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Invitae to Acquire Jungla to Advance Genetic Variant Interpretation, Adds Supplemental RNA Analysis to Deliver Deeper, More Informative Results to Patients

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Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Jungla Inc., a privately held company funded by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) that has developed a cloud-based platform that combines clinical knowledge with advances in functional genomics, biophysics, cellular engineering, machine learning, and distributed systems to help clinicians and patients understand the results of genetic and genomic tests. The combination is expected to further enhance Invitae’s genetic variant interpretation and ability to deliver high-quality, more affordable genetic testing for use in mainstream medical care. Separately, Invitae announced the addition of RNA analysis to its commercial testing, beginning with patients undergoing cancer testing.

“Interpreting the genetic variants observed during sequencing is what turns genetic data into decision-making power for patients and clinicians. Bringing Jungla’s technologies onto our platform will help us provide support to our patients in a scalable way,” said Sean George, co-founder and chief executive officer of Invitae. “Whether incorporating computational and experimental approaches for protein analysis or adding RNA analysis to augment variant interpretation, we lead the molecular genetic testing industry in leveraging advanced clinical genetic variant interpretation technologies that enable us to provide patients and clinicians with genetic information to inform healthcare decisions.”

Large-Scale Molecular and Genomic Technologies to Enhance Variant Interpretation

Jungla’s Functional Modeling Platform (FMP) is an active machine learning engine that enhances clinical knowledge by continuously integrating functional, structural and computational data into auditable and accurate predictive models for clinical variant interpretation. The technology delivers performance that exceeds recommendations from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) and the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) across hundreds of genes and conditions.

Jungla’s technology can augment Invitae’s ability to understand the impact of variants on molecular function, be they protein or RNA molecules, through the application of advanced methods in functional genomics, structural biology and biophysics. This technology, coupled with Invitae’s exacting, logical and reproducible approach for variant classification and interpretation, Sherloc, can help Invitae deliver more informative results to patients.

In November 2018, Invitae and Jungla successfully completed a four-month pilot study of the performance of Jungla’s proprietary technologies in predicting the clinical relevance of differences in human DNA sequence (variants) found in individuals undergoing testing for hereditary disease. The results demonstrated that support from Jungla’s FMP can markedly increase the molecular understanding of variants while maintaining the high accuracy of Invitae’s classifications, thereby significantly increasing the efficiency of interpretation and scalability of genetic testing with enhanced quality of test results. In addition, the prospective integration of Invitae’s knowledge-base and Jungla’s technologies is expected to optimize clinical guidance, leveraging the data from each patient to improve results for the next. The results show that Jungla’s technologies can clarify the interpretation of variants, moving them from the uncertain category to pathogenic or benign status.

“At Jungla, we are continuously applying and combining advances in molecular, cellular, and computational technologies to the complex work of genetic variant interpretation with the goal of making it easier to conduct the highest quality genetic interpretation at scale,” said Carlos Araya, co-founder and chief executive officer of Jungla. “Our team has been at the forefront of technologies to accelerate the understanding of variants for nearly a decade. Combining our learning engine with Invitae’s rigorous interpretation framework will extend the reach of our technology and help more patients and clinicians get the information they need.”

Under the definitive agreement, Invitae will acquire Jungla for approximately $50 million upon closing, $35 million of which shall be in Invitae common stock and $15 million of which shall be in cash, subject to certain adjustments. In addition, Invitae will pay up to $15 million upon the achievement of certain milestones, mostly in stock with the balance in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in the coming days, subject to customary closing conditions. Invitae has already factored in the additional operating expense of this acquisition in prior statements about expected 2019 cash burn.

Supplemental RNA Analysis Further Deepens Variant Classification in Cancer Testing

While most gene changes associated with a hereditary disease have their effect by directly altering the function of the protein that is specified by that gene, a small fraction of gene changes are known to alter the way messenger RNAs (mRNAs), the blueprints for proteins, are made in the body. A growing area of research has focused on using RNA analysis to help resolve variants of uncertain significance (VUS), particularly those VUS that are predicted to affect mRNA creation, also known as RNA splicing. In order to contribute to this research and further reduce the uncertainty inherent in genetic testing results, Invitae has added supplemental RNA testing for VUS that are predicted to affect RNA splicing and have been identified in a gene from any of our hereditary cancer panels.

Invitae’s approach to supplemental RNA analysis, RNA-seq, includes both qualitative (evaluation of abnormal mRNAs) and quantitative (the amount of mRNAs) results, which ultimately provides deeper insight into the variant-disease relationship compared to the use of qualitative results alone.

“The addition of RNA analysis to our variant classification pipeline provides another tool to reduce the number of variants that cannot be confidently classified based on DNA sequencing alone,” said Robert Nussbaum, chief medical officer of Invitae. “By applying this technology first to those cancer genes and variants where it is most immediately useful, we can provide deeper, more complete genetic information for patients and clinicians making critical clinical decisions.”

RNA analysis is now in use as a component of Invitae’s VUS resolution program as applied to  Invitae’s hereditary cancer syndrome gene testing, with broader application in other disease areas planned for later this year.

 

SOURCE Invitae Corporation

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UBS Managing Director Choo Oi Yee To Join iSTOX As Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

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UBS Managing Director Choo Oi Yee To Join iSTOX As Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)

 

iSTOX, the first regulated platform in any major global financial center to offer end-to-end issuance, custody, and trading of digitized securities, is pleased to announce the appointment of Choo Oi Yee as its first Chief Commercial Officer (CCO).

Choo has over 20 years of experience in the investment and banking industry, most recently as Managing Director and Head of Singapore Corporate Client Solutions for UBS, where she was responsible for UBS Singapore’s investment banking business. In her new role at iSTOX, Choo will be a key member of iSTOX’s management team responsible for driving the company’s overall business growth by building its network of investors and issuers. She will join the iSTOX team in January of 2020.

“I see some truly fundamental changes on the horizon for capital markets and I believe that Singapore — and the iSTOX team — are uniquely well positioned to take advantage of them,” she said. “I’m very excited to be joining the team and look forward to helping iSTOX grow into the platform of choice for 21st century issuance and investment.”

Choo’s appointment comes at a strategically important period for the company; iSTOX has initiated plans to grow its base of issuers and investors as it works towards graduation from MAS’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox in early 2020.

“It was clear to us that we needed someone with Oi Yee’s stature, reputation, and experience for our CCO role. Among other requirements, we needed someone with deep securities, issuance, and trading experience at a very senior level; someone with outstanding relationships with major institutional investors, business leaders, family offices, and others; and, most importantly, someone with a deep and instinctual understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing issuers and investors,” said Danny Toe, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ICHX.

“We are pleased to welcome Oi Yee to the team as we open up applications for iSTOX investor accounts and plan an exciting issuer pipeline ahead of our projected sandbox graduation early next year,” said Darius Liu, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of iSTOX.

 

SOURCE iSTOX

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Euromoney TRADEDATA Partners With UK FinTech ipushpull to Create On-demand ‘Data-as-a-service’

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Euromoney TRADEDATA is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with ipushpull, a powerful data sharing and workflow platform.

Euromoney TRADEDATA recognises that the on-demand model is the future of data consumption, particularly within community chat and messaging networks, as part of a suite of delivery systems required to service all parts of the market that need futures and options reference data.

Through a single connection to ipushpull, Euromoney TRADEDATA can distribute data into a variety of applications including Symphony, the secure collaboration platform, with nearly half a million connected financial market users. The ipushpull platform provides Euromoney TRADEDATA with new distribution channels for secure, audited, access-controlled data delivery.

Mark Woolfenden, Managing Director of Euromoney TRADEDATA, comments:

“This is a very important integration for Euromoney TRADEDATA, as we begin to experiment with embedded, on-demand workflow functionality and delivery systems for our reference data. We recognise ipushpull as a leading exponent in data sharing workflow technology and we expect further benefits from their connections to other community messaging solutions. Also, as part of the offering, we can now offer a functionally rich Excel plugin for desktop users to access our reference data, which integrates seamlessly within users’ existing workflows. In addition, we look forward to working with ipushpull to develop a clutch of bots, to further enhance our customers’ experience in using our data services.”

Matthew Cheung, CEO of ipushpull, comments:

“We’re excited to offer Euromoney TRADEDATA new avenues to deliver and monetise their data to a variety of desktop and cloud services. We see this innovative approach as the first step towards an on-demand ‘Netflix’-style distribution model for data producers and consumers.”

 

SOURCE Euromoney TRADEDATA; ipushpull

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360 Finance’s LendingAdda Launches Diwali Offers

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Photo source: m.chinaknowledge.com

LendingAdda consumer lending marketplace owned by parent company 360 Finance (NASDAQ: QFIN) announces Diwali offer for credit card holders. On 6th October, SBI announced a bumper Diwali offer for its credit card holder; on 10th October, the State Bank of India approved a ten percent discount for its credit card users; on 14th October, LendingAdda launched the credit card function, and AMEX, SBI, Citi banks’ cards are included.

Due to India’s inefficient banking system, most people do not have a credit history, which leads to lower utilization of credit cards and limited accessible for many.

In this condition, fintech companies empower people’s lives compared with banks. LendingAdda, a digital finance platform, has integrated more diversified financial services. Its innovative data-driven and behavioral risk management models can help overcome barriers that arise from a lack of widespread and robust credit scoring.

Prantik Ray, professor of finance at XLRI-Xavier School of Management at the University of Minnesota, has stated that digital finance can be instrumental in providing credit ratings and potentially be leveraged in other areas. In essence, online finance can help create more possibilities in people’s lives.

LendingAdda evaluates a user’s credit based on big data and selects the most suitable loan and credit card product offers for consumers using intelligent matching. So far, it has offered lending services to more than 4 million Indians, and the number of borrowers is multiplying.

Most importantly, LendingAdda’s products cover almost every part of a user’s daily life: microfinance, credit cards, commercial loans, mortgages, auto loans, medical loans, education loans, etc., and its interest rate is usually lower than banks.

Additionally, LendingAdda has a higher credit line (up to 10 lakhs), which can almost always meet the borrowing needs of consumers, and the money arrival rate is less than 5 minutes, which was much faster than the bank.

With the help of LendingAdda, Moham finally got his wish of buying an iPhone for his girlfriend, which he thinks will help him bring greater happiness to his life.

How does LendingAaad help people accomplish their dreams?

Compared with many other enterprises, LendingAdda has world-class technology that enables it to offer a highly secure lending process with tailored products and services that help serve the daily lives of its users.

 

SOURCE 360 Finance, Inc.

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