professor, Department of Translational Neuro-oncology and Neurotherapeutics, John Wayne Cancer Institute. He is also Director of Neuro-oncology, Providence Saint John’s Health Center and leads the Pacific Neuroscience Research Center at Pacific Neuroscience Institute.

CancerCell announced earlier this year an exclusive option to exclusive license with Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC that covered multiple related patents – – including these issued patent claims…


  1. A method of treating cancer by causing apoptosis, wherein said cancer is one of a known species of malignant cells, comprising:
    creating a confounding electrical signal with respect to said cancer, wherein said confounding electrical signal is applicable to said cancer to cause apoptosis in which said confounding electrical signal is selected from a database of confounding electrical signals; andapplying said confounding signal to said cancer to cause said apoptosis.
  2. The method according to claim 1, wherein creating said confounding electrical signal with respect to said cancer further comprises:
    determining a resident electrical signal found in a specie of said cancer, and modifying the resident electrical signal to form said confounding electrical signal.
  3. A method of treating cancer by causing apoptosis, said method comprising:
    modifying a resident electrical signal found in a cancer to form a confounding electrical signal, and applying the confounding electrical signal to the cancer to cause apoptosis.
  4. A system for treating cancer by causing apoptosis, said system comprising a first probe for determining a resident electrical signal found in a species of cancer, a computer system comprising: i. a processor for modifying each resident electrical signal to form at least one confounding electrical signal unique to each resident electrical signal, and ii. a data storage for all confounding electrical signals, and a second probe for applying a selected one of the confounding electrical signals to the cancer.

“In the past 24 months two major studies have been published confirming the safety and efficacy of bioelectric therapies for cancer treatment by other groups. One was focused on the single modality of jamming the communication ability of aggressive brain tumors and the other on one bioelectric signal sequence to change the surface protein expressions of skin cancer tumors. Those results have excited the entire research area but in our view fall short of a full comprehensive solution. Other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of bioelectric signals in curbing inflammation. Our CancerCell therapy is the only one known to date with eight modalities to fight cancer tumor growth and promote organ regeneration and recovery. We look forward to completing well controlled studies to prove this out over time.” states Dr. Leslie Miller, Chief Medical Officer, Leonhardt’s Launchpads

“The late Eleanor Schuler taught us that the cancer tumor of January is not the cancer tumor of April and in order to be effective in treating cancer the therapy has to change real time with the tumor changes. Our CancerCell bioelectric therapy is the only one we know of that is designed to do just this.” stated further Howard J. Leonhardt, Executive Chairman and CEO.

About CancerCell: CancerCell is pioneering the field of bioelectric therapies for cancer detection, treatment and recovery. CancerCell has developed a portfolio of unique solutions for oncologists and other specialists designed to hopefully help them deliver better care to their patients. The team announced earlier this year the exclusive option license for a series of bioelectric read and write bioelectric cancer treatment patents from inventor Eleanor Schuler and Neuro Code Tech Holdings LLC – ; CancerCell is incubating in the Leonhardt’s Launchpads accelerators in California and Utah. See web site with VIDEO >

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads:

Founded by Leonhardt Ventures in 2008 Leonhardt’s Launchpads focuses on launching startups focused on Regenerative Medtech and Regenerative Economy innovations. 30 startups currently are within the Leonhardt’s Launchpads accelerators at four locations in Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Petaluma in California and Salt Lake City, Utah. Leonhardt’s Launchpads’ majority of startups are all based on Leonhardt Ventures’ patented technology platform of bioelectric stimulator and when needed also a micro infusion pump re-filled daily or weekly with a fifteen component mixed stem cell + growth factors organ regeneration composition. Leonhardt’s Launchpads accelerators are operated by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. a California C corporation majority owned by Leonhardt Ventures (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures). Leonhardt’s Launchpads Utah, Inc. is a stand alone C corporation in Salt Lake City, Utah – The business model of Leonhardt’s Launchpads is to advance startups through to first-in-man clinical data and then seek out a strategic specific organ focused partner.

About Leonhardt Ventures:

Founded in 1982 by inventor Howard J. Leonhardt – has led the development of a number of leading organ regeneration and recovery products including the world’s leading stent graft system for aortic aneurysm repair. Over 500,000 patients to date have been treated with Leonhardt inventions. See for more information including links to web sites of all our startups. Registered as Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures since 2005. See web site Click here for Leonhardt’s Ventures 2017 Annual Report >

Cautionary Statement: Leonhardt’s Launchpads and Leonhardt Ventures specialize in early stage development of organ regeneration and recovery technologies with a very small staff and very small budget compared to competitors in the sector. The technologies are brand new and are unproven for safety and efficacy. By nature of this specialization the investment risk is very high and is not meant for “nest egg” savings and is reserved only for sophisticated accredited investors with experience in these type of investments. Some statements may be forward looking and information may change. Information on linked web sites may be outdated and is prone to errors due to the small staff and budget to maintain their accuracy and updates. All of our patents are subject to upkeep with maintenance fees. All of our agreements with third parties are subject to conditions that must be met to keep them active and valid. If you have any questions requiring clarification of any information or updated information please contact us at the below email addresses or phone voice mail.

Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer:

Various statements in this release, including, but not limited to statements relating to monetizing its intellectual property, expanding its distribution network, and growing commercial interest internationally constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc. most recently filed Annual Report and Private Placement Memorandum under 506D Part C In addition, any forward-looking statements represent CancerCell and Leonhardt’s Launchpads’s views only as of the date of this release and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Leonhardt’s Launchpads by Cal-X Stars Business Accelerator, Inc, Leonhardt Ventures and CancerCell, do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements unless required by law.

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African Multinationals Join Forces Within The AfroChampions Club To Foster Africa’s Growth And Development

Dangote Group CEO Aliko Dangote, President Thabo Mbeki and President Olusegun Obasanjo organised a successful inaugural meeting in Lagos, which brought together CEOs from 13 African countries

Press Release – Lagos, October 19, 2017 – The AfroChampions Initiative has just taken a new step with the official creation of the AfroChampions Club, a new platform to mobilise African multinationals to accelerate the economic integration of the continent. At the invitation of Mr. Aliko Dangote, Founder and CEO of the Dangote Group and President of the Club, key business leaders, representing a total of 13 African countries, met in Lagos to attend the inaugural meeting. High-level personalities, including His Excellency Mr. Yemi Obasinjo, Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Republic of South Africa and President of the AfroChampions Initiative, and His Excellency Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Patron of the initiative, also joined the event.

Participants at the inaugural meeting have launched two workstreams. The first one focused on gathering recommendations from various African multinationals on best approaches to achieve the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). These recommendations will be shared officially with the African Union, which was represented at the meeting by His Excellency Mr. Albert Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry. Discussions focused on visa waivers and trade facilitation between African states. The second workstream focused on drafting an AfroChampions Charter aimed at defining how African multinationals can best contribute to the development of the continent. By working with the local ecosystems, supporting infrastructure projects, fostering industrialization or helping populations enter the digital era, African economic champions can indeed play a strategic role.

“We have chosen to work on issues of interest to all Africans. The African Free Trade Area will give us the ability to travel and work easily across the continent; it will also foster the creation of regional value chains, integrating SMEs and building capacities in our countries”, said Aliko Dangote. “As for the AfroChampions Charter, it is a commitment by African multinationals to invest more and better in Africa in those projects with strong economic and social impacts. Our primary responsibility is to give our youth jobs and a future. I was very pleased to hear the consensus on this issue and I expect the Charter to be signed by many of my fellow CEOs in the near future,” he added.

A member of the Executive Committee of the AfroChampions Initiative, Edem Adzogenu highlighted the quality of the discussions at this inaugural meeting. “We talked about the role that African multinationals can have as ambassadors of the continent and its talents, and ways to work better with the public sector. This new dynamic of dialogue is precisely what we want to put in place.” A progress report on the work of the AfroChampions Club is planned for the next African Union summit in January 2018.

The emergence and cross-border activities of homegrown African multinationals have contributed significantly to regional integration through intra-Africa investments and regional value-chains. The AfroChampions Initiative is designed to support and harness the emergence of these champion companies for Africa’s transformation. It also aims at facilitating strategic engagements on how these companies can grow from pan-African champions to African global giants.

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SolarNow Receives $6 Million Syndicated Off-Grid Solar Financing Facility

Leading off-grid solar company SolarNow and investors SunFunder, Oikocredit and responsAbility Investments announce a new syndicated receivables financing facility amounting to $6 million. Structured as a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle, the facility will enable SolarNow to deploy solar home systems to a broad section of Uganda’s off-grid population by offering credit to end users.

Press Release – The $6 million facility is SolarNow’s second structured asset finance instrument, known a s SAFI, arranged by SunFunder. SAFI is a bankruptcy-remote special purpose vehicle designed for solar companies deploying systems through pay-as-you-go and solar leasing models in developing countries. It enables them to expand their offerings and reach more people living without access to energy.

The syndication was led by SunFunder, with each lender providing $2 million to the facility. While it is SolarNow’s second SAFI transaction, it represents the first syndicated SAFI in the market. SunFunder, acting as the Arranger, Lender and Facility Agent, arranged the $6 million facility with social investor Oikocredit and an energy fund focusing on energy access and managed by responsAbility Investments as co-investors.

SolarNow and SunFunder have now completed five transactions together, tracking the growth of the sector itself from humble origins to larger and increasingly sophisticated deployments.

Willem Nolens, SolarNow CEO, says, “We are thrilled to continue building our fruitful relationship with SunFunder. So far, it has allowed us to focus entirely on our growth and profitability reaching more than 25,000 clients. This new step of our partnership will enable us to continue tackling the massive unmet market opportunity in East Africa of providing affordable energy to millions of off-grid households, and to reach 70% of Uganda’s off-grid population with solar home systems.”

Ryan Levinson, SunFunder CEO, says, “Our customers need more scalable, less time-consuming financing options so they can focus on their core business delivering solar energy. By leading syndications, SunFunder offers solar companies larger ticket size loans with less hassle. We are delighted to build on our long-standing relationship with SolarNow and bring in additional investors.”

Speaking on behalf of responsability, Stefan Issler, Head Direct Investments, Energy Debt Financing, underlines: “Access to energy is a core topic when it comes to developing economies. By channeling financing to companies like SolarNow, we actively develop markets and infrastructure, thereby addressing the basic needs of broad sections of the population.”

Maite Pina, Investment Officer at Oikocredit, says, “With this securitization Oiko credit demonstrates its commitment to supporting SolarNow and off-grid solar in the long-term. We see SolarNow as a company that prioritises its customers in order to meet their needs with the right solar products and services. It is also important to us that SolarNow aims to contribute towards Uganda’s development and economy.”

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Bonnaroo Works Fund Supports Regional And National Organizations With $225,000 In Grant Funding

Charitable Component of Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival Names More than 30 Recipients of 2017 Grants; 26 in Tennessee

Press Release – NASHVILLE, Tenn.Bonnaroo Works Fund (BWF), the charitable arm of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, has announced its annual grant distributions of more than $225,000 to over 30 philanthropic organizations with an emphasis on Tennessee-based nonprofits.

“This year’s Bonnaroo Works Fund recipients are vital organizations, projects, programs and events that make communities stronger and healthier,” said Nina Miller, BWF executive director. “It’s extremely gratifying to help these amazing organizations continue their invaluable contributions.”

The Bonnaroo Works Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that supports organizations that advance the arts, education and environmental sustainability, with a focus on local reinvestment and asset building in the communities where “we work, live and play.” Since the inception of the festival, Bonnaroo and the BWF have awarded more than $7 million in funding to deserving organizations. (The full list of 2017 recipients is included below.)

The impact of the BWF can be seen through a number of ongoing programs and projects. This year marks the fifth year of Arts at the Airport, a joint public arts effort with the Nashville International Airport. Five proposals were selected from dozens of applicants, and the resulting installations, revealed in March, have been enjoyed by millions of travelers and will continue to be on display until early 2018. The Bonnaroo Works Fund Arts at the Airport exhibit continues to receive recognition for its creativity and impact, as indicated by this recent story from Nashville Public Television.

In addition, the BWF is providing support for three programs that will install refillable water stations for the Coffee County Board of Education, Tullahoma City Schools and the Grundy County School District. BWF is also partnering with the Manchester Coffee County Conference Center in support of its greening efforts with conversion to solar panels.

“The Bonnaroo Works Fund remains an integral component of the overall Bonnaroo experience,” said Ashley Capps, co-founder of Bonnaroo and president of BWF. “With the help of our patrons and sponsors, we are able to expand the festival’s impact throughout the year by supporting dynamic and enriching causes.”

The BWF is a joint effort between Bonnaroo organizers and attendees, with a portion of ticket sales allocated to the BWF. In addition, proceeds from festival activities, such as the Silent Auction, Root for Roo, the Bonnaroo 5K Run, and the Les Paul Spirit Awards along with a pre-Bonnaroo benefit at Peter Nappi in Nashville, all benefit the Bonnaroo Works Fund and, in turn, its grant recipients.

Bonnaroo Works Fund is administered by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. Grants are selected based on a variety of criteria and approved by the board of directors. Previous recipients are welcome to reapply each year, but the BWF is always seeking new applicants with innovative approaches to supporting the core missions of the BWF. The next grant cycle will begin in the first quarter of 2018.

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Mission Edge Offers Local Social Innovators a Chance to Win $10,000+

Local Organizations Pitch to Launch or Scale Up Social Enterprises

Press Release – October 18, 2017 – SAN DIEGO, CAMission Edge has announced the San Diego Accelerator and Impact Lab (SAIL) Pitch Night, which will take place on October 24th at 5:30 PM in the Irwin M. Jacobs Hall at Qualcomm. Sponsored by The San Diego Foundation, Union Bank, Qualcomm Incorporated, and Cox Communications, the SAIL Pitch Night will highlight the social enterprise ideas of eight nonprofit organizations, all of whom created cutting-edge, sustainable, revenue-based business models in alignment with their social missions. One local organization will be the recipient of a $10,000 audience choice award.

Each contestant participating in the event is currently engaged in the SAIL program, a robust ten-week accelerator led by Mission Edge and Impact Without Borders. SAIL’s curriculum and coaching focuses on articulating, piloting, validating, planning, and pitching revenue-generating business models. “Impact Without Borders is pleased to collaborate with Mission Edge on the launch of SAIL, through the delivery of workshops on rapid innovation and business model articulation, which aim to enhance the success of social enterprises,” said B.H. Kim and Kaison Tanabe, Co-Founders of Impact Without Borders.

Participating organizations include:

SAIL participants have been working closely with mentors and investors, while engaging in interactive workshops and benefitting from Mission Edge’s expert advisory services.

“SAIL has really kick started our social enterprise launch into high gear,” shared Zoe Hayman, Development Manager at Outside the Lens, a program participant. “Although we’ve piloted some pieces of our project, SAIL has given us the structure and the know-how to launch this project right. With the help of Mission Edge, we’re working to diversify and stabilize our funding to ensure that under-resourced classrooms have access to the digital media education necessary to participate in 21st century communication.”

“The San Diego Foundation collaborates with the region’s nonprofit community to pursue innovative strategies that help improve the quality of life for all San Diegans,” noted Kathlyn Mead, President & CEO of The San Diego Foundation. “The social enterprise ideas presented by these eight organizations show how non-traditional business models can yield dividends in community impact and nonprofit financial sustainability.”

The San Diego business community is also embracing the program’s impact and efforts to create a more innovative and sustainable social sector.

“Innovation isn’t just happening in the business world. It’s also happening in the community,” said Chanelle Hawken, Vice President of Public Affairs for Cox Communications. “As a company founded on innovative ideas, Cox Communications is proud to support the innovative efforts by nonprofit organizations working hard to make San Diego a better place.”

“Innovation and community impact are important for us,” commented SAIL sponsor Qualcomm. “Working with Mission Edge to champion social enterprise innovation is an important example of our commitment to foster the advancement of the San Diego community. The SAIL program is a natural extension of our collaboration, which includes helping myriad nonprofit organizations through our employee-led skills-based volunteer projects and community engagement initiatives.”

A networking reception with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will follow the awards ceremony. Tickets can be purchased here. To learn more about SAIL or receive a complementary media pass to the SAIL Pitch Night, please contact Mission Edge at and connect with us on social media by using #SAILwithMissionEdge.

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BYU Students Invite the rest of Utah Colleges to Team Up on Climate

Using a 40’ purple cardboard puzzle of Utah

Press Release – PROVO, Utah – At 10 AM Thursday morning members of the Climate Change Club and BYU Earth Stewardship will be hiding cardboard purple puzzle squares all around Brigham’s Square on BYU Campus. They’ll be offering prizes to students who find the giant puzzle pieces and targeting other campuses in their social media posts inviting them to hop on board with the message of climate change. The students say their vying for a net zero BYU campus (a term for a campus that produces zero carbon emissions) and they’d like other campuses to help them in the push.

When the puzzle is completed, students who agree with the cause will be pasting blue handprints on the puzzle showing their support for a greener campus. The idea is to send the puzzle to other campuses that want to hop on board so that they can leave handprints of their own.

“This is our future we’re trying to better. It affects us more than it affects our parents, or even the faculty here at BYU,” said Nicholas Huey. “We feel that this is a message we feel urgency to get behind because it affects us so directly.”

The puzzle won’t be the only item on display. A giant, purple letter “Y” will be there as well. The “Y” is a gift to John Curtis, Provo’s current mayor who is running for Congress. Students who leave their handprint on the “Y” wish to say thank you to Mayor Curtis for his efforts to clean up the air in Provo, and they hope that the next mayor will follow suit.

These events are a response to The Climate Campaign, a student-led movement to depoliticize the issue of climate change.

About The Climate Change Club: The Climate Change Club is a University-sanctioned entity that operates on BYU campus. The club consists of students and faculty who agree that climate change is an issue that affects us all, and definitely something we should address now.

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Taube Philanthropies Provides Boost at Israel’s Leading University for Humanities Education

Press Release – New York, NY, October 17, 2017 — The University of Haifa, which serves more than 18,000 students from Israel and around the world, is proud to announce a groundbreaking new partnership that will enhance the future of the Jewish State and beyond through the advancement of a well-rounded liberal arts and humanities education.

Equipped with a grant from the California-based Taube Philanthropies, the American Society of the University of Haifa is launching the Taube Fund for Scholars in the Humanities, which will provide scholarships for incoming students to support their studies in academic disciplines that examine aspects of human society.

The Taube Fund will amplify the school’s existing reputation as Israel’s leading university for humanities education. Currently, more than 1,100 of the university’s 9,000 undergraduates are enrolled in a degree program within the humanities.

Continuing to bolster its humanities offerings is part of the University of Haifa’s broader strategic plan for major expansion, including the addition of new areas of study and new physical locations. This growth will bring more residents and jobs to northern Israel, creating much-needed economic growth, stability and security.

“Providing access for top students is the number one priority for the University of Haifa. Taube Scholars will be the next generation of entrepreneurs, academics, journalists, teachers, political scientists, historians and community leaders that will build and secure the future of Israel,” said Karen Berman, CEO of the American Society of University of Haifa. “We are incredibly honored and proud to establish the Taube Fund for Scholars at University of Haifa and to work in partnership with a leading foundation that has done so much for Israel, for the renewal and preservation of Jewish culture, and for promoting democratic values and for education around the globe.”

Studying humanities enables students “to think creatively and critically, to reason, and to ask questions,” according to the Stanford Humanities Center. “Research into the human experience adds to our knowledge about our world,” while conveying “tools to imagine the future.”

“The University of Haifa is one of Israel’s and the world’s leading institutions of higher education, whose students and graduates become contributing thought leaders and innovators,” said Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies. “Taube Philanthropies seeks to push the university and its students to the next level, to help provide the tools and resources necessary to further enhance the already robust academic offerings and strong faculty.”

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and established in 1981, Taube Philanthropies makes philanthropic investments in Jewish, civic, and cultural life in the Bay Area, Poland, and Israel. Its grant making programs support institution-building, scholarship, heritage preservation, arts and culture, and education. Taube Philanthropies is committed to collaborative grant making for greater charitable impact and actively partners with other philanthropic organizations and individuals.

Taube’s funding fosters the University of Haifa’s goal to produce graduates who are critical members of Israeli and international society, including prominent educators, economists, authors, journalists, artists, historians, political scientists, academics, and leaders in other fields. The school’s notable alumni include former IDF Chiefs of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Benjamin Gantz, investigative journalist and author Ronen Bergman, energy entrepreneur Inna Braverman, former Mossad Director Meir Dagan, Israeli pastry chef and TV personality Carine Goren, legal scholar Gabriel Hallevy, Olympic runner and long jumper Maya Kalle-Bentzur, architect Ram Karmi, sociologist Bernardo Sorj, and many more.

About University of Haifa

University of Haifa is a world-class university dedicated to academic excellence and social responsibility. The University expands educational opportunities and upward mobility for all members of society, secures and stabilizes the north of the country, and serves as an example of tolerance and coexistence in Israel and the entire region.

About American Society of the University of Haifa

American Society of the University of Haifa is dedicated to helping University of Haifa expand its position as a world-class academic institution. ASUH cultivates relationships, secures financial support, and serves as the vital connection among the University and its friends, supporters, alumni and partners in the United States.

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Moonshot Grant Will Help Researchers See Two of Cancer’s Key Food Sources at Once

Penn receives $1.4 million for efforts to image glucose, glutamine simultaneously

Press Release – PHILADELPHIA – Imagine trying to take a picture of a runner, but only being able to see her feet. If you could see her whole body, you’d get the full picture of how she uses both legs to put one foot in front of the other to reach top speed. That’s the idea behind a cancer imaging project in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the researchers just received $1.4 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Cancer Moonshot to help the effort along. Researchers at Penn are building a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner that can image a patient’s entire body at once, and can also look at two of cancer’s food sources at the same time – glucose and glutamine. This grant will help those researchers interpret the data they get from those scans.

“Currently, we can see glucose and glutamine individually, but not on the same scan, which also means we don’t know much about how they interact with each other,” said the project’s co-principal investigator David A Mankoff, MD, PhD, the Gerd Muehllehner Professor of Radiology at Penn and co-director of the Cancer Imaging Core of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. “The scanner we’re building will give us that information, and this grant will be instrumental in helping us apply what we find.”

Glucose is a simple sugar found in the blood, and cancer cells feed off it and use it for energy the same way all other cells do. Some cancer cells are more reliant on glutamine – an amino acid also found in the blood – to be their primary food source. During PET scans, patients are injected with radioactive compounds called tracers that let doctors see certain compounds through the body – in this case glucose or glutamine. If tissues are found to be absorbing high amounts of either one, it can indicate the presence of cancer. Current PET devices can only scan one part of a patient’s body at a time. Penn’s new device – known as PennPET Explorer – will be able to scan the whole body at once. The increased size and performance of the new scanner will also give doctors the ability to see glucose and glutamine at the same time, which ordinarily would require two scans on two separate days.

“It also allows us to make an image with a smaller radiotracer injection, which means more information with less radioactivity,” Mankoff said.

“We estimate that will give us between 10 times and 40 times the amount of information that we get from current PET scans,” added Joel Karp, PhD, a professor of Radiology at Penn and the co-principal investigator on the project. “It will not only help us see the full body process when it comes to glucose and glutamine, it will also show us the big picture in terms of how the two relate to each other and how they interact.”

PennPET Explorer is expected to be up and running as soon as 2019, at which point the exponential amount of new information will present a challenge for the doctors who need to interpret it. Researchers say this is why the grant is so critical.

“This is a project with clearly stated goals, and this grant from the NIH allows us to build the infrastructure we need now so that once the instrument is completed, we can hit the ground running and take advantage of this data and new approaches right away,” Karp said.

One approach researchers plan to take is to use machine learning to interpret the influx of PET data. They plan to initially use this big data tool in breast cancer, and Despina Kontos, PhD, an associate professor of Radiology, will lead that effort.

On the clinical side, there are trials already ongoing looking at glutamine inhibitors designed to take advantage of those tumors that are “addicted” to that particular energy source. Mankoff says one challenge is to determine which tumors are glutamine-addicted. In addition, the rest of the body also uses the critical amino acids, so any drug that tries to block it can have unintended consequences. The new approach will allow investigators to look at metabolism in both the tumor and normal organs.

“This new approach can be critical to understanding that process, since it can show us what those off-target effects are,” Mankoff said.

Penn is one of two sites in the country building Explorer scanners as part of a consortium funded to build such devices to demonstrate how whole-body PET imaging will enable new ways to study disease. The other is The University of California, Davis, and the two teams have worked closely to help each other. Mankoff also noted the importance of collaboration among multiple disciplines within the Penn community.

“First, we needed a team to build the machine, and once that’s done, we’ll have to rely on experts in the field of cancer metabolism – an area in which Penn has done pioneering research – to help implement this new method,” Mankoff said. “In between the construction of the scanner and the final version of the new method, we have biologists, radiologists, and mathematicians working together. We’re enabling precision oncology in a way that could only happen at a place like Penn.”

The full NIH grant number is 1R33CA225310-01.

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Second Heart Assist, Inc. Launches Series of Preclinical Development Studies at Tufts Medical Center

Early development testing of innovative circulatory assist device results show promise

Press Release – Boston, Mass. and Salt Lake City, Utah – October 19th, 2017 (PRBUZZ)— Second Heart Assist, Inc. today announced the first successful implant of its Second Heart Assist, Inc. Gen. I Circulatory Support Assist device, in relevant preclinical models performed at Tufts Medical Center, in Boston, Massachusetts by Dr. Navin K. Kapur, Executive Director, The Cardiovascular Center for Research and Innovation (CVCRI); Director, Acute Mechanical Circulatory Support Program; Director, Interventional Cardiology Research Laboratories; Associate Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

This is the first Second Heart Assist, Inc. preclinical implant since successful completion of prototype development and full series of bench studies.

Second Heart Assist, Inc. has entered into agreement with Tufts Medical Center to complete Phase I (verification flow rates) and Phase II (durability, safety and full performance testing) and will proceed to Phase III GLP study.

Second Heart Assist, Inc. intends to utilize this data combined with our bench data as well as other safety related data to apply to the FDA to complete an Early Feasibility Study in 10 to 30 patients in 2018.

“The Second Heart Assist devices are designed to give end stage heart failure patients another treatment option to extend their quality of life when they are ineligible for all other medical therapies. The design is intended to be especially well suited for helping patients recover from cardio-renal dysfunction.” Dr. Leslie Miller, Chief Medical Officer, Second Heart Assist, Inc.

“We are honored to be among the few distinguished institutions in the nation involved with the early evaluation of this new technology,” said Dr. Kapur. “The implantation marks the culmination of decades of research and development and has the potential to one day become an option for heart failure patients, particularly those suffering from cardio-renal dysfunction. This early testing is a significant milestone towards offering new hope for patients in great need. We look forward to completing the next phases of planned preclinical studies.”

The Second Heart Assist, Inc. team is developing two models of their device.

  1. Circulatory assist pump within a bare aortic stent at tip of a 13.8FR catheter for temporary support.
  2. Wireless powered chronic implant that is removable and has both continuous and pulsatile flow.

Both devices are placed in the descending aorta just below the diaphragm and just above the renal arteries. The aortic stents occupy the entire aortic inner diameter unlike competitive systems that occupy only a portion of the inner aortic diameter. This permits higher flow rates at lower RPMs. The Second Heart Assist 1st generation device is achieving 4.5 liters per minute flow @ 4500 RPMs and the 2nd generation device is expected to reach this flow rate at as low as 1500 RPMs. This is substantially lower than the 33,000 to 80,000 RPMS required by other competitive devices to achieve 4.5 liters per minute true in patient flow at the level of the renal arteries. Both models of the Second Heart Assist devices are supported by Leonhardt’s patent pending VibroCell vibrational harmonic resonance energy technology for preventing blood clot formations and bioelectric energy transmitting micro coil implants along the stent to control protein expressions, action potentials and pressures within the aortic wall. The 2nd generation device includes patented wireless pulsating aortic stent graft technology and bladeless circulatory assist support with expected low hemolysis rates licensed via an exclusive option from Caltech (California Institute of Technology) in Pasadena, CA.

About Second Heart Assist, Inc.:

Founded in Salt Lake City, Utah in late 2015 by the same team that developed the leading endovascular stent graft systems and the first percutaneous heart valve. Focused on the development of circulatory assist pumps within aortic stents. The company has research locations in both California and Utah with experienced consulting advisors from around the world. The Second Heart Assist, Inc. device product line was originally developed as a support device for the BioLeonhardt heart regeneration implant comprised of a bioelectric stimulator and re-fillable micro infusion pump the size of a quarter designed to regenerate failing hearts over a 36 month course of treatment. See

About Leonhardt Ventures:

Founded in 1982 (HJ Leonhardt & Co.) and formed into an LLC in 2005 (Leonhardt Vineyards LLC DBA Leonhardt Ventures) as the commercialization arm of inventor Howard J. Leonhardt. Leonhardt has 21 issued U.S. patents for organ regeneration and recovery devices and dozens more patent claims pending currently at the UPSTO – In the 1980’s the Leonhardt team patented and pioneered the developed of predictably compliant cardiovascular balloon catheters – PolyCath TM and turn key cardiac cath labs. In the 1990’s they developed the first commercially successfull stent graft for aortic aneurysm repair without surgery TALENT TM and the first percutaneous heart valve. Their research team members completed the first stem cell repair of animal heart in 1988 and the landmark first ever non-surgical stem cell repair of a human heart in 2001. They published their first bioelectric organ regeneration paper in 1999 in CIRCULATION. Since 1999 the focus of the organization has been on bioelectric, stem cell and growth factor based organ regeneration product development and research supported by micro pump and endovascular catheter technologies. See

About Leonhardt’s Launchpads:

Leonhardt’s Launchpads is the innovation and startup accelerator arm of Leonhardt Ventures. They opened up in 2008 at the University of Northern California Science & Technology Innovation Center near Santa Rosa, CA in 2013 in Santa Monica and in 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. They currently incubate 27 regenerative medtech and 3 regenerative economy startups. The business model is to advance each organ specific innovation and startup through first-in-man results and then seek a strategic partner.

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Centre Foundation Celebrates Record Breaking Year of Philanthropy

Community Foundation to host annual dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at The Nittany Lion Inn

Press Release – STATE COLLEGE, PA – Centre Foundation will host its annual end-of-the-year dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at The Nittany Lion Inn to celebrate another successful and record-setting year of philanthropy in Centre County.

At the event, Centre Foundation will announce the newest Centre Inspires project and the 2017 Oak Tree Award winner, recognition of service, commitment, and passion for the foundation. The program will also include remarks on engaging with our local environment, given by Dr. Richard Alley, whose contributions to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won a Nobel Prize in 2007.

Guests should register online by Oct. 25. Attendance at the dinner costs $100 per person.

“Each year, I’m amazed by the generosity of this community, but this year was literally one for the record books,” expressed Molly Kunkel, Executive Director of Centre Foundation.

This year, three records in particular were set by the local community:

  • Light Up State College: In February, the community broke a Guinness World Record by making and lighting 5,226 ice luminaries on Allen Street in Downtown State College. The event was co-organized by The Make Space and Centre Foundation.
  • Centre Gives: The sixth annual 36-hour online giving event raised more than $1.4 million for the community and broke last year’s record by 20 percent. More than 100 local nonprofits benefitted from the community’s generosity, which has invested over $5.4 million since the Giving Day was established in 2012.
  • Centred Outdoors: The guided nature tours achieved record engagement this summer when ClearWater Conservancy launched the program through the community foundation’s Centre Inspires grant. Nearly 2,000 residents signed up for one of the nine tours hosted by the program.

Centre Foundation believes in the organizations that are working to create a better future for the community. Each year, Centre Foundation distributes hundreds of grants to nonprofits in order to continue making Centre County the best place to live, work, and play.

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