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The second-gen Covid-19 stocks offering explosive opportunities: 4D Pharma – Value The Markets

4D Pharma (LSE:DDDD)

4D Pharma (LSE:DDDD) shares have surged from an all-time low of 23.5p in March to hit as high as 122p in recent days. Thats a share price not seen since May 2019. So, could the firm soar back to the 1,000p price it held four years ago?

The live biotherapeutics firm looked to be in a long and slow decline towards zero pence, dogged by hefty levels of cash burn since its 2014 AIM debut with zero revenue or profit to speak of.

The bounce back really began in mid-April 2020, when the company won approval from the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA, to start a phase II study of its MRx-4DP0004 drug for Covid-19 patients. This orally-administered drug was originally produced to treat patients with severe and uncontrolled asthma.

However, this is not the full story. The real opportunity is on a whole different scale.

Trust your gut

4D Pharmas pioneering innovation is to harness bacteria to create a revolutionary new class of medicine.

This invention called live biotherapeutics or LBPs takes gut cultures from the gastrointestinal tract and uses them to produce treatments and drugs that can aid recovery in other parts of the body.

The interplay between the gut and the brain plays an important role in treating and understanding health and disease. This is a part of human pathophysiology which is only now starting to be better understood.

Clearly, as 4Ds scientists are working to break ground in a new avenue in the science of human anatomy with few competitors worldwide there exists the potential for a fierce and defensible economic moat.

The question that investors need to ask is really whether 4D can produce defendable intellectual property from its scientific investigations before it runs out of operational cash.

MicroRx is 4D Pharmas proprietary platform that can select gut bacteria with potential therapeutic effects to treat diseases.

Its pipeline includes 15 specific candidates across cancer (oncology), IBS and Crohns Disease, gastrointestinal, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and Covid-19.

The first of these areas produced a partnership with Tier-1 pharma giant Merck to run a clinical trial for its candidate MRx0518 to be paired with Mercks Keytruda to treat solid tumours.

Then, in October 2019, Merck signed a deal with 4D for three specific indications of its LBPs.

Merck, incidentally, remains one of 4D Pharmas largest institutional shareholders with 5.8% of the issued share capital, alongside Hargreaves Lansdown, Barclays, Halifax and South Ocean Capital Partners.

Could a Merck buyout be on the cards? Its certainly something to watch out for.

The NASDAQ listing

The game changing piece of news in 4Ds favour is that it has accepted a merger with US Special Purpose Acquisition company (SPAC) Longevity in exchange for $14.6 million in cash. 4D shareholders automatically own 86% of the shares in the new vehicle, and the merger was done at a price of 110p per share, an 18% premium to the previous days closing price.

The addition of nearly $15 million in cash will help support 4Ds pipeline of treatments, while the merger will get 4D Pharma listed on NASDAQ much more quickly than it could do otherwise.

SPACs are a relatively new kind of investment vehicle in the US which mirror the reverse takeover route which has become quite popular here in the UK.

The SPAC is normally a cash shell with no operations of its own. Because its a straightforward merger the US market regulator, the SEC, rarely delays an American market debut for the new company, and it comes at much lower risk and cost than for a standard IPO.

One hundred and seventy SPAC offerings have raised more than $62 billion this year alone, with an average IPO size of $362 million. Compare that to 4D Pharmas current market cap of 153 million and the numbers start to look very juicy indeed.

The benefit to 4D Pharma of a NASDAQ listing is, of course, access to a much larger pool of capital.

NASDAQ boasts vastly improved liquidity compared to AIM, 4Ds current stock market listing.

And US investors are, in the main, much more sophisticated than those in the UK. Dont take it as an insult, its just a fact of life. What this means in reality is there are far more investors willing to buy smaller pharma companies across the Atlantic than there are here in Blighty. Especially those that are pre-profit or pre-revenue.

At 92p 4D Pharma could have much further to rise.

In August, Seres Therapeutics a company pioneering the same biotech science as 4D in the USA released very encouraging results from its clinical trials. Its market cap went on to increase from $400 million to $3 billion on that news alone.

4D Pharma shares have given up a lot of value over the years, but the Merck partnership, the proof of concept by Seres Therapeutics, and the recent NASDAQ listing news makes a re-rate much more likely. It could even mark out the company as a takeover target.

4D is certainly one to watch at these levels.

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The second-gen Covid-19 stocks offering explosive opportunities: 4D Pharma - Value The Markets

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What’s Wrong With Health Care in the United States? – Psychiatric Times

Health care in the United States is in poor health, its quality steadily declining since the 1960s. According to the World Economic Forum , in the 1950s the United States ranked first among the developed nations in the quality of health care. But now, despite enlisting renowned physicians, public health experts, economists, business leaders, and specialists in the treatment of ailing systems, we rank near the bottom.

What is the explanation? Is something being overlooked in the current effort to improve medical care? Do we not understand the cause of this fatal condition? The authors believe it is the importance of relationships that is being ignored; the physician-patient relationship, family relationships, and relationship systems in the community. Four key elements in our current health care system are responsible for this failure to acknowledge these critical relationships.

Interchangeability of parts

The foundation of the Industrial Revolution was the ability to create interchangeable parts. For example, workers on an assembly line build excellent automobiles cost-effectively. Health care administrators are using that model in medicine. The model of industrialized medicine works poorly when dealing with human beings, and is cost-effective only in the short run. Patients and practitioners are not interchangeable parts. Patients and their illnesses are too complex for a one-size-fits-all design. A health care model that does not recognize each patient as a unique person existing in a unique network of relationshipswith medical practitioners, family, and communityresults in increasingly poor outcomes, as the data demonstrate.

Systematic ignoring of the physician-patient and physician-family relationships

Treatment outcomes decline when patients see a different physician at each visit. The industrialized model excludes the importance of relatedness between physician and patient, losing the stabilizing relational linkages. For example, patients in hospitals cared for by their primary care physician are more likely to be discharged home and less likely to die within 30 days than those cared for by hospitalists who do not have an ongoing relationship with the patient and family.

The lack of sustained relationships between physicians and patients, and physicians and families, in the context of their community, impairs the effectiveness of treatment. It is costly to the physicians sense that their work is meaningful, and thus costly to physician morale. Systems that fail to attend to the physician-patient relationship lead to decreased treatment effectiveness, physician burnout, early retirement, and increased rates of physician suicide.

Healing is more likely in the context of families than healing in isolation

Without attention to context, our words, actions, and experience have no meaning. Family and community relationships are the context of our patients lives. Strong social connections are associated with increased longevity. For example, marriage is a protective factor against cardiac disease and the death of a spouse is associated with increased rates of physical illness in the surviving spouse. For individuals with a chronic illness, treatment without consideration of family and community appears simpler and more efficient, but leads to sterile, out-of-context, uninformed treatment, blinding both the patient and the physician from seeing both the illness and the solution.

The undermining and erosion of family and community

Regulations and reimbursement systems that reduce the medical interaction to a specific procedure diminish the involvement of families and communities in a patients recovery. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), for example, which was established to protect patient confidentiality, immediately became an obstacle to communication with the people in the patients life who can help with follow-up appointments, medication adherence, continuity of care, and emotional support.

Treating the correct condition

The 4 elements described point to both the fatal condition and its solution. Attention to the whole person, focusing on relationships with physicians and nurses, patients and families, and the web of community relationships available in every community to every patient, helps people get and stay healthy. Any potential solution to the health care system that ignores relationships will always be ineffective. If industrial medicine worked, and at this point weve done that experiment, costs would not be rising, patients and physicians would not be dissatisfied, and health would be improving.

Dr Copansis Adjunct Associate Professor, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH.Dr Rahmaniis training director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Florida.

*Members of the Research Committee, Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry also include Dr John Beahrs, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland; Dr Allan Josephson, (Former) Professor and Chief, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Louisville School of Medicine; Dr David Keith, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse, NY; Dr Patrick Malone (19442016); Dr Alan Swann, Professor of Psychiatry, Baylor College of Medicine, and staff psychiatrist, Houston VA Medical Center; Dr William Swift, Emeritus Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison; Dr Johan Verhulst (19382019); and Dr Douglas Kramer, Emeritus Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, and Chair, GAP Research Committee.

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What makes these 6 spas the best wellness destinations in the world? – Professional Beauty

What makes these 6 spas the best wellness destinations in the world?Worldwide Health & Wellness Destination of the Year is one of the highest accolades in the World Spa & Wellness Awards.The six amazing properties on the shortlist all impressed our judges with their innovative business models, outstanding service and dedication to improving the wellbeing of every guest. Heres a little more about what makes them so special.Clinique La Prairie Spa & Wellness Center, Clarens, Switzerland

Clinique La Prairie takes a holistic approach tomedical wellbeing, using a combination of medical expertise, internationally trained therapists and traditional and alternative philosophies.

The spa and wellness centre aims to encourage guests to become architects of their own vitality through programmes built on its pillars of longevity: medical care, nutrition, movement and wellbeing, which work together to promote energy production and cellular growth.

Clinique La Prairie prides itself on its full state-of-the-art medical centre, with over 50 doctors of varied specialities, as well as a six-room medical aesthetics centre and two aesthetic doctors, with one specialising in aesthetics for men.

Clinique La Prairie has appeared in articles in Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and Town and Country, and uses five different PR agencies across to market and advertise the wellness centre.

Como Shambhala advocates proactive wellness, combining modern sciencewith ancient healing. The estate aims to help individuals find a sense of peace through the continuous process of learning and rebalancing.

As a retreat for change, Como Shambhala provides a 360-degree experience tailored to individuals needs, offering lifestyle and healing programmes for mind, body and spirit.

Guests are encouraged to come alone, engaging at their own pace and on their own terms. Como Shambhala encourages a sense of community between single guests through activities and dining experiences that bring them together.

Como Shambhala continues to evolve by introducing new modalities; for example, Balinese Chakra Healing, for guests to enjoy new traditional healing, and cultural experiences. It has also introduced evening wellness talks on topics such as gut health and managingstress naturally.

At the heart of Euphoria Spas philosophy is the Euphoria Methodos, an approach built on the blending of ancient Hellenic and Chinese philosophies and practices and a belief that individuals have the ability to become their own healer.

Euphorias location is also fundamental to the healing process, incorporating the energy of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mystras, the Mediterranean mountains and the landscaped grounds, to create an environment of serenity.

The spa is built into the mountains, and has four levels, each representing a distinct passage in the transformational journey of the guest.

On leaving, guests receive support on how to incorporate what they have learnt into daily life. They are encouraged to see life as a transformation and joyous process.

Fivelements Retreat Bali is inspired by the Balinese concept Panca Mahabhuta, representing the vedic five elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth. Each has its own character and celestial element, and together their internal and external forces attune to ones authenticity and true potential.

The retreat is dedicated to what its founders call love in action, which is a vision of learning to love and respect life, and encourages guests to nurture harmony though spiritual practices, the environment, and one another. This creates a balanced way of living that is directly influenced by the Balinese people and their culture

Completed in 2019, a professional culinary training kitchen is an additional facility, expanding Fivelementss Cuisine for Life retreats. The space hosts renowned plant-based chefs, programmes and encourages guests to continue Fivelements wellness principles at home.

The Kamalaya resort centres around a cave previously used for centuries by Buddhist monks as a meditative retreat, creating a healing energy that envelops the resort.

Kamalaya's approach to wellness draws from ancient Asian healing traditions such as traditional Chinese medicine and ayurveda, alongside holistic western approaches such as naturopathy and homeopathy and current medical research.

Guests can also address their emotional and mental wellbeing with the team of meditation and life enhancement mentors.

The original vision for Kamalaya blossomed from founders John and Karina Stewarts lifelong curiosity and passion for wellness. John lived the life of a yogi monk in the Himalayas in India for 17 years and his wife Karina is a master of traditional Chinese medicine, who was brought up with Asian influences of meditation, yoga and natural healing.

Lefay Spa has curated is own innovative wellness method that combines classic Chinese Medicine and Western scientific research.

Through its programmes, this method aims to restore complete psychophysical wellbeing, and tackles obstacles such as incorrect posture, excess weight, premature ageing, sleep disorders and body purification.

Each programme is created following an interview with a doctor, energy treatments, hydrotherapy, physical and rebalancing activities, personalised phytotherapy and spa treatments.

Lefay Spa also has a commitment to sustainability and the philosophy that personal wellness should never overlook environmental wellness. It has been certified as the first organic and ecological Spa in Italy by Ecocert.

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Are We Shortchanging Patients With Obesity? – Medscape

Every Wednesday evening after supper, I record in a marble notebook some anthropomorphic measurements: my weight taken first thing Monday morning and my waist circumference. I also add how I did with exercise since the previous week's entry and some comments about sleep, energy, and nutrition.

My personal log now comprises dozens of pages. To my surprise, the first entry was 5 years ago to the month. The earlier entries were far from weekly and contained a lot of narrative on how my food restriction scheme that month was being violated.

Looking just at the numbers, I did about as well as a control group participant in any medical study of diet modification. Until just a few months ago, there was no trend in either weight or waist circumference over those 5 years, including 2 years of retirement. But it wasn't for lack of trying. Keeping the journal for as long as I have and recently, as consistently as I have suggests serious intent but inadequate execution of the same principles I offered patients, who rarely did much better. But recent studies suggest that perhaps quite a few could.

A recent abstract from the European and International Congress on Obesity suggests that the impressions clinicians get from our office encounters may leave us underestimating the potential for our patients to lose enough weight to move them from one level of risk to another.

Using a national database of primary care visits, the investigators isolated about 550,000 records. Of these, about 60,000 (11%) had records showing weight reductions of 10%-25% (mean, 13%) over at least 4 years. Weight loss was by intent rather than from illness. The remaining individuals maintained their weight within 5% of the first measurement for the duration of the study.

Participants with stable body weight were compared with the successful weight reducers. This analysis showed that the risk for type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, hypertension, and dyslipidemia all measurably declined in weight reducers. This held true whether the patient's baseline BMI showed modest or severe obesity. Patients with the highest BMI at enrollment actually reduced their risks for hypertension and dyslipidemia below population norms.

This study raises tantalizing, as yet unanswered questions: How did the successful 11% achieve their weight loss goals? Was it via a weight loss program, bariatric surgery, dietitian consult, or with no external assistance?

And of great significance to clinicians: What happened to the people who achieved 5%-10% weight reduction, as that is a more typical outcome of diabetes prevention trials or studies of weight loss medications? Were they excluded from the study because they did not lose enough weight to achieve the unequivocal health benefit?

Because the data came from an enormous database, the weight management strategies leading to success or failure what we really need to know to nudge our own patients into the favorable categories remain hidden.

Some answers emerged from a recently reported study in The New England Journal of Medicine comparing supervised diet and lifestyle adjustments (treatment group) with the less intense oversight typically offered by primary care clinicians (usual-care group).

The treatment group not only received the intensive lifestyle intervention, which focused on reduced caloric intake and increased physical activity, but also participated in mandated training sessions on how to best use the resources provided by the study. Much of the care was delegated by physicians to "coaches" who focused on nutrition, exercise, and behavioral health, including supermarket strategy.

Nearly a quarter of the participants in the intensive intervention group achieved the 10% weight reduction needed to change health risk in a meaningful way. A similar proportion lost less than 10% of their body weight, and about half did not have a notable weight change. Peak weight loss at 6 months averaged 17 lb, and 9.6 lb at 2 years. While this may not seem very impressive considering the extensive resources utilized, there were those who experienced an extraordinary health upgrade not otherwise available, short of bariatric surgery.

Both studies indicate that even under the best-controlled, resource-replete circumstances, the rate of failure to achieve desired progress is very high. But there is a success rate.

The likelihood of success is difficult to interpret from the European data, as it compared only those with major weight loss and those with weight stability, excluding patients with less robust loss or weight gain. The controlled study, however, holds forth an alluring opportunity benefiting a quarter of the targeted participants and even about 5% of the controls who realized that they were being observed.

We also learn that supervision requires a lot more than having a well-meaning but not very well-trained physician ask a patient to log measurements and food intake. Health coaches seem to make the impact.

Failure rates of 50% have a way of dampening enthusiasm, but it may be best to approach the scourge of obesity by offering treatment to everyone with the expectation that not all will experience greatly enhanced quality of life and longevity. Not everyone will benefit, but these two studies confirm that we do have an underutilized capacity to help more people benefit than we currently do.

Richard M. Plotzker, MD, is a retired endocrinologist with 40 years of experience treating patients in both the private practice and hospital settings. He has been a Medscape contributor since 2012.

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Global AI Medicine Software Market Analysis of Key Players, Type, Application, Demand and Consumption By 2026 – Stock Market Vista

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Global AI Medicine Software Market Analysis of Key Players, Type, Application, Demand and Consumption By 2026 - Stock Market Vista

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Genetics and Alcohol Use Disorder: 5 Things You Should Know – Longevity LIVE

The Penn Medicine team identified 18 genetic variants that are related to either heavy alcohol consumption, alcohol use disorder, or both. Five of these variants overlapped, while eight were associated solely with heavy alcohol consumption. Another five were traced with alcohol use disorder only.

One finding from the study was that, although heavy drinking is a prerequisite for alcoholism, variants for particular genes may predispose someone towards alcoholism. Examples of gene variants cited by the Penn Medicine researchers are DRD2 and SIX3. This finding is important because identifying these gene variants in a person may help medical professionals better ascertain their risk for alcohol use disorder.

Ultimately, paying attention to the genetic aspect of a persons alcohol use disorder may contribute to their treatment. There are ongoing studies about patients receptiveness to certain medications for treatment, based on their genes.

For example, naltrexone is a drug thats commonly used to treat dependence on alcohol, as well as opiates. In research cited by the NIAAA, it was found that patients with a specific gene variation responded positively to naltrexone treatment. Those who didnt have the gene, however, did not. In the future, this kind of information may factor into the accuracy and responsiveness of medical treatment for alcohol addiction.

Conclusion: Unlocking Important New Knowledge about Genetics and Alcohol Addiction

Though the relationship between genes and alcoholism has been under scrutinous scientific study for some time, it isnt always common knowledge to laymen. But not being able to see the bigger picture of what contributes to alcoholism may allow certain myths about it to prevail. Many people may still believe that alcohol addiction is 100% a personal choice. But as the information above about genetics and alcohol use disorder portray, its never that simple.

In any case, whether genes influence someones predisposition to alcohol use disorder, no attempt at healing from it is a futile one. Be both compassionate and knowledgeable when approaching the issue of alcoholismbecause your support could save a life.

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