Digital health news, funding roundup in the prior week; July 11, 2022

Steven Loeb · July 11, 2022 · Short URL:

Orchestra BioMed raised $110 million; COVID cases surge; California to make its own insulin

Top Health News

  • Drugmaker Sanofi launched Impact, a new brand of standard of care medicines dedicated for nonprofit distribution to at-risk populations in the world’s most impoverished countries. The Impac brand, which includes insulin, glibenclamide and oxaliplatin amonst others, will enable the secure distribution of 30 Sanofi medicines in 40 lower-income countries. Considered essential by the World Health Organization, the medicines cover a wide range of therapeutic areas, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tuberculosis, malaria and cancer.
  • Color Health, a health technology company committed to advancing public health, is providing free COVID-19 testing through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Increasing Community Access to Testing program, to help millions of Americans in underserved communities access no-cost COVID-19 testing. Through the partnership, Color will improve testing access across the country and provide a sustainable strategy for COVID-19 testing in communities that are suffering from dwindling public funding, with an emphasis on individuals who are under- and uninsured and at higher risk for severe COVID-19.
  • The World Health Organization program for the fast-tracking and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics is likely to close in its current form in the fall, according to two individuals familiar with the matter. The program, known as the ACT-Accelerator, is a collaboration among the WHO, governments and global health organizations that works to ensure equitable access to Covid tools. It faced significant obstacles to get vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, but it eventually succeeded in shipping over one billion shots. As Covid cases have declined from the height of the pandemic, ACT-A has struggled to secure funding with only Germany, Norway, Sweden and Canada promising the requested financing this year.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom shared plans for his state to manufacture insulin and “make it available to all” at a price close to its cost. In a Twitter video, the governor said a state budget signed last week includes $100 million for California to contract and make its own insulin. Half of the allotted funds will be put toward the development of low-cost insulin products while the remaining $50 million will support a California-based insulin manufacturing facility “that will provide new, high-paying jobs and a stronger supply chain for the drug,” the governor said.
  • Scientists say the United States is losing the fight against monkeypox due to a sluggish and timid response that is reminiscent of the early days of the COVID pandemic. The first cases of monkeypox were reported in May, but tests will not be readily available until sometime this month. Vaccines will be in short supply for months longer. Surveillance is spotty, and official case counts are likely a gross underestimate. There are already at least 700 cases in the United States, but experts say the real number is likely to be much higher. There probably will be many more infections before the outbreak can be controlled, if at this point it can be controlled at all. However, according to the WHO, monkeypox is spread through close contact with respiratory secretions, skin lesions of an infected person, or recently contaminated objects.
  • A new surge in COVID-19 infections appears to be hitting the U.S., as cases are up 10% over the past two weeks, and rate of PCR tests reported to the federal government that came back positive is now averaging 17% over the past seven days, while the average test-positivity rate at the peak of the January 2022 wave was 29%. Hospitalizations, however, remain low, compared to earlier points in the pandemic, with the U.S. averaging roughly 34,000 people hospitalized for COVID each day, down from nearly 160,000 in January.
  • President Biden signed an executive order protecting abortion, directing his health department to expand access to abortion pills, beef up enforcement of Obamacare’s birth control coverage mandate and stand up an army of pro bono lawyers to help defend people criminally charged for seeking or providing the procedure. The order also instructs the administration to “consider” several additional actions to shore up privacy rights for patients using digital apps such as period trackers and those who are now at risk of being reported to law enforcement by a medical provider. They will also “consider” strengthening protections for doctors performing abortions in medical emergencies by updating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, and plan to create another interagency task force that includes Attorney General Merrick Garland.


  • Beth Israel Lahey Health, an integrated health system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals signed a definitive agreement to acquire Exeter Health Resources, a community-based hospital in New Hampshire
  • SSM Health, a Catholic, not-for-profit health system acquired SLUCare Physician Group, the academic medical practice of Saint Louis University
  • Overland Park Regional Medical Center acquired the PURE EP(T.M.) System, a signal processing and acquisition platform designed to extract advanced diagnostic and therapeutic data, from BioSig Technologies, a medical technology company advancing electrophysiology workflow
  • Henry Schein, a provider of health care solutions to office-based dental and medical practitioners, completed its acquisition of Condor Dental, a dental distribution company that serves dental general practitioners, specialists, and laboratories in Switzerland
  • Enovis, a medical technology company with a particular focus in orthopedics, completed its acquisition of orthopedic surgical guidance company Insight Medical Systems

Funding Roundup

  • Canopie raised funding to provide maternal mental health support
  • Tebra, an operating system for the connected healthcare practices, raised more than $72 million
  • Ganymed Robotics, a developer of computer vision software and robotics technologies for orthopedic surgeons, raised €21 million
  • CareConnectMD, a provider of primary care and care coordination services tailored to meet the needs of complex Medicare participants, raised $25 million
  • Zyla Health, a personalised care management platform, raised $1 million
  • Rey Assurance, a dedicated and integrated health, life and critical illness insurtech company in Indonesia, raised $4.2 million
  • Orchestra BioMed, a biomedical company accelerating high-impact technologies to patients through risk-reward sharing partnerships, raised $110 million
  • ORCHA, a health app evaluation and advisor, raised £1 million
  • Precision Autoimmune Therapeutics, a clinical stage innovative drug development company focused on the precision therapeutics for patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, raised $21 million
  • Moving Analytics, a virtual at-home intervention program for high-risk cardiac patients, raised $20 million

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