PPP Launched to Improve Prevention of Women’s Cancers and Quality of Cancer Registries in Latin America and the Caribbean

NEW YORK, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

  • PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Foundation and International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) combine efforts to improve breast and cervical cancer prevention and control.
  • The partnership aims to improve understanding and practices among primary health care providers and patients for breast cancer screening and early detection as well as increase capacity of cancer registries in the region.
  • Three-year joint project is receiving $600,000 funding from IFPMA as well as in-kind contributions such as communications and infrastructure supplies.

The PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Foundation and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) announced today a partnership to jointly build regional capacity to fight woman’s cancers in Latin America and the Caribbean. The three-year collaboration will allow the first phase of a $5M initiative to focus on women’s cancers in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Americas. Breast and cervical cancer are amid the most common cancers affecting women. Approximately 128,000 women died from breast cancer (92,000) and cervical cancer (36,000) in 2012.

The partnership aims to increase awareness of breast and cervical cancer and improve screening and earlier detection services to reduce the numbers of women who prematurely die from these cancers. In addition, the partnership will work with healthcare providers to improve their knowledge about innovative screening strategies.

The second key component of the collaboration is to improve the quality and completeness of cancer registries in selected Latin American countries. Cancer registries are necessary tools for cancer control, as knowledge of a country’s particular cancer situation helps make informed decisions on the targeted interventions to reduce incidence and mortality. Currently only two countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Costa Rica and Uruguay) have national high quality population based cancer registries (PBCR).

“Reduction of mortality in women’s cancers lies in the ability to detect them at an early stage. The disparities in women’s access to early detection strategies and early care in the Americas is incredible,” said Dr. Ward-Robinson. “This project will create a framework from which to reduce the mortality of these cancers and improve patient outcomes. PAHO Foundation’s partnership with IFPMA illustrates how, by working together with the private sector, we strive to protect and promote the health of everyone in the Americas”.

“Partnerships are the way forward when dealing with complex challenges such as those posed by NCDs. Working across sectors enables partners to generate health outcomes that are transformational, hence sustainable. We are delighted to join forces with the PAHO Foundation to implement innovative strategies that help alleviate the NCD burden in low- and middle-income countries”, adds Eduardo Pisani, Director General, IFPMA.

Changing Tomorrow Day 2014 Marks Astellas’ Fifth Annual Global Service Initiative

– More than 6,000 employees worldwide have already completed over 13,000 hours of volunteer service in their communities

TOKYO, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Astellas Pharma Inc. (headquarters: Tokyo; president & CEO: Yoshihiko Hatanaka) announced for the fifth consecutive year, Astellas Group’s global volunteer initiative known as Changing Tomorrow Day that will engage its employees worldwide to enhance the sustainability of society through participation in local volunteer activities through March 2015. Today, Ken Jones, Astellas Pharma EMEA president and CEO, along with local employees, will teach healthy cooking classes at a school in Staines, England for the fourth straight year. The healthy cooking class is for children aged 5-7 and is designed to engage their minds and taste buds on the importance of nutritious meals. Astellas also financially supports the school’s nutritious eating cooking club for families.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7302351-changing-tomorrow-day-2014-marks-astellas-pharma-fifth-annual-global-service-initiative/

Photo –  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20141104/156419 

As of Nov. 4, more than 6,000 employees across Japan, Asia/Oceania, the Americas and Europe have completed over 13,000 hours of service at hundreds of locations such as hospitals, family shelters, parks, food banks, elderly care facilities, community centers and schools where they engaged in projects to support the themes of health and the environment.

Dr. Kenji Yasukawa, senior vice president, chief strategy officer, chairman of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee at Astellas, said, “Astellas is proud to be celebrating the fifth anniversary of Changing Tomorrow Day as we encourage our employees to provide support and contribute to the sustainable development of society and local communities to which we belong. As a good corporate citizen, Astellas will continue to actively engage in initiatives to support the health of people around the world.”

Below are examples of initiatives already completed:

  • Astellas Korea Pharma, Inc. kicked off this year’s activities on April 1 by returning to Yangjae Citizens’ Park in Seoul with its 263 employees to clean up debris and leaves.
  • On June 11, almost 1,400 Astellas Pharma US employees painted, built furniture and improved the grounds at Give Kids the World: a 70-acre resort in Florida that provides free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. See press release.
  • In Europe, between the months of June and September, more than 100 employees organized sports days with local schools leading children in exercises to promote healthy, holistic development.
  • On July 14, employees in Saitama, Japan removed foreign plants from Kamitani-numa pond to conserve its biodiversity and help sustain the environment for Yoshikiri: a small bird that nests in the reed.
  • Despite extreme heat, on Aug. 1, a total of 291 employees in Tokyo performed their annual community street clean up and expanded to new areas around popular historical sites in Nihonbashi. The group collected an impressive 69.4 kg of waste.
  • On Sept. 12, more than 400 employees near the US headquarters participated in the transformation of Dunning Read Conservation Area in Chicago. Employees removed invasive plants, planted trees, reinforced the walking trail, created artwork and began the construction of an outdoor shelter. Simultaneously, 114 employees throughout Brazil completed activities at 17 locations, including donating health supplies, visiting the elderly and people with physical challenges, general maintenance of facilities and leading activities for kids.
  • On Sept. 19, students and teachers in Beijing visited the Astellas Pharma China office for “Job Shadow Day” where a team of employees provided the young students an up-close demonstration of how skills learned in school translate to the workplace.
  • Over 100 employees across Canada gathered on Sept. 29 to volunteer at food banks, paint community centers, clean up parks and serve warm meals to disadvantaged youth and homeless families.

On Oct. 28, 2014, the Changing Tomorrow Day volunteering initiative received a Silver award for ‘Best community involvement during a CSR program’ at the United Kingdom’s Corporate Engagement Awards.

About Astellas
Astellas is a pharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. Astellas has approximately 18,000 employees worldwide. For additional information and to learn more about Astellas’ corporate social responsibility program, please visit our website at www.astellas.com/en.

Merieux Developpement Announces the Formal Launch of a Second Investment Vehicle of EUR 150 Million, with Renewed Support from Institut Merieux as Well as a new Commitment by Sienna Capital, a Company Controlled by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert

LYON, France and LUXEMBOURG, November 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ —

Merieux Developpement, the private equity investment vehicle of Institut Merieux, was first established in late 2009 to support entrepreneurs and companies within the healthcare sector. The company, chaired by Alexandre Merieux, just announced that it is expanding its activities by creating a second evergreen vehicle, with a total commitment of EUR150 million sponsored by Institut Merieux.

As part of a long-term partnership agreement, Sienna Capital, a company controlled by Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (“GBL” – ISIN Code BE0003797140), commits an initial amount of EUR 75 million, mostly dedicated to the newly investment vehicle established by Merieux Developpement.

Merieux Developpement will thereby deploy substantial new capital within the healthcare and nutrition sectors in growth capital as well as venture capital. To support this expansion, Merieux Developpement recently opened permanent offices in the United States and appointed Mrs. Christine Demode as Chief Financial Officer.

“We are very honored to partner with the alternative investment holding of GBL, anchored by the Canadian Desmarais and Belgian Frère families who are highly reputable and long term investors in the industrial sector. The renewed commitment of Institut Merieux and the support of GBL underline the quality of the performance achieved by the team since 2010 and the pertinence of our investment approach,” explains Alexandre Merieux, President of Merieux Developpement.

“We have financed 12 companies and committed EUR 70 million from 2010 to 2014. This additional financing allows us to ramp-up our operational capabilities in the short term but also represents a very solid basis for our future financial expansion,” adds Francois Valencony, General Manager of Merieux Developpement.

Ian Gallienne, Chairman of Sienna Capital, said: “Sienna Capital is pleased to partner with the Merieux family, which has more than a century of recognized expertise and global leadership in healthcare. This commitment is consistent with GBL’s strategy to reinforce the diversification of its portfolio and achieve its value-creation objectives including through developing its alternative investments within Sienna Capital.”

Colin Hall, CEO of Sienna Capital, stated: “I am impressed by the team at Merieux Developpement and the portfolio they have constructed. We are glad to be their partner as they continue building a best-in-class healthcare investment firm.”


Merieux Developpement is an evergreen fund specialized in the healthcare sector, conducting growth and venture capital investments on an international basis. Merieux Developpement works alongside entrepreneurs whose products and services can bring genuine advances to the health of patients and consumers, offering them access to its industry expertise and global network. Merieux Developpement is an affiliate of Institut Merieux, which employs around 13,000 employees worldwide with consolidated revenues exceeding EUR 2.0 billion in 2013. Other companies owned by Institut Merieux include bioMerieux (in vitro diagnostics), Merieux NutriSciences (food safety, nutrition-related CRO services), Transgene (immunotherapy).



Sienna Capital, also known as the Financial Pillar of GBL, is the alternative investments platform of the publicly traded investment holding company Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL – ISIN Code: BE0003797140). Sienna Capital’s current portfolio includes investments in the private equity funds Ergon and Sagard and the credit fund Kartesia.


2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Mobile Health & Wellness Tracking New Product Innovation Award Presented to Zensorium

SINGAPORE, Nov. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Zensorium was honoured with the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Mobile Health & Wellness Tracking New Product Innovation Award at the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards held on the 16th of October at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore.

This Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated a keen understanding of consumer needs and successfully introduced one or more high quality products that has had a positive impact on the market. 

With an increasing strong interest in healthy lifestyle and overall fitness among the public, there is a demand for complementary products that are technology focused and well-positioned to meet the needs of the consumers.

“Health and fitness monitoring devices have become very popular in the last 2 years. However, a key challenge faced by technology providers is to come up with a device that is stylish, user-friendly and offers multi-parameter sensing capabilities with minimal maintenance requirements. Singapore start-up, Zensorium, has been able to address the aforementioned challenges through its product, Tinke, which is a fitness and wellness tracking device that perfectly fits customer needs,” said Wai Fun Kee, Principal Consultant, Technical Insights, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific.

Smartphone accessories are becoming a key attractive market for both users and developers alike, with health and wellness tracking products constituting a major part of it. However, most fitness tracking products are either difficult to use or are not able to provide accurate multi-key-parameter sensing capabilities. Zensorium has been able to effectively address these challenges with Tinke, a product that is highly likely to be accepted by users around the world for tracking their health and fitness simply and effectively.

“Tinke is the optimal solution for customers seeking an elegant and portable device for fitness and health monitoring applications. The stylish device is paired with a smartphone app that allows the user to understand two distinct factors: Vita index and Zen index. The Vita index gives an indication of fitness by integrating data from an individual’s respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood oxygen level. The Zen index provides an indication of the person’s level of relaxation from an individual’s heart rate variability. Monitoring these parameters helps individuals manage daily activities including workouts more effectively,” Kee added.

With top features including the customization options, stylish design, attractive price and reliability matched by positive customer feedback, Tinke has become a leading contender in the health and wellness equipment industry.

“Zensorium has sold Tinke to customers in over 30 countries, which testifies the high customer acceptance of the product. With its strong overall performance, Zensorium’s Tinke has earned Frost & Sullivan’s 2014 Asia Pacific New Product Innovation Award in Mobile Health and Wellness Tracking,” Kee concluded.

The 2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards recognize companies across industries commending their diligence, commitment, and innovative business strategies required to advance in the global marketplace.

Frost & Sullivan identifies the outstanding industry achievements in the past year by companies in the local and regional markets through its in-depth analysis and coverage of these industries. In keeping with Frost & Sullivan’s time-honoured commitment in pursuit of excellence and innovation, the awards offered are carefully reviewed and evaluated to reflect the current market landscape and include new emerging sectors.

For more details on the 2014 Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Best Practices Awards, please visit http://www.apacbp-awards.com/1/.

About Frost & Sullivan

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Melissa Tan
Corporate Communications – Asia Pacific
E: melissa.tan@frost.com
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