Cytokinetics Announces Dosing of First Patient in Japan in GALACTIC-HF, Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Omecamtiv Mecarbil in Patients With Heart Failure

  • By Alta Partners
  • 20 Sep, 2017

Company Earns $10 Million Milestone Payment from Amgen

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Sept. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cytokinetics, Incorporated (Nasdaq: CYTK ) today announced that the first patient has been dosed in Japan in GALACTIC-HF ( Global Approach to Lowering Adverse Cardiac Outcomes Through Improving Contractility in Heart Failure), the Phase 3 cardiovascular outcomes clinical trial of omecamtiv mecarbil  which is being conducted by Amgen, in collaboration with Cytokinetics.  Coincident with patient dosing, Amgen will make a $10 million milestone payment to Cytokinetics. Omecamtiv mecarbil , a novel investigational cardiac myosin activator that increases cardiac contractility, is being developed by Amgen in collaboration with Cytokinetics for the potential treatment of heart failure.

Site activation and patient dosing in Japan follows the announcement in August of positive results from the Phase 2 clinical trial of omecamtiv mecarbil  in Japanese patients with heart failure. This Phase 2 clinical trial, designed to assess the pharmacokinetics of omecamtiv mecarbil  as well as its effect on cardiac function, safety and tolerability in Japanese patients with chronic heart failure, met its pharmacokinetic primary endpoint and demonstrated statistically significant improvements in systolic ejection time (SET), a secondary endpoint. The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, safety, and tolerability data from this trial were consistent with previously reported results from COSMIC-HF.

About GALACTIC-HF

GALACTIC-HF ( Global Approach to Lowering Adverse Cardiac Outcomes Through Improving Contractility in Heart Failure) is a Phase 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled multicenter clinical trial designed to determine if treatment with omecamtiv mecarbil  when added to standard of care is superior to standard of care plus placebo in reducing the risk of cardiovascular death or heart failure events in patients with high risk chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction. GALACTIC-HF is planned to enroll approximately 8,000 symptomatic chronic heart failure patients in over 800 sites in 34 countries who are either currently hospitalized for a primary reason of heart failure or have had a hospitalization or admission to an emergency room for heart failure within one year prior to screening. GALACTIC-HF is being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the U.S. FDA.

About Omecamtiv Mecarbil

Omecamtiv mecarbil  is a novel cardiac myosin activator. Cardiac myosin is the cytoskeletal motor protein in the cardiac muscle cell that is directly responsible for converting chemical energy into the mechanical force resulting in cardiac contraction. Cardiac myosin activators are thought to accelerate the rate-limiting step of the myosin enzymatic cycle and shift the enzymatic cycle in favor of the force-producing state. Preclinical research has shown that cardiac myosin activators increase contractility in the absence of changes in intracellular calcium in cardiac myocytes. Omecamtiv mecarbil  is being developed by Amgen in collaboration with Cytokinetics. Amgen holds an exclusive, worldwide license to omecamtiv mecarbil  and related compounds, subject to Cytokinetics’ specified development and commercialization rights. Amgen has also entered an alliance with Servier for exclusive commercialization rights in Europe as well as the Commonwealth of Independent States, including Russia. Servier contributes funding for development and provides strategic support to the program.

About Cytokinetics

Cytokinetics is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing first-in-class muscle activators as potential treatments for debilitating diseases in which muscle performance is compromised and/or declining. As a leader in muscle biology and the mechanics of muscle performance, the company is developing small molecule drug candidates specifically engineered to increase muscle function and contractility. Cytokinetics’ lead drug candidate is tirasemtiv , a fast skeletal muscle troponin activator (FSTA). Tirasemtiv  is the subject of VITALITY-ALS, an international Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with ALS. Tirasemtiv has been granted orphan drug designation and fast track status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and orphan medicinal product designation by the European Medicines Agency for the potential treatment of ALS. Cytokinetics is preparing for the potential commercialization of tirasemtiv  in North America and Europe and has granted an option to Astellas Pharma Inc. (“Astellas”) for development and commercialization in other countries. Cytokinetics is collaborating with Astellas to develop CK-2127107, a next-generation FSTA. CK-2127107 has been granted orphan drug designation by the FDA for the potential treatment of SMA. CK-2127107 is the subject of three ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials enrolling patients with spinal muscular atrophy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ALS. Astellas is also conducting a Phase 1b clinical trial of CK-2127107 in elderly adults with limited mobility. Cytokinetics is collaborating with Amgen Inc. (“Amgen”) to develop omecamtiv mecarbil , a novel cardiac muscle activator. Omecamtiv mecarbil  is the subject of GALACTIC-HF, an international Phase 3 clinical trial in patients with heart failure. Amgen holds an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize omecamtiv mecarbil  with a sublicense held by Servier for commercialization in Europe and certain other countries. Astellas holds an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize CK-2127107. Licenses held by Amgen and Astellas are subject to Cytokinetics' specified co-development and co-commercialization rights. For additional information about Cytokinetics, visit http://www.cytokinetics.com/ .

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”). Cytokinetics disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements, and claims the protection of the Act’s Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, the properties and potential benefits of Cytokinetics’ drug candidates, including omecamtiv mecarbil ; the design, timing, results and significance of the Phase 3 clinical trial of omecamtiv mecarbil  in subjects with chronic heart failure and reduced ejection fraction in GALACTIC-HF; and the potential for eventual regulatory approval, commercialization and launch of Cytokinetics’ product candidates. Such statements are based on management's current expectations, but actual results may differ materially due to various risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to Amgen's decisions with respect to the design, initiation, conduct, timing and continuation of development activities for omecamtiv mecarbil ; potential difficulties or delays in the development, testing, regulatory approvals for trial commencement, progression or product sale or manufacturing, or production of Cytokinetics' drug candidates that could slow or prevent clinical development or product approval, including risks that current and past results of clinical trials or preclinical studies may not be indicative of future clinical trials results, patient enrollment for or conduct of clinical trials may be difficult or delayed, Cytokinetics' drug candidates may have adverse side effects or inadequate therapeutic efficacy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or foreign regulatory agencies may delay or limit Cytokinetics' or its partners' ability to conduct clinical trials; Cytokinetics may be unable to obtain or maintain patent or trade secret protection for its intellectual property; Cytokinetics may incur unanticipated research and development and other costs or be unable to obtain additional financing necessary to conduct development of its products; standards of care may change, rendering Cytokinetics' drug candidates obsolete; and competitive products or alternative therapies may be developed by others for the treatment of indications Cytokinetics' drug candidates and potential drug candidates may target. For further information regarding these and other risks related to Cytokinetics' business, investors should consult Cytokinetics' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and Cytokinetics' actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and the development of the industry in which it operates, may differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Any forward-looking statements that Cytokinetics makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release.

Contact:
Cytokinetics
Diane Weiser
Vice President, Corporate Communications, Investor Relations
(415) 290-7757

By Annie Criner 15 Dec, 2017

SAN CARLOS, Calif., Dec. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Allakos Inc., a private, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of antibodies for the treatment of allergic, inflammatory and proliferative diseases, today announced the successful completion of a $100 million Series B equity financing. The Series B was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and included Redmile Group, Partner Fund Management, Rock Springs Capital, LifeSci Venture Partners, Samsara BioCapital, and a large institutional investor, as well as existing investors Alta Partners, RiverVest Venture Partners, Roche Venture Fund, and 3X5 Partners. Paul Walker, a Partner at NEA, will join the Company’s Board of Directors.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Allakos’s development programs including the Company’s lead clinical candidate, AK002, which is being evaluated in patients with eosinophilic gastritis, indolent systemic mastocytosis (ISM), urticaria and severe allergic conjunctivitis. This investment also will support Allakos’s preclinical programs.

“We are excited to welcome a distinguished group of new investors to Allakos and appreciate the support of our existing investors,” said Robert Alexander, Ph.D., and Chief Executive Officer of Allakos. “The Allakos team is committed to developing antibodies to potentially treat a broad range of conditions for which there are no approved therapies or where treatment options come with undesirable side effects. We have made tremendous progress during 2017 and, with this financing, we look forward to continuing the development of AK002 and our preclinical programs.”

“Allakos’s highly differentiated approach has the potential to deliver first-in-class treatments for serious illnesses affecting both large and rare disease populations,” said Paul Walker. “I welcome the opportunity to work with the experienced leadership team at Allakos as they conduct clinical trials in several important disease indications.”

About Allakos  
Allakos is a privately held clinical-stage company developing antibodies that target immunomodulatory receptors present on the surface of immune effector cells involved in allergic, inflammatory, and proliferative diseases. The Company’s lead antibody, AK002, targets Siglec-8, an inhibitory receptor expressed on the surface of mast cells and eosinophils. AK002 has completed two Phase 1 studies, one in healthy volunteers and a single ascending dose study in patients with ISM. In addition, patients with ISM are currently being treated with AK002 for up to 12 months in a repeat dose study. In these studies, AK002 was well tolerated and demonstrated pharmacological activity on objective measures as well as patient reported symptoms.

For more information, please visit the Company's website at   http://www.allakos.com/

Source: Allakos, Inc.

By Annie Criner 04 Dec, 2017
“Founded in 2013, DispatchHealth is a provider of mobile urgent care. Our goal is to create an integrated, convenient, high touch triage and care delivery solution that extends the capabilities of the patient’s care team and provides definitive, quality care in the home while decreasing costs. Our skilled providers arrive with the tools necessary to provide advanced medical care and are supported by our technological infrastructure to ensure quality and improve outcomes.” Read more...
By Annie Criner 03 Dec, 2017

It may be time to give millennials the nickname, “The Now Generation”, because we seem to have, do, and want it all now. With just your mobile phone, you can get just about anything delivered right to your door, be picked up and dropped off, and source any piece of information your mind wonders about.

The latest convenience app that can save you time is in the healthcare space. When you are sick, the last thing you want to do is get in your car, sit in traffic, and interact with more people than absolutely necessary while you wait in a crowded waiting room.

A New Way To Get Well

DispatchHealth   is a relatively new service that is bringing the health care to your door. “DispatchHealth is an on-demand, in-home, care delivery platform designed to address the healthcare needs of the on-demand consumer, as well as the needs of the consumer that struggles with access to care,” said Mark Prather, CEO of DispatchHealth.

While the service doesn’t cover something as serious as a broken arm, it does cover most common illnesses that would be an expensive use of an emergency room or urgent care.

“Consumers can access the service via an app on their mobile phones, the DispatchHealth website or simply call directly to request medical care,” said Prather. “Using its proprietary risk-stratification technology, patients are screened to make sure it is appropriate to assign a medical team. Once cleared, board-certified, ER-trained professionals are then dispatched to the home, senior care facility or workplace.”

Millennials Want Convenient Health Care

Some busy millennials may find it easier to have a medical professional meet them at their workplace instead of home, because they need to see someone as soon as possible, but can’t afford to stay home for the day.

An important piece about DispatchHealth is that the service is also great for senior citizens who have difficulty getting to the doctor when they are sick. For millennials though, the convenience factor is key.

According to a recent survey by   The Capital Group , millennials consider health insurance to be one of their top three “must have” benefits, signaling the importance of having available and affordable health care when they need it. This priority translates into on demand services for health care too.

“We live in an on-demand culture,” said Prather. “We all want the right care at the right price at the right time. Our service aligns well with millennial expectations and the shift toward consumer-directed healthcare. DispatchHealth's Net Promotor Score (NPS) has never dropped below 90, indicating the high customer satisfaction and loyalty that millennials are known to be so fond of. Far above the healthcare industry average of 30.”

Millennials Can’t Afford An Emergency Room Visit

Another major perk of DispatchHealth when it comes to millennial preference is cost. Millennials know all too well how expensive it is to be an adult, especially with the rising cost of health care.

“The providers have the ability to perform procedures such as laceration repair, rapid infectious disease testing and even deliver IV fluids and medications,” shared Prather. “They also have access to their own on-scene laboratory and mobile imaging. The average cost of an emergency room visit can run $2200, while a DispatchHealth visit can cost approximately a tenth of that.”

Speaking from experience as a millennial parent, I know how expensive an emergency room bill can be when bringing my child in for care. Since most new parents are now millennials, they will be more cost conscious where possible when it comes to health care and this gives them another choice for themselves and their children.

The cost is usually cheaper for this type of in home care, compared to an emergency room. Another area that is a benefit is the comfort factor. Have you ever felt stuffy in a doctor’s office from the smells, sounds, and sights?

“We have had mothers write to tell us how their children had a laceration repaired on the kitchen table and never even cried,” said Prather. “There is just something different about care in the home. The patients are more comfortable and the providers have an insight into the social circumstances of a patient’s life. We believe that this insight gives us a better chance at producing a care plan that truly works for our patients.”

If you are reading this with a stuffed nose, headache, or other common ailment and want to give it a test run, make sure to check their covered cities. They are currently active in Phoenix, AZ, Richmond, VA, Denver, CO, and Colorado Springs, CO.

The good news is that DispatchHealth will be spreading throughout the United States soon, as they have received a $30.8 million Series A investment, which will allow them to expand. Clearly on demand health care is a valuable resource that millennials and others alike will use.

DispatchHealth has begun to disrupt the health care industry, much like other emerging companies have upended the norm in their own niche. Millennials are likely to get behind their mission as they look to craft their lives from convenience and the ability to save money.

See original article here .

By Annie Criner 30 Nov, 2017

Luhan Yang

CO-FOUNDER, EGENESIS

Using Crispr gene-editing technology, EGenesis overcame a major hurdle on the path to animal-to-human organ transplantation, removing 62 viruses that humans are susceptible to from 40 pig embryos.

I’m on a mission to create a world where there are no organ shortages. In the U.S., over 100,000 people are on a waiting list, and only about 20 percent to 30 percent will get one.  

The idea of xenotransplantation, or cross-species transplantation, has been around for decades. In the 1990s, there was a huge failure to overcome the compatibility issues that arise with trying to put a pig organ in a human body. Because of public health concerns, the WHO and USDA shut down all clinical trials, and the field has been silent.

There are two major barriers to xenotransplantation using pigs. One is viruses known as PERVs. PERVs reside in the pig genome and can integrate into the human genome. In 2015 we showed that we could use Crispr gene editing to eradicate 62 PERVs in pig cells. But one of the biggest questions was whether the PERVs played a crucial function in the pig. For the first time, in 2017, we answered the question: They’re dispensable.

It took hundreds of trials to get to a viable, “PERV-inactive” pig. Too many edits to a pig’s cells will stress out the cells, leading them to essentially commit suicide. We created a chemical cocktail to tell the cell, “It’s OK, don’t worry.” The first pig was born in China in March. We’re testing them to see if they have normal physiology and can produce offspring that preserve the genetic modification.

The other barrier is that, even though we know how to remove PERVs, there’s still the possibility that a human host could reject a pig organ. It’s still early days. We’re talking with the FDA about how to test our organs’ compatibility. We’ve just finished raising a $38 million Series A, and while we don’t have a clear path to market, we always keep our goal in mind: to deliver an organ. We’re not doing science for intellectual purposes.

—As told to Caroline Chen

´╗┐Read full article here .

By Alta Partners 28 Nov, 2017
Currently Edward Mallinckrodt Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology & Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine

Appointment Effective January 1, 2018
By Alta Partners 03 Nov, 2017

Trevena, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRVN) today announced that it has recently submitted its New Drug Application (NDA) for OLINVO™ (oliceridine injection) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). OLINVO is the first G protein biased ligand of the mu opioid receptor, a new class of opioid receptor modulator, and the first pain program to receive Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA.

The submission includes data showing that intravenous OLINVO demonstrated analgesic efficacy in all three dosing regimens tested in the two Phase 3 APOLLO pivotal efficacy studies. These trials were designed to support an indication for the management of moderate-to-severe acute pain in adult patients for whom an intravenous opioid is warranted.

The filing also includes safety and tolerability data for over 1,100 patients administered OLINVO across Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies, including the ATHENA open label safety study. Additional pharmacokinetic data, clinical pharmacology data, and results from five randomized controlled trials with head to head comparisons to morphine support potential differentiation of OLINVO.

“OLINVO was designed to fill a major gap in the set of medicines available for managing moderate to severe pain in the hospital,” said Maxine Gowen, Ph.D., chief executive officer. “Despite availability of non-opioid analgesics and advances in multimodal analgesia, tens of millions of patients still require IV opioids following surgery, during severe illness, or after trauma. Millions of these patients remain at risk for opioid-related adverse events, including respiratory depression or postoperative vomiting. We look forward to working with the FDA during the review process and to a potential NDA approval of OLINVO in 2018.”

By Alta Partners 02 Nov, 2017

SAN DIEGO, Nov. 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- aTyr Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:LIFE), a biotherapeutics company engaged in the discovery and development of immunology-based protein therapeutics to treat patients suffering from severe, rare immune-mediated diseases, as well as various cancers, announced that today Sanjay Shukla, M.D., M.S., who joined aTyr Pharma as Chief Medical Officer in March 2016, will succeed John Mendlein, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Shukla will also join aTyr’s Board of Directors. Dr. Mendlein, who has served as Chief Executive Officer since September 2011 and as a member of the Board of Directors since July 2010, will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of aTyr Pharma.

“This is an excellent time for aTyr as we are well-positioned for future growth with strong leadership to drive forward our shared vision to develop meaningful medicines for patients with rare muscle and lung diseases, as well as to serve cancer patients with products based on our new immuno-oncology platform, ORCA,” said John Mendlein, outgoing-CEO of aTyr Pharma. “After six incredible years as CEO, I am very pleased to pass the leadership torch to Sanjay and continue to advise him as a board member. Having worked extensively with Sanjay, I am confident he will continue to elevate aTyr to greater heights for patients and all stakeholders alike. I would like to express my immense gratitude to all our amazing employees, board, patients, and investors for all that we have accomplished so far at aTyr.”

“We are truly grateful for John’s leadership in guiding aTyr through several key milestones, including bringing the first Physiocrine-based therapeutic into the clinic, building a well-capitalized, NASDAQ-traded company, growing a robust pipeline of three biologic programs and solidifying aTyr’s intellectual property estate for an entire new class of proteins,” said John Clarke, chairman of aTyr Pharma’s board. “We thank John for his leadership and accomplishments at aTyr and wish him well in all his future endeavors. Looking forward, we are excited about this transition and confident that under Sanjay’s leadership, aTyr will continue to grow and successfully deliver upon its important mission.”

Dr. Shukla will continue aTyr’s mission to develop innovative new protein therapeutics based on its knowledge of Physiocrine biology. Dr. Shukla served as aTyr’s Chief Medical Officer since March 2016and has over twenty years of leadership experience in both large pharma and biotech companies. Since joining aTyr, Dr. Shukla led the completion of three Phase 1b/2 Resolaris™ clinical trials and two long-term safety extension studies for the treatment of rare muscular dystrophies and has advanced the iMod.Fc program for the treatment of interstitial lung diseases towards the clinic with a Phase 1 trial expected to commence this quarter.  

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead aTyr at such a productive time for the company,” said Sanjay Shukla, President and CEO of aTyr Pharma. “Our team has made tremendous progress in elucidating the biology and laying the groundwork for the potential therapeutic applications of this groundbreaking new science, under John’s leadership. I am ready to lead our team forward to continue to build on this strong foundation of success. Our mission remains steadfast and during this quarter we intend to bring a second Physiocrine-based therapeutic candidate into the clinic with an iMod.Fc Phase 1 trial and select an antibody to develop as an IND candidate from our ORCA program.”

By Alta Partners 31 Oct, 2017

NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CymaBay Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBAY), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapies for liver and other chronic diseases with high unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of Sujal Shah as its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective November 1, 2017. Mr. Shah has been serving as the Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since March 2017.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Sujal as Chief Executive Officer,” said Robert Wills, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board of Directors. “Sujal has the vision and leadership needed to guide CymaBay through its next stage of growth. During his tenure as CFO, and over the last six months as interim CEO, he has played a key role in strategy, finance and operations at the company, and I believe he is uniquely qualified to lead CymaBay.”

“I am honored to be named Chief Executive Officer and to have the opportunity to lead such a talented team as the company enters one of the most important periods in its history,” said Sujal Shah, President and Chief Executive Officer of CymaBay. “Our lead candidate seladelpar has the potential to significantly advance the treatment of patients with primary biliary cholangitis, or PBC, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH.  Just last week, positive interim results from a phase 2 study in PBC were presented as an oral, late-breaking presentation at the Liver Meeting® 2017. Our goals for 2018 are to initiate a phase 3 study in PBC as well as a phase 2 study in NASH. All of us here at CymaBay are focused on improving the lives of patients with liver disease, and I feel fortunate to be part of that effort.”

Sujal Shah joined CymaBay as Chief Financial Officer in December of 2013. Prior to that he served as a consultant and acting Chief Financial Officer since June 2012. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Shah served as Director, Health Care Investment Banking Group for Citigroup, where he was responsible for managing client relationships and executing strategic and financing related transactions for clients focused in life sciences. From 2004 to 2010, Mr. Shah was employed with Credit-Suisse, last serving as Vice President, Health Care Investment Banking Group. Mr. Shah received a MBA from Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business and B.S. and M.S. degrees in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. Mr. Shah currently serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute at Northwestern University.

By Alta Partners 31 Oct, 2017

IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: AERI ), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies for the treatment of glaucoma and other diseases of the eye, today announced the appointment of John Maltman, Ph.D., as Vice President of Medical Affairs, reporting to Theresa Heah, M.D., M.B.A., Aerie's Vice President of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs. Dr. Maltman will be responsible for leading the strategic efforts of Aerie's Medical Affairs Department across a broad spectrum of product-related activities. He previously held several related positions at Allergan, Inc.

In connection with his acceptance of the position as Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Maltman will receive awards totaling 46,500 stock options and 4,000 shares of restricted stock. The stock options will vest over 4 years, with 25% vesting on the first anniversary of the hire date and the remainder vesting ratably on each of the subsequent 36 monthly anniversaries of the hire date; the restricted stock will vest over a period of 4 years in four equal annual installments on each anniversary of the hire date. This award was made outside of Aerie's stockholder-approved equity incentive plan and was approved by the Company's independent directors as an inducement material to Dr. Maltman entering into employment with the Company in reliance on NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4), which requires this public announcement.

By Alta Partners 27 Oct, 2017

Prolacta Bioscience, the pioneer in human milk-based neonatal nutritional products for premature infants, will participate in the 2017 Infant Health Policy Summit , hosted by the National Coalition for Infant Health  and the Institute for Patient Access , on Oct. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C.
 

The Summit, titled “Diversity & Disparity: Breaking Down Access Barriers,” provides a collaborative platform for health care providers, patient advocates, parents and policymakers to discuss patient access issues facing vulnerable premature infants and their families. The panel on “Milk Matters: Diversity, Quality & Safety,” will include:
 

  • Dr. Mitchell Goldstein, Medical Director of the National Coalition for Infant Health, practicing neonatologist and Professor of Pediatrics at Loma Linda University;
  • Dr. Martha Dawson, Historian and Chair of the National Black Nurses Association Finance Committee and Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing; and
  • Scott Eaker, Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Prolacta Bioscience.


“The National Coalition for Infant Health’s agenda is to make exclusive human milk the standard of care for all infants, and especially those born weighing less than 1,500 grams (3 pounds 5 ounces),” Goldstein said. “We are simultaneously raising awareness on this issue and working to ensure access to an exclusive human milk diet for low-income families through Medicaid reimbursement.”
 

“Prolacta is proud to support the 2017 Infant Health Policy Summit, as we share a mutual commitment to making an exclusive human milk diet accessible to all vulnerable premature infants in the NICU,” Eaker said.
 

Now in its third year, the Policy Summit also explores issues related to maternal nutrition; nutritional practices in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), including infant tube feeding safety; respiratory health; and the potential risk of Hepatitis C transmission. The annual event draws attendees including individual health care providers, congressional leaders and staff, representatives from national nursing and physician organizations and national and regional preemie parent organizations.

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