Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (HIIQ) Adds Experienced Financial Industry Executive to Board of Directors

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (HIIQ) is a market leader in developing innovative health insurance products that are affordable and meet the needs of health insurance plan shoppers. HIIQ develops insurance products through their relationships with best-in-class insurance companies and markets them via its broad distribution network of licensed insurance agents across the nation, its call center network and its unique online capability. HIIQ’s Consumer Division includes AgileHealthInsurance.com, a website for researching, comparing and purchasing short-term health insurance products online and HealthPocket.com, a free website that compares and ranks all health insurance plans, and uses objective data to publish unbiased health insurance market analyses and other consumer advocacy research.

HIIQ recently announced the appointment of John A. Fichthorn to the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) as a new independent director, effective immediately. Mr. Fichthorn will also join a newly formed Risk and Compliance Committee that will further strengthen the Company’s market-leading compliance and customer service. Mr. Fichthorn currently serves as Head of Alternative Investments for B. Riley Capital Management, LLC, which is an SEC-registered investment adviser and wholly-owned subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, Inc. He previously served as co-founder and CEO of Dialectic Capital Management, LLC from 2003 to 2017. He brings a wealth of experience as an investor in both technology and healthcare companies and as a board member for several NASDAQ-listed companies over the last decade.

Mr. Fichthorn commented, “I am excited to join the HIIQ Board. In addition, that I have also been appointed to the Board’s newly-formed Risk and Compliance Committee demonstrates HIIQ’s commitment to even greater transparency and compliance. With support from the Company’s knowledgeable and experienced Board and management team, HIIQ is uniquely positioned to take advantage of opportunities for growth as the healthcare landscape continues to evolve.”

Also, I suggest reading a recent press release titled The Millions of Uninsured Consumers Who Missed the Obamacare Open Enrollment Still Have Options” which sums up the current health insurance picture and the alternatives and further positions HIIQ in this environment.

To learn more about HIIQ and to track its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners HIIQ Coverage Page.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Appoints John Fichthorn to Board of Directors

TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 15, 2017– Health Insurance Innovations, Inc., a leading developer, distributor, and cloud-based administrator of affordable health insurance and supplemental plans, today announced the …..

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Sleep Apnea, the FDA, and Medical Devices—A Surgeon’s Perspective

John Heerdink spoke to Eric Kezirian, MD, MPH during Episode 2 of the Groundwork Forum Podcast about “Sleep Apnea, the FDA, and Medical Devices—A Surgeon’s Perspective”.

Dr. Kezirian discusses obstructive sleep apnea and its current treatments as well as his work with medical device companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration pathways that allow medical devices to reach the U.S. market.

During the last several years, the FDA pathways for medical devices have come under fire from numerous groups. The Institute of Medicine’s 2011 report raised concerns about the FDA’s 510(k) clearance process for moderate-risk devices.

Similarly, the FDA Premarket Approval process for high-risk devices has emphasized pre-approval studies without enough monitoring after receiving approval. The FDA has taken steps to improve these pathways, but there are important implications for medical device companies and new technologies that treat complex medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.

Dr. Kezirian is a Professor in the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles. He is recognized by colleagues as an international leader in surgery for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. As one of the world’s relatively few surgeons dedicated to sleep apnea surgery, he has worked with many established and startup medical device companies focused in this field.

Groundwork Forum aims to bring together leaders from all disciplines all over the world to join its Global Community to consider new perspectives on key issues; to create a powerful, global network in order to strengthen the influence throughout the world; to draw up innovative and concrete action plans to encourage contribution to society; and to promote diversity in the business world. Send us an email if you’d like to become a contributor: inquiries@vistapglobal.com.

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Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini Interview on Healthcare’s Future Focus & CVS Buyout

Today news broke on a buyout of Aetna by CVS for a reported $69 Billion which could significantly alter the future of healthcare.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo stated, “This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer healthcare experience. With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health’s human touch, we will create a healthcare platform built around individuals.”

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini stated, “Together with CVS Health, we will better understand our members’ health goals, guide them through the health care system and help them achieve their best health.”

In an interview recently, accessed via the curated story below, you will find what I believe to be a must-see interview of Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. I found the interview quite interesting and candid insight into the state of healthcare in the US and how the basic premise and system must be changed to focus on addressing the well being of individuals vs treating the sick. He stated,  “I think we should define health is a healthy person is productive, a productive person is socially, economically, and physically viable and viable people are happy.”

Please take the time to hear him out!

 

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini on the future of healthcare

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini speaks with Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche about the future of healthcare at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit…

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Pfizer Granted Rights to Develop Novel Antifungal Medicine in Asia

Pfizer (PFE)  is a leading global provider of anti-infective medicines, offering patients access to a diverse portfolio of more than 80 products.

Recently, Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. (BSLN.SW), an international biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and development of anti-infective and oncological medicines,  announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Pfizer will be granted the exclusive development and commercialization rights in China and several countries in the Asia Pacific region to CRESEMBA (isavuconazole). CRESEMBA is a novel antifungal medicine for the treatment of adult patients with diagnosed invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis1, two serious infections associated with significant morbidity and mortality among immunocompromised patients, such as those with advanced HIV and those with cancer.

Pfizer will have exclusive rights to develop, distribute and commercialize CRESEMBA in sixteen Asian Pacific countries and China (including Hong Kong and Macao). These rights do not include Japan. In addition, Pfizer will become the marketing authorization holder for the Asia Pacific Region and China. The specific financial terms of the agreement remain confidential. The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approval.

CRESEMBA was developed in response to the urgent medical need for antifungal medicines for the treatment of invasive fungal infections, which are naturally resistant to many antifungal therapies and have become increasingly resistant to other available therapies.

To learn more about Pfizer (PFE) and to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Pfizer Coverage Page.

Pfizer Enters into Agreement to Develop and Commercialize CRESEMBA® (isavuconazole) in China and Asia Pacific Region

Pfizer Inc. and Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. , an international biopharmaceutical company specializing in the research and development of anti-infective and oncological medicines, today announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Pfizer will be granted the exclusive development and commercialization..

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Vista Partners Recently Published An Update Report on Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ)

Recently, Vista Partners published a FREE update research report on Emerging Growth Company & affordable, web-based individual health insurance plans provider, Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NASDAQ: HIIQ).  Please review the report on Vista Partners Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Coverage Page found within the Featured Coverage Pages at Vista Partners. Vista’s Coverage Pages are designed to provide an understanding of the company’s current business, financials, strategy, products, and pipeline. Stay Informed! Stay Competitive!




Intriguing Federal Legislation Introduced Regarding Breast Density Masking Breast Cancer

Approximately 10 million women have high breast density in the United States and there is currently no FDA-approved treatment for this condition. For more information about breast density please visit www.areyoudense.org. On October 25, 2017, new federal legislation was introduced in both the House (H.R. 4122) by Representative Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn) and in the Senate (S. 2006) by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal) with regard to how we are dealing with the issues around breast density and how it relates to breast cancer. The parallel bills mandate that mammography reports provided to patients and physicians include a summary that (i) includes information about breast density; (ii) conveys information about the effect of breast density in masking the presence of breast cancer on mammography; and (iii) communicates that individuals with dense breasts should talk with their health care providers about the summary and the potential benefit of additional testing. Additionally, the bills require that the Department of Health and Human Services expand and intensify programs and activities for research relating to breast density. The bills have been referred to the House Committee on Health and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Energy and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

President and CEO of Seattle, WA based Atossa Genetics (NasdaqCM: ATOS), Dr. Steven Quay, commented on this subject, “The presence of dense breast tissue can make it more difficult to evaluate the results of a mammogram because dense breast tissue is comprised of less fat and more stromal tissue which appears white on a mammogram. Cancer also appears white and tumors are therefore often hidden or masked by the dense tissue. Breast density is also associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Although numerous states have recently enacted laws requiring that patients be notified of breast density, there is no federal standard and approximately 20 states still do not require that information about density be conveyed to the patient. We believe woman have the right to receive this important health information and we applaud the pending federal legislation. In addition, the provisions in the legislation that require expansion of programs and research activities related to breast density should improve diagnosis capabilities and accelerate treatments for this major breast cancer risk factor; which is one of only a few risk factors that can actually be modified.” Atossa is developing the drug Endoxifen for tamoxifen-refractory breast cancer patients, the treatment of mammographic breast density and other breast conditions. Atossa’s proprietary Endoxifen is being developed as an oral form as well as a topical solution, like a lotion, that can be applied directly to the breast. Atossa recently completed a Phase 1 study of its oral and topical Endoxifen and reported that all objectives of that study were successfully met. A Phase 2 study will be conducted at Stockholm South General Hospital in Sweden and will be led by principal investigator Dr. Per Hall, M.D., Ph.D., Head of the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Karolinska Institutet.

To learn about the interesting work that Seattle, WA based biotech firm Atossa Genetics (NasdaqGM: ATOS) is doing in breast cancer treatment please visit the Vista Partners Company Dedicated Page.

Atossa Genetics Applauds Newly-Introduced Federal Legislation Requiring That Breast Density Be Reported To Physicians and Patients

SEATTLE, Nov. 06, 2017– Atossa Genetics Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods for breast cancer and other breast conditions, today announced …..

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Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) Jumps +11.11% Today Post Q3 Beat -See Earnings Call Transcript

Post releasing Q3 numbers that exceeded expectations and where HIIQ raised full year guidance, Gavin Southwell, HIIQ’s Chief Executive Officer and President stated, “We are pleased to continue to deliver record results, which exceeded our revenue and profitability targets, reflecting the strength of our business and the successful execution of our strategy. We believe we are well positioned to continue to succeed and grow in the dynamic individual health insurance marketplace through our differentiated services. We are confident that we can deliver strong results and shareholder value through our successful expansion of innovative products, expansion of our distribution networks – including existing and new distributors, driving revenue growth and margins.”

HIIQ shares jumped +11.11% today closing at $22.50.

To learn more about HIIQ and track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Company Dedicated Coverage Page.

Edited Transcript of HIIQ earnings conference call or presentation 2-Nov-17 12:30pm GMT

Q3 2017 Health Insurance Innovations Inc Earnings Call..

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Health Insurance Innovations (HIIQ) Reports Record Q3 & Increases 2017 Full Year Guidance

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NasdaqGM: HIIQ), a leading developer, distributor, and cloud-based administrator of affordable health insurance and supplemental plans announced financial results with record revenues for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017,  post the close Wednesday, November 1. HIIQ reported that third-quarter revenues came in at $63.3 million an increase of 37.4%, compared to the third quarter of 2016 and was driven primarily by an increase in policies in force. Further, a sales mix shift to more Health Benefit Plans and favorable carrier negotiations have decreased risk premiums. HIIQ reported Diluted Earnings per Share of $0.30, up 20% YOY, Adjusted Earnings per Share of $0.46, up 39% YOY, & Policies in Force totaled approximately 347,900, up 38% YOY. Cash and cash equivalents totaled $43.1 million at September 30, 2017, an increase of $30.8 million from December 31, 2016 and an increase of $15.5 million sequentially.

HIIQ further reported that given the record financial performance and long-term prospects, the Company is increasing its guidance for the full year 2017. The Company expects revenue to grow 27% to 30% year-over-year (with expected revenue of $235 million to $240 million), adjusted EBITDA to grow 48% to 58% year-over-year (with expected adjusted EBITDA of $41 million to $44 million) and adjusted EPS to grow 34% to 43% (with expected adjusted EPS of $1.50 to $1.60). The Company previously guided to full-year revenue of $225 million to $230 million, adjusted EBITDA of $39 million to $42 million and adjusted EPS of $1.45 to $1.55.

HIIQ further reported that given the record financial performance and long-term prospects, the Company is increasing its guidance for the full year 2017. The Company expects revenue to grow 27% to 30% year-over-year (with expected revenue of $235 million to $240 million), adjusted EBITDA to grow 48% to 58% year-over-year (with expected adjusted EBITDA of $41 million to $44 million) and adjusted EPS to grow 34% to 43% (with expected adjusted EPS of $1.50 to $1.60). The Company previously guided to full-year revenue of $225 million to $230 million, adjusted EBITDA of $39 million to $42 million and adjusted EPS of $1.45 to $1.55.

Gavin Southwell, HIIQ’s Chief Executive Officer, and President stated, “We are pleased to continue to deliver record results, which exceeded our revenue and profitability targets, reflecting the strength of our business and the successful execution of our strategy. We believe we are well positioned to continue to succeed and grow in the dynamic individual health insurance marketplace through our differentiated services. We are confident that we can deliver strong results and shareholder value through our successful expansion of innovative products, expansion of our distribution networks – including existing and new distributors, driving revenue growth and margins.”
The Company will host an earnings conference call on November 2, 2017 at 8:30 A.M. Eastern time.  All interested parties can join the call by dialing (877) 407-9039 or (201) 689-8470; the conference ID is 13672449.  A webcast of the call may be accessed in the Investor Relations section of Health Insurance Innovations’ website at http://investor.hiiquote.com/events.cfm. An archive of the call will be available for 30 days through the same website.

To learn more about Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. (NasdaqGM: HIIQ) and to track its progress please visit the Vista Partners Company Dedicated Coverage Page.

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Reports Record Third Quarter 2017 Financial and Operating Results

Increases 2017 Full Year Guidance Record Revenues of $63.3 million, up 37% YOY Diluted Earnings per Share of $0.30, up 20% YOY Adjusted Earnings per Share of $0.46, up 39% YOY Policies in Force totaled …..

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Drug Developing Giant Pfizer (PFE) Beats with Q3 Results & Commentary

Drug developing giant Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) reported Q3 profit of $2.84B, or $.47/share which was up from $1.36B, or $.22/share a year ago. Net income was reported as $4.06B, or 67 cents per share and greater than analyst expectations. Revenues grew at 1% and came in at $13.17B & met analyst forecasts.

Ian Read, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, of Pfizer stated, “We reported solid third-quarter 2017 financial results and raised the midpoint of the range for our 2017 Adjusted diluted EPS(2) guidance. Innovative Health revenues grew 11% operationally, primarily driven by the performance of our key growth drivers, notably Ibrance, Eliquis, Xtandi and Xeljanz, all of which are products that are early in their patent-protected lifecycle in attractive therapeutic areas. While Essential Health revenues remained challenged primarily due to continued headwinds from products that recently lost marketing exclusivity and product supply, we had solid operational growth in emerging markets and in biosimilars. Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the convergence of two positive trends: an expected decline in the unfavorable revenue impact associated with product losses of exclusivity and the beginning of an expected multi- year wave of potential new product launches and product line extensions driven by our pipeline. We believe that the convergence of these trends, coupled with anticipated continued strong growth from the aforementioned innovative products, positions the Company for long-term success.”

Frank D’Amelio, Executive Vice President, Business Operations and Chief Financial Officer of Pfizer, stated, “Overall, I am pleased with our third-quarter 2017 financial results, including 2% operational revenue growth after excluding the net impact of acquisitions and divestitures completed in 2016 and the first nine months of 2017. As a result of our strong performance to date in 2017, we narrowed the ranges for certain 2017 financial guidance components, including a $0.03 increase to the midpoint of our range for Adjusted diluted EPS(2) to a range of $2.58 to $2.62. The midpoint of our new guidance range for Adjusted diluted EPS(2) implies 8% growth compared with last year. Finally, earlier this month, we announced that we are reviewing strategic alternatives for our Consumer Healthcare business.”

Pfizer expects earnings for the year to come in at $2.58 to $2.62/share, which would be higher than its August forecast for $2.54 to $2.60/share. Revenues are expected to come in at $52.4B to $53.1B, also higher $52B to $54B in its previous August forecast.

To learn more about Pfizer (PFE) and tracks its ongoing progress please visit the Vista Partners PFE Company Dedicated Coverage Page.

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A Progressive Week for Breast Cancer Focused Biotech Atossa Genetics (ATOS)

Seattle, WA based Atossa Genetics Inc. (ATOS) is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods for breast cancer and other breast conditions. ATOS has been very busy and progressive this week as they first reported preliminary results from its Phase 1 study of its proprietary oral Endoxifen that met all objectives, saw their shares reach $1.59/share (a value that ATOS shares had not seen since January 2017), ATOS shares posted amazing trading volumes where their average daily volume is north of 3 million shares a day now, and ATOS priced a much needed capital infusion of gross proceeds of $5.1 million that is estimated to take them into late 2018 via a public offering of common shares without giving up dilutive warrants and therefore maintaining a relatively “clean” cap structure.

Preliminary results from its Phase 1 

ATOS reported that all objectives were successfully met and as follows:

– Safety: There were no clinically significant safety signals and no clinically significant adverse events in participants receiving oral Endoxifen.

– Tolerability: Oral Endoxifen was well tolerated at each dose level and for the dosing duration utilized in the study.

– Pharmacokinetics: Oral Endoxifen demonstrated blood levels that have been associated with a therapeutic effect in the adjuvant setting in women with breast cancer.

ATOS reported that the data demonstrated the suitability of oral Endoxifen for further clinical development.

The Phase 1 Study

The Phase 1 study was a double-blind, placebo-controlled, repeat dose study of 48 healthy female subjects. Atossa assessed safety, tolerability and the pharmacokinetics of proprietary formulations of both topical and oral Endoxifen dosage forms in varying dose levels over 28 days. The study was conducted in two parts based on route of administration. Preliminary results from the topical arm of the study were announced on September 14, 2017.

Atossa’s Proprietary Endoxifen

Endoxifen is an active metabolite of tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is an FDA-approved drug to prevent new breast cancer as well as recurrent breast cancer in breast cancer patients. Tamoxifen is a “pro-drug” meaning that it must be broken down by the liver into active compounds (metabolites), of which Endoxifen is the most active. It is these active metabolites that have the therapeutic effect.

Oral Endoxifen. Although approximately one million breast cancer survivors take tamoxifen annually, up to half of them do not fully benefit from tamoxifen, meaning they are “refractory,” for a number of reasons including that they do not properly metabolize tamoxifen into its active metabolites. Low endoxifen levels in breast cancer patients taking oral tamoxifen are associated with an increased risk of recurrence or the development of new breast tumors. Thus providing oral Endoxifen directly to the patient without having to be metabolized may help to address this problem.

Topical Endoxifen. A condition called breast density (or, MBD), typically diagnosed by a mammogram, has been shown to be an independent breast cancer risk factor. To date, 30 states require that findings of MBD be directly communicated to the patient. We believe a topical form of Endoxifen could potentially reduce MBD. Although oral tamoxifen has been shown to reduce MBD, the benefit-cost ratio is not acceptable to most physicians and their patients. For example, it is estimated that less than 5% of women at an increased risk of developing breast cancer including those with MBD take oral tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer because of the risk of, or actual side-effects of, oral tamoxifen. We are planning a Phase 2 study of topical Endoxifen in Stockholm, Sweden for the treatment of MBD.

Based on the number of women with MBD and the number of patients who have survived breast cancer but are not fully benefiting from tamoxifen, Atossa estimates that the potential markets for its proprietary oral and topical formulations of Endoxifen could potentially exceed $1 billion in annual sales.

Next Steps

“Based on these positive preliminary results, we are advancing our oral Endoxifen into Phase 2 studies,” commented Dr. Steven C. Quay, CEO and President. “We expect our initial Phase 2 study will be in women who are refractory to tamoxifen and we expect to begin that study in the first quarter of 2018,” continued Dr. Quay.

Breast Cancer Statistics

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that approximately 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year and that approximately 40,000 will die from the disease. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women. Although about 100 times less common than women, breast cancer also affects men. The ACS estimates that the lifetime risk of men getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000; 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed; and 460 men will die from breast cancer in 2017.

Atossa Genetics hosted a conference call to discuss preliminary results. A replay of the call will be available through November 24, 2017. The replay can be accessed via Atossa’s website or by dialing 877-344-7529 (domestic) or 412-317-0088 (international) or Canada Toll Free at 855-669-9658. The replay conference ID number is 10113835.

Atossa’s Financing

Atossa announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 11.5 million shares of common stock with a public offering price of $.44/share. Gorss proceeds, before underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering costs, are expected to be $5.1 million. Atossa intends to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. The Company has granted the underwriter an over-allotment option to purchase up to 1,000,000 additional shares of its common stock. The offering is expected to close on or about October 30, 2017, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions.

Maxim Group LLC is acting as sole book-running manager for the offering.

To learn more about Atossa Genetics (NasdaqCM: ATOS) and to track its further progress please visit the Vista Partners’ Company Dedicated ATOS Page.

Atossa Genetics Announces Preliminary Results from Phase 1 Study of Oral Endoxifen

Conference Call To Be Held Today at 10 am Eastern Time. SEATTLE, Oct. 25, 2017– Atossa Genetics Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics and delivery methods for breast …..

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