Daily Archives: December 5, 2019

Virtusa Improves Field Force Worker Efficiency with Augmented Reality and AI

Smart Field Force Management Aimed at Communications Service Providers

AI and Augmented Reality Improves Field Force Worker Efficiency

The new Virtusa Smart Field Force Management platform reduces the time and cost of making onsite repairs to communication service provider (CSP) equipment. Augmented reality and AI technologies help CSP technicians to scan devices to identify the most likely source of a failure and offers a step by step by step on screen guide on how to make repairs.

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS:VRTU), a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and IT services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, today announced new capabilities, including augmented reality (AR) based test and diagnostic capabilities to improve the efficiency of field force workers and help them improve customer service while reducing average handling time.

Traditional Communications Service Providers (CSPs), wireless providers, internet, cable, and satellite operators, along with other managed service providers, typically have a large contractor-based field force that must be trained to diagnose and make repairs using a massive portfolio of products and equipment.

Virtusa’s Smart Field Force Management Platform addresses these issues by helping technicians quickly locate problems with minimal training. Using AI, the platform provides guided resolution paths for frequently encountered issues. The application is able to automatically co-relate and initiate diagnostic tests based on the type of issues reported. Using machine learning, the system is being trained to recognize 20,000 different devices. This allows field engineers to diagnose problems with minimal training. Automated job closure notes allow better capturing of issue resolution in the field, which in turn enables better analytics for the product teams to improve product performance and capability over time.

Using the new Virtusa Smart Field Force Management Platform, CSPs can expect:

More Efficient Workforce – Using route optimization and remote test and diagnostic capabilities to reduce field operations by 60 percent, while delivering 30 percent improvement in service engineer efficiency by identifying the main fault location and common faults.

Save Time and Money – Up to an 80 percent reduction in CapEx by consolidating eight devices into a single mobile platform, making it quick and easy for service engineers to identify issues.

Better Customer Service – Using detailed root cause analysis to reduce repeat service calls by 50 percent, while providing a 45 percent reduction in Customer-Premise Equipment (CPE) issues through guided resolution steps.

The new platform is already in use by a large CSP in Europe that provides fixed line, mobile, cable, and broadband internet services to businesses and consumers. The solution enables over 4,000 field technicians to use a single application that quickly identifies the main fault location eliminating the multiple devices engineers use to diagnose these issues.

“Customers today have a wide range of options for how to consume products and services from CSPs,” said Frank Palermo, EVP, technology, media, and telecommunications, Virtusa. “Additionally, innovations around 5G will bring both immense opportunity and challenge. The Smart Field Force Management Platform will help improve customer service and reduce costs, enabling CSPs to better compete in this increasingly crowded market.”

“Smart Field Force Management also provides real-time and historical performance data to further enhance the diagnostic capabilities across network and customer equipment,” says Ravi Kumar Palepu, SVP, TMT solutions, Virtusa. “Technicians are now able to quickly identify faults across the network and devices avoiding guesswork and expensive equipment replacement.”

To learn more about Virtusa Communications offerings, please visit: virtusa.com/industry/communications/

About Virtusa Corporation
Virtusa Corporation (NASDAQ GS: VRTU) is a global provider of digital business strategy, digital engineering, and information technology (IT) services and solutions that help clients change, disrupt, and unlock new value through innovation engineering. Virtusa serves Global 2000 companies in Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Communications, Media, Entertainment, Travel, Manufacturing, and Technology industries.

Virtusa helps clients grow their business with innovative products and services that create operational efficiency using digital labor, future-proof operational and IT platforms, and rationalization and modernization of IT applications infrastructure. This is achieved through a unique approach blending deep contextual expertise, empowered agile teams, and measurably better engineering to create holistic solutions that drive business forward at unparalleled velocity enabled by a culture of cooperative disruption.

© 2019 Virtusa Corporation. All rights reserved.

Contact:
Ron Favali
Conversion Marketing
Ron@conversionam.com
727-512-4490

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/4b6b6763-0339-4fbf-941c-1c34d723ce49

The European Commission Approves Astellas’ XOSPATA® for Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia with a FLT3 Mutation Detected by Validated Tests, including the Invivoscribe LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — For twenty-five years, Invivoscribe has improved the quality of healthcare worldwide by providing high quality, standardized reagents, tests, and bioinformatics tools to advance the field of precision medicine. The LeukoStrat® CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay may now be used as an aid in the assessment of AML patients for treatment with XOSPATA® (gilteritinib) in Europe. FLT3 mutation must be confirmed with a validated test, such as the LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay, which served as the companion diagnostic in the Phase 3 ADMIRAL trial resulting in approval of XOSPATA®.

Companion diagnostics play a key role in the development and approval of targeted drug therapies. The ability to screen for biomarkers in a patient population creates patient subsets which further enables drug developers in the design of novel therapeutics and management of clinical trials. Accordingly, the successful approval of a targeted therapy is highly dependent on the performance of the companion diagnostic.

EC approval of gilteritinib is based on results from the Phase 3 ADMIRAL trial, which investigated gilteritinib versus salvage chemotherapy in patients with relapsed or refractory FLT3mut+ AML. The ADMIRAL study demonstrated that gilteritinib resulted in a statistically significant improvement in median overall survival (9.3 months) compared to salvage chemotherapy (5.6 months) when patients were selected with the LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay (Hazard FLT3 Ratio = 0.637 (95%CI 0.488, 0.830, P=0.0004). This approval highlights yet another solution in patient care.

About LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay
This PCR-based, in vitro diagnostic test detects internal tandem duplication (ITD) mutations and tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) mutations D835 and I836 in the FLT3 gene in genomic DNA extracted from mononuclear cells obtained from peripheral blood or bone marrow aspirates of patients diagnosed with AML. This test, which is available worldwide, includes software that interprets data, generates standardized mutant/wildtype signal ratios for ITD and TKD mutations, and predicts response to multiple tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

Global Services and Distributable Kits
The LeukoStrat CDx test is currently available as a test menu service through Invivoscribe’s wholly-owned subsidiaries, LabPMM LLC (US), LabPMM GmbH (Germany) and LabPMM GK (Japan). LeukoStrat CDx FLT3 Mutation Assay kits are currently distributed in Japan, Europe, and Australia, are under review for distribution in the US, and are planned for distribution in China.

About Invivoscribe
Invivoscribe is a global biotechnology company dedicated to Improving Lives with Precision Diagnostics®. Invivoscribe has a successful track record of partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies interested in developing and commercializing companion diagnostics, and provides expertise in both regulatory and laboratory services. Providing distributable kits, as well as clinical trial services through its globally located clinical lab subsidiaries (LabPMM), Invivoscribe is an ideal partner from diagnostic development, through clinical trials, regulatory submissions, and commercialization. For additional information please contact Invivoscribe at: support@invivoscribe.com or visit: www.invivoscribe.com.

Philips and Paige team up to bring Artificial Intelligence (AI) to clinical pathology diagnostics

December 5, 2019

AI-based  cancer assessment tools are poised to help pathologists improve speed and accuracy of cancer diagnostics, ultimately leading to better patient care

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Royal Philips ( (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Paige, a leader in computational pathology, announced today a strategic collaboration to deliver clinical-grade AI applications to pathology laboratories. These AI technologies, starting with Paige Prostate, aim to help pathologists identify, quantify and characterize cancer in tissue samples and make precise diagnoses more efficiently. This may, ultimately, positively impact pathologist’s workflow and treatment planning for patients.

Pathologists play a crucial role in the detection and diagnosis of a broad range of diseases, including cancer. The increasing number of cancer cases in the aging population, and rapid advances in personalized medicine have resulted in significant increases in the complexity of pathology diagnostics and the workload imposed on pathologists. Digital images of tissue samples make it possible for pathologists to easily diagnose these samples on a computer display using advanced imaging analysis and workflow software.

Paige’s technology has demonstrated promising results, and the collaboration aims to deliver this kind of technology into routine clinical practice. Several pathology laboratories have already converted their glass slide-based workflow to digital, using the clinically approved digital pathology solution from Philips. Once digital images are available, the CE marked Paige Prostate software is applied automatically to detect and localize prostate cancer. This technology provides pathologists with valuable information they can use in their evaluation of prostate biopsies.

“We want to empower pathologists with the latest computational pathology solutions to enhance the diagnosis and treatment of cancer,” said Marlon Thompson, Business Leader of Digital & Computational Pathology at Philips. “Through our open digital pathology platform approach, we team up with leading computational pathology solution providers, such as Paige, to create the ultimate end-to-end oncology workflow for our customers.”

“Pathology is transforming into a digital discipline and holds a strong promise for using AI solutions to aid, streamline, and enhance decision-making,” said Leo Grady, CEO of Paige. “Together with digital pathology providers, starting with Philips, one of the leaders in the clinical digital pathology space, we want to convert this promise into a clinical reality that supports pathologists and their patients.”

Philips IntelliSite Pathology Solution in combination with Paige Prostate aims to provide an intuitive digital & computational pathology workflow experience. Philips plans to offer the CE-marked Paige Prostate to European pathology labs in 2020. AI solutions for other markets and additional disease areas are expected to follow suit. Visit www.philips.com/digitalpathology and  https://paige.ai. for more information.

For further information, please contact:

Joost Maltha
Philips Global Press Office
Tel. : +31 6 10 55 8116
Email: joost.maltha@philips.com

Nicole Rodrigues
NRPR Group – For Paige
Tel.: +1 650 815 5069
Email: nicole@nrprgroup.com

About Royal Philips
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a leading health technology company focused on improving people’s health and enabling better outcomes across the health continuum from healthy living and prevention, to diagnosis, treatment, and home care. Philips leverages advanced technology and deep clinical and consumer insights to deliver integrated solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, the company is a leader in diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy, patient monitoring, and health informatics, as well as in consumer health and home care. Philips generated 2018 sales of EUR 18.1 billion and employs approximately 80,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. News about Philips can be found at www.philips.com/newscenter.

About Paige.AI
Paige.AI is the leading start-up focused on building the best artificial intelligence in clinical medicine to transform how doctors diagnose and treat cancer. Based in New York, Paige.AI is bringing together the world’s leading experts in AI, computational pathology and clinical practice to improve patient care through a quantum leap forward in efficacy and efficiency. For more information, please visit: https://paige.ai.

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GRI launch the first global standard for tax transparency

No hiding place: companies need to demonstrate they pay their fair share

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands, Dec. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The launch of a new tax reporting standard that seeks to ensure multinationals are much clearer about how much – and where – they pay their taxes has received widespread international support.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Tax Standard is the first global standard for comprehensive tax disclosure at the country-by-country level. It supports public reporting of a company’s business activities and payments within tax jurisdictions, as well as their approach to tax strategy and governance.

Major investors, civil society groups, labor organizations and other stakeholders have all signaled their backing for the Tax Standard, as it will help address their growing demands for tax transparency.

The Tax Standard has been developed in response to concerns over the impact tax avoidance has on the ability of governments to fund services and support sustainable development – and to give clarity on how much companies contribute to the tax income of the countries where they operate.

As the latest addition to the GRI Standards – the world’s most widely adopted sustainability reporting framework – it is now freely available to organizations around the world.

Tim Mohin, GRI Chief Executive, said:

“Payment of taxes is a major way for companies to support the communities where they operate. Yet too many businesses are unwilling to disclose how much, and where, they pay taxes. GRI’s Tax Standard challenges this status quo by outlining clear best practice for disclosure.

I believe more companies will join other responsible leaders and demonstrate how they’re meeting their obligations to society. These businesses will reap the benefits of their leadership by improving relationships with governments, investors, civil society, consumers and other stakeholders.”

Fiona Reynolds is CEO of PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), the global investor network of over 2,600 signatories who collectively manage in excess of US$89 trillion. She said:

“Tax avoidance is a leading driver of inequality and as such a responsible approach to tax by business is essential. The PRI has been leading efforts to drive more meaningful corporate disclosure. GRI’s new Tax Standard marks an evolution in tax transparency and provides a much-needed and ambitious framework for corporate tax reporting.”

Olivier Boutellis-Taft, Chief Executive of Accountancy Europe, said:

“GRI’s new tax disclosure standard is a vital contribution to address stakeholders’ demand for corporate tax transparency. Accountancy Europe stands for transparency and trust: we therefore commend GRI for pioneering reporting in this sensitive area with great balance and for providing a global, meaningful and practical format for companies that choose to explain how they handle their tax affairs. We look forward to continue working with GRI on tax and other crucial sustainability matters.”

Daniel Bertossa, Assistant General Secretary of Public Services International, the global trade union federation, said:

Tax avoidance comes with high human costs as it undermines governments’ ability to provide quality public services and promote economic development. We cannot tackle pressing global issues like poverty reduction, climate change and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals without a fair and adequate tax system.

There is growing anger around the world at governments’ inability to deal with the issues people care about, which is eroding trust in public institutions. The GRI Tax Standard is absolutely necessary to hold multinational corporations to account and ensure governments can develop the fair tax policies needed to fund services and restore public confidence.”

Alex Cobham, Chief Executive of the Tax Justice Network, said:

“Every year, the global economy we all live and work in loses an estimated US$500 billion to multinational corporations not paying the tax they owe – that’s $500 billion less each year to fund public services and invest in our communities. This injustice and the global inequality it fuels has in part been made possible by the lack of reliable and comparable, country-by-country information on the taxes that multinational corporations contribute. That is why we need to reprogram our approach to tax, starting with the crucial transparency that adoption of GRI’s new Tax Standard can help achieve.”

Gary Kalman, Executive Director of the FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) Coalition, said:

“GRI’s Tax Standard is the clearest and most significant recognition to date of the global trend toward tax transparency for multinational companies. The standard is both necessary and balanced. We urge companies to quickly implement this standard and help make it the model for the transparency that will soon become common global practice.

“The multi-stakeholder process that produced this standard ensures that the information is helpful to investors while workable for companies. As a result, GRI has done something that is somewhat rare: they have produced a standard that is both relatively straight forward and enormously impactful.”

Notes to editors

Further endorsing quotes in support of the Tax Standard are available, including the following companies, organizations and individuals: Aberdeen Standard Investments; Hermes Investment Management; MFS Investment Management; Oxfam; Paul Tang MEP; Tax Research UK; Royal London Asset Management; VBDO (Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development).

Find out more and download the new GRI Tax Standard (to be known as GRI 207: Tax 2019).

The Tax Standard was drafted by a multi-stakeholder Technical Committee appointed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board, GRI’s independent standard-setting body. It’s development was informed by global consultation, including a public comment period, when strong support was received from investors.

The Tax Standard builds on the aims of the OECD Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which requires large multinationals (in OECD countries) to provide country-by-country data to tax administrations. The GRI Tax Standard focuses on public reporting – making tax information available to all stakeholders – and applies globally.

Estimates of the scale of tax avoidance, in terms of lost revenue to governments, have ranged between US$500-600 billion annually (according to UNU-WIDER and the International Monitory Fund).

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent international organization that helps businesses and other organizations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts.

Contact

Tom Whittles – GRI Senior Media Relations Manager
Telephone: +31 20 531 0028
Mobile: +31 6 303 99531

Amlan to Present at International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics

Dr. Hongyu Xue’s research on Salmonella offers unique discoveries for global health

CHICAGO, Dec. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dr. Hongyu Xue, Life Science Director at Amlan International will present his recent in vitro and in vivo research into reducing Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium (ST) colonization in broilers during the 3rd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics (ATA) in Bangkok, Thailand. The presentation will highlight two aspects of Salmonella control strategy that promise unique and wide-reaching impact for animal and human health.

Dr. Xue will speak on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Mayfair Grand Ballroom at The Berkeley Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. His presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion with other presenters.

Dr. Xue discovered a new formulated feed additive for controlling pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal environment of livestock and poultry. The product, NeutraPath, had a two-pronged effect on Salmonella challenge in a recent study. First, the product produced a 42% reduction in Salmonella prevalence and 1.84 log reduction in Salmonella load in the ceca among birds exposed to disease challenge. Second, the product’s proprietary blend of functional ingredients downregulated the expression of Salmonella’s key virulence factors, limiting pathogen colonization and preserving the functional integrity of the bird’s intestines.

NeutraPath will be available in select countries starting in late 2020. Contact Amlan for more information on NeutraPath and Amlan’s portfolio of performance feed additives.

“Antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella is a major concern for public health safety,” Dr. Xue says. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 1.4 million cases of Salmonella infections occur annually. Notably, at least 100,000 of these infections are due to antibiotic-resistant Salmonella. Poultry is known to be a major reservoir of Salmonellas and eggs, and poultry meat are major sources of human food-borne Salmonellosis throughout the world. In response, the poultry industry is compelled to seek alternative solutions to antibiotics to control Salmonella at the farm level and thus reduce its spread to meat during processing.”

“The research that Dr. Xue will present at ATA is exciting for the industry,” says Flemming Mahs, President of Amlan International. “A greater understanding of how we can reduce the effects of bacterial disease in poultry will ultimately lead to a safer food supply for everyone.”

In humans, some Salmonella strains are multi-drug resistant and can be resistant to five or six conventional antibiotics. “Research showing the ability to disarm bacteria and find some level of control will be important for future developments in preventing antibiotic resistance in animal and human health,” Mahs adds.

Note to media: To schedule an interview with Dr. Xue, please contact Reagan Culbertson, Amlan International, at press@amlan.com.

About Amlan International
Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE: ODC), a Delaware corporation doing business as “Amlan International,” has grown its product offering across the intestinal health and antibiotic growth promoter (AGP)-alternative market, driven largely by the research conducted at its laboratory campus in Vernon Hills, Illinois. In 2017, the company added the Richard M. Jaffee Laboratory for Applied Microbiology to the campus. In 2013, the company’s global reach expanded with the establishment of its China subsidiary in Shenzhen. Further information on Amlan International is available at Amlan.com. Amlan International sells animal health products outside of the United States. Product-associated claims may differ based on government requirements, and product availability may vary by country. “NeutraPath” is a trademark of Oil-Dri Corporation of America.

Reagan B. Culbertson
Media Contact
press@amlan.com