Peter Thiel backs ATAI’s psychedelics mission in $125 million round

Peter Thiel

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

LONDON — Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has backed a Berlin start-up aiming to make psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders in a $125 million funding round.

ATAI Life Sciences, which describes itself as a drug development platform, was set up to acquire, incubate and develop psychedelics and other drugs that can be used to treat depression, anxiety, addiction and other mental health conditions. The company — founded in 2018 by entrepreneurs Christian Angermayer, Florian Brand, Lars Wilde and Srinivas Rao — announced the funding on Monday.

“ATAI’s great virtue is to take mental illness as seriously as we should have been taking all illness all along,” Thiel, who co-founded Palantir and PayPal, said in a statement shared with CNBC. “The company’s most valuable asset is its sense of urgency.”

Thiel made a 10 million euro ($12 million) investment in ATAI through his venture firm, Thiel Capital, while the rest of the series C funding round came from Apeiron Investment Group (Angermayer’s family office), Catalio Capital Management, Future Ventures, Galaxy Investment Partners, Falcon Edge Capital, and Pura Vida.

Total investment in the company now stands at over $210 million.

ATAI, which has roughly 35 staff in offices across Berlin, New York and San Diego, is currently partnered with around 10 drug development companies. In exchange for a majority stake in the drugs they’re developing, ATAI helps the scientists to raise money, work with the regulators, and conduct clinical trials.

None of ATAI’s drugs have been formally approved by regulators to date.

There is growing interest in certain psychedelics after recent clinical studies suggested that some could help patients with a number of mental illnesses, either in combination with traditional solutions or in cases where nothing else has worked.

“The current treatments (for mental health issues) which are out there are definitely not sufficient,” company co-founder Angermayer told CNBC via Zoom ahead of the announcement. “I don’t want to say they don’t work as all because some people are helped by them but they’re not sufficient.”

Almost a billion people suffer from mental health problems worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Of the 322 million people globally that have depression, roughly a third are treatment-resistant, according to fellow company co-founder Brand.

ATAI said it will use the new funding to pay for the clinical development of drugs that ATAI has already backed. This includes ar-ketamine, which is being developed at Perception Neuroscience for treatment-resistant depression, and ibogaine, which is being developed by DemeRx to treat opioid addiction. The funding will also be used to identify new drugs and support their development.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Johnson & Johnson’s ketamine-like nasal spray for depression and there are a number of other start-ups trying to get psychedelic drugs to market including MindMed and Beckley Psytech.

Psychedelic trips

Angermayer said that people “meet themselves” when they have a psychedelic trip. “Since we’re born, society imposes on us how we should

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Addex Receives Additional $2.8 million from Indivior and Extends GABAB PAM Research Collaboration

Geneva, Switzerland, November 2, 2020 – Addex Therapeutics Ltd (SIX and Nasdaq: ADXN), a leading company pioneering allosteric modulation-based drug discovery and development, today announced that the research term of the agreement signed with Indivior PLC (LON: INDV) in January 2018 has been extended until June 30, 2021. The collaboration with Indivior covers the discovery of novel oral gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subtype B (GABAB) positive allosteric modulator (PAM) compounds as potential therapies for multiple disease areas. As part of the amended agreement, Indivior has agreed to pay Addex $2.8 million in research funding and expand the therapeutic areas where Addex has exclusivity to develop retained compounds.

“The extension of our research collaboration and the additional funding from Indivior is a clear recognition of the potential of our allosteric modulator discovery platform and the significant achievements of our drug discovery team,” said Tim Dyer, CEO of Addex. “Indivior is a world leader in the development of addiction medication and strongly committed to GABAB PAM as a potential treatment for addiction including alcohol use disorder.”

“Although 200 health conditions have been linked to harmful alcohol use,1 there are few pharmacotherapies for alcohol use disorder (AUD) – their efficacy and uptake in clinical practice are limited, and patient acceptance is minimal. We are, therefore, very pleased to expand our partnership with Addex Therapeutics to discover and profile new potent and selective GABAB PAMs and provide a new class of medications that has the potential to achieve therapeutic benefits in patients suffering from AUD,” said Christian Heidbreder, Chief Scientific Officer of Indivior.

“Due to the extensive validation of GABAB activation with baclofen, we believe a novel, orally available GABAB PAM could provide significant benefits to patients in many therapeutics areas,” said Jean-Philippe Rocher, Co-Head of Discovery. “We have advanced multiple novel chemical series’ to late stages of lead optimization and we look forward to rapidly delivering first-in-class compounds for Indivior to advance into clinical development.”

Under the terms of the original agreement signed with Indivior in January 2018, Addex received a $5 million upfront payment and has since received $5.6 million research funding. Addex is eligible to receive up to $330 million of development, regulatory and commercialization milestones as well as tiered royalties up to teen double-digit. In addition, Addex has the right to retain certain compounds and pursue their development for reserved indications outside addiction, including for the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1a (CMT1A) neuropathy, a rare inherited disorder that affects peripheral nerves. Addex has discovered novel GABAB PAMs and has made significant progress in optimization of potential drug candidates. Addex expects to enter clinical candidate selection phase by end of 2020 and deliver drug candidates for IND enabling studies by the end of 2021 for both Indivior and for its in-house CMT1A program.

About GABAB Activation with PAM

Activation of the GABAB receptor, a Family C class of GPCR, is clinically and commercially validated by the generic GABAB

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U.S. coronavirus cases cross nine million: Reuters tally

By Shaina Ahluwalia and Kavya B



a man and a woman looking at the camera: FILE PHOTO: Medical personnel work inside a field hospital known as an Alternate Care Facility at the state fair ground as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases spike in the state near Milwaukee, Wisconsin


© Reuters/Wisconsin Department of Administ
FILE PHOTO: Medical personnel work inside a field hospital known as an Alternate Care Facility at the state fair ground as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases spike in the state near Milwaukee, Wisconsin

(Reuters) – U.S. coronavirus cases crossed the 9 million mark on Friday, rising by 1 million in two weeks as the world’s worst-affected country faces a resurgence in the pandemic just ahead of elections.

Cases are rising faster than ever before. The previous record for 1 million new cases was during a surge in infection in July and August – when it took 16 days. Now the country has recorded over 1 million cases in 14 days with no sign of the outbreak slowing. (Graphic: https://tmsnrt.rs/3jI3SCG)

On Thursday, the United States reported a record 91,254 new cases. On average, over 77,000 cases are being reported every day in the last seven days, double the level seen two months ago. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients are hitting records in 21 out of 50 states. Deaths are also trending higher and have reached nearly 230,000.

For every 10,000 people in the United States, over 272 coronavirus cases have been reported and about seven people have died, according to a Reuters analysis. In Europe there have been 127 cases and four deaths per 10,000 residents.

Texas has surpassed California as the worst-affected state in the United States, with Florida in third place.

Global coronavirus cases rose by more than 500,000 for the first time on Wednesday, a record one-day increase as countries across the Northern Hemisphere reported daily spikes. Many governments have started taking stronger measures to bring the spread of the virus under control.

More than a half million lives could be lost to COVID-19 across the United States by the end of February, according to researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is seeking a second term on Tuesday, has been saying for weeks that the country is “rounding the turn,” even as new cases and hospitalizations soar.

The United States performed 7.7 million coronavirus tests last week, of which 6.3% came back positive, compared with 5.4% the prior week, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

South Dakota led the nation with the highest positive test rate at 40%, followed by Idaho at 34% and Wyoming at 29%. A total of 14 states had a positive test rate of over 10%.

According to a Reuters analysis, the South region comprises nearly 44% of all the cases in the United States, with nearly 4 million cases in the region alone, followed by the Midwest, West and Northeast.

(Reporting by Shaina Ahluwalia and Kavya B in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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U.S. Hits Record as Global Cases Top 45 Million: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — U.S. new cases topped 89,000, setting a daily record, as the outbreak intensifies ahead of next week’s presidential election. Global infections surpassed 45 million, with Europe also grappling to control a renewed surge in the disease across the continent.

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German cases exceeded 500,000 after a gain of more than 19,000 through early Friday, confirming a trend that Chancellor Angela Merkel has characterized as a “dramatic situation.” France’s economy staged a record rebound in the third quarter, but that recovery now risks being derailed by new government restrictions. Poland is set to announce new measures to curtail its outbreak and Ukraine reported records in both deaths and infections.

In the U.S., infections are again on the rise in New York and New Jersey, while Midwest states are suffering a record outbreak. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease doctor, predicted it could take until the end of 2021 at least for U.S. social life to return to normal even with an effective vaccine.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases surpass 45 million; deaths topped 1.18 millionMnuchin faults Pelosi as stimulus blame game heats upOperation Warp Speed could shape up to be an $18 billion bargainECB pushes governments to get on with spending in virus battleHow do people catch Covid-19?: QuickTakeVaccine Tracker: Clinical trials restart, providing hope

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.

Sweden Earmarks More Cash for Testing (2:50 p.m. HK)

Sweden’s government has underestimated the cost of testing and tracing Covid-19 patients and the money that’s been earmarked for the purpose is now running out, TV4 reports.

The government will allocate an extra 3 billion kronor ($336 million) to pay for testing through the end of the year, bringing the total cost for testing and infection tracing this year to almost 10 billion kronor, according to the report.

Poland to Announce Restrictions on Friday (2:45 p.m. HK)

Poland’s health-care system is “stretched to its limits,” Michal Dworczyk, chief of staff in Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s office, says in interview with public radio 1.

Morawiecki has asked biggest state-run companies to build temporary hospitals in order to add more than 3,000 beds to treat Covid-19 patients.

Swiss Re Adds $500 Million to Reserves (2:31 p.m. HK)

Swiss Re added another $500 million in reserves for future claims as it warned about the high uncertainty that remains because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The re-insurer reported a net loss of $691 million for the first nine months of the year, driven by the increase in reserves it had to take for future claims, as the virus resurges and the threat of more lockdowns looms.

Lonza, AstraZeneca to Manufacture Antibody Combination (2:19 p.m. HK)

Lonza and AstraZeneca agreed to manufacture a combination of two long-acting antibodies for Covid-19 treatment called AZD7442, according to an SGX filing.

AZD7442 is currently in Phase 1 clinical studies and AstraZeneca plans to advance it into

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Tampa General Hospital and GE Healthcare’s CareComm Saves $40 Million, Cuts 20,000 Excess Days and Reduces Length of Stay

Tampa General Hospital (TGH), in partnership with GE Healthcare, reports a $40M reduction of system-wide inefficiencies since launching their CareComm command center with GE’s Command Center Software last August. Utilizing 20 artificial intelligence applications (aka Tiles), CareComm helps to optimize minute-to-minute patient care operations with real-time actionable information used in CareComm and throughout the hospital.

CareComm’s Tiles include Patient Manager, Capacity Snapshot, Surgical Tube Map, Observation Manager, Discharge Barriers, Imaging Expediter and more. CareComm also created a digital twin of patient flow at TGH which was used to reallocate nursing unit capacities and optimize the surgical block schedule. More than anything, CareComm’s work has been to serve and enable TGH’s caregivers and care teams.

The program has helped TGH to operate at maximum occupancy, decrease average length of stay by eliminating 20,000 excess days, and reduce emergency room diversion by 25% for the level one trauma center that serves the entire West Coast of Florida. These improvements equate to 30 beds of additional capacity.

“CareComm is not only the center of gravity for our artificial intelligence platform, it’s the center of gravity for the entire hospital system,” said John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital. “We feel sometimes that to fix a problem, we’ve got to build a building or build more capacity. We started to think a little differently saying, how do we drive value to the consumer by doing better with what we have and not just simply building more.”

“When CareComm opened in August 2019, a hurricane was approaching, and we talked about it being helpful during the storm. We didn’t discuss a pandemic, but it’s been a remarkably useful tool in the management of COVID-19 as well as for daily patient care operations,” said Everett Cunningham, CEO of US and Canada, GE Healthcare. “GE Command Centers are now operating in over 200 hospitals worldwide helping health systems and governments through COVID-19.”

In addition to GE’s real-time Tiles, the CareComm team rapidly implemented an early warning system to help anticipate COVID-19 hotspots in the community. And TGH worked with health systems in the local area to share capacity between them through each surge of COVID-19 patients.

“CareComm guides our hospital along the path of automating care delivery. Over the past year, our team gathered valuable patient insights from our command center which we’ve been able to apply to managing reduced length of stay and better patient flow for all patients – especially in the evolving era of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Peter Chang, vice president for care transitions, Tampa General Hospital.

TGH is also co-leading a statewide collaboration with other Florida health systems and GE Healthcare to manage beds, ventilators and COVID-19 hospitalizations in near-time called the Florida Capacity System. This new cloud-based system is live and will help to manage the pandemic as well as hurricanes and other challenges in the future.

“The COVID-19 crisis requires a regional response. We’ll keep working together with the Florida healthcare systems and have agreed to share

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Veteran-Owned Healthcare Company Awarded Medical Equipment Government Contract Valued at $450 Million

Alliant Healthcare Products will provide the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with a customer-friendly source for innovative medical products via new PMCE contract

Grand Rapids, Michigan –News Direct– Alliant Healthcare Products

Alliant Enterprises (dba Alliant Healthcare Products) has been awarded a Patient Monitoring & Capital Equipment (PMCE) contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) valued at $450 million over 10 years. The contract includes medical products from many of Alliant’s high-profile OEM partners, including Olympus America Inc., Philips Healthcare, Skytron, LINET Americas, Belimed Inc., PROCEPT BioRobotics, Veran Medical Technologies, and many others. The PMCE contract is pre-established and pre-vetted by the government as a source for medical equipment and acts as one of the preferred purchasing platforms for the Department of Defense (DoD).

From robotic-assisted surgical devices to hospital beds and endoscopy equipment, this contract will help America’s service members gain access to more than 8,000 best-in-class medical devices and products over the next 10 years. When it comes to new and innovative technology, the lengthy and arduous procurement process has historically limited the ability of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD to quickly and efficiently purchase critical products. This contract will remove some of the bureaucratic red tape and pave the way to a smoother procurement process for federal government customers, ensuring veterans and active duty military personnel have quicker access to new technologies and life-saving medical equipment.

“This PMCE contract solidifies Alliant’s position as one of the leading providers of medical equipment to the federal government. As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, we strive to serve those who are actively working to protect our country,” said Eric Albery, President, Alliant Healthcare Products. “As a result of this contract, Alliant is able to provide federal government customers with access to some of the most advanced medical equipment on the market, through an efficient, net-centric ordering, distribution and payment system.”

“Olympus and Alliant have established a high-trust relationship based on mutual respect and alignment of goals to meet the unique equipment needs of the federal government,” said Steve Wendt, Vice President for Government and Distributor Relations, Olympus America Inc. “We are excited to work with Alliant to successfully implement this new agreement administered by the Department of Defense, which will bring additional visibility to Olympus’ innovative technologies and make them more accessible to our nation’s service men and women, and our country’s veterans.”

“There is no community more deserving, and we look forward to working with Alliant to understand how we can better serve the needs of veterans, active duty service men and women, as well as federal health facilities,” said Derek Farias, National Director Government Channel, Philips Healthcare.

The new PMCE contract is effective immediately for government customers, adding to Alliant’s arsenal of pre-established government contracts for medical products. Founded in 2002, Alliant Healthcare has become a trusted and respected staple within the federal government healthcare market, working closely with the DoD, VA, Indian Health Service, National Institute of Health and many

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The Asia Pacific liposome drug delivery market is expected to reach US$ 1,562.92 million in 2027 from US$ 759.81 in 2019

The market is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 9. 6% from 2020-2027. The growth of the market is attributed to the some key driving factors such as high incidence of chronic diseases amongst the population, an upsurge in need for non-invasive drug delivery solutions, increasing investments in R&D for pharmaceutical companies.

New York, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Asia Pacific Liposome Drug Delivery Market Forecast to 2027 – COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis By Product ; Technology ; Application, and Country” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05978829/?utm_source=GNW
However, high expense involved in the development of drug delivery systems is expected to obstruct the growth of the market to a certain extent during the forecast years.

Liposomes are small sphere-shaped artificial vesicles synthesized from cholesterol and phospholipids. They have multiple layers and a diameter range of 0.01 to 5.0 um. They also have hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties which help liposomes to encapsulate hydrophobic and hydrophilic drugs to be delivered to targeted body site. Liposomes provide an assured system for targeted drug delivery and thereby is the factor influencing the Liposome Drug Delivery market size growth. Liposomes are widely used for enclosing all types of drug molecules such as acyclovir, chloroquine diphosphate, paclitaxel, tropicamide, and cyclosporine. Liposomes are used as a drug carrier for drug therapy for many diseases since they are biodegradable and biocompatible. Also, they have many therapeutic properties like anticancer drugs, genetic materials, proteins, vaccines, macromolecules, and thus can be encapsulated in liposomes.

Research and development (R&D) in liposomal drug delivery systems are increasing across the world due to the increasing prevalence of chronic disease.Drug delivery is the process of dispensing a pharmaceutical compound to attain a therapeutic effect in humans.

Liposomal drug delivery offers multiple advantages such as better pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, enhanced therapeutic efficacy, and decreased toxicity making these delivery systems ideal for patients suffering from various chronic conditions.

Death among the population worldwide has increased due to cancer.The targeted drug delivery system delivers the drug in a controlled manner at a preselected bio site.

Nanotechnology-based delivery systems are making a crucial impact on cancer treatment, and the polymers play a key role in the development of Nano particulate carriers for cancer therapy.Some of the major technological advantages involved in the nanotherapeutic drug delivery systems (NDDS) are prolonged half-life, improved bio-distribution, increased circulation time of the drug, controlled and sustained release of the drug, versatility of route of administration, increased intercellular concentration of the drug, and many more.

The liposomal carriers used in nanotechnology drug delivery systems are likely to experience rapid adoption, which in turn is propelling the market growth.

As per the data provided by, European Society for Medical Oncology, China estimated there were 4.3 million new cancer cases and more than 2.8 million cancer deaths in China in 2015, with lung cancer the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer death. With high incidences and mortality, cancer is the leading cause of death in China and

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The Asia Pacific pulmonary devices market is expected to reach US$ 8,196.82 million by 2027 from US$ 3,661.53 million in 2019

The market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 10. 6 % during 2019–2027. The growth of the pulmonary devices market in Asia Pacific is attributed to the increasing prevalence of respiratory diseases and growing number of COVID-19 cases.

New York, Oct. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Asia Pacific Pulmonary Devices Market Forecast to 2027 – COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis By Type ; Application ; and End User and country” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05978832/?utm_source=GNW
Factors such as unfavorable reimbursement scenario associated with the pulmonary device are likely to restrain the growth of the market.

Additionally, strategic activities by manufacturers and increasing preference of home care products are likely to fuel the growth of the pulmonary devices market during the forecast period.

Pulmonary or respiratory devices are used to remove mucus and secretions from the respiratory tract. These medical devices are focused on diagnosis, control, treatment, management, and evaluation of the problems associated with respiratory tract.

The higher prevalence of respiratory disorder is mainly due to the decrease in size of the upper airway lumen in aging population.Millions of people suffer from various respiratory diseases; lung diseases are the most common medical conditions.

Smoking, genetic factors, and infections are among the common factors responsible for respiratory diseases. Medical conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, and lung cancer are among the significant public health burdens.

According to a new Tulane University study published in The Lancet, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is widespread in China with 8.6% of the country’s adult population, i.e. almost 100 million people suffering from the chronic lung disease. Additionally, among India’s 1.31 billion people, about 6% of children and 2% of adults have asthma.

The patients suffering with these respiratory disorders commonly experience difficulty in breathing.Thus, the availability of various pulmonary devices has helped improve the survival rates of the patients suffering from abovementioned medical conditions.

The rising demand for various therapeutic devices among patients with respiratory disorders is expected to augment the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific countries are expected to witness massive challenges due to increasing COVID-19 cases.To manage the COVID-19 outbreak and provide efficient treatment to patients in the region, local medical device companies are ramping up the production of alternative respiratory systems in the Asian countries.

The governments in India and Australia, among others are taking initiative to fulfill the demand of oxygen during COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, the development of these solutions is likely to create a positive impact on market growth in the Asian region.

In 2019, the therapeutic devices segment held the largest share in the market and is expected to retain its dominance till 2027.The multi-modal and multi-functional use of therapeutic devices for a wide range of pulmonary diseases is expected to account for the growth of the therapeutic devices segment over the coming years.

On the other hand, the consumables and accessories segment is expected to witness fastest growth

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Trump administration agrees to purchase $375 million of Lilly coronavirus antibody drug

The Trump administration will pay Eli Lilly $375 million to supply 300,000 doses of its experimental antibody drug to treat COVID-19, the Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

If the Food and Drug Administration authorizes use of the drug, the federal government will allocate the doses to state and territorial health departments which, in turn, will determine which health care facilities receive the drug for use in outpatient care.

Eli Lilly said it anticipates only high-risk patients will be indicated to receive the drug until more studies are completed and more supply is available.

The initial agreement is for delivery over the course of two months following authorization, with the option to purchase up to 650,000 additional doses through the end of June 2021 for up to an additional $812.5 million. 

The government-purchased doses would become available to Americans at no cost, although health care professionals could charge for administering the medicine.

Eli Lilly’s CEO, David Ricks, said the company is allocating the drugs to the countries that need them most and will commit only to a few months of supply at a time to any given country in order to match demand with the limited supply.

“Unfortunately, the U.S. now leads the world in both COVID-19 cases and deaths. As a result, a top priority is helping reduce disease burden in the U.S.,” Ricks said. 

The rolling seven-day average of daily cases in the U.S. topped 70,000, according to COVID Tracking Project data. With that many cases a day, the projected supply of the monoclonal antibodies would not be nearly sufficient to meet demand.

Eli Lilly said it anticipates manufacturing up to 1 million doses of its drug by the end of 2020, with 100,000 doses ready to ship within days of authorization.

The agreement with Eli Lilly is part of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed, the initiative created by the administration to fund the quick development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Ricks said Eli Lilly is pricing the drug at $1,250 per vial in wealthy countries, with a tiered system based on the country’s ability to pay. One vial represents the full course of treatment.

Ricks said the company expects to make a profit and is pricing the drug “above our marginal cost to produce the medicine in developed markets,” meaning it expects “to produce a modest financial return for our investors by the end of 2021.”

The announcement of the agreement comes a day after Eli Lilly said the drug had no clinical benefit for helping hospitalized patients. The company said it is confident the drug is helpful to those earlier in the course of a COVID-19 infection.

Antibody drugs are experimental, and while doctors think they are promising as a potential treatment of COVID-19 and could be a bridge to a vaccine, clinical studies are still ongoing.

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in

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Whoop raises $100 million, valuing the fitness tracker startup at $1.2 billion

(Reuters) – Fitness tracker startup Whoop said on Wednesday it raised $100 million in Series E funding from investors including venture capital firm IVP and SoftBank Vision Fund 2, valuing the company at $1.2 billion.

Popular athletes like 10-time NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Super Bowl MVPs Patrick Mahomes and Eli Manning, among others, also participated in the funding round, the company said in a statement here.

Boston-based Whoop said it would primarily use the new funds for product and software development, global expansion and membership services.

Whoop also offers a monthly subscription for round-the-clock health monitoring through a free fitness band it provides with the membership.

The company’s tracker is the fitness band of choice for a host of pro-athletes. The PGA Tour had bought 1,000 Whoop bands for players, caddies and media covering the golf tournament.

Whoop founder Will Ahmed said customers were increasingly using the technology to measure their respiratory rate, which is a key statistic for understanding COVID-19.

Founded in 2012, the company said it has raised over $200 million till date.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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