Blog: health tech incubator Matter, rMark Bio build artificial intelligence collaboration engine – Crain’s Chicago Business
TECH COMPANY, INCUBATOR BUILD COLLABORATION MACHINE: Chicago health tech incubator Matter and life sciences intelligence company rMark Bio have launched Origin, a kind of matchmaking, artificial intelligence machine to connect startups with established health care companies. Origin, available to Matter members only, combines rMark Bio’s AI decision making with Matter’s ability to coach startups and vet potential collaborations, the companies said in a statement.
Origin recommends matches between a startup and a pharmaceutical company, health system or health payer that are vetted by Matter, and then makes the right kind of introductions between the parties, the statement said. Origin is built on Chicago-based rMark Bio’s Fabric learning platform.
INITIAL AMOUNT, NOT TYPE OF OPIOID, AFFECTS USAGE: Prolonged opioid use following orthopaedic surgery is more a function of the quantity of drug prescribed at discharge than the specific type of opioid, according to a study published in the Rosemont-based Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “One of the frequent myths we encounter among clinicians is that some types of opioids, such as hydromorphone, are more dangerous than others,” senior study author and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Marilyn Heng said in a statement.
The study shows why that is not true. Researchers looked at nearly 18,000 adult patients who had no history of opioid abuse and calculated their initial prescriptions using morphine milligram equivalents to standardize the dosing across opioid types. The study found that not only did prolonged opiate use—usage beyond 90 days of initial prescription—correlate to overall MME prescribed at discharge, but there was a pattern of failure to properly calculate an equivalence dose among opioid types. According to the study, this lack of conversion can result in higher doses and place patients at an increased risk for prolonged use.
FDA WANTS BIOSIMILARS TO BE MORE AVAILABLE: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration last week gave clear suggestions for drugmakers to make it easier for patients to obtain biosimilars, treating them similarly to generic drugs, Modern Healthcare reports. In the final guidance, FDA gave drugmakers some clarity on the studies they need to show their biosimilar is interchangeable with a biologic. While federal law created a pathway for interchangeability, drug companies have been seeking greater guidance from the agency.
Ascension, the nation’s biggest nonprofit hospital chain, which includes Amita Health, called on House lawmakers to encourage more biosimilar use, claiming it could lower staggering drug costs that are hampering care, Modern Healthcare reports. Ascension claims it has trouble obtaining volume-based discounts for drugs. Every week, Ascension sees up to 40 drug price increases, Ascension’s Chief Pharmacy Officer Lynn Eschenbacher told the House Energy & Commerce’s health subcommittee last week. But biosimilars could help assuage some of the sticker shock.
STUDY FINDS ARRHYTHMIA THERAPY EFFECTIVE: A study of treatments to correct heart beat irregularities, such as arrhythmias, for heart failure patients showed a therapy to re-engage the heart’s natural electrical pathways, instead of bypassing them, holds promise, according to a statement from University of Chicago Medicine. Dr. Roderick Tung, director of cardiac electrophysiology at the University of Chicago Medicine, spearheaded the two-year trial involving 40 adult patients across seven institutions in the Midwest. “This is the first prospective study in our field to compare outcomes between different ways to achieve cardiac resynchronization,” Tung said in a statement. The new therapy, called His bundle pacing, attempts to work toward engaging and restoring the heart’s natural physiology. Tung and his team believe a His bundle pacing approach showed comparable rates of response with more traditional biventricular pacing, the statement said. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
KIDNEY DISEASE GOES UNDIAGNOSED AMONG TYPE 2 DIABETICS: A study of 123,000 patient records showed 49 percent of patients with Type 2 diabetes and lab-confirmed chronic kidney disease did not have a kidney disease diagnosis in a claims database, according to a statement by Janssen Pharmaceutical, a unit of Johnson & Johnson. “About one in three people with Type 2 diabetes have chronic kidney disease, so it’s important to look for it in its early stages,” said lead study investigator Dr. George Bakrisi, professor of medicine and director of the comprehensive hypertension center at the University of Chicago. “We found that nearly half of the patients we studied with T2D and CKD had no CKD diagnosis, even when their labs confirmed the presence of CKD. While the undiagnosed CKD rate declined over time, there is still a clear and urgent need for education and detection of this serious and potentially life-threatening complication.” The study also found people between 55 and 69 years old, women and those who reside in the Northeast and North Central regions of the U.S. were more likely to be undiagnosed with chronic kidney disease.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE:
• Dan Iantorno joins Discovery Health Partners as chief information officer. He was previously chief information officer at Allant Group and Valence Health, now Evolent.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ recently list of Notable Women Executives Over 50 includes these health care-related CEOs and C-suite members, entrepreneurs and top managers.
- Dr. Bobbie Byrne, chief information officer, Advocate Aurora Health. Byrne oversees information technology for the $12 billion, 27-hospital system in Illinois and Wisconsin, the nation’s 10th-largest nonprofit system.
- Mary Clare Bonaccorsi, managing partner in Chicago at Polsinelli. The Chicago managing partner for the national law firm and chair of the firm’s national health care litigation group is responsible for local business strategy, including marketing, recruiting and community relations, and oversees more than 100 lawyers, as well as administrative staff.
- Ruth Colby, president and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital. Colby assumed the presidency of Silver Cross Hospital in 2017 after a 12-year career as the hospital’s chief strategy officer.
- Teresa Garate, vice president of strategic partnerships at Gateway Foundation. Garate brought an expansive network and in-depth knowledge of public health, hospital partnerships, payer relationships and education to the Gateway Foundation, a nonprofit that treats drug and alcohol addiction.
- Dr. Shao-Lee Lin, executive vice president, head of research and development and chief scientific officer at Horizon Pharma. Lin joined Horizon Pharma in January 2018. Before joining Horizon, Lin was a corporate officer and vice president of therapeutic areas, development excellence and international development at AbbVie.
- Mary Lou Mastro, CEO of Edward-Elmhurst Health. Over the past 18 months, Mastro has led an initiative that addresses inconveniences cited by patients such as access, waiting, scheduling and transitions of care. Mastro joined Edward Hospital in 1988 as director of cardiovascular services.
- Sharon O’Keefe, president and chief operating officer at University of Chicago Medical Center. O’Keefe oversees a clinical enterprise with annual operating revenue of $2.21 billion. O’Keefe previously was president of Loyola University Medical Center and executive vice president and chief operating officer at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
- Dr. Joanne Smith, president and CEO of the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Smith has led the transformation of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago into Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The $550 million, 1.2 million-square-foot hospital in Streeterville opened in 2017 as a translational research facility in which clinicians and scientists work together in the same space.
- Jennifer Vachon, executive vice president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a national federation of 36 insurers that collectively cover one in three Americans. Vachon is responsible for policy and representation, commercial markets and enterprise data solutions.
- Yolande Wilson-Stubbs, president of Amita Health Holy Family Medical Center. Under her leadership, Amita Health Holy Family Medical Center has become a nationally recognized long-term acute-care hospital.
- Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance. Wilson-Thompson was named to her current position in 2014 after the merger of Walgreen and Switzerland-based Alliance Boots.