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Partnership to focus on Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity

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Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis announced today a partnership to transform and accelerate research into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, diabetes and obesity. All are common, debilitating and often deadly diseases that affect millions of people worldwide, at all levels of income.

As part of the partnership, Centene will fund up to $100 million over 10 years in research at Washington University. The funding will galvanize the School of Medicine’s Personalized Medicine Initiative, which aims to develop customized disease treatment and prevention for patients. Innovations that arise from the initiative will be commercialized through the ARCH Personalized Medicine Initiative, a joint venture between the School of Medicine and Centene. Reflecting the philosophy of both institutions, ARCH is designed to accelerate the development and implementation of affordable and accessible health solutions to the public using the intellectual property developed from this research.

“We share the goal of helping to improve the health of our communities through research, education and customized treatment for people suffering from chronic illnesses,” said Michael F. Neidorff, chairman and CEO for Centene. “We believe personalized medicine is the path to ensure patients get the targeted health care they need to fight disease, and we look forward to partnering with such a renowned medical school to initially focus on four diseases that impact millions of Americans, including many of our health plan members.”

The investment will leverage the university’s cutting-edge research and biomedical capabilities, including state-of-the-art technologies such as CRISPR, and internationally known scientists in the areas of the microbiome, immunomodulatory therapies, cancer genomics, neurodegeneration, cellular reprogramming, chemical biology, informatics and others. In addition, the funds will strengthen resources at more than a dozen centers and institutes at the School of Medicine, including the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology; the Andrew M. and Jane M. Bursky Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy ProgramsSiteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine; the Elizabeth H. and James S. McDonnell III Genome Institute; the Institute for Informatics; and the Center of Regenerative Medicine.

“We will be bringing together world-class resources and intellectual horsepower from every basic and clinical scientific discipline to urgently accelerate the timeline for developing therapies that are more precisely targeted, with aspirations to do so in the next five to seven years,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, the George and Carol Bauer Dean, and the Spencer T. and Ann. W. Olin Distinguished Professor at the School of Medicine. “I believe the most important advances that will evolve from the personalized medicine paradigm will come from harnessing genome engineering technologies to build better model systems of each human disease, and utilizing deep genomic and clinical characterization to enable more effective and less expensive clinical trials.”

Perlmutter continued, “The partnership supports our global leadership in understanding sequence variants in biological systems that will pave the way for new therapeutic targets, as well as learning more about our own innate biology. Once personalized medicine becomes common practice, health-care workers may examine each patient’s genome — as well as information regarding his or her environment, lifestyle and social network — to identify a customized, affordable approach to optimizing health and medical care.”

Centene and Washington University will host a press briefing at a later date to be determined.

About Centene Corporation
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), in addition to other state-sponsored programs, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly known as “Part D”), dual eligible programs and programs with the U.S. Department of Defense. Centene also provides healthcare services to groups and individuals delivered through commercial health plans. Centene operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health management, care management software, correctional healthcare services, dental benefits management, commercial programs, home-based primary care services, life and health management, vision benefits management, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services.

Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the Company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene’s investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.

About Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
Washington University School of Medicine’s 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements

All statements, other than statements of current or historical fact, contained in this communication are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “seek,” “target,” “goal,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “continue” and other similar words or expressions (and the negative thereof). We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe-harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and Centene Corporation is including this statement for purposes of complying with these safe-harbor provisions. In particular, these statements include, without limitation, statements about Centene’s future operating or financial performance, market opportunity, growth strategy, competition, expected activities in completed and future acquisitions, including statements about the impact of Centene’s proposed acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (the “WellCare Transaction”), Centene’s recent acquisition (the “Fidelis Care Transaction”) of substantially all the assets of New York State Catholic Health Plan, Inc., d/b/a Fidelis Care New York (“Fidelis Care“), investments and the adequacy of Centene’s available cash resources.

These forward-looking statements reflect Centene’s current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by us in light of Centene’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors Centene believes appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause Centene’s or its industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions.

All forward-looking statements included in this filing are based on information available to us on the date of this communication. Except as may be otherwise required by law, Centene undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this filing. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, variables and events including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the risk that regulatory or other approvals required for the WellCare Transaction may be delayed or not obtained or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated that could require the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources or otherwise have an adverse effect on Centene; (ii) the risk that Centene’s stockholders do not approve the issuance of shares of Centene common stock in the WellCare Transaction; (iii) the risk that WellCare’s stockholders do not adopt the merger agreement; (iv) the possibility that certain conditions to the consummation of the WellCare Transaction will not be satisfied or completed on a timely basis and accordingly the WellCare Transaction may not be consummated on a timely basis or at all; (v) uncertainty as to the expected financial performance of the combined company following completion of the WellCare Transaction; (vi) the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the WellCare Transaction will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; (vii) the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required, in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for the WellCare Transaction; (viii) the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of the WellCare Transaction or that the integration of WellCare will be more difficult or time consuming than expected; (ix) the risk that potential litigation in connection with the WellCare Transaction may affect the timing or occurrence of the WellCare Transaction or result in significant costs of defense, indemnification and liability; (x) a downgrade of the credit rating of Centene’s indebtedness, which could give rise to an obligation to redeem existing indebtedness; (xi) unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the WellCare Transaction; (xii) the possibility that competing offers will be made to acquire WellCare; (xiii) the inability to retain key personnel; (xiv) disruption from the announcement, pendency and/or completion of the WellCare Transaction, including potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships with customers, employees, suppliers or regulators, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; and (xv) the risk that, following the WellCare Transaction, the combined company may not be able to effectively manage its expanded operations.

Additional factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) Centene’s ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; (ii) competition; (iii) membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; (iv) changes in healthcare practices, new technologies, and advances in medicine; (v) increased healthcare costs, (vi) changes in economic, political or market conditions; (vii) changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions or judicial actions, including the ultimate outcome of the District Court decision in “Texas v. United States of America” regarding the constitutionality of the ACA; (viii) rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting Centene’s government businesses; (ix) Centene’s ability to adequately price products on federally facilitated and state-based Health Insurance Marketplaces; (x) tax matters; (xi) disasters or major epidemics; (xii) the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; (xiii) changes in expected contract start dates; (xiv) provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; (xv) the expiration, suspension, or termination of Centene’s contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); (xvi) the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; (xvii) challenges to Centene’s contract awards; (xviii) cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; (xix) the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including, without limitation, the Fidelis Care Transaction, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; (xx) the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for acquisitions, including the Fidelis Care Transaction; (xxi) disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including, among others, the Fidelis Care Transaction, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; (xxii) the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions, including, among others, the Fidelis Care Transaction; (xxiii) changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; (xxiv) the risk that acquired businesses, including Fidelis Care, will not be integrated successfully; (xxv) the risk that, following the Fidelis Care Transaction, Centene may not be able to effectively manage its expanded operations; (xxvi) restrictions and limitations in connection with Centene’s indebtedness; (xxvii) Centene’s ability to maintain the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; (xxviii) availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to us; (xxxix) inflation; and (xxx) foreign currency fluctuations.

This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other factors that may affect Centene’s business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in Centene’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including Centene’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.  Due to these important factors and risks, Centene cannot give assurances with respect to Centene’s future performance, including without limitation Centene’s ability to maintain adequate premium levels or Centene’s ability to control its future medical and selling, general and administrative costs.

 

SOURCE: Centene Corporation

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VersaPay Announces Dream Office REIT as Newest CRE Client

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VersaPay Corporation (TSXV: VPY) (“VersaPay”), a leading provider of cloud-based invoice-to-cash solutions including electronic invoice presentment and payment, automated accounts receivable, cash application and collections management, is pleased to announce that it has added Dream Office REIT (“Dream Office”) as its newest commercial real estate client.

“With our real estate portfolio expanding in Canada and the US, our objective is to enhance our tenants’ experience and provide them with a convenient web-based and mobile portal where they can access their account, retrieve invoices, communicate and make secure electronic payments,” stated Joanne Leitch, Vice President, Property and Operations Accounting at Dream Office. “We want to create efficiencies by eliminating manual processes, minimize errors and reduce the need for tenant account reconciliations. VersaPay offered the platform to make all of this possible.”

“Through our vendor selection process we searched for a company who could provide a platform with extensive functionality with whom we could partner to provide our tenants an improved experience. VersaPay provided what we were looking for in addition to a robust integration with our JD Edwards ERP to provide real-time AR and cash review,” stated Travis Vokey, Vice President and Head of Technology for Dream Office.

“We are so pleased to be working with Dream Office, a forward-thinking Commercial Real Estate company located right here in Toronto,” said Craig O’Neill, CEO of VersaPay. “Dream is a leader in its industry, offering high-quality central business district office properties to an impressive list of tenants. One of the keys to its success has been providing tenants with a market leading experience in all facets of the business, and we’re delighted to extend this to their tenants’ experience in billing and payments.”

 

SOURCE VersaPay Corporation

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Xoom Rolls Out Domestic Money Transfer Services in the U.S.

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Xoom, PayPal’s international money transfer service, today rolled out the ability for customers to send money to recipients in the U.S. for the first time. Through strategic alliances with Walmart and Ria, Americans can now use Xoom to send money fast for cash pick-up typically in minutes at nearly 5,000 locations across the country*.

Xoom’s services potentially benefit more than 44 million foreign-born people in the U.S.1 who send remittances to family and friends in their home countries. With the introduction of domestic money transfer services, Xoom will now serve even more customers, including more than half of Americans who make domestic person-to-person (P2P) payments2. Using Xoom’s mobile app or website, consumers will have the ability to send money quickly and securely for cash pick-up at any Walmart or Ria-owned store in the U.S.

“Many of our customers in the U.S. already send money to loved ones in the country, and they usually prefer that the money is available right away,” shared Julian King, Xoom’s Vice President and General Manager. “This rollout reinforces our commitment to make money transfers fast, easy and affordable for everyone, whether they are at home or on-the-go.”

“At Ria, we are delighted to further consolidate our relationship with Xoom and Walmart,” said Juan Bianchi, CEO of Euronet’s Money Transfer Segment. “Our continued partnership is a fine example of how Ria’s technology can serve as an enabler between platforms, offering consumers and partners an added layer of security and compliance screening, in turn facilitating value creation within the Fintech ecosystem.”

Many consumers in the U.S. face personal, institutional and policy-related barriers to access the financial system. These underbanked consumers rely heavily on fringe financial service providers to conduct routine financial transactions and pay high fees in the process. With Xoom’s introduction of domestic transfers, Americans can send money at affordable rates for cash pick-up quickly at 4,684 Walmart stores and 175 Ria locations across the United States. For more information on store locations and eligible banks, visit xoom.com.

A pioneer in digital remittances, Xoom is a fast way to securely send money, pay bills and reload phones for loved ones in over 160 countries globally. These remittances serve as a lifeline for many people around the world and are used to pay for every day needs like utility bills, healthcare, and education costs, as well as emergencies. The largely cash-based system of sending money across borders is full of paperwork, high fees, standing in line and an ever-present uncertainty of when, and if, the money will arrive when it’s needed. By providing fast and more secure payment options for customers to seamlessly and securely send money across borders by going online or using a mobile device, PayPal and Xoom are helping to expand and improve the financial health of millions of people worldwide.

*Fees and Limitations apply

 

SOURCE PayPal, Inc.

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SpeakEasy Awarded Cultivation, Processing and Cannabis Sales Licence by Health Canada

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SpeakEasy Cannabis Club Ltd. (CSE: EASY) (Frankfurt: 39H) (“SpeakEasy” or the “Company“) is pleased to announce that it has received Health Canada’s coveted licence for cultivation, processing and medical sales. The Company, situated on 290 acres of fertile land in the Okanagan’s renowned Golden Mile, has demonstrated adherence to the industry’s rigorous compliance standards, and can now grow and provide its high quality, small-batch cannabis to the burgeoning recreational and medical markets.

With the receipt of the licences, the Company has immediately begun cultivation of cannabis in its 10,000-square-foot, purpose-built, state of the art facility. The Company has aquired an extensive library of unique genetics that will be used as starting material for the cultivation of cannabis at the facility.

SpeakEasy’s outdoor cultivation site has also been completed and stands ready to receive these genetics for the 2020 growing season. SpeakEasy plans to submit its evidence package for the outdoor field and amend its licence to allow outdoor cultivation on its 60 acre field. “Receiving our licence at long last, is a dream come true for all of us in the SpeakEasy family. The support we have received from shareholders, employees, family and friends has been overwhelming and I appreciate you all more than I can say,” says Marc Geen, founder of SpeakEasy. “When it comes to producing phenomenal craft cannabis, farms will always be superior to factories and culture will always speak louder than corporations. Real people recognize authenticity and SpeakEasy intends to lead by example, sharing the story of our people through the excellence of our product.” With the anticipation of receiving its outdoor licence, SpeakEasy is positioned to become one of the largest cannabis producers in Canada with extremely low cost per gram outdoor grown flower and extremely high quality small batch indoor flower.

SpeakEasy recently completed the transformation of a 60 acre orchard into a custom built outdoor cannabis cultivation environment. The fertile agricultural land is expected to enable the farm to produce up to approximately 70,000kg of cannabis flower and the Company plans to double the output to up to approximately 150,000kg, pending approval of its outdoor cultivation licence.

Construction commenced in the fall of 2017 on the 80,000-square-foot SpeakEasy campus in anticipation of demand for SpeakEasy’s craft cannabis flower and value added products. Buildings two and three were completed to lock-up in the second quarter of 2019 and building four, another 26,600-square-foot facility commenced in the spring of 2019 and is also at the lock-up stage of its development. The anticipated use of building four is the processing of sun grown outdoor flower and biomass for extraction. SpeakEasy has accumulated an impressive library of unique genetics from sources outside existing licence holders, empowering the Company to develop new strains, unique to SpeakEasy, for both indoor and outdoor cultivation.

SpeakEasy founders and team members are long standing advocates for the value of community and harnessing the power of combined expertise through successful farming cooperatives. SpeakEasy now plans to apply the same values for cannabis farming. SpeakEasy’s innovative business model is designed to support industry-leading talent through shared knowledge, resources and passion, with a commitment to maintaining exceptional quality standards and developing unique cannabis strains. The Company empowers experienced growers and geneticists to operate independently with the freedom to develop each cultivar to perfection.

 

SOURCE Speakeasy Cannabis Club Ltd.

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