Business Wire
  • AVer Europe: The Importance of Good Lighting for Virtual Meetings

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rene Buhay, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing at AVer Europe, the award-winning provider of education technology solutions, writes about how AVer developed the world’s first all-in-one video soundbar with an integrated fill-in light that automatically adjusts to provide the best possible virtual meeting experience.

    When you’re about to have an important video call with a client or customer while working from home or in your huddle room, details matter, and you take care to look the part. Much effort can be wasted if you don’t take steps to ensure ideal light conditions.

    Even if you have bright overhead lighting and shut the curtains on the window to avoid backlighting, you probably haven’t accounted for reflection from your monitor. This reflection covers your face in blue shadows that make you appear tired and unnatural. The fill-in light from the AVer VB130 makes your face appear brighter and more energetic, providing a better virtual meeting experience.

    The VB130 is for huddle or smaller rooms and WFH, our challenge in designing this product was to ensure good audio quality within such a small space. The product has top-quality components, such as Sony 4K sensors, high-quality lenses, and AI engine chips and platforms to meet our specifications and performance requirements.

    The fill-in light took a lot of time to develop, because we wanted to use auto intelligent lighting so users don’t need to manually adjust the light. Therefore, we had to place colour sensors and light sensors inside. To make sure that the colour sensors can detect the environment correctly and deliver the best light level, we took thousands of photos of different kinds of people and fine-tuned the parameters.

    The main pain point in virtual meetings is the mutual experience. When people spread out in the meeting room for social distancing they appear small on the screen, and the camera doesn’t focus on the speaker. To provide the best visual experience, the VB130 offers intelligent image tracking and audio tracking functions. When people are speaking, the camera can automatically frame and zoom in on them so the remote side can see clearly and enjoy a seamless mutual experience.

    www.avereurope.com

    Contacts

    Press
    Alison Scarrott

    Senior PR Account Manager

    alison@brookscomm.com

  • Kyowa Kirin Provides Update on Application for Marketing Authorisation of Istradefylline in Europe for the Treatment of ‘OFF’ Episodes in People Living with Parkinson’s

    TOKYO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. (TSE:4151, President and CEO: Masashi Miyamoto, “Kyowa Kirin”) today announced that the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) issued a negative opinion for istradefylline as an add-on treatment to levodopa (L-Dopa) based regimens in adults living with Parkinson’s, experiencing end-of-dose motor fluctuations. Kyowa Kirin International remain committed to istradefylline and people living with Parkinson’s and are currently reviewing the options available, which may include re-examination.

    We are disappointed by the CHMP opinion. However, we remain confident in the benefit-risk profile of istradefylline and are committed to making a difference to the lives of people living with Parkinson’s, an area which has had few innovative therapies for decades,” said Abdul Mullick, President of Kyowa Kirin International. “There are currently few new treatment options available to manage end-of-dose motor fluctuations in Parkinson’s, and we believe that istradefylline offers people living with the condition a chance to regain some control over the management of their ‘OFF’ time. We remain committed to pursuing the registration of istradefylline in the EU.”

    Parkinson’s is a complex condition that affects every person living with it differently and is characterised by a broad range of symptoms that can significantly impact their quality of life,” said Professor Heinz Reichmann, Professor and Chair of the Neurology Department at the University of Dresden. “There is currently an urgent need for innovative treatments such as istradefylline for people living with Parkinson’s, to support them and their families in reducing their ‘OFF’ time. I hope that the CHMP will reconsider their position on istradefylline.”

    First of all, I would like to appreciate those who have contributed to the development of istradefylline.” Said Tomohiro Sudo, Executive Officer, Head of Global Product Strategy Department at Kyowa Kirin. “Although unfortunately it is a negative opinion from the CHMP this time, we will continue to think of how we can contribute to people living with Parkinson’s and their families as we do in the US and Japan.”

    The Kyowa Kirin Group companies strive to contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world by creating new value through the pursuit of advances in life sciences and technologies.

    About istradefylline

    Istradefylline is a novel, first-in-class non-dopaminergic, adenosine A2A receptor antagonist that reduces ‘OFF’ time in people living with Parkinson’s through selective targeting of adenosine A2A receptors in the basal ganglia. Whilst dopaminergic treatment targets the dopamine receptors in the direct and indirect pathways to facilitate movement, istradefylline, as an add-on to L-Dopa, reduces the activity of the indirect pathway which suppresses movement. Therefore, it helps restore the balance within the basal ganglia.1,2

    Istradefylline has been approved for use in Japan by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare since 2013, under the brand name of NOURIAST®. In August 2019 it also received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as adjunctive treatment to levodopa / carbidopa in adult patients with Parkinson’s experiencing “OFF” episodes and is marketed under the name of NOURIANZ®.3,4

    About Parkinson’s and ‘OFF’ episodes

    Parkinson’s is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects small regions in the brain that control movement, balance and posture.5 It is the fastest growing neurodegenerative disorder in the world,6 with an estimated 10 million people in the world currently living with the condition.7 Although it is classically characterised by motor symptoms (symptoms involving movement), people living with Parkinson’s also experience a large range of non-motor symptoms, which add to the complexity of living with the condition.5 Although Parkinson’s is not life threatening there is currently no cure. Over time symptoms progress and can be unpredictable, imposing a significant impact on daily life.5 This impact can extend to caregivers, friends and family, whose own wellbeing and quality of life can deteriorate as a result.8

    ‘OFF’ episodes is used to describe the return of Parkinson’s symptoms, also known as ‘OFF’ symptoms, and can be triggered by a variety of phenomena, including:9

    • Delayed onset of response to medication
    • Reduced duration of benefit from a medication
    • Reduced or no efficacy of a dose of medication

    About Kyowa Kirin International in neurology

    Kyowa Kirin International is committed to building meaningful partnerships with the wider Parkinson’s community and is working with healthcare professionals, government agencies, policymakers and patient advocacy groups to improve care and support for people living with Parkinson’s.

    About Kyowa Kirin

    Kyowa Kirin strives to create and deliver novel medicines with life-changing value. As a Japan-based Global Specialty Pharmaceutical Company with a more than 70-year heritage, we apply cutting-edge science including an expertise in antibody research and engineering, to address the needs of patients and society across multiple therapeutic areas including Nephrology, Oncology, Immunology/Allergy and Neurology. Across our four regions – Japan, Asia Pacific, North America and EMEA/International – we focus on our purpose, to make people smile, and are united by our shared values of commitment to life, teamwork/Wa, innovation, and integrity. You can learn more about the business of Kyowa Kirin at: https://www.kyowakirin.com/.

    Kyowa Kirin International is a subsidiary of Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd.

    Kyowa Kirin International

    http://www.international.kyowa-kirin.com/
    Galabank Business Park

    Galashiels, TD1 1QH

    United Kingdom

    References


    1 Jenner P, Mori A, Aradi S.D, et al. Istradefylline – a first generation adenosine A2A antagonist for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics 2021, doi:10.1080/14737175.2021.1880896.

    2 LeWitt P, Aradi S, Hauser R, et al. The challenge of developing adenosine A2A antagonists for Parkinson disease: Istradefylline, preladenant, and tozadenant. Parkinsonism Related Disord 2020;80(Supple 1):S54–S63.

    3 Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. NOURIAST Prescribing Information. Available at http://docplayer.net/43410136-Nouriast-tablets-20-mg.html [Last accessed: July 2021].

    4 FDA. NOURIANZ Prescribing Information. Available at https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/022075s000lbl.pdf [Last accessed: July 2021].

    5 European Parkinson’s Disease Association. About Parkinson’s. Available from: https://www.epda.eu.com/about-parkinsons/what-is-parkinsons/ [Last accessed: July 2021].

    6 GBD 2016 Parkinson’s Disease Collaborator Group. Global, regional, and national burden of Parkinson’s disease, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Lancet Neurol 2018;17:939–953.

    7 Ball N et al. Parkinson’s Disease and the Environment. Front Neurol 2019;10:1-8 [Last accessed: July 2021].

    8 Armstrong MJ, Rastgardani T, Gagliardi AR, et al. The impact of off periods on persons with Parkinson’s and care partners: a qualitative study. Neurol Clin Pract 2020;10.1212/CPJ.0000000000000921.

    9 Freitas M, Hess C, Fox S. Motor complication of dopaminergic medications in Parkinson’s disease. Semin Neurol 2017;33(2):147-157.

    Contacts

    Contacts for Kyowa Kirin International:
    Media
    Sarah Evans

    Email: Sarah.Evans@kyowakirin.com

    Contacts for Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd.:
    Media
    Hiroki Nakamura

    Email: media@kyowakirin.com

    KKI/INT/IST/0141

    Date of preparation: July 2021

  • Paysafe to Release Second Quarter Earnings Results on August 16, 2021

     

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Paysafe Limited (“Paysafe”) (NYSE:PSFE) (PSFE.WS), a leading specialized payments platform, will announce second quarter 2021 financial results on Monday, August 16, 2021, prior to market open.

    Paysafe will host a live webcast to discuss the results at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) the same day. The webcast, along with supplemental information, can be accessed on the investor relations section of the Paysafe website at ir.paysafe.com. An archive will be available after the conclusion of the live event and will remain available via the same link for one year.

    Webcast and Conference Call Information:

    Time

    Monday, August 16, 2021 at 8:30 a.m. EDT

    Hosts

    Philip McHugh, Chief Executive Officer and Director

    Izzy Dawood, Chief Financial Officer

    Webcast

    Go to the Investor Relations section of the Paysafe website to listen and view slides

    Dial in

    877-407-3037 (U.S. toll-free)

    215-268-9852 (International)

    About Paysafe Limited

    Paysafe Limited (“Paysafe”) (NYSE:PSFE) (PSFE.WS) is a leading specialised payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualised transactional volume of US $92 billion in 2020, and approximately 3,400 employees located in 12+ global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 70 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments. Further information is available at www.paysafe.com.

    Contacts

    Media

    Kate Aldridge

    kate.aldridge@paysafe.com
    +44 750 079 7547

    Investors

    Kirsten Nielsen

    kirsten.nielsen@paysafe.com
    +1 (646) 901-3140

  • H.I.G. WhiteHorse Refinances Grupo Recoletas

    MADRID & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CapitalProvider–H.I.G. WhiteHorse, a credit affiliate of global investment firm H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”) is pleased to announce that it has arranged a refinancing package for Grupo Hospitalario Recoletas (“Recoletas”), which includes a significant growth capital component.

    Recoletas is a family-owned Spanish private hospital operator headquartered in Valladolid, Spain, with a leading position in the Castilla y Leon Spanish inland region. It operates 8 hospitals with c. 540 beds and 13 medical centres across 7 regions.

    H.I.G. WhiteHorse has committed €110 million in unitranche loans to refinance the borrower’s existing indebtedness and provide additional capital to finance growth, supporting the Company’s expansion. Recoletas is currently developing ambitious projects to expand its healthcare services provided through hospitals and medical centers, as well as diagnostic imaging centers and radiotherapy units.

    Amando J. Rodríguez, President and CEO of Grupo Hospitalario Recoletas, said: “We are very happy with the support received from H.I.G. WhiteHorse, which has shown flexibility over the years, allowing the company to tailor its financing structure to meet our changing requirements. The support, reflected in this new financing, will allow the group to continue successfully developing its growth strategy with medical services of the highest quality.”

    Ignacio Blasco, Managing Director at H.I.G. WhiteHorse, said: “Recoletas is ideally positioned for the opportunities that lie ahead. We are happy to support its development by providing flexible capital to allow its management to pursue their highly ambitious goals. This transaction highlights H.I.G. WhiteHorse’s ability to support the long-term development of its clients by establishing close and lasting relationships.”

    About H.I.G. Capital

    H.I.G. is a leading global alternative assets investment firm with over €37 billion of equity capital under management.* Based in Miami, and with offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta in the U.S., as well as international affiliate offices in London, Hamburg, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, H.I.G. specializes in providing both debt and equity capital to small and mid-sized companies, utilizing a flexible and operationally focused/value-added approach:

    1. H.I.G.’s equity funds invest in management buyouts, recapitalizations and corporate carve- outs of both profitable as well as underperforming manufacturing and service businesses.
    2. H.I.G.’s debt funds invest in senior, unitranche and junior debt financing to companies across the size spectrum, both on a primary (direct origination) basis, as well as in the secondary markets. H.I.G. is also a leading CLO manager, through its WhiteHorse family of vehicles, and manages a publicly traded BDC, WhiteHorse Finance.
    3. H.I.G.’s real estate funds invest in value-added properties, which can benefit from improved asset management practices.

    Since its founding in 1993, H.I.G. has invested in and managed more than 300 companies worldwide. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of €27 billion. For more information, please refer to the H.I.G. website at www.higcapital.com.

    * Based on total capital commitments managed by H.I.G. Capital and affiliates.

    Contacts

    Pascal Meysson

    Head of H.I.G. WhiteHorse Europe

    pmeysson@higcapital.com

    Ignacio Blasco

    Managing Director

    iblasco@higcapital.com

    T +44 (0) 207 318 5700

    F +44 (0) 207 318 5749

    www.higeurope.com

  • Instant Marketing Ltd: 8 Businesses To Watch Out For In 2021

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The last 12 months have been extremely challenging for all of us, due to the events of the global pandemic, we have seen lots of people without jobs and business collapse. Businesses have had to make huge adaptions in order to survive, the biggest of these being the full transition to e-commerce.

    Below, Instant Marketing Ltd have constructed a list of 8 businesses we believe have overcome this midst the global pandemic and the challenges it has thrown at them, making them 8 businesses to watch out for in 2021.

    Financial Markets Online

    Financial Markets Online is one of the leading financial education businesses’, specializing in teaching new traders’ low risk and simple trading strategies all around the world. Financial Markets Online have traded and held courses all across the world, understanding different cultures has helped Financial Markets Online to develop first class education and mentoring programs which are tailored to suit everyone in achieving their financial goals. They have developed their own fast track program to ensure their students do not make the same mistakes they had previously made, allowing new traders to achieve consistent results in a much shorter period. They currently have a large team of traders, some of which have been trading for more than 25 years and have been through every emotional and physical experience that traders can face. They make the excellent mentors to guide new traders through the start of their career.

    Their results speak for themselves. They are rated 4.9/5 stars on trust pilot with over 10,000 traders in their community. They are the only group of traders who trade live in front of their students, showing how simple trading really can be on a live market once you know the components to trading success.

    Financial Markets Online believe their business is extremely useful as trading is a recession proof skill that can take people anywhere around the world. They teach traders of all levels, beginners to advanced, providing courses both online and live. They believe working from as little as 1 hour per day, you can become a profitable financial markets trader.

    Karuna Beverages

    Karuna Beverages is a certified women & minority owned business location in St. Louis, Missouri. As a recently established and steadily rising healthy beverage brand, Karuna is an awards-winning innovator in developing great tasting juices and smoothies using whole plant ingredients. Formulated from a belief that Food Is Better Medicine™, each unique beverage is inspired by ancient wisdom and backed by modern science. Karuna Wellness Beverages offer a vast array of benefits, such as restoration of digestive and immune health with prebiotic and antioxidants, delivering clean protein and providing sustained energy.

    Karuna is fueled by a strong passion towards finding innovative ways to empower their customers to make better choices to live healthier and happier lives. They do so through the upbeat attitude of their founder and CEO, Angela Zeng, PhD, MBA, who has a strong mind for business and perpetual desire to listen to the customers she serves to continue to evolve and shift to meet their needs and desires.

    They pride themselves on being the healthy beverage innovator from the Midwest, a region famous for its barbecue ribs and sugar sweetened iced tea. They are the first prebiotic beverage maker and have noticed large brands following in their footsteps. They do not fear the competition as they have never run out of novel ideas to fulfill the great and humble mission they have established since the day Karuna was created: to promote a community of healthier and happier people who live longer with less medical intervention and in a harmony with their surroundings.

    OLVR

    OLVR menswear is a uniquely placed menswear company which launched in 2020 as an output for the founder’s love of fashion. OLVR tries to keep to limited runs as they are not about flooding the market. They believe they have the experience and design skills that enabled them to produce outstanding menswear that is not available to all young menswear companies. OLVR stands out from other menswear companies as their products are limited edition menswear collections. They never repeat their collection fabrication. Their collection is designed and produced in the UK, as they support the lowering of emissions that is caused from international production.

    The founder of OLVR puts his success down to simply doing what he loves. Having a true passion for the industry as well as the thrill of seeing people wearing their brand is the drive that allows them to achieve excellence. OLVR believe their clothes allow men to have their own distinctive style which can show off their personality and understated confidence.

    Glow Hub

    GlowHub Co, co-founded by Steven Sobti & Eugene Palana was established in 2020. They are a unique business that offers beautiful and vibrant LED Neon signs. They create their own custom designs but also allow their clients to customize the neon lights to suit their preferences. They work with their clients carefully to lighten up events, weddings, businesses, or even simple home décor. Their neon signs bring a new uplifting vibe, completely transforming a room or venue in a positive way.

    Driven by a passion and unleashing their creativity has won them an astonishing 5/5-star review from customers along with a great social media presence. It is obvious that they pay great attention to all orders. Due to their excellent designs, they have been able to collaborate with many brands and influencers like Tyga, Shay Mitchell, Dixie Damelio, Avani and many more.

    Their mission is to be an outlet of self-expression for the individual or a driving force for the branding of businesses. Each sign is a testament to the creativity and dedication to one’s craft, while leaving a lasting impression to the eyes of those who walk in the room.

    AUSTERE

    AUSTERE, founded by CEO Natasha Brito in 2012, started as a print and digital magazine, eventually becoming two successful sister creative and marketing agencies for a wide variety of businesses. In their first 7 years, they had become one of the most sought-after independent magazines in the south of the US. They wrote a total of 20 concept-based issues, giving musicians, fashion brands, artists and alt-culture the opportunity to be interviewed about their work and showcased using AUSTERE’s conceptual and edgy creative photography and designs.

    As time went on, the print magazine evolved into its current form within the agency sector. Thus, two sister AUSTERE agencies were created. AUSTERE Visuals: a creative & marketing agency for musicians, fashion, and lifestyle brands. AUSTERE Digital: a creative & marketing agency for ecommerce + digital products or platforms.

    Their business’ motto has always been “avant-visual meets avant-strategy”, meaning they are always experimenting in avant-garde marketing and creative to new frontiers as they know the digital world is ever changing. They attribute a lot of their success to the trust their clients have in them, allowing them to take their businesses to uncharted territories online through innovative marketing concepts. They believe their clients see them as creative and strategic business partners rather than just service providers.

    BOSS CBD

    Boss CBD was established in 2017 by CEO Tye Friis with one goal in mind: to help animals. Tye runs two non-profit charity animal rescue organizations. Reversed Rescue, which specializes in saving and rehabilitating very hard case dogs. The other, Boss Sanctuary, takes care of a wide range of animals, from horses all the way to neglected wolves. Both amazing organizations are supported by Boss CBD.

    Boss CBD creates handmade products from their lab in Leona Valley to help animals in many ways. They make shampoos, insect spray, pet treats, liver detox supplements, digestion helpers and many more beneficial oils. Everything made my Boss CBD is grown and created by Tye himself so he can guarantee his clients will receive only the best products. After having tremendous success developing these supplements for animals, they started to focus making CBD oils that would also be beneficial for humans. On top of this, they also offer their own vapes, tattoo care, bath bombs and candles.

    One of Boss CBD’s biggest setbacks has been how the CBD industry is still very misunderstood and unknown to many, some even considering it high risk. However, their CEO says he refuses to let something so good for the world fail due to other people’s unknowledgeable viewpoints and negligence.

    Natreve

    Natreve launched in the Fall of 2019 by Founder Roland Radu. Natreve is the world’s first Plastic and Carbon Neutral Wellness company. Natreve is a wellness company that provides products that range from vegan protein powders, sustainable collagen products, as well as wellness products for immunity, stress, and sleep. They are shaking up the wellness industry due to their sustainable mission. Every product they sell, they collect the equivalent amount of plastic waste out of the oceans globally. They are providing economic empowerment to the vulnerable communities through financial support . Through their partners at Plastic Bank and Impact Collective, not only do they invest into renewable energy resources to reduce their carbon footprint, but they also help the vulnerable communities achieve and sustain economic empowerment by providing a better standard of living through their social commitment. They help to build infrastructure within those communities, also providing health care, food, and education. They are also involved in numerous community outreach programs that teach acceptance, diversity, equality, and basic human rights. In the next three years they have committed to remove over 600MT (30Million + Plastic Bottles) from the oceans, reduce their carbon footprint by over 15,000 MT, and help over 15,000 vulnerable families through economic support. The ethos they live by is Eat Right, Do Good!

    Natreve was also the first wellness company to come a champion partner with Equality Now, a non-profit organization that fights to change reforms and laws against sexual exploitation and tracking against young girls and women who come from abusive situations.

    Olivier Meylan

    Olivier Meylan is a Swiss heritage watch company, founded by David Meylan, and is about to celebrate its first year in business. Having been a dream for David for over 4 years, the coronavirus pandemic has given him the time and focus to launch Olivier Meylan and has become largely successful in a short space of time.

    Although there many several fashion watch brands that are affordable to customers, none of them share the genuine Swiss watch heritage that Olivier Meylan have. Watches run in the family. The CEO is half Swiss, and his grandfather worked and lived in the watch capital of the world, Valle De Joux, Switzerland. He was a watch maker for the likes of Jaeger LeCoultre before moving to the UK to work for Smiths watches. Because of their history, they only ever use Swiss movements in their models and each timepiece is tested to the highest standards. Growing up David knew everything there was to know about the watch industry, meaning he had the knowledge as well as the passion to pursue his dream to start-up Olivier Meylan. Thanks to his efforts, Olivier Meylan have an elite community of limited-edition watch owners, with a rich history.

    Contacts

    Jay Jones

    jay@instantmarketinggroup.co.uk

  • Mindtech Raises $3.25m to Accelerate Growth of Synthetic Data Training Platform for AI Vision Systems

    SHEFFIELD, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mindtech Global, developer of the world’s leading end-to-end synthetic data creation platform for training AI vision systems – today announced closing a $3.25 million funding round.


    The round was led by NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF)*, with Deeptech Labs and In-Q-Tel participating. The investment will enable the company to accelerate product development at its new engineering base in Sheffield UK and support its growing customer engagements across Europe, the US and Asia.

    Mindtech’s Chameleon platform delivers transformational technology to unlock the massive machine-learning / AI opportunity, specifically helping computers understand and predict human interactions. Current approaches to training AI vision systems require the sourcing and annotation of privacy compliant and unbiased real-world images in volume – a costly and time-consuming exercise.

    Chameleon enables innovation and wider deployment of AI vision systems by democratizing training data. Using the platform, customers can quickly build unlimited scenes and scenarios using photo-realistic smart 3D models.

    These are simulated and “filmed” creating fully annotated synthetic images that can be used to train AI vision systems and address diversity and bias issues. The datasets are privacy compliant and full data provenance is provided.

    Mindtech has global customers addressing AI applications ranging across retail, the smart home, healthcare, transportation systems and robotics. Chameleon empowers customers to go-to-market with AI vision systems exponentially faster and more accurately than relying on real-world data alone.

    Will Clark of Mercia said, “In partnership with the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund, Mercia is excited to invest and support the transformational vision of the Mindtech team, through the growth of their Sheffield headquarters, enabling further platform development, identified during their significant customer engagements.”

    Miles Kirby, CEO, Deeptech Labs said, “As a catalyst for deeptech success, our investment and accelerator program supports ambitious teams with novel solutions and the appetite to build world-changing companies. Mindtech’s highly-experienced team are on a mission to disrupt the way AI systems are trained, and we’re delighted to support their journey.”

    Nat Puffer, Managing Director (London), In-Q-Tel said, “Mindtech impressed us with the maturity of their Chameleon platform and their commercial traction with global customers. We’re excited by the many applications this platform has across diverse markets and its ability to remove a significant roadblock in the development of smarter, more intuitive AI systems.”

    Steve Harris, CEO, Mindtech said, “Machine learning teams can spend up to 80% of their time sourcing, cleaning and organizing training data. Our Chameleon platform solves the AI training challenge, freeing the industry to focus on higher value tasks like AI network innovation. This round will enable us to accelerate our growth, enabling a new generation of AI solutions that better understand the way humans interact with each other and the world around them.”

    *The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

    Editor’s Notes

    Mindtech Global www.mindtech.global

    Mindtech Global is the developer of the world’s leading end-to-end ‘synthetic’ data creation platform for the training of AI vision systems. The company’s Chameleon platform is a step change in the way AI vision systems are trained, helping computers understand and predict human interactions in applications ranging across retail, smart home, healthcare and smart city.

    Mindtech is headquartered in the UK, with operations across the US and Far East and is funded by investors including Mercia, Deeptech Labs and In-Q-Tel.

    Interviews, media images and demos available on request.

    For full editor’s notes, please visit : https://www.mindtech.global/company/news/press-releases/July21_MindtechInvestment

    Contacts

    Cat Lenheim

    cat@thoughtldr.com
    +44 203 417 0717

    +44 7511 117587

  • Research by University of Surrey and Arqit reveals Quantum Threat to Digital Assets

    LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A University of Surrey report co-authored by Stephen Holmes, Chief Product Officer at Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), a global leader in quantum encryption technology, and Professor Liqun Chen, Professor in Secure Systems at the University of Surrey, released today identifies the definitive threat posed to Digital Assets unless urgent changes are made to their cryptography.

    With increasing global investment, quantum computing technology is developing quickly towards the point where it will have sufficient power to break the digital signatures used in digital assets. As central banks and large enterprises are now seriously considering the large- scale use of digital assets, this is more important than ever. This research assesses the attack mechanisms employed by a quantum computer and when they will arise. It covers:

    • An overview of related work on digital asset vulnerability to quantum computer attack.
    • Analysis and review of possible combined attacks to delay a transaction’s processing time, thereby prolonging its risk of quantum attack.
    • Estimate of quantum computing resources required to solve the Elliptic Curve Discrete Logarithm Problem (ECDLP) using Shor’s algorithm.
    • Assessment of quantum computing capacity required to execute Shor’s algorithm, while accounting for circuit size and error rates on a quantum computer.
    • A new proposed approach to assess the relative quantum threat posed to a digital asset. This enables the tracking of risk against advances in quantum computers over time, regardless of the underpinning technologies used in a quantum computer.
    • The research paper will be presented at an academic conference in New York, International Conference on Digital Currencies and Payment Systems due to be held between 9th and 10th August 2021.

    Arqit’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, David Williams said, “The University of Surrey research paper highlights some critical issues that must be addressed and prioritised to ensure all digital assets are secure against quantum computer attacks. With mass digitisation of almost every aspect of our society already underway, and a number of governments considering the launch of their own digital currencies, this is now a global issue. The world needs stronger, simpler encryption to counter the major attacks seen daily today, and the quantum attack of tomorrow. We welcome this research which elaborates well the things that the digital assets community must consider to mitigate these cryptographic threats”.

    • Arqit will be publishing its response to the University of Surrey academic paper on Monday, 26 July, which will be available to view on www.arqit.uk/investors

    About the researchers:

    Stephen Holmes
    is Chief Product Officer at Arqit. He has 30 years of experience in IT, including appointments as CTO, consultant, enterprise architect, and product manager of disruptive innovation. He conducted his PhD research in post quantum cryptography applied to blockchain at the University of Surrey. Stephen has a wide range of experience in commercialising disruptive technologies and has worked at IBM laboratories, Hewlett Packard and was co-founder and CTO of Virtusa Xlabs. Stephen holds an MBA, specialising in marketing innovative products and services. Stephen has a passion for building secure systems and protecting privacy, and writes extensively about security, privacy, and quantum technologies. He represents the UK as a subject matter expert on ISO tc307 blockchain and DLT systems.

    Prof Liqun Chen joined the Department of Computer Science at the University of Surrey as Professor in Secure Systems in 2016. Prior to this appointment, she was a Principal Research Scientist at Hewlett Packard Laboratories in Bristol, UK, which she joined in 1997. Before that, she worked at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the University of Oxford. Her research interests include applied cryptography, trusted computing, and network security.

    -ends-

    About Arqit Limited:

    Arqit supplies a unique quantum encryption Platform-as-a-Service which secures the communications links of any networked device against current and future forms of attack – even from a quantum computer. Arqit’s product, QuantumCloud™, enables any device to download a lightweight software agent of less than 200 lines of code, which can create keys in partnership with any other device. The keys are, computationally secure, don’t exist until the moment they are needed and can never be known to a third party. QuantumCloud™ can create limitless volumes of keys in limitless group sizes and can regulate the secure entrance and exit of a device in a group. The addressable market for QuantumCloud™ is every connected device. The release of QuantumCloudTM 1.0 will launch to the first cohort of customers in the second half of 2021, with $130M in contracts already committed*.

    *As of release date

    On May 12, 2021, Arqit entered into a definitive agreement to combine with Centricus Acquisition Corp (NASDAQ: CENHU, CENH, CENHUW), a special purpose acquisition company, which would result in Arqit becoming a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the name Arqit Quantum Inc.

    Additional Information

    This communication is being made in respect of the proposed transaction involving Arqit Limited (“Arqit”), Centricus Acquisition Corp. (“Centricus”) and Arqit Quantum Inc. (“Pubco”), a newly formed Cayman holding company. This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such jurisdiction. In connection with the proposed transaction, Pubco has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a registration statement on Form F-4 that includes a proxy statement of Centricus in connection with Centricus’ solicitation of proxies for the vote by Centricus’ shareholders with respect to the proposed transaction and other matters as may be described in the registration statement. Pubco and Centricus also plan to file other documents with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction and a proxy statement/prospectus will be mailed to all holders of Centricus’ Class A ordinary shares. BEFORE MAKING ANY VOTING OR INVESTMENT DECISION, INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE FORM F-4 AND THE PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS REGARDING THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. The proxy statement/prospectus, as well as other filings containing information about Arqit and Centricus will be available without charge at the SEC’s Internet site (http://www.sec.gov). Copies of the proxy statement/prospectus can also be obtained, when available, without charge, from Arqit’s website at www.arqit.uk, or by directing a request to: Centricus Acquisition Corp., PO Box 309, Ugland House, Grand Cayman, KY1- 1104, Cayman Islands.

    Participants in the Solicitations

    Arqit, Centricus and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and other members of management and employees may, under SEC rules, be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from Centricus’ shareholders in connection with the proposed transaction. Information about Centricus’ directors and executive officers and their ownership of Centricus’ securities will be set forth in the proxy statement/prospectus when available. Additional information regarding the participants in the proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests will be included in the proxy statement/prospectus when it becomes available. Shareholders, potential investors and other interested persons should read the proxy statement/prospectus carefully when it becomes available before making any voting or investment decisions. You may obtain free copies of these documents from the sources indicated above.

    No Offer or Solicitation

    This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, or a solicitation of any vote or approval, nor shall there be any sale of securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offering of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of section 10 of the Securities Act, or an exemption therefrom.

    Caution About Forward-Looking Statements

    This communication includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Arqit’s and Centricus’s expectations and beliefs concerning future events and involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations. These factors are difficult to predict accurately and may be beyond Arqit’s and Centricus’s control. Forward-looking statements in this communication or elsewhere speak only as of the date made. New uncertainties and risks arise from time to time, and it is impossible for Arqit and Centricus to predict these events or how they may affect Arqit and Centricus. Except as required by law, neither Arqit and Centricus has any duty to, and does not intend to, update or revise the forward-looking statements in this communication or elsewhere after the date this communication is issued. In light of these risks and uncertainties, investors should keep in mind that results, events or developments discussed in any forward-looking statement made in this communication may not occur. Uncertainties and risk factors that could affect Arqit’s and Centricus’s future performance and cause results to differ from the forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to: (i) that the business combination may not be completed in a timely manner or at all, which may adversely affect the price of Centricus’ securities, (ii) the risk that the business combination may not be completed by Centricus’ business combination deadline and the potential failure to obtain an extension of the business combination deadline if sought by Centricus, (iii) the failure to satisfy the conditions to the consummation of the business combination, including the approval of the Business Combination Agreement by the shareholders of Centricus and the satisfaction of the minimum trust account amount following any redemptions by Centricus’ public shareholders, (iv) the lack of a third‐party valuation in determining whether or not to pursue the business combination, (v) the occurrence of any event, change or other circumstance that could give rise to the termination of the Business Combination Agreement, (vi) the effect of the announcement or pendency of the business combination on the Company’s business relationships, operating results, and business generally, (vii) risks that the business combination disrupt current plans and operations of the Company, (viii) the outcome of any legal proceedings that may be instituted against the Company or against Centricus related to the Business Combination Agreement or the business combination, (ix) the ability to maintain the listing of Centricus’ securities on a national securities exchange, (x) changes in the competitive and regulated industries in which the Company operates, variations in operating performance across competitors, changes in laws and regulations affecting the Company’s business and changes in the combined capital structure, (xi) the ability to implement business plans, forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the business combination, and identify and realize additional opportunities, (xii) the potential inability of the Company to convert its pipeline or orders in backlog into revenue, (xiii) the potential inability of the Company to successfully deliver its operational technology which is still in development, (xiv) the potential delay of the commercial launch of the Company’s products, (xv) the risk of interruption or failure of the Company’s information technology and communications system and (xvi) the enforceability of the Company’s intellectual property.

    Contacts

    Media relations enquiries:

    Arqit:

    Julie Moon

    T: +44 7825 503 950

    E: Julie.moon@arqit.uk

    SEC Newgate:

    arqit@secnewgate.co.uk

    Investor relations enquiries:

    Gateway: arqit@gatewayir.com

  • Prytek: QAssure Technologies and prooV™ Inc Announce Merger

    QAssure and Prytek owned prooV™ Merge to Accelerate Open Innovation and Digital Assurance for Enterprise

    SINGAPORE & LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aligned with Prytek’s strategy on building technologies and delivering managed services, it is building a new software testing arm by merging its own Technological company prooV™ with QAssure, a leading Asia based software testing company. After the merger Prytek will be the major shareholder providing software testing and prooV™ of Concept as a Service to the global market. Prytek is leading with the concept of BOPaaS (Business Operating Platform as Service) where it is lifting out entire operations from corporates providing them an entire operational solution based on Prytek technologies. The group operated in several sectors such as Financial Services, Cyber & Tech Education and HR sectors. This concept helps CEOs focus on their core business and outsource all banking regulations, software, and education requirements to Prytek.

    QAssure and prooV™ announced their agreement to merge under the name of QAssure with Durairaj Dhanasekaran as its CEO. QAssure market-leading testing company head quartered in Singapore with a continuous testing technology platform and managed service capability. prooV™ owned by Prytek, is the first and only end-to-end proof-of-concept platform for third-party software, enabling global enterprises to evaluate and adopt the right new technologies safely, at a fraction of the time and cost. The combined services represent the most modern platform for accelerating open innovation and transforming software testing to keep pace with digital transformation. The combined entity will have a global presence with offices in Asia, the US, and EMEA. This integration will reflect the commitment to innovation and customer success that both companies share.

    Andrey Yashunsky CEO of Prytek says “With this merger, we are creating deep tech proof of concept and digital assurance platform company that help accelerate and fast-track open innovation. With a strong implementation support centre based in Singapore, an R&D team based out of Israel and an offshore development team based out of India, we will be able to bring the best minds to build and deliver great technology and services addressing the global customer needs.”

    Toby Olshanetsky, CEO and co-founder of prooV™ adds “We are very excited with this merger, in prooV™ we created the first PoC as a Service platform and now we create the first full end to end solution for technology & innovation adoption, using prooV™ and QAssure we provide a 360 offering: before, during and after the POC, enterprises can assess and test multiple technologies simultaneously to identify feature sets, scaling challenges, performance bottlenecks, and security risks before releasing an application to production”.

    According to Technavio, the global software testing services market has the potential to grow by USD 34.49 billion during 2021-2025, and the market’s growth momentum will accelerate at a CAGR of 12.39%. Enterprises have started focusing more on Quality Assurance, which can be gained by the implementation of agile solutions, leading to significant investments for the advancement of the latest quality assurance & software testing services.

    About QAssure:

    QAssure Technologies is an Independent Software Testing Company founded in 2005. Headquartered in Singapore with an expanding presence in India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the USA, QAssure Technologies focuses on specialized QA Engineering and Testing services with continuous autonomous validation and verification platform. QAssure Technologies brings together the essential combinations of value-driven robust domain knowledge, platforms and exceptional technical capabilities and burgeoning strategic alliances for leading IT solutions. Our expanding global footprint makes it possible for us to meet the software testing demands with versatile delivery models and specialized resources.

    About Proov:

    prooV™ is the first and only end-to-end proof-of-concept platform for third-party software, enabling global enterprises to evaluate and adopt the right new technologies safely, at a fraction of the time and cost. prooV consolidates the PoC process into one end-to-end ecosystem. With its simplified configuration and single point of integration, prooV enables companies to complete PoCs within days, not months, to run multiple PoCs simultaneously and to quickly evaluate different technology solutions from pre-screened vendors. prooV is the must-have solution for any organization looking to fast-track innovation.

    About Prytek:

    Prytek is a multinational technology group that builds deep technology and SaaS solutions through a BOPaaS (Business Operating Platform-as-a-Service) which is a combination of Deep Tech Solutions with Managed Services and Capital, providing the capability to lift out entire operations to create more efficient businesses of the future. Headed by industry experts, Prytek builds businesses and ecosystems in the Financial Services, Cyber & Tech Education and HR sectors.

    Contacts

    Ruby Yeomans, Cognito

    Prytek@cognitomedia.com
    07463 730043

  • Multi-Million Pound Supply Partnership Between Octopus Hydrogen and Luxfer Will Drive Forward UK’s Green Transport Ambitions

    MANCHESTER, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A multi-million pound partnership between Octopus Hydrogen and Luxfer Gas Cylinders is paving the way to make heavy goods transportation and the aviation industries cleaner and greener.


    Luxfer Gas Cylinders – a leading manufacturer of high-pressure composite and aluminum cylinders worldwide – is joining forces with Octopus Hydrogen – a subsidiary of green energy tech pioneer Octopus Energy – in the specification and supply of bulk gas transport modules that will carry green hydrogen across the UK.

    The 40ft long units designed by Luxfer, which are called Multiple Element Gas Containers (MEGC), can transport 1.1 tonnes of hydrogen from the electrolyser plant to the point of use. They will be deployed from mid-2022 and will help address the infrastructure barrier that is impacting wide adoption of the technology.

    William Rowe, CEO and Founder of Octopus Hydrogen, said: “Our focus is on delivering green hydrogen to the sectors which cannot be decarbonised by batteries alone, mainly aviation and heavy-duty road vehicles. We are building a network of decentralised green hydrogen production sites using electrolysis, co-located with renewable energy generation, with localised distribution.

    “We are working with Luxfer Gas Cylinders to make green hydrogen for mobility a reality. Luxfer understands the challenges of safely transporting large amounts of hydrogen and is delivering a fantastic solution now and has a great future roadmap.”

    Luxfer’s alternative fuel experts have a proven track record in developing and supplying bulk gas transport solutions across Europe, Asia Pacific and North America.

    Mark Lawday, Global Sales Director from Luxfer added: “We manufacture over one million high performance, high pressure cylinders every year. In the alternative fuel sector, we have a team of designers and engineers who develop industry leading systems, integrating lightweight composite cylinders into fuel system modules for compressed natural gas and hydrogen applications ranging from buses, trucks, boats to bulk gas transport trailers.

    “Bulk gas transport for hydrogen is an important piece of the jigsaw in enabling the hydrogen economy to be fully realised and reach net zero goals. It’s an exciting step forward, and we’re proud to be working alongside Octopus Hydrogen to drive forward innovation.”

    Work to deliver the systems will be led from Luxfer’s UK manufacturing campus in Nottingham, which is home to an alternative fuel team that has designed bespoke hydrogen systems for world-first transport projects including double decker hydrogen buses, HGVs, and the UK’s first hydrogen train.

    About Octopus Hydrogen

    Octopus Hydrogen, an Octopus Energy Group company, is positioned to supply ‘green hydrogen as a service’ for heavy goods transportation, energy storage, industrial applications and aviation in UK, Europe and Australia, with the first kilos of green hydrogen to be sold in 2021. The intent is to remove the infrastructure cost and complexity from the end user and accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen as a fuel.

    Octopus Hydrogen will bring Octopus Energy’s unrivalled customer centric approach to the green hydrogen supply market. With the recent acquisition of Octopus Renewables and the world leading Kraken platform, the Group is uniquely positioned to drive down costs and help customers drive the transition to a competitive and 100% green economy.

    For more information, check out our website: https://www.octohydrogen.com/

    About Luxfer Gas Cylinders

    Luxfer Gas Cylinders (www.luxfercylinders.com) is the world’s largest manufacturer of high-pressure composite and aluminum cylinders. More than 70 million Luxfer cylinders in service around the world have an exemplary record for dependability and safety in a variety of applications, including firefighter and first-responder life support, medical, fire extinguishers, alternative fuel, specialty gas, beverage, aerospace, inflation, SCUBA and performance racing. An operating company of Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE:LXFR), Luxfer Gas Cylinders is based in Riverside, California, and has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., England, Canada, and China. For more information on Luxfer Gas Cylinders visit: https://www.luxfercylinders.com/.

    About Luxfer Holdings PLC (“Luxfer”)

    Luxfer is a global manufacturer of highly-engineered industrial materials, which focuses on value creation by using its broad array of technical knowhow and proprietary technologies. Luxfer’s high-performance materials, components, and high-pressure gas containment devices are used in defense and emergency response, healthcare, transportation, and general industrial applications. For more information, visit www.luxfer.com.

    Issued on behalf of Luxfer Cylinders by The Tonic Communications. For more information contact luxfer@thetoniccomms.co.uk or call 0115 8248254.

    Contacts

    Heather Harding – Chief Financial Officer

    luxfer@thetoniccomms.co.uk
    0115 8248254

  • KNOT Offshore Partners LP Announces Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Results Conference Call

    ABERDEEN, Scotland–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KNOT Offshore Partners LP (NYSE:KNOP) (“the Partnership”) plans to release its financial results for the Second Quarter of 2021 before opening of the market on Thursday, August 26, 2021.

    The Partnership also plans to host a conference call on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 11:00 AM (Eastern Time) to discuss the results for the Second Quarter of 2021. All unitholders and interested parties are invited to listen to the live conference call by choosing from the following options:

    • By dialing 1-855-209-8259 from the US, dialing 1-855-669-9657 from Canada or 1-412-542-4105 if outside North America (please ask to be joined into the KNOT Offshore Partners LP call).
    • By accessing the webcast, which will be available through the Partnership’s website: www.knotoffshorepartners.com.

    Our Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Presentation will also be available at www.knotoffshorepartners.com prior to the conference call start time.

    The conference call will be recorded and remain available until September 2, 2021. This recording can be accessed following the live call by dialing 1-877-344-7529 from the US, or 1-412-317-0088 if outside North America, and entering the replay access code 10158967.

    About KNOT Offshore Partners LP

    KNOT Offshore Partners LP owns, operates and acquires shuttle tankers under long-term charters in the offshore oil production regions of the North Sea and Brazil. KNOT Offshore Partners LP is structured as a publicly traded master limited partnership. KNOT Offshore Partners LP’s common units trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “KNOP.”

    Contacts

    KNOT Offshore Partners LP
    Gary Chapman

    Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer

    Email: ir@knotoffshorepartners.com
    Tel: +44 1224 618 420

AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of MS Amlin AG and Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#insuranceAM Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Ratings of A (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a+” (Excellent) of MS Amlin AG (Switzerland), and Lloyd’s Syndicate 2001 (Syndicate 2001) (United Kingdom), which is managed by MS Amlin Underwriting Limited. The outlooks of these Credit Ratings (ratings) are stable.

The ratings of MS Amlin AG reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). In addition, MS Amlin AG’s ratings benefit from enhancement due to the support of its ultimate parent, MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings, Inc. (MS&AD).

The ratings of Syndicate 2001 reflect the balance sheet strength of the Lloyd’s market, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as the market’s strong operating performance, favourable business profile and appropriate ERM. The Lloyd’s market rating is the floor for all syndicate ratings, reflecting the Lloyd’s chain of security, and, in particular, the role of the Central Fund, which partially mutualises capital at the market level.

MS Amlin AG is a mid-tier reinsurer with gross written premium of CHF 1.4 billion (USD 1.6 billion) in 2020. The company’s market position and brand benefit from its association with Syndicate 2001 and MS&AD. Syndicate 2001 is one of the largest Lloyd’s syndicates, with a capacity of GBP 1.6 billion for the 2021 year of account. MS Amlin AG and Syndicate 2001 are the key operating subsidiaries of Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Limited (MSI) in Europe. Syndicate 2001 writes a diversified book of property/casualty, marine and reinsurance business. MS Amlin AG writes reinsurance business only.

MS Amlin AG’s balance sheet strength is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation being at the strongest level, based on Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR) as at year-end 2020. The capital position is subject to potential volatility, due to the company’s exposure to high-severity losses. Nevertheless, AM Best expects that the company will maintain the strongest level of risk-adjusted capitalisation, supported by MS&AD if required. MS Amlin AG’s ratings consider the company’s strategic importance to MS&AD as the group’s principal international reinsurer.

MS Amlin AG and Syndicate 2001 reported underwriting losses in 2020 with combined ratios, as calculated by AM Best, of 106.7% and 118.8%, respectively. Loss ratios were impacted adversely by COVID-19 losses and to a lesser extent natural catastrophe events. Strategic portfolio remediation continued in 2020 and MS Amlin AG reported improved technical performance from 2019, excluding the COVID-19 losses. Syndicate 2001 exited a number of lines of business in 2020, which contributed to a reduction in net earned premium. MS Amlin AG and Syndicate 2001 reported positive investment returns in 2020.

On 1 January 2020, the ownership of MS Amlin AG along with Syndicate 2001’s managing agent and corporate member transferred from MS Amlin plc to MSI, a wholly owned subsidiary company of MS&AD. Throughout 2020 and continuing in 2021, a number of services and functions that were provided previously by a central company were transferred into the insurance entities. These structural changes increase transparency, simplify the operating model and facilitate greater oversight.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best press releases, please view Guide for Media – Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and AM Best Rating Action Press Releases.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2021 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Contacts

Barnaby Unwin Hoskins
Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0327
barnaby.unwinhoskins@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Tim Prince
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0320
timothy.prince@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Director, Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

Kyowa Kirin welcomes the decision that NICE will revisit their appraisal of the innovative systemic treatment, POTELIGEO®▼ (mogamulizumab), for adults living with two forms of ultra-rare non-Hodgkin lymphoma

NICE uphold appeal by Kyowa Kirin, for POTELIGEO in the treatment of those living with certain ultra-rare blood cancers

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has upheld an appeal lodged by Kyowa Kirin, Lymphoma Action and Leukaemia Care, and the UK Cutaneous Lymphoma Group (UKCLG) as part of the Single Technology Appraisal for POTELIGEO® (mogamulizumab) for the treatment of adults with the ultra-rare blood cancers mycosis fungoides (MF) or Sézary syndrome (SS) who have received at least one prior systemic therapy.1

The oral appeal hearing took place on 10 May 2021 in front of an independent Appeal Panel appointed by NICE. The Panel heard arguments from representatives of the appellants against the decision not to recommend POTELIGEO, as published in a Final Appraisal Document (FAD) on 4 March 2021.2

The parties involved in the appeal welcome this decision as it represents a significant and positive step forward for the cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) community, where there is a high clinical unmet need. Kyowa Kirin remains committed to finding a solution for people living with SS or MF to have access to POTELIGEO and will continue discussions with NICE and NHS England to find a resolution.

Richard Johnson, Northern Cluster General Manager, responsible for the UK at Kyowa Kirin, commented: “The outcome of this appeal is an important step in enabling access to an innovative treatment for people with MF or SS who have few systemic treatment options. We remain committed to working with the patient and clinical community, as appropriate, and we are optimistic that future reconsideration of evidence by the Committee, could resolve the challenges with this appraisal. We strongly believe in the clinical and cost effectiveness of POTELIGEO and will continue a dialogue with NICE and NHS England.”

MF and SS are two forms of CTCL3 which is a serious and potentially life-threatening form of cancer.4 Additionally, there is a significant impact on quality of life for those caring for an individual living with CTCL.5 CTCL is treatable but not curable and there is a clear unmet need for new treatment options.

Ropinder Gill, Chief Executive at Lymphoma Action commented: “We’re very grateful and pleased that the NICE Appeal Panel upheld the appeal around mogamulizumab on a number of grounds. This means that by relooking at aspects such as mogamulizumab’s cost effectiveness, there is an opportunity to make this treatment available to those people affected by skin lymphoma who have limited treatment options left. We are hopeful that NICE’s reassessment might bring parity with the SMC’s decision to make mogamulizumab available in Scotland.”

About POTELIGEO® (mogamulizumab)

Mogamulizumabis a first-in-class humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4), a protein consistently expressed on cancerous cells seen in both MF and SS;6,7,8 once mogamulizumab binds to CCR4, it increases attraction of immune cells from the immune system to destroy the cancerous cells.9

Mogamulizumab has been shown to offer benefits to many patients with MF and SS.10 The MAVORIC trial compared the efficacy of mogamulizumab with vorinostat in previously treated people with relapsed or refractory mycosis fungoides or Sézary syndrome, two types of Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).10 Patients taking mogamulizumab experienced control over their disease for more than twice as long as those taking the comparator treatment, vorinostat*1 (7.7 months vs 3.1 months of median progression free survival), the primary endpoint of the trial.10 Levels of adverse events were similar between the two treatment groups.10 The MAVORIC trial is the largest in CTCL; it enrolled a total of 372 patients across 61 sites in 11 countries (of which 16 sites were in Europe, including three in England).10

About Mycosis Fungoides (MF) and Sézary Syndrome (SS)

MF and SS are characterised by localisation of cancerous white blood cells called T lymphocytes (T cells), to the skin.11,12 These cancerous T cells consistently express a protein called CC-chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4), which enables them to move from the blood to the skin.6,7,8 When these cancerous T cells move to the skin, they can create a localised inflammatory immune skin response, commonly resulting in visible skin symptoms of red patches or plaques 6,13,14,15,16 which can resemble psoriasis or eczema.11

MF and SS can affect the skin, blood, lymph nodes (part of the body’s immune system which is spread throughout the body) and internal organs.17 All four areas of the body are used to assess disease stage,18,19 and clinically significant involvement of the blood, particularly in more advanced disease, is linked with increased morbidity and an overall reduction in patient survival.18,20,21

CTCL can take, on average, between 2 and 7 years for individuals to receive a confirmed diagnosis.22 It is critical for doctors to consider CTCL as an early differential diagnosis as the patient’s prognosis can be affected if the disease progresses to later stages.23 Whilst most individuals that present with early stage disease do not progress to a more severe stage,24 patients with advanced disease have significantly poorer outcomes with only around half of patients (52%) surviving for just 5 years.18

CTCL is a ultra-rare disease that affects 0.7 per 100,000 patients across the UK.25 The annual incidence of MF in Europe is estimated to be between 1 in 110,000 to 1 in 350,000.26 The annual incidence of SS is 1 in 10,000,000.27 Together they represent approximately 65% of all cases of CTCL.17

About Kyowa Kirin

Kyowa Kirin strives to create and deliver novel medicines with life-changing value. As a Japan based Global Specialty Pharmaceutical Company with a more than 70-year heritage, the company applies cutting-edge science including an expertise in antibody research and engineering, to address the needs of patients and society across multiple therapeutic areas including Nephrology, Oncology, Immunology/Allergy and Neurology. Across our four regions – Japan, Asia Pacific, North America and EMEA/International – we focus on our purpose, to make people smile, and are united by our shared values of commitment to life, teamwork/Wa, innovation, and integrity. You can learn more about the business of Kyowa Kirin at:

https://www.kyowakirin.com.

KKI/UK/POT/0019

Date of Preparation: June 2021

References

1* Vorinostat is a USA FDA-licensed existing treatment for MF and SS and is currently unlicensed in the EU


1 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Single Technology Appraisal – Appeal Hearing. Advice on mogamulizumab for previously treated mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome [ID1405]. Available from https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-ta10305/documents/appeal-decision Last Accessed: June 2021.

2 NICE FAD on mogamulizumab for treating for previously treated mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome [ID1405]. Available from: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/gid-ta10305/documents/final-appraisal-determination-document. Last Accessed: June 2021.

3 European Medicines Agency (EMA). POTELIGEO 4mg/mL, concentrate for solution for infusion – product information. Available from https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/11174. Last Accessed: June 2021.

4 National Organization for Rare Disorders: Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas. Available from: https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/cutaneous-t-cell-lymphomas/. Last Accessed: June 2021.

5 Williams et al (2020) – Health state utilities associated with caring for an individual with CTCL. Journal of Medical Economics. 2020; 23(10):1142-1150.

6 Ferenczi K, Fuhlbrigge RC, Pinkus J, et al. Increased CCR4 expression in cutaneous T cell lymphoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2002;119:1405-10.

7 Yoshie O, et al. Frequent Expression of CCR4 in Adult T-Cell Leukemia and Human T-cell Leukemia Virus Type 1-transformed T cells. Blood. 2002;99(5):1505-11.

8 Ishida T, et al. Clinical Significance of CCR4 Expression in Adult T-cell Leukemia/Lymphoma: Its Close Association With Skin Involvement and Unfavorable Outcome. Clin Cancer Res. 2003;9:3625-34.

9 Duvic M, et al. Mogamulizumab for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: recent advances and clinical potential. Ther Adv Hematol. 2016;7(3):171-174.

10 Kim YH, Bagot M, Pinter-Brown L, et al. Mogamulizumab versus vorinostat in previously treated cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (MAVORIC): an international, open-label, randomised, controlled phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2018;19(9):1192-1204.

11 Cutaneous Lymphoma Foundation, Lymphoma Action and Lymphoma Coalition Europe. Cutaneous lymphoma – a patient’s guide. 2019. Available from: https://lymphoma-action.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/2019-06/Cutaneous%20lymphoma%20-%20patient%26%23039%3Bs%20guide%20-%20English%20language%20source%20document%20-%20final%20version%20for%20publication%20-%20April%202019.pd Last accessed: June 2021.

12 Mariani M, Lang R, Binda E, et al. Dominance of CCL22 over CCL17 in induction of chemokine receptor CCR4 desensitization and internalization on human Th2 cells. Eur J Immunol. 2004;34(1):231-240.

13 Wilcox RA. Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: 2016 update on diagnosis, risk-stratification, and management. Am J Hematol. 2016;91(1):151-65.

14 Ni X, Jorgensen JL, Goswami M, et al. Reduction of regulatory T cells by Mogamulizumab, a defucosylated anti-CC chemokine receptor 4 antibody, in patients with aggressive/refractory mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome. Clin Cancer Res. 2014; 21(2):274-85.

15 Kakinuma T, Sugaya M, Nakamura K, et al. Hymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) in mycosis fungoides: serum TARC levels reflect the disease activity of mycosis fungoides. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003;48(1):23-30.

16 Girardi M, Heald PW, Wilson LD. The Pathogenesis of Mycosis Fungoides. NEJM. 2004;350(19):1978-88.

17 Olsen E, Vonderheid E, Pimpinelli N, et al. Revisions to the staging and classification of mycosis fungoides and Sezary syndrome: a proposal of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas (ISCL) and the cutaneous lymphoma task force of the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC). Blood. 2007;110(6):1713-22.

18 Scarisbrick JJ, Prince M, Vermeer MH, et al. Cutaneous Lymphoma International Consortium Study of Outcome in Advanced Stages of Mycosis Fungoides and Sézary Syndrome: Effect of Specific Prognostic Markers on Survival and Development of a Prognostic Model. J Clin Oncol. 2015;33(32):3766-3773.

19 Willemze R, Hodak E, Zinzani PL et al. Primary cutaneous lymphomas: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. Ann Oncol. 2018;29(4):1-29.

20 Kim EJ, Hess S, Richardson SK, et al. Immunopathogenesis and therapy of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. J Clin Invest. 2005;115(4):798-812.

21 Scarisbrick JJ, Whittaker, S, Evans, AV, et al. Prognostic significance of tumor burden in the blood of patients with erythrodermic primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Blood. 2001;97(3):624-30.

22 CL Foundation: A Patient’s Guide. Available from: https://www.clfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/a_patients_guide.pdf. Last Accessed: June 2021.

23 Agar N, et al. Survival Outcomes and Prognostic Factors in Mycosis Fungoides/Sezary Syndrome: Validation of the Revised International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas/European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Staging Proposal. J Clin Ocol. 2010;28(31):4730-4739.

24 Krejsgaard T, Lindahl LM, Mongan NP, et al. Malignant inflammation in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma—a hostile takeover. Semin Immunopathol. 2017;39(3):269–282.

25 Gilson, D, et al. British Association of Dermatologists and UK Cutaneous Lymphoma Group Guidelines for the management of primary cutaneous lymphoma. British Journal of Dermatology. 2019. 180. pp.496-526

26 Orphanet: Mycosis Fungoides. Available from: https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?Lng=GB&Expert=2584. Last Accessed: June 2021.

27 Orphanet: Sézary syndrome. Available from: https://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?Expert=3162. Last Accessed: June 2021.

KKI/UK/POT/0019

Date of Preparation: June 2021

Contacts

Contacts for Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd.:
Media
Victoria Hayes

+ 44 (0)7771107406

Email: victoria.hayes@kyowakirin.com

Avacta Announces Registration of its AffiDX SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Lateral Flow Test in EU

CAMBRIDGE & WETHERBY, England–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), the developer of diagnostics and innovative cancer therapies based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms, is pleased to announce that it has received notice of registration of its AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test in the EU allowing the Company to place the product on the market in all 27 countries of the EU for professional use.

Lateral flow antigen tests are intended to provide a cost effective and rapid means of identifying individuals with a high viral load that means they are more likely to infect others. The clinical data for Avacta’s AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen lateral flow test reported 20 April 2021, demonstrated 100% sensitivity for identifying infectious individuals with viral loads measured by PCR of Ct<27.

Avacta has multiple ongoing commercial discussions with distributors and end-user customers in countries that accept the CE mark for in vitro diagnostic products. The product registration by a Competent Authority in the EU allows the Company to sell the product in the EU for professional use. The Company is progressing multiple commercial opportunities with distributors and end users in Europe and this product registration is the key final step towards commercialisation.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented: “We are delighted to receive confirmation of the registration of the AffiDX® SARS-CoV-2 antigen test in the EU. The EU is an important market for us, and the product registration is a key commercialisation milestone.

“The results of the recent clinical evaluation of the test at a clinical site in Europe demonstrate the test has excellent sensitivity across a range of viral loads, which would be considered infectious. This excellent performance and ease of nasal sampling, coupled with the fact that the AffiDX test is has been developed in the UK, is based on UK technology and is manufactured in the UK, are huge selling points for customers in Europe.

“Lateral flow tests have a crucial role to play in helping our societies and economies return to normal, and I am confident that the AffiDX® test will now play a significant part in this process.”

Contacts

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Katie Odgaard

Tel: +44 (0) 7787 502 947

katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com