Pioneer South African disruptive health-tech firm LifeQ obtains new investment from Nedbank

South Africa – Nedbank Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB) has invested in a minority equity interest in LifeQ Global, a disruptive health-tech innovator and provider of biometrics and health information derived from wearable devices. Last week, life insurer and financial services provider 1Life, LifeQ and Samsung SA joined forces to launch the LifeQ COVID-19 app. The launch came at a time when some South African provinces were already in the throes of the COVID-19 third wave, with Gauteng experiencing a greater surge than the rest of the country. Nedbank says…

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Orange targets Africa E-health as it partners with Axa Assurance to buy DabaDoc

MOROCCO – Orange has teamed up with Axa Assurance in Morocco to acquire a majority stake in health-technology company DabaDoc, as part of the group’s long-term goal to establish itself as a multi-service digital operator in Africa and the Middle East. The financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Orange Africa and Middle East and Axa Assurance Maroc will jointly acquire the stake, with the pair running DabaDoc alongside its founders. DabaDoc, which was set up in 2014, is an online platform offering access to healthcare services in…

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Decline in health tech momentum even as investors plunge deeper into funding rounds

INDONESIA – Preliminary data on investments in health tech startups in Southeast Asia suggests a slowing momentum this year even as major players continue to pull more funds. One of the largest telemedicine providers in the region, Alodokter, has announced its latest funding round backed by MDI Ventures, the investment arm of Indonesia’s Telkom Group, and Samsung Venture Investment Corporation. Last month, its fiercest rival in Indonesia, Halodoc, announced an $80 million round led by local conglomerate Astra International and joined by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Halodoc has raised at least…

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FDA grants approval for ADUHELM as the first and only Alzheimer’s disease treatment

USA – U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Biogens’ Aduhelm (aducanumab) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, a debilitating disease affecting 6.2 million Americans, the first new treatment approved for Alzheimer’s since 2003. Aduhelm has been approved using the accelerated approval pathway, which can be used for a drug for a serious or life-threatening illness that provides a meaningful therapeutic advantage over existing treatments. Currently available therapies only treat symptoms of the disease whereas this treatment option is the first therapy to target and affect the underlying disease process of…

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African nations squirm with rising numbers of COVID cases and impending vaccine shortages

AFRICA – African countries are facing a hard time with a daily surge in COVID cases and only a handful of their populations immunized.  According to the Africa CDC, the continent has recorded a total of 4,928,685 COVID cases from a sample size of over 48.7 million people. The health agency also reported that Africa has recorded 132, 517 COVID deaths. These figures represent 2.9% of global cases and 3.7% of deaths. However, many experts believe these numbers are a very significant underestimate, and that the death toll is likely…

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