Many Christians Will Oppose Transhumanism

KERMIT ZARLEY | April 18, 2019 | 15 views

I am writing a book that has two chapters about “transhumanism,” also called “human enhancement.” The symbol H+ is used to signify it. It refers to future medical science improving the human species by multiple means, mostly with “genetic engineering.” It is now also called by other terminology, such as “gene-editing.” This movement involves ethics. Many Christians already oppose it. They claim humans should accept how God made us. Then, do they oppose straightening teeth or wearing glasses or contact lenses? How about having your tonsils removed?

Spotlight

Alkol Biotech

Alkol Biotech is a research company focused on the development of new plant varieties adapted to the needs of specific biofuel markets. The company adapts plant varities to grow in colder and dryer climates, offering better resistance to pests and diseases, and higher productivities. This allows the development of healthy biofuel markets in countries which otherwise have to import biomass in order to produce biofuels sustainably. Our first crop is a sugarcane hybrid focused on the european market for cellulosic ethanol production. It will offer up to 200 tons of biomass per hectare, 31% fiber, and will be the main source of biomass for Europe's 5% 2nd generation limit in the year 2020.

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MEDICAL

Advancement in Genomics Accelerating its Penetration into Precision Health

Article | June 22, 2022

Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology emphasizing the structure, editing, evolution, function, and mapping of genomes. It is creating deeper inroads across the precision health domain with the increasing introduction of advanced technologies such as quantum simulation, next-generation sequencing (NGS), and precise genome manipulation. As precision health focuses on providing the proper intervention to the right patient at the right time, genomics increasingly finds applications in human and pathogen genome sequencing in clinical and research spaces. Rising Hereditary Diseases Burden Paving the Way for Genomics in Precision Health In the last few years, a significant surge in the prevalence of diseases and ailments such as diabetes, obesity, baldness, and others has been witnessed across the globe. A history of family members with chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing issues, and heart disease, can sometimes continue into the next generation. Hence, the study of genes is extensively being conducted for predicting health risks and early treatment of these diseases. It also finds use in CRISPR-based diagnostics and the preparation of precision medication for the individual. In addition, ongoing advancements in genomics are making it possible to identify different genetic traits that persuade people to more widespread diseases and health problems. The Emergence of Genomics Improves Disease Understanding Genomics refers to the study of the complete genetic makeup of a cell or organism. Increasing scientific research in the area substantially contributes to increasing knowledge about the human genome and assists in improving the ability to understand disease etiology, risk, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. On account of these improvements, innovative genomic technologies and tools are being developed to enable better precision health not only for the individual but for various regional populations as well. The Way Forward With growing preference for personalized medicine and an increasing need for more accurate pathogen detection and diagnostics, genomics is gaining huge popularity across the precision health domain. Also, increasing research activities for developing novel high-precision therapeutics and rising importance of gene study in the prevention, diagnosis, and management of infectious and genetic diseases will further pave the way for genomics in the forthcoming years.

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Top 10 biotech IPOs in 2019

Article | September 13, 2019

The big question at the start of 2019 was whether the IPO window would stay open for biotech companies, particularly those seeking to pull off ever-larger IPOs at increasingly earlier stages of development. The short answer is yes—kind of. Here’s the long answer: In the words of Renaissance Capital, the IPO market had “a mostly good year.” The total number of deals fell to 159 from 192 the year before, but technology and healthcare companies were standout performers. The latter—which include biotech, medtech and diagnostics companies—led the pack, making up 43% of all IPOs in 2019. By Renaissance’s count, seven companies went public at valuations exceeding $1 billion, up from five the year before

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MEDICAL

Cell Out? Lysate-Based Expression an Option for Personalized Meds

Article | August 2, 2021

Cell-free expression (CFE) is the practice of making a protein without using a living cell. In contrast with cell line-based methods, production is achieved using a fluid containing biological components extracted from a cell, i.e., a lysate. CFE offers potential advantages for biopharma according to Philip Probert, PhD, a senior scientist at the Centre for Process Innovation in the U.K.

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Closing bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome using long-read sequencing

Article | February 12, 2020

In our lab, we focus on the impact of the gut microbiome on human health and disease. To evaluate this relationship, it’s important to understand the particular functions that different bacteria have. As bacteria are able to exchange, duplicate, and rearrange their genes in ways that directly affect their phenotypes, complete bacterial genomes assembled directly from human samples are essential to understand the strain variation and potential functions of the bacteria we host. Advances in the microbiome space have allowed for the de novo assembly of microbial genomes directly from metagenomes via short-read sequencing, assembly of reads into contigs, and binning of contigs into putative genome drafts. This is advantageous because it allows us to discover microbes without culturing them, directly from human samples and without reference databases. In the past year, there have been a number of tour de force efforts to broadly characterize the human gut microbiota through the creation of such metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs)[1–4]. These works have produced hundreds of thousands of microbial genomes that vastly increase our understanding of the human gut. However, challenges in the assembly of short reads has limited our ability to correctly assemble repeated genomic elements and place them into genomic context. Thus, existing MAGs are often fragmented and do not include mobile genetic elements, 16S rRNA sequences, and other elements that are repeated or have high identity within and across bacterial genomes.

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Spotlight

Alkol Biotech

Alkol Biotech is a research company focused on the development of new plant varieties adapted to the needs of specific biofuel markets. The company adapts plant varities to grow in colder and dryer climates, offering better resistance to pests and diseases, and higher productivities. This allows the development of healthy biofuel markets in countries which otherwise have to import biomass in order to produce biofuels sustainably. Our first crop is a sugarcane hybrid focused on the european market for cellulosic ethanol production. It will offer up to 200 tons of biomass per hectare, 31% fiber, and will be the main source of biomass for Europe's 5% 2nd generation limit in the year 2020.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Verantos Named "BioInformatics Company of the Year" by BioTech Breakthrough

BioTech Breakthrough, Verantos | October 28, 2021

Verantos, the market leader in high-validity real-world evidence (RWE) generation, today announced it has been named "BioInformatics Company of the Year" in the inaugural BioTech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by BioTech Breakthrough. This independent market intelligence organization evaluates and recognizes standout life sciences and biotechnology companies, products, and services around the globe. The Verantos real-world evidence (RWE) platform leverages data science, artificial intelligence, and advanced data sources to generate evidence that enables precision medicine. It also provides a more inclusive approach to a learning healthcare system, in which underrepresented populations are better represented than in other evidence generation approaches. The platform is able to de-identify, enrich, and integrate data from electronic health records, medical claims, and registries to produce exacting and exceptionally valid RWE. Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director of BioTech Breakthrough Awards said, "Verantos continues to develop high-validity RWE in collaboration with pharmaceutical, regulatory and scientific institutions, enabling personalized medicine, and improved, more efficient care. Congratulations on being our choice for 'BioInformatics Company of the Year." Verantos has generated advanced RWE for top-tier biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms in addition to leading academic medical centers and health systems. It has also developed advanced science funded by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Additionally, Verantos CEO Dan Riskin testified before Congress on the 21st Century Cures Initiative and has helped shape policy in the use of advanced clinical data and technologies. These partnerships and initiatives have allowed Verantos to trailblaze in their industry and benefit patients living with common conditions across the globe. "We are thrilled to receive this award from BioTech Breakthrough. It supports our mission to advance real-world evidence to improve the standard of care, and furthers our vision to pioneer personalized medicine by setting the quality standard for real-world evidence. said Dan Riskin, CEO of Verantos. The annual BioTech Breakthrough Awards program conducts the industry's most comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the top technology companies, solutions and products in the life sciences and biotechnology industry today. This year's program attracted more than 1,200 nominations from over 12 different countries throughout the world. About Verantos Verantos is the market leader in high-accuracy, real-world evidence generation. The Verantos RWE platform integrates heterogeneous real-world data sources and generates evidence with the accuracy necessary for regulatory and reimbursement use. The Verantos RWE platform leverages data science and artificial intelligence along with advanced data sources such as electronic health records to generate RWE capable of supporting clinical assertions. About BioTech Breakthrough Part of Tech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence and recognition platform for global technology innovation and leadership, the BioTech Breakthrough Awards program is devoted to honoring excellence in life science and biotechnology solutions, services and companies. The BioTech Breakthrough Awards provide public recognition for the achievements of biotechnology companies and products in categories including BioPharma, Genomics, Therapeutics, Food Science and BioAgriculture, and more.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Omega Therapeutics Announces Strategic Research Collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine

Omega Therapeutics, Inc | October 14, 2021

Omega Therapeutics, Inc. ("Omega"), a development-stage biotechnology company pioneering the first systematic approach to use mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines by leveraging its OMEGA Epigenomic Programing™ platform, today announced a strategic research collaboration with researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine to explore the therapeutic potential of Omega Epigenomic Controllers (OECs) to control ocular disease genes associated with inflammation or regeneration of ocular tissues. Under the terms of the collaboration, Omega and members of the Ophthalmology Department of Stanford University School of Medicine will use the OMEGA Epigenomic Programming platform to discover and research novel ocular targets for potential future OEC development candidates. Albert Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, will serve as principal investigator. Other contributors will include Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor (Research) of Ophthalmology. "Through this research collaboration, we aim to expand the reach of our OMEGA platform within regenerative medicine, immunology, and inflammation with ocular disease targets. We will continue exploration of the broad potential of our disruptive platform and OECs, our new class of mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines." Mahesh Karande, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omega Therapeutics About Omega Therapeutics Omega Therapeutics is a development-stage biotechnology company pioneering the first systematic approach to use mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines by leveraging its OMEGA Epigenomic Programming™ platform. The OMEGA platform harnesses the power of epigenetics, the mechanism that controls gene expression and every aspect of an organism's life from cell genesis, growth and differentiation to cell death. The OMEGA platform enables control of fundamental epigenetic processes to correct the root cause of disease by returning aberrant gene expression to a normal range without altering native nucleic acid sequences. Omega's engineered, modular, and programmable mRNA-encoded epigenetic medicines, Omega Epigenomic Controllers™, target specific intervention points amongst the thousands of mapped and validated novel DNA-sequence-based epigenomic loci to durably tune single or multiple genes to treat and cure disease through Precision Genomic Control™. Omega is currently advancing a broad pipeline of development candidates spanning a range of disease areas, including oncology, regenerative medicine, multigenic diseases including immunology, and select monogenic diseases.

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MEDTECH

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

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INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Verantos Named "BioInformatics Company of the Year" by BioTech Breakthrough

BioTech Breakthrough, Verantos | October 28, 2021

Verantos, the market leader in high-validity real-world evidence (RWE) generation, today announced it has been named "BioInformatics Company of the Year" in the inaugural BioTech Breakthrough Awards program conducted by BioTech Breakthrough. This independent market intelligence organization evaluates and recognizes standout life sciences and biotechnology companies, products, and services around the globe. The Verantos real-world evidence (RWE) platform leverages data science, artificial intelligence, and advanced data sources to generate evidence that enables precision medicine. It also provides a more inclusive approach to a learning healthcare system, in which underrepresented populations are better represented than in other evidence generation approaches. The platform is able to de-identify, enrich, and integrate data from electronic health records, medical claims, and registries to produce exacting and exceptionally valid RWE. Bryan Vaughn, Managing Director of BioTech Breakthrough Awards said, "Verantos continues to develop high-validity RWE in collaboration with pharmaceutical, regulatory and scientific institutions, enabling personalized medicine, and improved, more efficient care. Congratulations on being our choice for 'BioInformatics Company of the Year." Verantos has generated advanced RWE for top-tier biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms in addition to leading academic medical centers and health systems. It has also developed advanced science funded by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Additionally, Verantos CEO Dan Riskin testified before Congress on the 21st Century Cures Initiative and has helped shape policy in the use of advanced clinical data and technologies. These partnerships and initiatives have allowed Verantos to trailblaze in their industry and benefit patients living with common conditions across the globe. "We are thrilled to receive this award from BioTech Breakthrough. It supports our mission to advance real-world evidence to improve the standard of care, and furthers our vision to pioneer personalized medicine by setting the quality standard for real-world evidence. said Dan Riskin, CEO of Verantos. The annual BioTech Breakthrough Awards program conducts the industry's most comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the top technology companies, solutions and products in the life sciences and biotechnology industry today. This year's program attracted more than 1,200 nominations from over 12 different countries throughout the world. About Verantos Verantos is the market leader in high-accuracy, real-world evidence generation. The Verantos RWE platform integrates heterogeneous real-world data sources and generates evidence with the accuracy necessary for regulatory and reimbursement use. The Verantos RWE platform leverages data science and artificial intelligence along with advanced data sources such as electronic health records to generate RWE capable of supporting clinical assertions. About BioTech Breakthrough Part of Tech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence and recognition platform for global technology innovation and leadership, the BioTech Breakthrough Awards program is devoted to honoring excellence in life science and biotechnology solutions, services and companies. The BioTech Breakthrough Awards provide public recognition for the achievements of biotechnology companies and products in categories including BioPharma, Genomics, Therapeutics, Food Science and BioAgriculture, and more.

Read More

INDUSTRIAL IMPACT

Omega Therapeutics Announces Strategic Research Collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine

Omega Therapeutics, Inc | October 14, 2021

Omega Therapeutics, Inc. ("Omega"), a development-stage biotechnology company pioneering the first systematic approach to use mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines by leveraging its OMEGA Epigenomic Programing™ platform, today announced a strategic research collaboration with researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine to explore the therapeutic potential of Omega Epigenomic Controllers (OECs) to control ocular disease genes associated with inflammation or regeneration of ocular tissues. Under the terms of the collaboration, Omega and members of the Ophthalmology Department of Stanford University School of Medicine will use the OMEGA Epigenomic Programming platform to discover and research novel ocular targets for potential future OEC development candidates. Albert Wu, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, will serve as principal investigator. Other contributors will include Jeffrey Goldberg, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology, and Michael Kapiloff, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor (Research) of Ophthalmology. "Through this research collaboration, we aim to expand the reach of our OMEGA platform within regenerative medicine, immunology, and inflammation with ocular disease targets. We will continue exploration of the broad potential of our disruptive platform and OECs, our new class of mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines." Mahesh Karande, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omega Therapeutics About Omega Therapeutics Omega Therapeutics is a development-stage biotechnology company pioneering the first systematic approach to use mRNA therapeutics as programmable epigenetic medicines by leveraging its OMEGA Epigenomic Programming™ platform. The OMEGA platform harnesses the power of epigenetics, the mechanism that controls gene expression and every aspect of an organism's life from cell genesis, growth and differentiation to cell death. The OMEGA platform enables control of fundamental epigenetic processes to correct the root cause of disease by returning aberrant gene expression to a normal range without altering native nucleic acid sequences. Omega's engineered, modular, and programmable mRNA-encoded epigenetic medicines, Omega Epigenomic Controllers™, target specific intervention points amongst the thousands of mapped and validated novel DNA-sequence-based epigenomic loci to durably tune single or multiple genes to treat and cure disease through Precision Genomic Control™. Omega is currently advancing a broad pipeline of development candidates spanning a range of disease areas, including oncology, regenerative medicine, multigenic diseases including immunology, and select monogenic diseases.

Read More

MEDTECH

Outcomes4Me Partners with Invitae to Offer Genetic Testing to Breast Cancer Patients

Outcomes4Me | October 12, 2021

Outcomes4Me Inc., developer of a leading free mobile app and platform to navigate cancer treatment and care, today announced that it has partnered with Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA), a leading medical genetics company, to expand education and access to genetic testing to breast cancer patients and survivors. The collaboration leverages the strengths of Invitae, which supplies clinical grade genetic testing, and Outcomes4Me’s 360-degree, validated and evidence-based cancer support and treatment options via its free and easy-to-use app. Initially and currently available in the United States, patients can now receive genetic counseling through Invitae’s partnership with Genome Medical, get testing, and upload their results within the Outcomes4Me app.There is a misconception that genetic testing is only useful as a preventative tool prior to a cancer diagnosis. According to Outcomes4Me patient data, almost half of users (46 percent) who qualified for testing (based on NCCN Guidelines®) did not receive testing or did not know if they had received testing. However, genetic testing can provide insights that can help inform and refine precision therapy use and clinical treatment trial enrollment. In addition, genetic testing results can be used to help prevent recurrence and reduce incidence of other inherited cancers. A cancer diagnosis is often overwhelming for patients and their families. Outcomes4Me demystifies cancer by providing the most up-to-date and validated research, support, and treatment options, all grounded in science and data and curated according to the patient’s specific diagnosis. Outcomes4Me partners with the researchers, doctors, and academics that set the rigorous standards of cancer care for all treatment providers, including the National Comprehensive Care Network® (NCCN®), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The collaboration with Invitae expands access to genetic testing, a vitally important tool in the patient’s cancer care arsenal. “Outcomes4Me is an indispensable platform for patients with breast cancer, giving them the personalized knowledge and access to timely new trials and targeted therapies that could lead to better health outcomes. By providing access to our comprehensive genetic testing and counseling services, Outcomes4Me is adding a valuable resource that will empower patients to advance their knowledge, understanding, and therefore, self-advocacy during treatment and survivorship.” Ed Esplin, M.D., Ph.D., FACMG, FACP, Clinical Geneticist at Invitae Unlike popular direct-to-consumer genetic testing services, which test for a few specific genetic variants for certain genes, Invitae provides state-of-the-art clinical grade next-generation sequencing-based (NGS) genetic testing that comprehensively analyses more than 80 genes, including all known mutations of the important BRCA1/BRCA2 genes. This comprehensive approach, combined with associated genetic counseling, not only provides insights for cancer patients, but also for family members who may be at risk. “Our collaboration with Invitae reinforces Outcomes4Me’s mission to give patients back control. Because of this work with Invitae, our valued community now has rare direct access to a much-needed testing service. Outcomes4Me will proudly continue to democratize the best in cancer treatment, research, and support by removing barriers and bias in information flow.” Maya R. Said, Sc. D., Founder and CEO of Outcomes4Me About Invitae Invitae Corporation (NYSE: NVTA) is a leading medical genetics company whose mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medicine to improve healthcare for billions of people. Invitae's goal is to aggregate the world's genetic tests into a single service with higher quality, faster turnaround time, and lower prices. About Outcomes4Me Outcomes4Me is on a mission to improve health outcomes by empowering patients with understandable, relevant and evidence-based information. Outcomes4Me has developed a platform for shared decision-making between patients and providers. The platform harnesses regulatory-grade, real-world data and patient experiences generating deeper insights and better outcomes to improve care and accelerate research. The Outcomes4Me mobile app enables cancer patients to make decisions and take control of their care based on information that is personalized to their specific condition, including finding treatment options, matching to clinical trials, and tracking and managing symptoms. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Outcomes4Me, a woman-led company, comprises seasoned healthcare, oncology, pharmaceutical, consumer and technology veterans.

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