QIC, Sunsuper buy New Zealand’s hospital platform

AUSTRALIA – Australian-based asset manager, Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and Sunsuper have agreed to buy Evolution Healthcare, New Zealand’s second-largest hospital operator.

QIC made the investment on behalf of the QIC Global infrastructure Fund (QGIF). For QGIF, the transaction further diversifies its portfolio to 12 assets, across four countries.

Evolution, one of New Zealand’s leading private hospital platforms, is made up of a decentralized network of 10 comprehensive and day hospitals in New Zealand, as well as a portfolio of ancillary healthcare facilities and one private hospital in Australia.

It offers critical elective surgery and is backed by a large surgeon cohort, with over 300 surgeons performing over 57,000 procedures across the portfolio in FY21.

The super funds are looking to pool their resources to address what they call a “mega-trend” in healthcare demand caused by the region’s aging population.

“We’re very pleased to have been successful in securing Evolution Healthcare, a long-standing and dominant healthcare operator with strong incumbent positions in its key catchments,” QIC’s head of global infrastructure Ross Israel said.

Sunsuper’s head of private markets Michael Weaver said the Queensland-based super fund was delighted to make its first investment into the healthcare sub-sector, with Evolution “representing a strong platform to leverage the sector thematics around aging demographics and technology and medical innovation.

In 2021, QIC has committed more than US$4 billion globally in key thematic areas such as decarbonization, decentralization, and healthcare.

The Evolution transaction increases QIC’s global infrastructure footprint to 22 assets across six countries in the transportation, energy and utilities, and social/PPP sectors.

Meanwhile, Pear Therapeutics, Inc., a developer and commercializer of software-based medicines known as prescription digital therapeutics (PDTs), has announced the acquisition of two new digital therapeutic assets from Waypoint Health Innovations, and a researcher named Fredrik Holländare of Örebro University.

The two acquisitions are intended for the treatment of a variety of depression conditions. Pear intends to use these two new assets to broaden its depression product candidate’s indications to include mild, moderate, severe, and treatment-refractory depression.

Waypoint Health Innovations’ asset is a digital therapeutic for depression that is based on structured and proven cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques.

The Waypoint Health asset mimics CBT by utilizing standardized symptom assessments, video, interactive tools, and algorithms that dynamically personalize each individual’s experience.

The other asset comes from Örebro University’s Fredrik Holländare. His depression candidate entails internet-based CBT (iCBT) for the treatment of residual depression symptoms, with the goal of preventing relapse.

The treatment is organized around nine modules, including an introduction to CBT and a depression module, two modules on behavioral activation, cognitive restructuring, sleep and relaxation, mindfulness, physical activity, reducing anxiety, and defining long-term goals, and two modules on defining long-term goals.

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