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Cost-per-impression ad pricing is so yesterday. A New York City-based ad tech shop is today launching a limited beta of what it describes as the first-ever cost-per-second (CPS) platform for ads.

Sled Mobile’s Parsec platform is based on the idea that the key thing display advertisers want is user attention. Time spent with the ad, CEO and founder Marc Guldimann told me, is “a proxy for attention.”

While direct response advertisers have performance standards like making a sale or getting a form filled in, he noted that the key performance indicator for brand advertising is attention.


The new platform, with a pricing of one cent per second per device, is immune to questions about whether the ad is viewable, he said. That’s because the meter doesn’t start running until at least half the ad is on the screen for at least one second — the Media Research Center’s (MRC) basic standard for ad viewability.

As for the other digital ad bugaboo — fraudulent traffic generated by software bots — he pointed out that Parsec is integrated with the anti-fraud service from Moat. Although non-human traffic is always possible, he admitted, it’s likely to be low because the unique Sled format requires touch and gesture — two actions that are harder for bots to imitate. At least for now.

The Sled format is, in Guldimann’s description, “behaviorally native.” As a user scrolls down to read an article or news feed, the ad scrolls up an overlay, as shown in this gallery of examples. A user can dismiss the ad by pushing it down or scroll it up, view it, and then keep scrolling past it when done.

“You don’t have to change the mode you’re in,” he said, since the user views the ad as part of her continuous scrolling action — just like the same-mode ads in TV, search, and print. Within Sled, ads can have autoplay video, fullbleed video, static images, product carousels, surveys, and other features.

Guldimann said no one else has this “politely interruptive” format, which was launched when the company started at the end of last year.

Ten million seconds

He noted that mobile ad agency Celtra has an “inter-scroller” ad that is not placed in an overlay, so it breaks the content into before- and after-the-ad pieces. Ad shop Yieldmo offers a hyperscroller, but that’s right in the content stream — also not an overlay.

Sled is the first to use CPS for this kind of platform and attention-optimized ad format, he said. Chartbeat has a CPS tool that is not supported by a platform, he added, and a Brazil-based company called Web Spectator sells by CPS.

But, Guldimann noted, they use “adjacent ads” like banners, “sprinkled all over a web page [so] you can’t be sure of user attention,” since time spent on the screen could be driven by the content, not the ad. Sled would like the MRC to establish CPS as a valid standard, he said, although Sled Mobile is not formally submitting it.

Currently, the platform only supports mobile web, although Guldimann told me it will be able to handle in-app ads within a few months. Apple’s new iOS 9 supports web ad blockers, and he acknowledged that “some [blockers] will block us.”

Two advertisers have signed up so far for the new CPS platform — the San Antonio Board of Tourism and an unnamed client. An ongoing study with Microsoft Research is helping to measure this format’s appeal to users, as well as advertisers’ response to the CPS pricing.

Guldimann said a time-based pricing mechanism means that the advertiser and publisher ecosystem will emphasize ads that hold user attention. When I pointed out that time spent on the ad could reflect the ad’s complexity, he suggested that results from straightforward ads will help generate insight into what best attracts, and keeps, user attention.

While the Parsec CPS platform is only supporting Sled’s unique format, Guldimann said it could support any mobile ad format that meets the same attention requirements: fully interruptive so there’s no doubt the user is watching that ad, and controlled by the user.

With the new platform, an advertiser will say they want to buy, say, ten million seconds sertraline 100mg. Sled creates the ad, and then buys space through a direct sale on the mobile sites of publishers in its network, which include AOL and Rolling Stone.

The older Sled platform serves that same format, but on a CPM — cost per thousand impressions — basis. For that platform, Sled Mobile creates and serves the ads, but the publishers sell their space directly. It has supported about 140 campaigns since the end of last year.

Source: http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/21/ad-tech-shop-sled-mobile-launches-a-platform-that-prices-ads-by-time/

Stephen Bollinger had a simple idea for a company: Make it easier and less costly for couples struggling with infertility to conceive at home.

The concept has spawned a growing business, Rinovum Women’s Health. The Monroeville company’s first product, the Stork, received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration last year for over-the-counter sales and is available in about 3,000 CVS pharmacies.

The device, which helps women increase the odds of pregnancy by delivering sperm to the cervix, should be on the shelves of more than 5,000 Walgreens pharmacies and an additional 2,000 CVS stores by early next year, Bollinger said.

“The whole idea is to simplify medical technology so it can be used in a couple’s home,” he said. “Privacy, that’s where the Stork really adds value.”

The device, which retails for $79, mimics a type of artificial insemination performed in a doctor’s office or other clinical setting that can cost hundreds of dollars.

“This is a good first step, a bridge for the patients who are having trouble getting pregnant,” said Dr. Michael Pelekanos, an obstetrician and gynecologist with East Suburban OB/GYN Associates in Monroeville.

Pelekanos is a consultant and adviser to Rinovum who is organizing clinical studies of the Stork.

“This is a stop-gap measure between a major medical investigation and just standard intercourse,” he said. “I believe this will enhance fertility.”

Infertility in the United States has nearly doubled in the past 35 years, from one-in-10 couples in 1980 having difficulty conceiving to one-in-six, or an estimated 7.3 million couples, today.

The increase, driven up by women waiting longer to have children and lower sperm counts in men, has spawned a huge industry.

The market for infertility services and devices is more than $3.5 billion and expected to reach $4.3 billion by 2018, according to research firm Marketdata. About $1.9 billion of that is spent on in vitro fertilization, a lab procedure with an average cost of $12,000.

Rinovum positions the Stork as a significantly less costly alternative, which should be tried before going to a doctor.

“But it’s not a silver bullet,” Bollinger said. “If there’s a medical problem (that prevents pregnancy), we can’t help.”

Bollinger, a Delmont native, attended the Military Academy at West Point, fought in the first Gulf War and had a career in the life sciences industry. He started and sold two companies in Massachusetts before returning to the region in 2008 to help coach startup companies at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse see post.

A year later, the itch to run his own company returned, he said. “At some point, I got sick of coaching and wanted to get back to doing.”

He knew he wanted to pursue a solution to a health care problem that he could market directly to consumers and remembered the difficulty that he and his wife had trying to conceive their first child in the early 1990s. Bollinger was aware that it was an increasingly common problem.He formed Rinovum in 2009 and started developing early versions of the Stork. In 2013, it received approval from the FDA for prescription-only sales, which led to sales of “a couple thousand dollars a week,” he said.

A major turning point happened in September when the FDA cleared the Stork for over-the-counter sales. Rinovum also started selling the device in Canada and the United Kingdom.

With the addition of more pharmacies selling the Stork, Bollinger said he expects Rinovum’s revenue to grow to at least $12 million by the end of 2016, up from $800,000 in 2014 and an expected $2.4 million this year.

Rinovum is exploring how to expand sales to more countries in Europe and to Asia.

“Infertility in China is even bigger than in the U.S.,” Bollinger said.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8930319-74/rinovum-stork-bollinger#ixzz3jMoyJjva
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Source: http://triblive.com/

Technology developed at the University of Pittsburgh and licensed by ALung enhances the performance of artificial lung devices, paving the way for the development of less invasive respiratory support systems.

Pittsburgh, PA (August 3, 2015) – ALung Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of low-flow extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) technologies for treating patients with acute respiratory failure, today announced the publication of new data by University of Pittsburgh researchers on two groundbreaking technologies it has previously licensed from the University. The new technologies, which help enhance the performance of artificial lung devices, were developed by Dr. William Federspiel, Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh, and his team in the Medical Devices Laboratory of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Federspiel is also a co-founder of ALung Technologies.

Artificial lung devices are used to support patients with lung failure. They work by passing a patient’s blood over an artificial membrane which removes carbon dioxide and delivers oxygen to the blood, independently of the native lung. While today’s artificial lung technology is very good, a clinical need still exists for more efficient, minimally invasive devices. The new techniques developed by Dr. Federspiel use a combination of two biochemical approaches that work synergistically to more than double the rate of carbon dioxide removal across the artificial lung membrane. The work of Dr. Federspiel’s team was recently published in the journals Acta Biomaterialia and the Journal of Material Science: Materials in Medicine, designated in the latter as an “Editor’s Choice” paper.

ALung’s license agreement with the University Pittsburgh for this new technology includes two pending patent applications. “These novel technologies fit nicely within our broader intellectual property portfolio of methods for enhancing gas exchange,” said Peter DeComo, ALung Chairman and CEO. “The continued refinement of these techniques, as highlighted in the new publications, help pave the way for the future development of more effective artificial lung devices for the millions of patients with acute and chronic lung failure. We offer Dr. Federspiel and his team our congratulations on their most recent publications.”

ALung’s Hemolung Respiratory Assist System, a minimally invasive extracorporeal CO2removal system for treating patients with acute respiratory failure, also incorporates technology licensed from the University of Pittsburgh.

About ALung Technologies

ALung Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held Pittsburgh-based developer and manufacturer of innovative lung assist devices. Founded in 1997 as a spin-out of the University of Pittsburgh, ALung has developed the Hemolung RAS as a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation. ALung is backed by individual investors and venture firms including Allos Ventures, Birchmere Ventures and West Capital Advisors, LLC.

For more information about ALung and the Hemolung RAS, visit www.alung.com.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which, if not based on historical facts, involve current assumptions and forecasts as well as risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from the results or events stated in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, certain events not within the Company’s control. Events that could cause results to differ include failure to meet ongoing developmental and manufacturing timelines, changing GMP requirements, the need for additional capital requirements, risks associated with regulatory approval processes, adverse changes to reimbursement for the Company’s products/services, and delays with respect to market acceptance of new products/services and technologies. Other risks may be detailed from time to time, but the Company does not attempt to revise or update its forward-looking statements even if future experience or changes make it evident that any projected events or results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

Source: ALung Technologies

San Francisco, CA, May 11, 2014— Gemmus Pharma, Inc., a privately-held pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies to treat influenza, announced today that its Investigational New Drug Application (IND) for GP1681, the company’s lead product candidate, has been accepted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now active. Gemmus expects to begin a Phase 1 clinical trial in Q2 2015 to identify suitable doses of GP1681 in healthy adults. “We are very pleased to receive the Safe to Proceed status and we look forward to starting clinical trials for GP1681” said William Guilford, PhD., President and a co-founder of Gemmus. “We believe that our immune system-based approach to treating influenza should allow for a faster return by patients to normal activity than is possible with existing therapies.”

In addition to its IND approval, Gemmus has been granted a patent covering the use of GP1681 in combination with antiviral drugs (US patent). “This extension of our patent portfolio further supports our clinical development plans for GP1681.” said William Holstein, Senior Vice President, Business Development of Gemmus.

About GP1681

GP1681 is being developed to alleviate influenza symptoms by reducing, but not eliminating, the viral-induced, exaggerated cytokine response. The potential benefit of treatment with GP1681 is supported by the results in mouse models of influenza. This host-targeted therapy has the potential advantage of being able to treat any influenza virus subtype when flu-symptoms are present without concern for the development of viral resistance.

About Gemmus

Gemmus is a privately held pharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative products for the treatment of infectious diseases by modulating the host response to the disease. Gemmus was founded in 2007 to develop EP2 and EP4 agonists for the treatment of influenza and in-licensed technology from a major pharmaceutical company. The company has applied for and received an SBIR(NIH) and a QTDP competitive grant. Gemmus is a member of the QB3 network, a San Francisco Bay Area life sciences incubator associated with the University of California – San Francisco (UCSF). The company is currently seeking suitable corporate partners for further clinical development of GP1681 and for expansion into additional viral indications. For more information and corporate background, please visit: www.gemmuspharma.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts may be forward looking statements. The inclusion of forward looking statements should not be regarded as a representation by Gemmus that any of its plans will be achieved. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in Gemmus’ business including, without limitation, statements about difficulties or delays in developing, obtaining regulatory approval, manufacturing and commercializing its products, unexpected performance or side effects of its products, the scope and validity of its products’ patent protection, competition from other companies and its ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations. All forward looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this statement and Gemmus undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date hereof.

Source: Gemmus Pharma

Pittsburgh, PA (January 14, 2015) – ALung Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of low-flow extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) technologies for treating patients with acute respiratory failure, today announced that it has received marketing clearance from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for its Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (RAS). ALung has partnered with Medtel Australia Pty Ltd to distribute the Hemolung RAS which is the first ECCO2R system to be approved and commercially available in Australia.

The Hemolung RAS is a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation for treating patients with acute respiratory failure, including those suffering from acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The TGA approval allows the Hemolung RAS to be utilized in over 75 hospitals across Australia with level 3 intensive care units. The device is also cleared for use in Europe and Canada.

ALung has partnered with Medtel Australia Pty Ltd to distribute the Hemolung RAS. Celebrating 50 years of operation in 2015, Medtel is a long established distributor of innovative medical products, providing sales and service from offices in each mainland state of the country. Andrew Lehmann, Managing Director of Medtel Australia stated, “Medtel is most pleased to gain this key regulatory step in making the Hemolung technology available to the intensive care clinicians in Australia. The Hemolung RAS is viewed as an innovative and market disruptive technology with the opportunity to provide patients with better outcomes and fewer lung complications. Medtel looks forward to partnering with ALung to promote and support the Hemolung product.”

Obtainment of TGA approval for the Hemolung RAS took approximately 12 months. Prior to receipt of the TGA approval, three Australian hospitals had the opportunity to evaluate the Hemolung RAS under a special Authorized Prescriber program to access innovative medical devices. Dr. Hergen Buscher, Staff Specialist for Intensive Care Medicine at St. Vincent Hospital Sydney who participated in this program, commented, “Minimally invasive ECCO2R devices like the Hemolung RAS have the potential to change the way we ventilate our critically ill patients by avoiding some of the life threatening side effects of mechanical invasive ventilation.”

“We are grateful for the support of Medtel, the Australian intensive care community, and the TGA as we worked through this approval process,” said Nicholas Kuhn, ALung President and Chief Business Officer. “We are very excited to make the Hemolung RAS available to physicians all across Australia as they seek to optimize the care of their most critically ill patients.”

About ALung Technologies
ALung Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held Pittsburgh-based developer and manufacturer of innovative lung assist devices. Founded in 1997 as a spin-off from the University of Pittsburgh, ALung has developed the Hemolung RAS as a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation. ALung is backed by individual investors and venture firms including Allos Ventures, Birchmere Ventures and West Capital Advisors, LLC.

For more information about ALung Technologies and the Hemolung RAS, visit www.alung.com.

About Medtel Pty Ltd
Medtel Pty Limited is a supplier of high-end technology products and services to the medical and allied health care industry, with sales and service offices located across Australia and New Zealand.

Established in 1965, Medtel is part of The Getz Group of Companies, an international marketing and services company committed to excellence and with over 150 offices in 49 countries and 6 continents around the world. The Getz Group origins date back to as early as 1852.

Partnering with prominent global industry leaders, Medtel offers the latest in medical technology and is driven by the mission to make lives better through quality products and exceptional service.

For more information about Medtel, and for interest in the Hemolung RAS in Australia, visit http://www.medtel.com.au/.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which, if not based on historical facts, involve current assumptions and forecasts as well as risks and uncertainties. Our actual results may differ materially from the results or events stated in the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, certain events not within the Company’s control. Events that could cause results to differ include failure to meet ongoing developmental and manufacturing timelines, changing GMP requirements, the need for additional capital requirements, risks associated with regulatory approval processes, adverse changes to reimbursement for the Company’s products/services, and delays with respect to market acceptance of new products/services and technologies. Other risks may be detailed from time to time, but the Company does not attempt to revise or update its forward-looking statements even if future experience or changes make it evident that any projected events or results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

Source: ALung Technologies

BlueTree Venture Fund, a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm, recently invested in Alung, a developer of advanced medical devices for treating respiratory failure. Based in Pittsburgh, many of ALung’s products, including the Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (RAS), were originally developed out of the University of Pittsburgh.

ALung is an investor and innovator of new respiratory technologies. Founded in 1997 by William Federspiel, PhD and the late Brack Hattler, MD, ALung committed itself to enhancing the quality of life, improving the health, and reducing the cost of care for respiratory failure patients by developing revolutionary respiratory assistance products and services. Their aim is to create value for both their customers and their shareholders.

One of the most successful developments is the Hemolung RAS. It is the first fully integrated respiratory dialysis system. The Hemolung works to remove carbon dioxide and deliver oxygen directly into the blood of a patient, allowing their lungs to rest and heal without being intubated. The Hemolung RAS comes with easy to use features, making the machine patient friendly.

ALung has a strong partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (MIRM). Dr. Federspiel continues to create new technologies to better treat respiratory failure and advance their already abundant knowledge. ALung has revolutionized its medical field and hopes to continue to do so with the help of the BlueTree Venture Fund.

To learn more about ALung, visit their website.

BlueTree Venture Fund, a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm recently invested in Gemmus Pharma, a San Francisco-based company focused on the innovative development of pharmaceuticals for influenza and other viral infectious diseases.

Founded in 2007, Gemmus is a privately held biotechnology company that uses a host-directed approach and is committed to developing “best in class” products to meet major medical needs. They target the underlying causes of debilitating symptoms associated with influenza and similar illnesses by regulated the body’s natural response to the disease.

Gemmus is a member of the QB3 network (California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences), a Biotech incubator firm. They have also applied and received a SBIR(NIH) and a QTDP competitive grant. Most recently, Gemmus made plans to file an investigational new drug application targeting influenza symptoms with the FDA.

Gemmus’ lead candidate is GP1681. It plays a role in the anti-inflammatory response and has been shown to reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from activated white blood cells. Studies for GP1681 have been conducted at Utah State University as a part of their National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease program. They have used both H5N1 and H1N1 strains to study the effects of the medicine.

To learn more about Gemmus Pharma, visit their website.

BlueTree Venture Fund Raises $10 Million for Pittsburgh Technology Companies: New Venture Fund to Provide Area Companies with Series B Investments

Pittsburgh, PA – May 8, 2014 – BlueTree Venture Fund (BTVF) closed on $10 million of fresh capital for Pittsburgh area technology companies and the broader entrepreneurial market on April 28, 2014. The Fund is the first woman-founded venture capital fund in the region, founded by local venture capitalist and angel investor Catherine Mott. BTVF is targeting Series B investments in IT and Life Science companies with compelling technologies, strong management teams and efficient capital models to provide robust returns for the Fund’s investors.

BTVF is the culmination of Mott’s 10 years of immersion in both the Pittsburgh and national angel and venture capital community. According to Mott, running a successful venture fund is more than finding a great portfolio of promising companies. She explains, “The bottom line for a successful venture fund is the ability to deliver returns well into the double-digits. This requires using the Fund Partners’ knowledge and networks to develop solid, high quality deal flow, a rigorous vetting process, and a commitment to be integrally involved with the strategic decision-making of portfolio companies.” She explains that achieving this goal will allow BTVF to support companies providing innovative technologies that improve peoples’ lives.

Currently, Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is nearing a tipping point. The area’s technology companies brought in an estimated $338 million in 148 separate deals in 2013, according to the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. Of 125 venture capital firms that participated in these deals, only 22 were from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. BTVF is another asset that enables the region to unlock its vast potential for innovation and commercialization. Prior to its final close in Q1 2015, BTVF will seek to raise another $20 million to achieve $30 million total capital.

Over the last 10 years, Mott assembled the best practices and operating model that made her first local angel organization, the BlueTree Allied Angels, stand as one of the most highly-regarded angel investment groups in the country. Mott and her three partners in BTVF, Roger Byford, David Motley and Jon Pastor, have more than 70 years of combined experience in IT Hardware, IT Software and Life Sciences. The Partners have held executive level positions in perennially successful companies, including Microsoft, Google, Respironics and McKinsey. Their entrepreneurial experience comprises successful venture and angel-backed companies like Vocollect and Rent Jungle.

To learn more about the BlueTree Venture Fund, visit www.bluetreeventurefund.com. To schedule an interview, contact Catherine Mott at 724-475-4538 or cvmott@bluetreecapital.com.

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