Savvy Updates, 11/28/22: Wearable/Stretchable Tracking Devices, iTolerance Tech Without Immunosuppression, PBM Reform HIGH Priority, Allulose, W!LD Winter 2022


How wearable devices with skin-like stretchability may pave way for better health tracking was reported by Nick Paul Taylor for MedTechDive.com, 21 November 2022.

The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory teamed up with the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering to tackle two challenges associated with the development of stretchable devices for tracking health metrics. 

First, such devices need to collect and process more data than today’s smartwatches, while the electronics must be small and energy efficient enough to fit into a thin wearable patch. The collaborators addressed that challenge using neuromorphic computing, an AI technology that mimics the operation of the brain. The approach works on stretchable materials and has low energy consumption.

The second challenge relates to integrating electronics into a skin-like stretchable material. Typically, semiconductors are rigid silicon chips that cannot deform and still function, rendering them unsuitable for use in devices that are designed to stretch. 

“We look forward to studying the device material under its regular operating conditions, interacting with charged particles and changing electrical potential in its environment. Instead of a snapshot, we’ll have more of a movie of the structural response of the material at the molecular level,”  said Joe Strzalka, an Argonne physicist.

Read more:  How wearable devices with skin-like stretchability may pave way for better health tracking


iTolerance Presented at Virtual Investor Pioneering Regenerative Medicine Without Immunosuppression, October 27 2022 as reported by AccessWire/Yahoo.com, 24 October 2022.

 iTolerance, Inc., an early-stage regenerative medicine company developing technologies to enable tissue, organoid, or cell therapy without the need for life-long immunosuppression was announced in October by Dr. Anthony Japour, CEO. 

The company discussed its iTOL-100 platform technology, a biotechnology-derived Strepavidin-FasL fusion protein, a synthetic form of the naturally occurring protein FasL, mixed with a biotin-PEG microgel (SA-FasL microgel) that potentially allows for convenient and effective co-administration with implanted cells or organoids to induce local immune tolerance without the need for life-long immunosuppression. In pre-clinical studies, iTolerance’s platform has been shown to establish durable, localized immune tolerance, allowing the implanted tissue, organoid, or cell therapy to function as a replacement for damaged native cells.iTolerance is an early-stage privately-held regenerative medicine company developing technologies to enable tissue, organoid, or cell therapy without the need for life-long immunosuppression. Leveraging its proprietary biotechnology-derived Strepavidin-FasL fusion protein/biotin-PEG microgel (SA-FasL microgel) platform technology, iTOL-100, iTolerance is advancing a pipeline of programs using both allogeneic pancreatic islets and stem cells that have the potential to cure diseases. The Company’s lead program, iTOL-101 is being developed for Type 1 Diabetes and in a pre-clinical non-human primate study, pancreatic islet cells co-implanted with iTOL-101 exhibited long-term function with control of blood glucose levels and restoration of insulin secretion without the use of chronic immune suppression. The Company’s second lead candidate, iTOL-102, is leveraging significant advancements in stem cells to derive pancreatic islets which allows an inexhaustible supply of insulin-producing cells. Utilizing iTOL-100 to induce local immune tolerance, iTOL-102 has the potential to be a cure for Type 1 Diabetes without the need for life-long immunosuppression. Additionally, the Company is developing iTOL-201 for liver failure and iTOL-301 as a potential regenerative protein and cell therapy that leverages stem cell sources to produce proteins or hormones in the body in conditions of high unmet need without the need for life-long immunosuppression. 

It’s interesting to note that their Chief Scientist is Camillo Ricordi, former Director of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) in Miami, FL.

Read more:  


Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Remains Legislative Priority was written by Sarah B. “Cissy” Jackson for NatLawReview.com, 22 November 2022.  

The 2022 midterms have concluded, but the Republican underperformance is not expected to dampen Congressional enthusiasm for Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) reform. The issue remains at the forefront of the healthcare pricing debate, and the perception that this is a Republican-driven effort has begun to fade in light of drug pricing reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and a shift in Democrats’ attention from manufacturers to other players in the pharmaceutical supply chain. We expect these trends to continue into the 118th Congress.

Specific drug pricing/PBM-related legislation we expect will either receive consideration in the lame duck or be reintroduced in the 118th Congress includes:

    • the Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2021 (H.R. 19) (S. 2164),
    • the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act of 2022 (S. 4293),
    • the Shaheen-Collins INSULIN bill, and
    • Rep. Harshbarger’s PBM Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act
These reform bills are critical to stop the unscrupulous PBMs!

Read more:  Pharmacy Benefit Manager Reform Remains Legislative Priority


Additional info re “Artificial Sweeteners”: Allulose: Safety and Benefits was posted by ConsumerLab.com, 22 November 2022.

Allulose, or psicose (Wholesome Allulose, RxSugar, Splenda Allulose), is a type of sugar that naturally occurs in small amounts in wheat and some fruits. It can also be made synthetically. Allulose is only about 70% as sweet as table sugar but it provides only one-tenth the amount of calories per gram (just 0.4 Kcal) — and it does not promote dental decay. Be aware that allulose can cause bloating, colic, and diarrhea at doses of more than about 2 tablespoons, or 4 to 5 tablespoons per day, in adults, and at lower amounts in children. Allulose has little effect on blood sugar levels (and may temporarily reduce levels after meals. Although allulose has shown anti-obesity effects in test tube and animal studies, there does not appear to be any evidence that it can help with weight loss in people. Similarly, preliminary evidence of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cholesterol-lowering effects has not been confirmed in humans.

Read more:  Does allulose, a low-calorie sweetener, have any health benefits or risks?


W!LD was created to be the Diabetes Leadership Network for Women.  This Winter event focused on key learnings around social determinants of health (SDoH). Moderated by the esteemed “serial” chief medical officer Dr. Barbara Troupin, this panel discussion featured Dr. Alice Cheng, Associate Professor at the University of Toronto and creator of The Med Ed Pledge; Dr. Clare Lee, an Executive Medical Director of Global Medical Affairs at Eli Lilly and Company; and Dr. Athena Philis-Tsimikas, Corporate VP of Scripps Health in San Diego and leader of the Project Dulce and Dulce Digital programs … plus UC Berkeley neuroscientist Dr. Sahar Yousef, who spoke (brilliantly) on the neuroscience of leading through times of change (go directly to time: 12:22 … truly fascinating!).

 

 



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