Mobile networks startup Celona, founded by four telecom veterans, just launched out of stealth with a $30 million Series B for products that make it easier for enterprises to use networks that are faster, more reliable, and more secure than 4G: Private 5G networks.
Celona's cloud software makes 5G private networks 10 times cheaper than they would otherwise be, the firm claims.
In its 18 months, Celona has raised a total of $40 million and is valued at $109 million, according to Pitchbook.
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Big companies long anticipated the arrival of 5G private networks. While the promise of 5G networks is speedier connections, a private 5G network means more privacy and that a firm also wouldn't have to deal with anyone else using the network and slowing things down. This opens up a wealth of possibilities, like factories automating high-risk procedures without worrying about lag or hospitals sending sensitive medical information to labs securely.
At the end of 2019, Deloitte analysts predicted that more than a hundred companies would experiment with private 5G networks by the end of this year. Companies like Ford and Honeywell are already testing them in their warehouses and factories to make processes more efficient.
Now, a fresh-from-stealth startup called Celona wants to take a bite out of the 5G enterprise market, which market research firm Polaris estimates is worth $1.32 billion. The startup has raised a $30 million Series B round of funding for a slew of products that aims to make private 5G networks more easily accessible to factories, security firms, warehouses, and other enterprises. While the firm declined to share its valuation, PitchBook lists it at $109 million.
All four of the firm's founders have backgrounds in connectivity and telecommunications. Mehmet Yavuz — the former CTO of networking firm Ruckus Networks and, before that, former VP of engineering at Qualcomm specializing in private networks — conceptualized the idea with Rajeev Shah — who worked at wireless networking firm Aruba Networks for 12 years — while the duo was in Barcelona (hence its name). They cofounded the company in 2019 along with Aruba engineers Vinay Anneboina and Ravi Mulam.
"It is our somewhat geeky, nerdy belief that connectivity tends to be this invisible driver of innovation," Celona CEO Shah said. "A lot of us spent a lot of time in WiFi and when we get among ourselves, we joke that the iPhone wouldn't have happened but for us."
5G, by design, is faster, more secure, and more reliable than WiFi, which buffers, lags, and is prone to hacks – which could lead to disaster in an automated factory. 5G private networks are giving enterprises added security and "getting rid of all of the — for lack of a better word — compromises we've gotten used to with wireless," Shah said.
Celona touts itself as the first 5G platform company geared specifically for enterprises, not the general market. Consumers don't require the level of customizability and security as enterprise companies do, Shah said: The stakes are much higher for enterprises if a network fails.
"Inside the enterprise, it is a lot more complex environment," Shah said. "Just visualize a manufacturing plant and the network for them. That is not the same as us just running Netflix and YouTube on our LTE network."
The Federal Communications Commission released a band of spectrum in January known as CBRS, which is considered the "innovation band" that carriers and companies can use for free to experiment with 5G networks. It's a far cry from how spectrum is traditionally released: Usually companies like Verizon or AT&T have to bid billions of dollars to control and license it. This system allows private 5G networks to be affordable for enterprises, Shah said.
Celona works with a spectrum administrator to offer access to its customers, who then use the spectrum through Celona's combination of cloud software and hardware access points, which can be placed wherever the company wants them. Those access points connect to companies' existing cloud infrastructure like Azure and AWS through its Celona Edge software, where companies can manage everything. The firm will charge customers monthly subscription fees and has a partnership with Aruba Networks (now owned by Hewlett-Packard Enterprise) to resell its line of products.
Celona's software-heavy product minimizes hardware use, making the total cost of private networks 10 times cheaper than they would otherwise be, according to Shah.
Celona isn't the only one in the telecommunications industry putting an emphasis on software: Nokia and Intel, two large hardware suppliers, are incorporating more software in their lines of 5G products and using hardware only where necessary.
"You went with a certain kind of hardware and you just had to stick with it," Futurum Research analyst Dan Newman said, referring to how networks used to be set up. Now, "when you want to scale deployments, we realized the fastest way to scale with IT is essentially through cloud deployments, flexible networks."
The 18-month-old company previously raised $10 million last year and Qualcomm Ventures and NTT Venture Capital led the Series B round.
The fresh funding will go to, among other things, growing its sales teams across the country, which has swelled from four to 40 since its inception.
Transgene (Paris:TNG) (Euronext Paris: TNG), a biotech company that designs and develops virus-based immunotherapeutics against cancer, announced that detailed results of the data from the Phase 1b/2 trial combining TG4001, a HPV16 targeted therapeutic vaccine, with avelumab (BAVENCIO®), a human anti-PD-L1 antibody, in HPV16-positive recurrent and/or metastatic malignancies, will be presented in a poster presentation at the upcoming virtual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) taking place November 9-14, 2020.
The principal investigator Professor Christophe Le Tourneau will present results from a pooled analysis of the Phase 1b/2 trial, including response rate, median progression-free survival, as well as the impact of patient/disease characteristics on outcome and immunogenicity.
As a reminder, the analysis of the trial data demonstrated clinical activity of the combination regimen and confirmed a manageable safety profile.The purpose of this exploratory Phase 1b/2 trial was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination of TG4001 and an immune checkpoint inhibitor in a heterogeneous group of patients with aggressive, recurrent and/or metastatic HPV16-positive cancer. Clinical activity was observed in the overall study population (34 evaluable patients with oropharyngeal, anal, cervical, or other HPV16-positive cancers).In addition, Transgene has identified patient characteristics associated with promising clinical activity in this trial. For more than 50% of these patients, the disease had not progressed at 12 weeks, compared to an expected median progression-free survival (PFS) of 8 weeks for this population with current treatment regimens*. Consistent with data presented at ESMO 2019 , durable responses have been observed in most of the responder patients.
The trial was being conducted in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Pfizer.
About the trial This multi-center, open-label trial is assessing the safety and efficacy of this immunotherapy combination regimen (TG4001 + avelumab) in patients with HPV16-positive cancers who have disease progression after at least one line of systemic treatment for recurrent/metastatic disease (NCT03260023). Prof. Christophe Le Tourneau, M.D., PhD, Head of the Department of Drug Development and Innovation (D3i) at the Curie Institute, and a world expert in drug development and head and neck cancers, is the Principal Investigator of the study. The trial is being conducted in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading science and technology company, which in the US and Canada operates its biopharmaceutical business as EMD Serono, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).Patients received TG4001 at the dose of 5x107 pfu, SC, weekly for 6 weeks, every 2 weeks up to six months, and every 12 weeks thereafter, in combination with avelumab at 10 mg/kg, IV every two weeks, until disease progression.The primary endpoint of the Phase 2 part is the overall response rate (ORR, using RECIST 1.1). Secondary endpoints include progression-free survival, overall survival, disease control rate and other immunological parameters.
More information on the trial is available on clinicaltrials.gov.
About HPV-Positive Cancers HPV-positive cancers comprise a variety of malignancies, including head and neck cancers and anogenital cancers . Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is a heterogeneous group of cancers that can affect sites including the oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx . The incidence of HPV16-related SCCHN has significantly increased in recent years . HPV16 infection is associated with more than 85% of oropharynx squamous cell carcinomas , i.e. approximately 10,000 patients at metastatic stage and receiving a second line of treatment . Other HPV16-positive cancers include cervical , vaginal , vulvar , anal  and penile  cancers, i.e. approximately 15,000 cancers at metastatic stage and eligible for a second line of treatment .
Current treatments include chemoradiotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitors, or surgical resection with radiotherapy. However, better options are needed for advanced and metastatic HPV+ cancers. It is thought that this immunotherapy combined with other immunotherapeutic agents such as immune checkpoint inhibitors could provide a promising potential treatment option that would address this strong medical need [16,17]. With immune checkpoint inhibitors, median overall survival remains inferior to 11 months [2-6] and median progression-free survival is between 2 and 4 months [2-6]. In this heterogenous group of malignancies, overall response rates are around 10–15% [2-6].
About TG4001 TG4001 is an investigational therapeutic vaccine based on a non-propagative, highly attenuated Vaccinia vector (MVA), which is engineered to express HPV16 antigens (E6 & E7) and an adjuvant (IL-2). TG4001 is designed to have a two-pronged antiviral approach: to alert the immune system specifically to HPV-16-infected cells that have started to undergo precancerous transformation (cells presenting the HPV16 E6 and E7 antigens) and to further stimulate the infection-clearing activity of the immune system through interleukin 2 (IL-2). TG4001 has been administered to more than 300 individuals, demonstrating good safety, significant HPV clearance rate and promising efficacy results [1; 18]. Its mechanism of action and good safety profile make TG4001 an excellent candidate for combinations with other therapies in HPV-mediated solid tumors.
Avelumab Approved Indications Avelumab (BAVENCIO®) is indicated in the US for the maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) that has not progressed with first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy. BAVENCIO is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic UC who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy, or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.
Avelumab in combination with axitinib is approved in the US for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
In the US, the FDA granted accelerated approval for BAVENCIO for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.
Avelumab Important Safety Information from the US FDA-Approved Label The warnings and precautions for avelumab (BAVENCIO®) include immune-mediated adverse reactions (such as pneumonitis and hepatitis [including fatal cases], colitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions as a single agent or in combination with axitinib [which can be severe and have included fatal cases]), infusion-related reactions, hepatotoxicity in combination with axitinib, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in combination with axitinib [which can be severe and have included fatal cases], and embryo-fetal toxicity.
Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) in patients treated with BAVENCIO® monotherapy include fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea, nausea, infusion-related reaction peripheral edema, decreased appetite, urinary tract infection and rash. Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) in patients receiving BAVENCIO® in combination with axitinib include diarrhea, fatigue, hypertension, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, mucositis, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, dysphonia, decreased appetite, hypothyroidism, rash, hepatotoxicity, cough, dyspnea, abdominal pain and headache. Grade 3-4 hematology laboratory value abnormalities reported in at least 10% of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma treated with BAVENCIO® monotherapy include lymphopenia; in patients receiving BAVENCIO® in combination with axitinib, grade 3-4 clinical chemistry abnormalities include blood triglyceride increased and lipase increased.
For full US Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for BAVENCIO®, please see https://www.BAVENCIO.com.
 Le Tourneau et al. "Phase Ib/II trial of TG4001 (Tipapkinogene sovacivec), a therapeutic HPV-vaccine, and Avelumab in patients with recurrent/metastatic HPV16 positive cancers” 2019 ESMO Annual Meeting, 30 September 2019, Poster presentation Cohen et al. Pembrolizumab versus methotrexate, docetaxel, or cetuximab for recurrent or metastatic head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (KEYNOTE-040): a randomised, open-label, phase 3 study. Lancet. 2019;393:156–67 Ferris et al. Nivolumab for Recurrent Squamous-Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck. N Engl J Med. 2016;375:1856-1867 Morris et al. Nivolumab for Previously Treated Unresectable Metastatic Anal Cancer (NCI9673): A Multicentre, Single-Arm, Phase 2 Study. Lancet Oncol. 2017;18(4):446-453 Marabelle et al. Pembrolizumab for previously treated advanced anal squamous cell carcinoma: Pooled results from the KEYNOTE-028 and KEYNOTE-158 studies. J Clin Oncol 38: 2020 (suppl; abstr 4020) Chung et al. Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab in Previously Treated Advanced Cervical Cancer: Results From the Phase II KEYNOTE-158 Study. J Clin Oncol. 2019;10;37(17):1470-1478 ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center > Prevention at a glance – accessed July 2020 Kreimer et al., Human Papillomavirus Types in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Worldwide: A Systematic Review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14(2):467-75 HPV-positive oropharynx cancer: Company estimates based on: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: oropharynx (C09-10) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020; Kreimer et al., Human Papillomavirus Types in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Worldwide: A Systematic Review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14(2):467-75 HPV-positive cervical cancer: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: cervix uteri (C53) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020 HPV-positive vaginal cancer: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: vagina (C52) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020; Kreimer et al., Human Papillomavirus Types in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Worldwide: A Systematic Review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14(2):467-75 HPV-positive vulvar cancer: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: vulva (C51) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020; CDC United States Cancer Statistics: Data Visualizations – accessed July 2020; SEER Cancer stat facts: vulvar cancer – accessed July 2020 HPV-positive anal cancer: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: anus (C21) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020; CDC >Cancer Home >HPV and Cancer >Statistics >Rates by Race and Ethnicity >HPV-Associated Anal Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity– accessed July 2020; American Cancer Society: Anal Cancer – accessed July 2020 HPV-positive penile cancer: Globocan/IARC 2018 Cancer Fact Sheets: penis (C60) – accessed July 2020; ICO/IARC – HPV Information Center 2018 Statistics – accessed July 2020; CDC >Cancer Home >HPV and Cancer >Statistics >Rates by Race and Ethnicity >HPV-Associated Cancers Rates by Race and Ethnicity – accessed July 2020; Kreimer et al., Human Papillomavirus Types in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas Worldwide: A Systematic Review. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005;14(2):467-75 Company estimates based on notes 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 Melero et al. Evolving synergistic combinations of targeted immunotherapies to combat cancer. Nat Rev Cancer. 2015;15(8): 457-472. Van der Burg et al. Vaccines for established cancer: overcoming the challenges posed by immune evasion Nat Rev Cancer. 2016;16(4):219-233 Harper et al. The Efficacy and Safety of Tipapkinogen Sovacivec Therapeutic HPV Vaccine in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Grades 2 and 3: Randomized Controlled Phase II Trial With 2.5 Years of Follow-Up. Gynecologic Oncology. 2019; 153(3):521-529
About Transgene Transgene (Euronext: TNG) is a publicly traded French biotechnology company focused on designing and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. Transgene’s programs utilize viral vector technology with the goal of indirectly or directly killing cancer cells.The Company’s clinical-stage programs consist of two therapeutic vaccines (TG4001 for the treatment of HPV-positive cancers, and TG4050, the first individualized therapeutic vaccine based on the myvac® platform) as well as two oncolytic viruses (TG6002 for the treatment of solid tumors, and BT-001, the first oncolytic virus based on the Invir.IO™ platform).With Transgene’s myvac® platform, therapeutic vaccination enters the field of precision medicine with a novel immunotherapy that is fully tailored to each individual. The myvac® approach allows the generation of a virus-based immunotherapy that encodes patient-specific mutations identified and selected by Artificial Intelligence capabilities provided by its partner NEC.With its proprietary platform Invir.IO™, Transgene is building on its viral vector engineering expertise to design a new generation of multifunctional oncolytic viruses. Transgene has an ongoing Invir.IO™ collaboration with AstraZeneca.Additional information about Transgene is available at: www.transgene.fr.Follow us on Twitter: @TransgeneSA
Disclaimer This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. The occurrence of any of these risks could have a significant negative outcome for the Company’s activities, perspectives, financial situation, results, regulatory authorities’ agreement with development phases, and development. The Company’s ability to commercialize its products depends on but is not limited to the following factors: positive pre-clinical data may not be predictive of human clinical results, the success of clinical studies, the ability to obtain financing and/or partnerships for product manufacturing, development and commercialization, and marketing approval by government regulatory authorities. For a discussion of risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company’s actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors ("Facteurs de Risque”) section of the Universal Registration Document, available on the AMF website (https://www.amf-france.org) or on Transgene’s website (www.transgene.fr). Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made and Transgene undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.
* Current treatment regimens, including immune checkpoint inhibitors, for patients with metastatic disease receiving a second (or further) line of treatment for their HPV16 associated indications deliver very limited benefit. With immune checkpoint inhibitors, overall response rates are around 10–15% in this heterogenous group of malignancies, while median overall survival is less than 11 months [2-6] and median progression-free survival is around 2 months [2-6].
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SAN DIEGO, Oct. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Shareholder rights law firm Johnson Fistel, LLP has launched an investigation into whether the board members of Concho Resources (NYSE: CXO) ("Concho" or the "Company") breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the proposed sale of the Company to ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP).
On October 19, 2020, Concho announced that they had entered into a definitive merger agreement with ConocoPhillips. Under the terms of the transaction, each share of Concho common stock will be exchanged for a fixed ratio of 1.46 shares of ConocoPhillips common stock. Based on ConocoPhillips' closing stock price on October 16, 2020, the implied stock consideration to be received by Concho's stockholders is $49.30 per share.
Concho shareholders will be subject to the future price fluctuation of ConocoPhillips stock price.
The investigation concerns whether the Concho board failed to satisfy its duties to the Company shareholders, including whether the board adequately pursued alternatives to the acquisition and whether the board obtained the best price possible for Concho shares of common stock. Nationally recognized Johnson Fistel is investigating whether the proposed deal represents adequate consideration, especially given analysts' projections for future earnings and revenue growth; also, one Wall Street analyst has a $99.00 price target on the stock. The 52-week high for Concho was $93.34.
If you are a shareholder of Concho and believe the proposed buyout price is too low or you're interested in learning more about the investigation, please contact lead analyst Jim Baker (email@example.com) at 619-814-4471. If emailing, please include a phone number.
Additionally, you can [Click here to join this action]. There is no cost or obligation to you.
About Johnson Fistel, LLP:Johnson Fistel, LLP is a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm with offices in California, New York, and Georgia. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits. For more information about the firm and its attorneys, please visit https://www.johnsonfistel.com. Attorney advertising. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes.
Contact:Johnson Fistel, LLPJim Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
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