Zoom Becomes the First Video Communications Client to Attain Common Criteria Certification

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) today announced that Zoom Meeting Client version 5.6.6 has become the first video communications client to attain certification for Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 2 (v3.1 rev. 5), issued by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI).

Common Criteria is an international standard for objectively evaluating that an IT product satisfies a defined set of security requirements. The evaluation involves analyzing a specific set of security targets, including guidance documentation, architectural design, life cycle aspects, testing and vulnerability assessment. The Zoom Meeting Client v5.6.6 has been evaluated by the BSI against the Common Criteria standard and found to exhibit a clear chain of evidence that the process of specification, implementation, and evaluation has been conducted in a rigorous and standard manner.

Mutually recognized in more than 25 countries including the UK, US, Canada, and Germany, Common Criteria is regarded as a leading benchmark for IT product security certification. A growing number of users expect IT vendors to produce trusted and reliable evidence for the cybersecurity capabilities of their products.

"This Common Criteria certification represents a major milestone for Zoom," said Jason Lee, Chief Information Security Officer at Zoom. "We're the first video communications client to receive this important certification, reinforcing our commitment to our customers. Security and privacy are the cornerstones of everything we do, and we are continually innovating secure solutions for all users of our platform."

At present, the BSI has certified Zoom version 5.6.6 for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. While version 5.6.6 was the version of Zoom client available at the time of the certification, we always recommend customers utilize the newest version of the client to take advantage of Zoom's latest security updates and features.

"The Common Criteria certification is a global benchmark in cybersecurity," said Sandro Amendola, Head of Standardization/Certification/Telecommunications Networks Security Department, BSI. "The Zoom client demonstrated a high security standard across its product, successfully completing one of the most demanding evaluation procedures a company can undertake."

To learn more about Zoom's Common Criteria certification, please visit the BSI website and the Zoom Trust Center.

About Zoom
Zoom is for you. We help you express ideas, connect to others, and build toward a future limited only by your imagination. Our frictionless communications platform is the only one that started with video as its foundation, and we have set the standard for innovation ever since. That is why we are an intuitive, scalable, and secure choice for individuals, small businesses, and large enterprises alike. Founded in 2011, Zoom is publicly traded (NASDAQ: ZM) and headquartered in San Jose, California. Visit zoom.com and follow @zoom.

Zoom Public Relations
Matt Nagel
press@zoom.us


General Fusion achieves critical technology milestone for practical fusion power

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — General Fusion announced today it has successfully achieved several aggressive performance goals of a prototype system for its Fusion Demonstration Plant (FDP). The company's plasma compression prototype, located at its Vancouver, Canada laboratory, is being used to demonstrate a critical element of its proprietary Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology. This important milestone marks another significant step toward General Fusion's goal of creating practical and commercially viable fusion power.

Commissioned in early 2021, the prototype machine drives a forceful, but precisely shaped, symmetric collapse of a large liquid vortex cavity in tens of milliseconds. The forces involved in the full–scale FDP compression system will be immense, pushing the limits of material science, fluid dynamics, and mechanical design. Achieving this milestone with the prototype significantly reduces engineering and technical risks for General Fusion's FDP. It will use a collapsing liquid metal cavity to heat and compress plasma fuel to fusion conditions at 100 million degrees Celsius.

The idea of using a collapsing liquid metal cavity to create fusion has been around for decades, but General Fusion has been able to bring new enabling technologies such as high–speed digital control systems, additive manufacturing, and advanced composite materials to make this concept viable and to de–risk its implementation in the FDP. Driving a rapid, smooth, and spherically shaped collapse of a cavity created inside a rotating liquid has been a difficult engineering challenge that General Fusion has now demonstrated in this prototype machine. It is the pathfinder for a larger prototype being built in 2022 to validate further refinements to various engineering aspects of this technology.

"Net energy production is essential, but not really the ultimate goal of commercializing fusion energy, which is building economical, carbon–free fusion power plants," said Christofer Mowry, CEO, General Fusion. "Our unique technology, two decades in the making, solves the long–standing challenges of building practical fusion power plants for the world's energy markets struggling to move away from fossil fuels. The successful performance of this important prototype validates we are on the path to success."

General Fusion's unique MTF technology overcomes several key challenges of creating practical fusion energy. MTF will economically create fusion conditions, efficiently convert fusion energy into carbon–free electricity, protect the fusion machine from burning fusion plasma, and produce enough fusion fuel for its own use. General Fusion's prototype compression system validates one of the most critical parts of its MTF technology because a mechanically collapsed liquid cavity is a cornerstone for MTF overcoming all these challenges.

About General Fusion
General Fusion is pursuing the fastest and most practical path to commercial fusion energy and is based in Vancouver, Canada, with locations in London, U.K., and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. The company was established in 2002 and is funded by a global syndicate of leading energy venture capital firms, industry leaders, and technology pioneers. Learn more at www.generalfusion.com.

General Fusion Media Relations
media@generalfusion.com
+1–866–904–0995

Follow General Fusion

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linkedin.com/company/general–fusion

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a8d18aac–c6fb–4486–ad73–6d0c0ea1cb81


General Fusion achieves critical technology milestone for practical fusion power

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Jan. 10, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — General Fusion announced today it has successfully achieved several aggressive performance goals of a prototype system for its Fusion Demonstration Plant (FDP). The company's plasma compression prototype, located at its Vancouver, Canada laboratory, is being used to demonstrate a critical element of its proprietary Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) technology. This important milestone marks another significant step toward General Fusion's goal of creating practical and commercially viable fusion power.

Commissioned in early 2021, the prototype machine drives a forceful, but precisely shaped, symmetric collapse of a large liquid vortex cavity in tens of milliseconds. The forces involved in the full–scale FDP compression system will be immense, pushing the limits of material science, fluid dynamics, and mechanical design. Achieving this milestone with the prototype significantly reduces engineering and technical risks for General Fusion's FDP. It will use a collapsing liquid metal cavity to heat and compress plasma fuel to fusion conditions at 100 million degrees Celsius.

The idea of using a collapsing liquid metal cavity to create fusion has been around for decades, but General Fusion has been able to bring new enabling technologies such as high–speed digital control systems, additive manufacturing, and advanced composite materials to make this concept viable and to de–risk its implementation in the FDP. Driving a rapid, smooth, and spherically shaped collapse of a cavity created inside a rotating liquid has been a difficult engineering challenge that General Fusion has now demonstrated in this prototype machine. It is the pathfinder for a larger prototype being built in 2022 to validate further refinements to various engineering aspects of this technology.

"Net energy production is essential, but not really the ultimate goal of commercializing fusion energy, which is building economical, carbon–free fusion power plants," said Christofer Mowry, CEO, General Fusion. "Our unique technology, two decades in the making, solves the long–standing challenges of building practical fusion power plants for the world's energy markets struggling to move away from fossil fuels. The successful performance of this important prototype validates we are on the path to success."

General Fusion's unique MTF technology overcomes several key challenges of creating practical fusion energy. MTF will economically create fusion conditions, efficiently convert fusion energy into carbon–free electricity, protect the fusion machine from burning fusion plasma, and produce enough fusion fuel for its own use. General Fusion's prototype compression system validates one of the most critical parts of its MTF technology because a mechanically collapsed liquid cavity is a cornerstone for MTF overcoming all these challenges.

About General Fusion
General Fusion is pursuing the fastest and most practical path to commercial fusion energy and is based in Vancouver, Canada, with locations in London, U.K., and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, U.S.A. The company was established in 2002 and is funded by a global syndicate of leading energy venture capital firms, industry leaders, and technology pioneers. Learn more at www.generalfusion.com.

General Fusion Media Relations
media@generalfusion.com
+1–866–904–0995

Follow General Fusion

twitter.com/generalfusion

instagram.com/generalfusion

linkedin.com/company/general–fusion

facebook.com/generalfusion

youtube.com/c/GeneralFusionInc

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a8d18aac–c6fb–4486–ad73–6d0c0ea1cb81


China Opens Embassy in Nicaragua for First Time since 1990 after Taiwan Ties Cut

By Genevieve Donnellon-May
AUSTRALIA, Jan 10 2022 – For the first time since 1990, China has (re)opened an embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, less than a month after Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan. The (re)opening of the embassy on January 1, 2022 comes amidst the backdrop of US-China tensions, particularly over trade and Taiwan, as well as worsening Cross-Straits relations.

Genevieve Donnellon-May

China and Nicaragua officially (re)established diplomatic relations last month. On December 10, Asia time, diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua were officially established. The official “Joint Communiqué on the Resumption of Diplomatic Relations Between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Nicaragua” was signed in Tianjin, China, by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu and Laureano Ortega, an advisor for investment, trade, and international cooperation to Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega – and, more importantly, the president’s son. As per the Joint Communiqué, Nicaragua recognises that Taiwan is part of China’s territory.

In response, Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) responded by stating that Taiwan “deeply regrets” that President Daniel Ortega has disregarded the long-standing friendship between the two countries. MOFA noted that it has worked with the Central American country for many years to promote cooperation that “is beneficial to the people’s livelihood and assists the overall development of the country,” according to a MOFA press release. MOFA also reiterated that “Taiwan is not a part of the People’s Republic of China, and that the PRC has never governed Taiwan. The Taiwanese people will not bow to pressure from China.”

Days after the (re)establishment of China-Nicaragua relations, China sent 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines to Nicaragua as part of its vaccine diplomacy. The 2000,000 doses, which were the first of 1 million, were accompanied by a Nicaraguan delegation led by President Ortega’s son, Laureano Ortega Murillo. The Nicaraguan foreign minister, Denis Moncada, thanked China for its vaccine donation and noted that was an “ideological affinity” between the two countries.

China and Nicaragua originally established formal relations almost forty years ago. In 1985, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega established relations with China. After he lost the election in 1990, the president Violeta Chamorro recognised Taiwan. In 2007, however, Ortega returned to power and was re-elected in November 2021 for a fourth term. A month after his re-election, Nicaragua cut ties with Taiwan, following months of worsening relations between Ortega and U.S. President Biden’s administration.

In addition, Nicaragua’s decision to establish formal relations with Beijing means that the number of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies has decreased to 14, down from 22 when President Tsai Ing-wen took office in 2016. Previously, China and Taiwan had observed a so-called “diplomatic truce” in place during the previous Ma Ying-jeou administration and the Kuomintang (KMT) wherein China did not diplomatic overtures to Taiwan’s diplomatic partners.

As a result of the change in recognition and China’s inroads in Central America, Taiwan appears to be increasingly isolated on the international stage. Most countries switched to Beijing by the end of the 1970s, after Taiwan (as the Republic of China or ROC) lost its seat in the United Nations in 1971 to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Aside from Nicaragua, recent transfers of recognition from Taipei to Beijing have been undertaken by the following countries: Solomon Islands (2019), Kiribati (2019), El Salvador (2018), Dominican Republic (2018), Panama (2017), Gambia (2016), and Sao Tome and Principe (2016).

After Nicaragua, many eyes are now on Honduras, a small Central American country, and its newly elected president, Xiomara Castro. In November 2021, the outgoing Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez began a three-day surprise visit to Taiwan. The visit came amidst concerns from Taiwanese officials in Honduras that the next Honduran president may sever ties with Taipei and establish formal diplomatic ties with Beijing.

Establishing ties with Beijing was one of the pledges made by Castro during her presidential campaign in 2021. A switch in relations from Taipei to Beijing, she declared, would give Honduras access to economic opportunities as well as Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines and low-cost medicine. Although Castro will not be sworn in as president until later this month, her pledge may put Honduras in the middle of an intensifying diplomatic tug-of-war between Taiwan and China and becoming the new front against intensifying global showdown between the two superpowers. These geopolitical tensions combined with the financial needs of Central American governments, the resurgence of populist leaders in the region, and China’s growing economic importance, combined with China’s vaccine diplomacy and the absence of a truce between Taipei and Beijing, all influence Central America’s relations with both the U.S. and China. And currently, they are the driving factors in pushing Central American countries “away from the US and towards China”, as noted by Evan Ellis, a professor at the US Army War College who researches Latin America’s relationships with China.

At the same time, a move to establishing diplomatic relations with China could be partly motivated by a desire to counter American hegemony in the country and the region. Washington has long dominated Central America both economically and politically, viewing it as its strategic backyard. Before the presidential election, China accused the US of “arm-twisting and bullying behaviour” after Washington reiterated that it wanted Honduras to maintain its longstanding diplomatic relations with Taiwan. However, the U.S. holds considerable sway over Honduras. In particular, remittances, mainly from people living in the U.S., make up more than 20% of Honduras’ gross domestic product, according to the Brookings Institute. This economic reality, combined with significant U.S. aid to Honduras, also means that Washington does have influence over local politics.

However, in recent years, Honduras has seen rapid increases in inequality, corruption, violence, and poverty have further driven migration to the US. Unemployment has risen above 10% while major hurricanes devastated northern Honduras in 2020. Honduras is now the third poorest country in the Americas: over 66% of the population live in poverty. According to the World Bank, the pandemic considerably impacted the country’s economy, with the national GDP expected to have contracted by 9% in 2020.

Nonetheless, China’s influence in Honduras continues to grow. In 2020, Chinese state-owned companies finished the construction of 105MW hydropower dam in the country. Also, more external debt is owed to China than to the U.S. According to World Bank data, 4% of Honduras’ outstanding external debt is owed to China, while only 0.01% to the US. Further, China already accounting for as much as a fifth of Honduran imports. In this way, any potential financial benefits, such as loans and investments from establishing formal ties with China, or even playing Washington and Beijing off each other, may be considered too important to ignore.

Genevieve Donnellon-May is a research assistant with the Institute of Water Policy (IWP) at the National University of Singapore. Her research interests include China, Africa, transboundary governance, and the food-energy-water nexus. Genevieve’s work has been published by The Diplomat and the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum.

 


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The Time to Protect Our Oceans is Now

Whale sharks, the largest of living sharks, filter-feed on plankton and other small marine creatures, which they suck into their open mouths as they swim. Credit: Enric Sala, National Geographic Pristine Seas

By Enric Sala
WASHINGTON DC, Jan 10 2022 – There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island–covered with tropical forests–are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.

Also boasting rays, turtles, whales and dolphins, It’s one of the world’s most biodiverse waterways. In recent years, however, industrial fishing activity has encroached on the area, threatening this unparalleled marine life.

Fortunately, Costa Rica took decisive action this month by expanding the protected waters by 27 times. They also protected an additional marine area–the Bicentennial Marine Managed Area, which is twice the size of the expanded Cocos Island National Park. The area includes no take zones and will closely monitor fishing activity.

Stories like this one are all too rare. In the last century alone, we have removed over 90% of the ocean’s large fish, yet less than 8% of the ocean is under some kind of protection. We’re still learning about the collateral damage from destructive fishing activities, like bottom trawling, which scrape up the ocean floor—the world’s largest carbon storehouse.

It’s clear that commercial fishing, global warming and pollution have decimated the ocean. Few corners of the vast ocean are safe. As a result, the seas are losing their ability to safeguard biodiversity, provide food and store carbon—all of which are critical to maintaining a livable planet, which was under intense discussion at the climate talks in Glasgow late last year.

But it is possible to restore the ocean’s benefits to people and the planet. All we must do is rewild the sea. The only catch is that we can’t wait. We have less than a decade to act.

Since 2018, I have worked around the clock and around the world with a team of scientists to identify which areas of the ocean we must protect first. We have discovered through our research and countless expeditions the trade-offs among the ocean’s benefits.

To support our work, we developed a framework that could help us maximize the benefits that humanity obtains from the ocean. We found that if we were to give equal importance to biodiversity, food and carbon, it is imperative to protect 45% of the ocean – the “right” 45%.

Even if we decided that biodiversity is not so important, we would need to protect 30%–the minimum area needed to preserve marine life and all of the benefits it provides to people.

Costa Rica is part of a growing group of world leaders that understand the benefits of protecting marine areas. At the Glasgow climate talks, Costa Rica, together with Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama, announced their commitment to create more marine reserves in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.

Establishing no-take areas along an “ocean highway” for migratory species such as tuna will actually increase fish supplies in the surrounding areas. As a result, biodiversity and economies benefit.

Earlier this month, the government of Portugal expanded a marine protected area around the Selvagens Islands, located midway between Madeira and Canary Islands. At 3,677 square kilometers, the area is now the largest fully protected marine reserve in Europe.

Countries worldwide must establish more of these protected areas by 2030 if we are to ensure that the ocean can continue to provide us with its benefits. Protections must be strong. Marine protected areas can only work their magic if all fishing and other damaging human activities are banned—and these rules are enforced.

So far, 77 countries have agreed to champion a global goal to protect 30% of the ocean—and well as land—by 2030. They are pushing to ensure that the 30×30 target is enshrined in a global UN biodiversity agreement, under negotiation now and expected to be signed in 2022.

But the world doesn’t have to wait for the ink to dry on the agreement to establish more marine protected areas. Too much is at stake. I have seen with my own eyes how nature recovers in marine reserves. More importantly, I have seen how this return of nature has helped people gain better lives.

Enric Sala is an Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society, the founder of Pristine Seas, and the recipient of this year’s Prince Albert I Grand Medal for his work to protect the ocean. Pristine Seas has helped to establish 24 marine protected areas, covering a total area of more than 6.5 million square kilometers — more than twice the size of India.

 


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MeMed raises $93M to accelerate commercialization of its host immune-response product portfolio

MeMed raises $93M to accelerate commercialization of its
host immune–response product portfolio

MeMed BV test recently cleared for use by US FDA to aid in distinguishing between bacterial and viral infection on the point–of–need platform MeMed Key

HAIFA, Israel; BOSTON, MA; January 10th, 2022 "" MeMed, a leader in host response technologies, today announces a $93 million private financing round, bringing total funding in the Company to over $200 million, including support from the U.S. Department of Defense and EU Commission. Funds will be used to scale up manufacturing, accelerate commercialization and expand MeMed's pioneering host immune response product portfolio.

MeMed's technology suite decodes the body's immune response within minutes, providing physicians with important patient management solutions that tackle key clinical dilemmas. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted a landmark clearance for the use of the MeMed BV test on the point–of–need platform MeMed Key , to help healthcare providers distinguish between bacterial and viral infections in both children and adults. MeMed has also developed the MeMed COVID–19 Severity test for predicting severe outcomes in COVID–19 patients, which has been cleared for use in Europe.

The latest financing brings together new and existing investors including Horizons Ventures, Shavit Capital, Social Capital, La Maison Partners, Touchwood Capital, Caesara Medical Holdings, Union Tech Ventures, ClaI Insurance, Phoenix Insurance, Poalim Equity and Western Technology Investment.

Eran Eden, MeMed's co–founder and CEO, said: "This new investment will enable MeMed to expand operations with a focus on the U.S. We are grateful to our investors for their support and will leverage the funds, the recent FDA clearance, and our growing network of partnerships to provide broad patient access to our technology, as well as expand our product portfolio of pioneering host response solutions."

Patrick Zhang, Horizons Ventures, said: "We strongly believe that MeMed's strategy of using host immune response technologies is a significant advance in the improvement of two major issues in healthcare today: the rise of antimicrobial resistance due to unnecessary prescription of antibiotics and effectively triaging patients infected with COVID–19. We look forward to playing a role in how MeMed, a category leader in this area, is transforming the way diseases are diagnosed and treated to improve patient healthcare across the globe."

END

About MeMed
Our mission is to translate the immune system's complex signals into simple insights that transform the way diseases are diagnosed and treated, profoundly benefiting patients and society. For additional information on MeMed, please visit http://www.me–med.com.

MeMed Contacts:
Media: Will Harris, VP Marketing, MeMed
pr@me–med.com

IR: Kfir Emmer, CFO, MeMed
kfir.emmer@me–med.com

Media Contacts:
Consilium Strategic Communications
MeMed@consilium–comms.com

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Nyxoah Provides General Corporate Update

Nyxoah Provides General Corporate Update

Transformational 2021 positions Nyxoah for further clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones in 2022

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgium "" January 10, 2022, 7:00am CET / 1:00am ET "" Nyxoah SA (Euronext Brussels/Nasdaq: NYXH)("Nyxoah" or the "Company"), a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), today provided a general corporate update.

2021 Highlights

  • Implanted first U.S. patient in the DREAM IDE pivotal study in December 2020; there are currently 15 active and enrolling patient sites in the U.S., with implants expected to be completed in Q1 2022
  • Secured CE Mark MR conditional labeling for the Genio system in January, ensuring that implanted patients can undergo full–body 1.5T and 3T MRI diagnostic scans
  • Raised $97.8 million in a Nasdaq initial public offering in July, successfully completing Nyxoah's second IPO after previously raising $100 million in the September 2020 Euronext Brussels IPO
  • Granted U.S. FDA Breakthrough Device Designation for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe OSA and Complete Concentric Collapse (CCC) of the soft palate in September; engaged in sprint discussions with FDA regarding the IDE study for CCC patients in the U.S., which Nyxoah hopes to commence in the second half of 2022
  • Received expanded CE Mark indication to treat CCC patients in October, thus increasing Nyxoah's total addressable market by at least 30% and thereby enabling patients not to have to undergo a Drug–Induced Sleep Endoscopy (DISE) procedure prior to Genio implantation
  • Made strong commercial progress in Germany after obtaining a dedicated DRG code in January
  • Obtained DRG coding in Switzerland in March and secured first revenue in Spain; submitted reimbursement files in other key European markets
  • Entered exclusive licensing agreement with Vanderbilt University in February to develop next generation neurostimulation technologies, specifically a stimulator focused on the Ansa Cervicalis, which innervates the palatoglossus and/or the palatopharyngeus muscle; this collaboration has thus far resulted in initial prototyping discussions, and Nyxoah expects to make further progress on this project in 2022
  • Appointed Loic Moreau as Chief Financial Officer effective January 1, 2022, replacing Fabian Suarez, who is pursuing a new opportunity as CEO of a startup MedTech company
  • Announced the appointment of Rita Johnson–Mills to the Board of Directors in August

"2021 was a transformational year for Nyxoah as we achieved several important clinical, regulatory, commercial, and financial accomplishments and set ourselves up for continued progress in 2022 and beyond," said Olivier Taelman, CEO of Nyxoah. "On the clinical front, we announced that our BETTER SLEEP clinical trial achieved a statistically significant mean reduction in the Apnea Hypopnea Index (AHI) from baseline to six months post implantation for the entire cohort as well as for the subgroup of patients with Complete Concentric Collapse (CCC) of the soft palate. We will be submitting the full data set for journal publication and look forward to discussing more fully once the data are published, hopefully in the first half of 2022. We are extremely encouraged by the data generated by BETTER SLEEP, which were used by our notified body DEKRA to expand our CE Mark indication to include CCC patients as well as by FDA in granting us Breakthrough Device Designation for the treatment of CCC patients in the U.S. We are also excited to partner with Dr. David Kent and his team at Vanderbilt University on the development of a next generation device that stimulates the Ansa Cervicalis, which Dr. Kent's research suggests could be another effective way to treat OSA patients, and we look forward to advancing our work in creating a stimulator that leverages this novel approach."

Mr. Taelman continued, "As we begin 2022, our primary clinical focus is on our DREAM U.S. IDE pivotal study in which patient enrollment and implants are well underway, and we still expect to complete our target of 134 implants by the end of Q1 2022. We continue to generate great enthusiasm from physicians and patients as we activate more sites and enroll more patients, and we are seeing implant rates accelerating as we move into the new year. We have also been encouraged by our sprint discussions with FDA regarding our IDE trial for CCC patients in the U.S., which we hope to commence in the second half of 2022. From a commercial standpoint, we have made tremendous progress in our key geographic markets, securing DRG codes in Germany and Switzerland, obtaining hospital reimbursement in Spain and awaiting reimbursement decisions in Belgium, the Netherlands, and the Nordic countries. Our commercial strategy centers on the concept of going deep as opposed to going wide; in other words, we want to focus our strategy on key Centers of Excellence with high levels of clinical expertise and patient care, large patient pools, and well–coordinated clinical and administrative infrastructures. This strategy, combined with our ability to treat CCC patients, has enabled us to gain meaningful market share in Germany, and we expect to exit 2022 as the market leader in that important country."

Mr. Taelman concluded, "As proud and excited as we are of our significant accomplishments in 2021, we have our sights set much higher for 2022. Aiding our efforts is a strong balance sheet that we bolstered in July with close to $100 million raised in our Nasdaq IPO, less than one year after raising close to $100 million in our Euronext IPO in September 2020. This liquidity gives us ample flexibility to complete the DREAM study, conduct the ACCCESS study, invest further in our existing commercial operations, and begin to build out a U.S. commercial operation in anticipation of launch following FDA approval. We are extremely well positioned to execute on our clinical, regulatory, and commercial initiatives, and we look forward to providing further updates on our progress as the year unfolds."

About Nyxoah
Nyxoah is a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Nyxoah's lead solution is the Genio system, a patient–centered, leadless and battery–free hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy for OSA, the world's most common sleep disordered breathing condition that is associated with increased mortality risk and cardiovascular comorbidities. Nyxoah is driven by the vision that OSA patients should enjoy restful nights and feel enabled to live their life to its fullest.

Following the successful completion of the BLAST OSA study, the Genio system received its European CE Mark in 2019. Nyxoah completed two successful IPOs: on Euronext Brussels in September 2020 and NASDAQ in July 2021. Following the positive outcomes of the BETTER SLEEP study, Nyxoah received CE mark approval for the expansion of its therapeutic indications to Complete Concentric Collapse (CCC) patients, currently contraindicated in competitors' therapy. Additionally, the Company is currently conducting the DREAM IDE pivotal study for FDA and US commercialization approval.

For more information, please visit http://www.nyxoah.com/

Caution "" CE marked since 2019. Investigational device in the United States. Limited by U.S. federal law to investigational use in the United States.

Forward–looking statements
Certain statements, beliefs and opinions in this press release are forward–looking, which reflect the Company's or, as appropriate, the Company directors' or managements' current expectations regarding the Genio system; planned and ongoing clinical studies of the Genio system; the potential advantages of the Genio system; Nyxoah's goals with respect to the development, regulatory pathway and potential use of the Genio system; the utility of clinical data in potentially obtaining FDA approval of the Genio system; and the Company's results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, performance, prospects, growth and strategies. By their nature, forward–looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward–looking statements. These risks, uncertainties, assumptions and factors could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. A multitude of factors including, but not limited to, changes in demand, competition and technology, can cause actual events, performance or results to differ significantly from any anticipated development. Forward looking statements contained in this press release regarding past trends or activities are not guarantees of future performance and should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. In addition, even if actual results or developments are consistent with the forward–looking statements contained in this press release, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in future periods. No representations and warranties are made as to the accuracy or fairness of such forward–looking statements. As a result, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release any updates or revisions to any forward–looking statements in this press release as a result of any change in expectations or any change in events, conditions, assumptions or circumstances on which these forward–looking statements are based, except if specifically required to do so by law or regulation. Neither the Company nor its advisers or representatives nor any of its subsidiary undertakings or any such person's officers or employees guarantees that the assumptions underlying such forward–looking statements are free from errors nor does either accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the forward–looking statements contained in this press release or the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. You should not place undue reliance on forward–looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.

Contacts:
Nyxoah
Loic Moreau, Chief Financial Officer
corporate@nyxoah.com
+32 473 33 19 80

Jeremy Feffer, VP IR and Corporate Communications
jeremy.feffer@nyxoah.com
+1 917 749 1494

Gilmartin Group
Vivian Cervantes
IR@nyxoah.com

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Clean Water, Decent Toilets, Hygiene Challenge for Southern African Community

A waste collection bin awaiting the city council’s collection. Markets are one of the places the SADC hygiene strategy is targeting. The picture was taken around 5 am as people gathered for the market day. It is a stone’s throw away from the health centre featured in the story. ​Credit: Charles Mpaka​/IPS​​

By Charles Mpaka
Blantyre, Malawi, Jan 10 2022 – The toilets in the maternity wing of Namatapa Health Centre in the populous Bangwe Township in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fell into disrepair a few years ago. So, pregnant women who come to deliver their babies and their guardians use two pit latrines.

The faulty facilities also serve as bathrooms.

Visiting the bathrooms and toilets is an act of courage, says Thokozani Paulo, who spent four days at the centre in November 2021, during the birth of her first child.

“When you want to bath or relieve yourself, the image is dreadful because half the time, there is a mess, and the stench is terrible,” she tells IPS.

At night, there is no light, and the rooms are swarming with mosquitoes.

In addition, there is not much dignity and privacy for users either. There are no doors, so women improvise using their wraps for privacy.

“So, you are bathing, and someone comes in looking to relieve themselves,” says the 23-year-old in an interview with IPS at her home. Her month-old baby girl is sleeping peacefully on her lap.

Workers at the facility clean the two toilets – but without detergent and only once every day in the morning. One day, the women in the ward and their guardians pleaded with the workers to clean the toilets at least twice a day.
“They shouted at us saying we were not the ones paying their salaries and that we should just focus on what we had gone to the health centre for,” Paulo says.

The only basin for handwashing in the ward was never supplied with soap in the four days she was at the health centre.

In November, this experience, and the experiences of many others like Paulo were top of the agenda at a meeting of health ministers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.
At that meeting, among other things, the ministers endorsed the SADC Hygiene Strategy (2021-2025).

According to the strategy developed by the SADC Secretariat, analysis of national blueprints in the region on health, water, sanitation, environmental health, and nutrition indicates there is “an enabling environment” for implementation of hygiene practices.

However, there are still considerable gaps in most of the 16 member states.

“There is still need to mainstream and integrate hygiene in most of the national policies in order to broaden the enabling environment base for effective and sustainable promotion of hygiene practices,” it reads.

The framework, therefore, challenges SADC governments to increase hygiene coverage and behaviour change across all settings. These settings include health care facilities, schools and day-care centres, workplaces and commercial buildings, prisons, markets and food establishments, transport centres and places of worship.

The key hygiene behaviours include handwashing with soap, safe drinking water management, faecal disposal, food hygiene, menstrual hygiene, and waste management.

In the case of health care centres, these need to have a safe and accessible water supply, clean and safe sanitation conveniences, hand hygiene amenities at points of care and toilets, appropriate waste disposal systems and environmental cleaning.

According to the strategy, infrastructure that supports hygiene and healthcare waste management practices helps prevent the spread of diseases within the health service facilities and in the surrounding community.
The strategy was developed with the support of UNICEF and WaterAid Southern Africa.

Maureen Nkandu, Regional Communications Manager for WaterAid Southern Africa, says the policy underlines the need for leadership, commitment, and accountability “to create a culture of hygienic behaviour and practices across all levels of society and to enable hygiene services, behaviour change and promote basic sanitation”.

“For these objectives to be effective, there will be a requirement for strong planning, financial resourcing, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation systems in each of the SADC countries,” Nkandu tells IPS.

She says WaterAid has rallied key partners, including WASH-oriented civil society and development agencies, to demand adequate resources to implement the strategy effectively.

Further, achieving sustainable hygiene behaviour across generations needs innovative behaviour change programmes of scale. This can be realised through adequate financing, coordination of relevant sectors and political leadership, Nkandu says.

For Malawi, the strategy presents an opportunity for the country to push harder towards attaining Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) targets related to hygiene, says Maziko Matemba, a community health ambassador appointed by the Ministry of Health.

Matemba corroborates Paulo’s experience, observing that many healthcare facilities in Malawi are a source of infection for patients, guardians, and visitors because of poor hygiene.

“Sanitation and hygiene in most of our public health facilities is a serious concern. People go to hospitals to get treated, but we have cases where patients and guardians have returned home with new health conditions contracted due to poor hygiene,” he says, citing washrooms as hotspots.

Matemba argues that healthcare facilities could promote good hygiene in Malawi and SADC.

“People gather in these facilities to seek services. That’s a huge advantage to drive home awareness messages and demonstrate by own standards how people can promote good hygiene in their homes,” says Matemba, who is also Executive Director for Health and Rights Education Programme (HREP), a local organisation.

But in all this, funding is a major factor, he observes.

“Hospital administrators tell us that if they have no money for a primary commodity like drugs, hence these perennial drug shortages we see, how can mops, handwashing materials and chemicals to clean toilets with become a priority?”

Matemba tells IPS that although civil society organisations have been campaigning for ages for the government to address the critical shortage of funding to hospitals, not much has changed.

“Development budget is always inadequate. Recurrent expenditures, already less than required, are further cut, and the little that remains hardly goes to the facilities in time. Treasury always says the resource envelope is limited,” says Matemba.

He says the strategy challenges Malawi as SADC Chair to lead the way for member states to improve the hygiene situation in the region by fixing their own.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Adrian Chikumbe, tells IPS that the SADC strategy is an important approach in minimising transmission of infection in health facilities and communities.

According to Chikumbe, a recent assessment by the ministry reveals that almost a third of Malawi’s health care facilities lack running water and 80 percent of patient latrines had no associated hand washing facility.

The assessment also found that environmental cleanliness was generally below average, characterised by poor waste management practices.

He says most of the lower-level facilities in the country lack resources to maintain functional WASH infrastructure.

“The Government recognises that it cannot do everything alone. It, therefore, has plans to mobilise partner support led by district authorities to plan and prioritise water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure in all health facilities,” he says.

How Place of Birth Shapes Chances of Going to University

Regions with higher than average university attainment in the 1960s continue to have higher university attainment rates today.

By External Source
Jan 10 2022 – Many newly independent African countries in the 1960s inherited regional and ethnic inequalities in formal educational attainment. These new states bound together sub-national regions of diverse ethnic and religious communities. The regions differed in their exposure to missionary activity – the main vector in the spread of formal western education in the colonial era.

Inequalities in educational access increased the higher up the educational ladder one climbed. Access to university education was both extremely limited and highly skewed.

As access to higher education determined which people would come to hold some of the most important positions in society, politicians cared a great deal about how higher education spread. Given this context, how did regional inequalities in university access evolve after independence?

While several recent papers have highlighted considerable social inequalities in access to higher education in African countries today, there’s little work that looks at how and why such inequalities have changed over time.

In a recent paper I therefore traced the regional origins of university graduates since the 1960s in seven African countries: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. I constructed a measure of regional inequality for each country and examined some of the factors that influenced this inequality trend.

The results show that regional inequality fell in the first two decades of independence. However, from the 1980s regional inequality remained stagnant or grew across this group of countries. Inequality grew primarily because the main urban metropolises have been pulling ahead, leading to a growing urban bias in university access.

I used recent census data which contains information about where people were born and what level of education they attained. I grouped these people by their district or province of birth, depending on the administrative structure of the country. In Ghana for instance, people were grouped into the country’s ten regions, while in Kenya they were grouped into the country’s 47 current counties.

By grouping people by age bracket, and assuming that most people who attend university do so around age 20, I could then trace how the regional distribution of university education changed over time.

 

Slow start

University education was slow to develop across these former British colonies. The share of the population attending university in the late colonial era was extremely low.

 

Gross university enrolment rates. Rebecca Simson

 

Around the time of independence, Kenya had roughly 400 university students (1961), while Tanzania and Zambia had 300 students each (1963). The distribution of these scarce educational opportunities was regionally skewed. University attendance tended to be highest among those growing up in the main cities and in the regions with the most economic production (particularly cash crops and mining).

This historical legacy has been long lasting. On average, the regions with higher than average university attainment in the 1960s continue to have higher university attainment rates today.

 

Trends in access

But the picture is not all bleak. In the first decades of independence there was some catching-up by some of the lower performing regions within each country. The regional inequality trend for each of the seven countries shows that inequality fell in most countries in the 1960s and 1970s. In this period the number of university students was growing quite rapidly. Bursaries for students were generous and governments made some efforts to ensure regional balance.

In the 1980s many African countries ran into financial difficulties. Governments struggled to finance their largely public university systems. During this period, the rate of university expansion reduced. University access became increasingly competitive. This ended the period of regional convergence in university enrolment. Regional inequalities in university access began to grow again.

My analysis found that those best placed to access the highly competitive university system were increasingly those students born in the main cities where incomes were higher and parents more educated. Measures of regional inequality with the exclusion of the capital cities show there was no or very little growth in regional inequality since the 1980s. This shows that most of the inequality rise was driven by the capital city region.

In the 1990s many African countries reformed their university systems again by introducing or raising fees. They also allowed more private universities to establish themselves. This increased the number of students that could be educated and led to the rapid rise in university enrolment. But from the available data it seems that regional inequalities in university access have remained high or risen further.

 

Concentrated in cities

There are many reasons for this continued growth in inequality in access. The most important factor is one that’s difficult for policymakers to address. The census data shows that the focus countries have a considerable rate of rural-urban migration. These migrants are a small share of the university educated. As a result, university graduates are increasingly concentrated in the cities. University students tend to be the children of the highly educated – they’re in turn more likely to gain higher education. This perpetuates the concentration of the highly skilled.

The slightly better news is that because cities tend to be ethnically mixed, the growing urban bias does not seem to have resulted in a sharp increase in ethnic inequality in university education. In three countries (Ghana, Malawi and Uganda) the censuses also asked respondents to state their ethnicity. Using these self-reported ethnicities, I measured ethnic inequality by cohort. I found much less inequality growth on an ethnic compared to a regional basis.

Since migration is a major driver of this regional differentiation, this trend will probably continue unless there’s more economic development and more job creation outside the main urban centres. This implies that the face of Africa’s educational high-achievers is changing. From a slim educational elite of the 1970s, where most university-educated people had rural or small-town roots, the highest educated ranks are increasingly dominated by people born and raised in the main, multi-ethnic urban centres.The Conversation

Rebecca Simson, Research Fellow in Economic History, University of Oxford

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.