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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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Credorax Partners With Cisco to Boost Payments Gateway to the Next Level

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Today, Credorax announced that it has partnered with Cisco to upgrade its data-center network’s capabilities, capacity and latency. The agreement enables Credorax to adopt Cisco’s advanced data-center networking technology, including an automation, visibility and management system. Credorax has also agreed to beta-test Cisco’s advanced and future monitoring and management products.

Credorax’s system is already considered one of the fastest in the world with its cutting-edge high throughput, low latency, and multi-continent redundancy, and Cisco’s technology will allow Credorax to push the envelope even further in terms of decreasing transaction latency and increasing throughput. Cisco’s software solution for centralized management and monitoring of network components will play a significant role in Credorax’s solutions, simplify their roll-out of new products and reduce ongoing cost of ownership.

As a licensed merchant acquiring bank, Credorax helps merchants accept payments easily with its recently launched Source gateway. The platform offers telecom-grade (99.999%) availability for processing payments as well as a host of payments products and services, including cards and alternative payment methods, hosted payment pages, advanced KYC screening, smart fraud solutions, and sophisticated business intelligence and data tools.

Cisco is at the forefront in building the network platform that can now deliver a connected, autonomous, and programmable digital platform for Credorax customers.

Cisco-Israel General Manager, Oren Sagi said about the collaboration: “Cisco is committed to do its utmost to provide its customers with the most innovative technologies while maintaining uncompromising quality. We are excited to collaborate with Credorax and help them develop the fastest and most reliable payments gateway possible. I am confident that this project is the first milestone for a successful cooperation between the two companies.”

Moshe Selfin, Credorax CTO & COO stated: “We’re thrilled join forces with Cisco. We have always strived to provide best-class service to our customers, and are confident that by incorporating Cisco’s network platform for data capacity and processing speed into our NextGen payments and acquiring platform, we are offering our merchants the best technology on the market.”

In an era of demanding customers and changing expectations, e-commerce merchants simply can’t survive without the best-in-class cross-border payments processing capabilities. Being both a technology company and an acquiring bank, Credorax has built a full suite of NextGen products and services to help merchants grow their business online. And now with Cisco’s support, Credorax has augmented its offering even further.

 

SOURCE Credorax

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MetricStream Wins “GRC Product of the Year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards Hosted by Risk.net

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MetricStream, a market leader in governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) apps and solutions, announced today that its Enterprise GRC Solution has been awarded the “GRC product of the year” at the 2019 Risk Technology Awards, hosted by Risk.net.

“We’re honored to win this award,” said Gaurav Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, MetricStream. “We believe that it validates the strength, breadth, and depth of our GRC/IRM offerings, as well as our focus on continuous innovation—reflected most prominently in our GRC cloud, advances in predictive analytics, automation, and AI. Our mission is to enable organizations to ‘Perform with Integrity™’. To that end, we’re deeply committed to forging long-term partnerships with our customers and supporting them throughout their integrated GRC journeys.”

The annual Risk.net awards recognize the need for innovative technology solutions to manage risk in a highly dynamic and complex business environment. The average financial services firm faces a plethora of risks, ranging from cyber threats and regulatory pressures, to fintech related disruptions and money laundering issues. As these risks grow more interconnected, siloed approaches to GRC are rapidly giving way to more integrated solutions.

The MetricStream Enterprise GRC platform provides a single, unified system to manage, coordinate, and track multiple types of GRC activities. The solution cuts across organizational silos, enabling a holistic and collaborative approach to GRC. Users can efficiently roll up operational risk, audit, compliance, Cyber and third-party risk information from across the enterprise, and transform it into actionable business intelligence to support decision-making. With support for mobility, real-time reporting, advanced risk analytics, and regulatory notifications, the MetricStream solution helps users manage complex risk requirements in an efficient manner.

Top industry analysts have consistently recognized MetricStream as a leader in GRC/IRM. The company’s wide range of solutions and underlying GRC platform are leveraged by leading financial services firms worldwide, including large global banks, mid-sized banks, private equity investors, investment banks, wealth managers, insurance firms, asset management companies, federal financial agencies, and clearing corporations.

 

SOURCE MetricStream

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MPOWER Financing rated Top international student lender by Nerdwallet and U.S. News

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MPOWER Financing, a mission-driven fintech that provides financial access to higher education for high-promise international and DACA students, was recognized by both Nerdwallet and U.S. News & World Report as the top student loan provider for international students.

Nerdwallet, a comparison website for personal finance products, awarded MPOWER a 5-star rating for its student loans, indicating that its products are “among the very best for consumer-friendly features.” Nerdwallet also commended MPOWER for offering loans that are “ideal for international and DACA students without a co-signer or U.S. credit history.” MPOWER’s loans are available to students from around the world for both graduate and undergraduate degrees at more than 350 top universities in the U.S.and Canada.

U.S. News & World Report recognized MPOWER Financing as the “best lender for international students.” This determination was made on the basis of MPOWER’s product offerings, cost, customer servicing ratings, eligibility, and other features. U.S. News also detailed that MPOWER’s underwriting process considers a student’s academic success and career path – a process that is enabled by MPOWER’s use of big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

“I was having a tough time obtaining education loans from India without collateral,” wrote Kaushik Krishnan, one of MPOWER’s early students. “MPOWER was truly life changing for me. I’ve since graduated from my Masters program, found a job, and paid off my loan.”

“MPOWER allowed me to achieve my dream,” said Sol Bee, a South Korean student. “I was admitted to Berkeley in Fall 2016, but I couldn’t afford it at the time. MPOWER empowered me to be who I wanted to be by allowing me to take control of my finances and my life.”

“We’re honored by the industry recognition we’ve received, and the hundreds of heartfelt stories we get from students whom we have the privilege to serve,” says Manu Smadja, Co-founder and CEO of MPOWER. “We’re working hard to further improve our customer experience and to remain the best international student lending product on the market.”

MPOWER Financing, headquartered in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Bengaluru, New York City, and Toronto, is a mission-driven fintech company and provider of global educational loans. It is the only student lender in the world that leverages both overseas and domestic credit data, as well as future earning potential, to serve high-promise international and DACA students. MPOWER Financing works with over 350 top universities and colleges across the U.S. and Canada to provide financing to students from over 200 countries. Since 2014, it has received over $1B in loan application volume on its platform. MPOWER Financing helps students build their credit histories and provides them with personal finance education and career support to help prepare for life after school. The team is backed by Zephyr Management, Goal Structured Solutions, Gray Matters Capital, Lloyd Crescendo Advisors, 1776, Village Capital, Potentia, Breega, VARIV, DreamIt, Fresco, Chilango, Common Sense Fund, K Street, and University Ventures.

 

SOURCE MPOWER Financing

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