Health Venture Capital Perspectives; Moreover, Covid and cognitive function

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JVolatility in public markets and the slowdown in subsequent funding after a whirlwind 2021 should not discourage would-be founders. “It’s always a great time to start a business if you have a good idea,” said Vineeta Agarwala, general partner at a16z. Forbes Health in Action event on Wednesday. Since we can’t control the macroeconomic environment, Agarwala said founders and investors should instead focus on what they can control: “a rational plan for every funding a company goes through.” This means that past, current and future cycles should be “recalculated from milestones that help you reach that next inflection point,” she added.

Deena Shakir, Partner at Lux Capital, still thinks it’s an exciting time for early-stage startups, although the current environment may be more challenging for mid- to late-stage companies. “I think there’s now going to be more scrutiny and focus – which is a good thing – on strong fundamentals, on the quality of earnings (not just topline growth) and on the importance of healthy margins,” Shakir said. “A lot of things that maybe have been overlooked or maybe dusted under the rug, and the funding environment over the last few years.” Belt tightening and recalibration in the present means the industry will experience stronger long-term growth.


Aetna cancels network contract with mental health start-up Cerebral

Health insurer Aetna is canceling its network contract with Cerebral in August, the mental health startup CEO told employees on Wednesday. “We are still seeking an explanation for Aetna’s decision,” Cerebral CEO David Mou wrote in a message to employees. Cerebral, valued at $4.8 billion after a $300 million funding round led by SoftBank last year, is under investigation by the Department of Justice over its prescribing of controlled hazardous substances, including including stimulants such as Adderall. Aetna’s parent company, CVS Health, stopped filling prescriptions for controlled hazardous substances for brain patients last month. Learn more here.


Offers of the week

Closing of the Oracle-Cerner acquisition: Oracle has completed its Acquisition of $28.3 billion from health technology company Cerner on Wednesday. Oracle President and CTO Larry Ellison will discuss the company’s health strategy at an event Thursday.

Mega manufacturing cycle: Biomanufacturing company Resilience announced that it had raised a $625 million Series D round, bringing its total capital raised to more than $2 billion. The company plans to use the funding to expand its infrastructure network and develop new manufacturing technologies.

Influenza vaccine scaling up: Influenza vaccine company Sequirus has announced the completion of a $156 million expansion from its manufacturing facility in North Carolina. The company says the facility’s production line will be ready to produce vaccines for the 2022/23 season.

Second seed fund: Wavemaker Three-Sixty Health, a health-focused venture capital firm, closed a second $64 million fund this week. The goal of Fund II, which is four times the size of its first fund, is to invest in 40 to 50 healthcare startups. One of its Fund II portfolio companies, remote patient monitoring startup Alertive Healthcare, was acquired by Carbon Health last year.

First aid: Aledade, which provides software to help primary care physicians participate in value-based care programs, raised $123 million in Series E. The financing brings the company’s post-money valuation to $3.1 billion, according to a person familiar with the deal. first reported by Insider. The company, which says it has over $300 million revenue in 2021, will use the funds to expand its Medicare Advantage offerings.


Outstanding

South Dakota Voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have required some ballot initiatives, like expanding Medicaid, to pass with 60% support instead of a simple majority.

UnitedHealth Group The foundation is committing $100 million to advance health equity with a focus on funding scholarships for underrepresented healthcare professionals over the next 10 years.

Carbon Health, a primary care startup that combines software with in-person clinics, laid off 250 employees last week blaming volatile capital markets and a declining Covid business.

Coronavirus Updates

Anew study published today in Scientific reports found that people who have contracted Covid-19 report more cognitive failures while at work than people who never had it. This includes problems with memory, attention and concentration. And the researchers found that people continued to report these problems even after recovering from the initial illness. “People who return to work after contracting Covid-19 may experience difficulty returning to their pre-Covid-19 performance level, and accommodations may be required,” the researchers wrote. “This may include reducing workloads, extending deadlines or providing flexible working arrangements.”


Moderna’s Booster Shot Targeting Omicron and Original Strain May Be Available Late Summer After Promising Trials

Moderna hopes to launch a new Covid booster vaccine this fall that targets both the original strain of coronavirus and the omicron variant after promising early results from clinical trials, the company announced Wednesday, as public health officials, scientists and pharmaceutical companies are all scrambling to anticipate what Covid will look like in the future. Learn more here.

Other coronavirus news

People vaccinated with HIV have a 28% higher risk of contracting it breakthroughs of Covid-19 infections than people without HIV, according to new research that argues that people living with HIV should be a high priority group for vaccine boosters.

The country of Japan reopens to travelers this month but with rules in place: they will have to wear masks, take out medical insurance to cover expenses in the event of contracting Covid-19 and be supervised by tourist guides throughout their trip.

Chinese car manufacturer Geely Automotive Holdings said its sales were down 7% in May from a year earlier as Covid lockdowns disrupted the world’s biggest car market.

An FDA advisory committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve Novavaxof the protein-based Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the vaccine one step closer to becoming the fourth FDA-cleared coronavirus vaccine for adults.

Through Forbes

How two Africans overcame their prejudices to create a startup worth billions

Facebook Made This 29-Year-Old Rich; The war made him a billionaire

EXCLUSIVE: The US government ordered travel companies to spy on a Russian hacker for years and report his whereabouts every week

what else we read

As threat of monkeypox grows, scientists debate best vaccine strategy (Science)

Don’t wait to get your child vaccinated (Atlantic)

FDA warns DNA sequencing machines could be hacked (Bloomberg)

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