Voting Could Be More Difficult for People with Disabilities This Year


Voting is one of our most important civil rights, but it isn’t always accessible for paralyzed veterans and others with disabilities. Recently, Al Kovach, Immediate Past President of Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), teamed with YourUpdateTV on a national campaign to address this important issue.

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/YDwdnEgAn9U

A report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office found less than half of polling locations were accessible to voters with disabilities in the 2016 election. People in wheelchairs have reported inaccessible sidewalks, doorways too narrow for a chair, inadequate handicapped parking and other barriers when voting. This year during the COVID-19 pandemic, things could be even more challenging for voters with disabilities, due to added cleaning and distancing protocols, longer waits, fewer polling locations and the risk of contracting the virus.

Paralyzed Veterans of America represents veterans with spinal cord injury and disease, such as MS and ALS. These men and women served to protect our civil rights like voting. PVA wants to ensure all Americans can vote safely and securely with the ability to choose their preferred method, regardless of their disability. The organization is urging all people with disabilities to visit PVA.org/vote today to learn their rights and start making a voting plan now.

PVA advocates for accessible, safe voting with multiple options available to accommodate a vast array of disabilities. The purpose of the “Access Your Vote” campaign is to make sure that every American who wants to vote is able to do so, regardless of accessibility limitations.

For more information, visit PVA.org/vote

About Al Kovach:

Al Kovach, Jr., of Coronado, CA, served as national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America from July 2014 until June 2017. A member of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs, Kovach was paralyzed in a parachuting accident during a combat training exercise in 1991. Kovach has served at the highest levels of leadership within PVA since 2007. A lifelong athlete and a proponent of adaptive sports, Kovach is a two-time winner of the LA Marathon, a participant of the Paralympic Games, and has completed a 3,700-mile transcontinental triathlon. As a recognized leader in veterans advocacy, Kovach is a sought-after advisor for civic, community and corporate partners who share his commitment to improving the quality of life for veterans and all people living with spinal cord injury or disease.

About Paralyzed Veterans of America:

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For more than 70 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis. As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Learn more at pva.org.

About YourUpdateTV:

YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology.

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UMD iSchool Awarded NSF Grant to Design Personalized Self-Tracking Tech for Older Adults to Improve Physical Activities


Combined with the development of teachable interfaces, the project aims to enhance the motivation of older adults to engage in physical activities and with their own health data.

University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) researchers, in collaboration with Penn State researchers, have been awarded a four-year $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund their Teachable Activity Trackers for Older Adults project. The project team is developing innovative wearable technology tailored to track the movements and activities of older adults, age 60 and over. Combined with the development of teachable interfaces, the project aims to enhance the motivation of older adults to engage in physical activities and with their own health data. In the long term, the project team hopes to make societal impacts in nurturing a culture of diversity and inclusion that benefits the lives of older adults.

“Smart watches and other activity tracking technologies have become widely available over the years, making self-tracking easier than before, but older adults have adopted them less,” said Dr. Eun Kyoung Choe, principal investigator from the UMD team and Associate Professor at the UMD iSchool. “One barrier is that current physical activity trackers do not effectively identify and track older adults’ activities. Wrist-worn devices are able to pick up steps, but they can also pick up other arm movements that could skew step counts.”

Self-tracking physical activities can support people of all ages in understanding their lifestyle behaviors, making healthy choices, and reducing the risks for chronic disease. For older adults in particular, movement behaviors are especially critical as they help to maintain functional abilities and allow them to live independently.

For older adults, this measurement challenge is even greater because they often walk slower so the signal from movement is more subtle. Dr. David Conroy, principal investigator from the Penn State team and Professor of Kinesiology remarked, “We’re going to expand beyond capturing the frequency, intensity, and timing of step counts to detect the type of physical activities that older adults are doing. Developing the technology needed for older adults to teach connected devices how to recognize different types of activities in their daily routine will improve health and safety monitoring and create new possibilities for behavioral interventions to promote healthy aging.”

Based on understanding older adults’ movement and non-movement activities that they wish to change, the UMD and Penn State research teams will design and develop new personalized, multimodal activity trackers that provide opportunities for self-reflection through teachable interfaces. “A revolutionary idea behind teachable interfaces is that the users themselves can teach the system how to recognize their movements more accurately by fine tuning it to their idiosyncratic movements and context,” said Dr. Hernisa Kacorri, co-principal investigator from the UMD team and Assistant Professor at the UMD iSchool.

They also plan to investigate the similarities and differences in usability for subgroups of older adults, such as people with mild dementia, and the adjustments needed to accommodate them.

The UMD and Penn State teams are experts in human-computer interaction, health informatics, interactive machine learning, accessibility, aging, kinesiology, and physical therapy. The UMD team will be leading the design and development efforts, while the Penn State team will provide content area expertise on older adults’ physical activity, interpret findings from the co-design process, and assist with logistics for and interpretation of findings from the in situ deployment studies.

In addition to Dr. Choe, the UMD team includes Dr. Hernisa Kacorri, Assistant Professor in the iSchool and co-PI, Dr. Amanda Lazar, Assistant Professor in the iSchool and co-PI, and Dr. Young-Ho Kim, a postdoctoral researcher from the iSchool.

The UMD iSchool team is also supported by the UMD Division of Research assisting with the initial proposal submission through the “Strategic Growth Fund,” a mechanism designed to incentivise faculty to pursue and be more competitive for high-visibility, externally-funded research awards.

The PSU team includes Dr. David Conroy, principal investigator from the PSU site and Professor of Kinesiology, and Dr. Margaret Danilovich, DPT, PhD and Director of Research, Leonard Schanfield Research Institute at CJE SeniorLife in Skokie, IL.

The Teachable Activity Trackers for Older Adults project (grant no. 1955568 and no. 1955590) is slated to run from Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2024.

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About the University of Maryland College of Information Studies

Founded in 1965 and located just outside of Washington, D.C., the University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool) is top-ten ranked research and teaching college in the field of information science. UMD iSchool faculty, staff, and students are expanding the frontiers of how people access and use information and technology in an evolving world – in government, education, business, social media, and more. The UMD iSchool is committed to using information and technology to empower individuals and communities, create opportunities, ensure equity and justice, and champion diversity. https://ischool.umd.edu/

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LaurelCare Treatment Services Announces Opening of Jefferson Hills Substance Abuse Treatment Facility


LaurelCare’s Jefferson site will give the Southwestern Pennsylvania substance use disorder population a client-centric, full-continuum option for long-term recovery, while reducing overall healthcare costs for this population.

LaurelCare Treatment Services is happy to announce the opening of its second substance abuse treatment facility in Jefferson Hills, PA, slated for July 2020. The LaurelCare team is excited for the opportunity to expand its reach into new communities and for the facility to officially open in the Jefferson Medical Arts building adjacent to Jefferson Hospital.

The country, state, and specifically Western Pennsylvania are in the midst of both an opioid and substance abuse epidemic. The Mon Valley—which LaurelCare’s Jefferson facility will serve—has been particularly impacted by substance abuse issues while lacking adequate access to full continuum, outpatient recovery and treatment services.

The LaurelCare full-continuum, extended and holistic outpatient treatment model and facilities deliver client-oriented, traditional and evidence-based behavioral health treatment. Our unique approach helps patients recover from one or many types of medically classified substance abuse disorders.

LaurelCare has been treating both substance abuse and associated co-morbidities since its inception and is poised to service the increasing demand in the Mon Valley. We are passionate about offering patients high-quality substance abuse treatment and we pride ourselves on focusing on our relationships with our patients and payers alike. This commitment to maintaining relationships allows us to increase the accessibility of treatment to offer it to a more diverse array of individuals in need.

“As a whole, we are honored and privileged to serve our clients and meet them wherever they may be on their individual journey to a substance free lifestyle, both clinically through our continuum of care and physically by being in close proximity. We are incredibly excited for the opening of the Jefferson Hills facility,” remarked Phil Tanner, LaurelCare CEO. “LaurelCare’s Jefferson site will give the Southwestern Pennsylvania substance use disorder population a client-centric, full-continuum option for long-term recovery, while reducing overall healthcare costs for this population.”

About LaurelCare

LaurelCare is a licensed provider of substance abuse treatment programs by the Pennsylvania Department of Health‘s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and accepts all major insurance carriers, inclusive of Medicaid. LaurelCare provides a full continuum extended and holistic outpatient treatment model and has facilities offering Medication Assisted Treatment (Long Term Outpatient Detox +/- 90 days), Intensive Outpatient (4-5 times per week, 1-1.5 hours per day, 8-12 weeks length of treatment), and Partial Hospitalization (4 times per week, 8 hours per day, 2-4 weeks length of treatment) program options. To learn more about our comprehensive list of services, visit our website http://www.laurelcare.com or contact us directly.

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The Vertical Flight Society Announces Design-Build-Vertical Flight Student Competition


The Design-Build-Vertical Flight Student Competition is the successor to the VFS Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Challenge. Shown is the 2018 MAV team from Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology.

The Design-Build-Vertical Flight Student Competition is the successor to the VFS Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Challenge. Shown is the 2018 MAV team from Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology.

The competition is designed to develop hands-on skills and familiarization with electric VTOL and urban air mobility (UAM) technology at the university student level and prepare the next generation of engineers and leaders to push the limits of this exciting technology into the future.

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) today announces the details of the inaugural Design-Build-Vertical Flight (DBVF) Student Competition. This electric-powered remote-control vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) competition seeks to encourage interest in unmanned aircraft technology, and small air vehicle design and fabrication. The competition is designed to develop hands-on skills and familiarization with electric VTOL and urban air mobility (UAM) technology at the university student level and prepare the next generation of engineers and leaders to push the limits of this exciting technology into the future.

The inaugural DBVF competition is the successor to the annual VFS Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Competition. The highly successful MAV competitions began in 2013 and expanded over eight years from a 1.1 lb (500 g) gross weight to 3 lb (1.4 kg), with increasingly challenging levels of mission complexity.

The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) is the platinum sponsor and the host for the first DBVF competition. The flyoff competition will be held at ARL’s Robotics Research Collaboration Campus (R2C2) at Graces Quarters in Maryland on April 16–17, 2021.

The general aircraft requirements are restricted to the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Group 1, which limits the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) to no more than 20 lb (9.1 kg). Aircraft size and weight will factor into the competition. To participate, five-page proposals must be submitted by student teams no later than Oct. 15, 2020. Full details, including the request for proposal (RFP), frequently asked questions (FAQ), links and more are available on the competition website: http://www.vtol.org/fly.

A total of $5,000 in cash awards will be given in two rounds: $1,000 for submission of the three best preliminary design reports in December, and $4,000 in awards for the top three teams during the flyoff competition in April. Additional sponsors are welcome.

The Vertical Flight Society encourages universities from around the world to form teams and take part in this exciting and challenging competition, which is conducted to promote student interest in VTOL engineering and technology, and to attract the best and brightest engineering students to the vertical flight industry.

VFS is the world’s premier VTOL technical society and conducts extensive educational activities. In addition to the world’s largest and longest running VTOL technology conference (this year’s 76th Annual Forum & Technology Display will be held virtually on Oct. 5-8, 2020), VFS leads science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) outreach activities, conducts the annual collegiate VFS Student Design Competition and provides extensive educational resources for students and professional development.

Since it was founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, VFS has been a major force in the advancement of vertical flight. The Society is the global resource for information on VTOL technology. For more than 75 years, VFS has provided global leadership for scientific, technical, educational and legislative initiatives that advance the state of the art of vertical flight.

The Vertical Flight Society

2700 Prosperity Ave., Suite 275, Fairfax, Virginia 22031 USA

1-703-684-6777 | http://www.vtol.org

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Mainstream Technologies Hires Dan Darnell


BRINGING A WIDE ARRAY OF EXPERIENCE TO SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

Mainstream Technologies is pleased to announce the hiring of Dan Darnell as Software Developer. His responsibilities will be dedicated to an Arkansas state agency using Java development, html and relational databases.

Dan brings 30+ years of experience as a software developer. In his early career, he worked as a developer for banking software companies. Later in his career, he served as Vice President of Information Technology for a subsidiary of GMAC, where he managed a staff of 25 programmers. He then moved on to work as an independent consultant, working with companies in many different industries and in a variety of technologies.

Dan is also an accomplished author, having published two programming books and dozens of articles in technical journals. His favorite leisure-time activity is to strap on a backpack and hit the trails for solo overnight stays at various Arkansas State Parks and in the Ozark National Forest.

According to Steve Althoff, Director of Software Development: “Dan’s decades of software development experience is an obvious perk for Mainstream. I am most excited about the years Dan spent as an independent consultant and the unique skillset he developed in that environment. I think those skills will match quite nicely with Mainstream’s mission of making the lives of our customers better through the technology we provide to them. Welcome aboard Dan!”

ABOUT MAINSTREAM

Since 1996, Mainstream (http://www.mainstream-tech.com) has evolved into one of the most established IT services companies in the Mid-South, serving clients from its Arkansas locations including headquarters in Little Rock, a second operations facility in Conway, as well as a sales office in Bentonville. Their staff of information technology professionals serves business and government customers across the nation with Managed IT Services, Custom Software Development Services, Cyber Security Services, and Hosting.

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New Balluff Sensor Detects Magnetic Field Interference, Stops False Triggering


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Balluff’s latest magnetic field sensor was designed specifically to withstand the magnetic fields of weld applications.

The BMF 415 weld-immune magnetic field sensor can detect interference of magnetic fields caused by high weld currents and stop the sensor from false triggering by using a higher level of circuitry and filtration. It’s IP67 rating and protective shielding to protect against weld spatter, additionally make it ideally suited for automotive welding conditions.

It is available in 2 versions: standard and IO-Link. The standard version comes preset with an interference suppression time of 600 ms, while the IO-Link version is configurable from 50 to an impressive 1,000 ms. Both versions are available in M8 and M12 connections and with both black and orange TPE and full silicone cables.

Key features:

  • Immune to magnetic interference fields from high welding currents (AC and MFDC equipment)
  • IO-Link versions: Interference suppression time configurable from 50 to 1000 ms
  • M8 or M12 connector, open cable end
  • Sensor condition monitoring via IO-Link
  • Weld spark-resistant TPU or silicone cable

Learn more at: http://www.balluff.com

About Balluff Inc.

Balluff Inc. is the U.S. subsidiary of Balluff GmbH, Neuhausen, Germany. Balluff is a leading supplier of networked IO-Link control system architectures that unlock the potential of the IIoT and Industry 4.0. Balluff offers a wide range of intelligent IO-Link and industrial Ethernet sensors in a variety of technologies including inductive, photoelectric, capacitive, and magnetic as well as magnetostrictive linear position sensors, magnetic tape linear encoders, industrial RFID systems, and industrial vision systems. Balluff provides cost-saving, process-enhancing solutions to machine builders and manufacturers to control, regulate, automate, assemble, position, and monitor manufacturing, assembly, and packaging sequences. Industries served include: automotive, packaging, food processing, beverages, tire, primary metals, conventional and alternative energy, semiconductor, plastics, and fluid power.

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A New Article Explains How To Handle A Car Insurance Lapse


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“People that live in today’s society have busy lives, so forgetting to pay the insurance bill is not unheard of. However, it is important to do everything you can in order to get your insurance back after you discovered you have an insurance lapse”, said Russell Rabichev, Marketing Director of IMC

Compare-autoinsurance.org has launched a new blog post that explains what is a car insurance lapse and how they can avoid these situations.

For more info and free quotes, please visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/what-to-do-after-a-car-insurance-lapse/

It’s not unusual for someone to forget to pay the car insurance premiums. Many persons are busy with their daily routines and jobs, and sometimes they forget that certain bills must be paid. However, the situation can get be bad for drivers that have a coverage lapse. Driving without insurance can be risky. Depending on the state laws, the penalties for driving without insurance can range from hefty fines to one year in prison.

Drivers who are having a coverage lapse should follow the next steps:


  • Drivers that discovered they have a coverage lapse should contact their insurers immediately. In most cases, the driver has forgotten to pay the insurance. Nevertheless, the insurance provider will apply some rules and negotiate to reinstate coverage, even though the driver had no intention to not pay the premiums.
  • Drivers that are having just a few days of coverage lapse can be easily reinstated to the same insurance carriers after they have paid their premiums.
  • Drivers with long coverage lapses have different negotiations with their insurers. It depends on the insurance provider and some factors regarding the driver, if the insurance policy is to be reinstated or not. Drivers that have been with the same insurer for a long period of time and they are good drivers, have a higher chance or reinstating their policies on the same insurer. However, there are many drivers that need to look for a different insurance provider.
  • There are different reinstatement procedures among insurance companies. Usually, the insurers will simply renew the previous policy. In some cases, the insurance company will impose the driver to apply for a new and costlier insurance policy. Also, these insurers will require the driver to provide an electronic payment method from where automatic monthly withdrawals can be done.

For additional info, money-saving tips and free car insurance quotes, visit https://compare-autoinsurance.org/

Compare-autoinsurance.org is an online provider of life, home, health, and auto insurance quotes. This website is unique because it does not simply stick to one kind of insurance provider, but brings the clients the best deals from many different online insurance carriers. In this way, clients have access to offers from multiple carriers all in one place: this website. On this site, customers have access to quotes for insurance plans from various agencies, such as local or nationwide agencies, brand names insurance companies, etc.

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Grant Cardone Announces 10X Challenge To Help Millions Recover And Rise Up


“I am living proof that someone can rise up from rock-bottom to fulfill their ambitions and realize their dreams. Anyone who knows me should know that if I could do it then anyone can. If you give me ten hours I’ll prove it to you.”

Grant Cardone, internationally-known business guru, marketer, billion-dollar real estate investor and best-selling author of The 10X Rule, recently announced his upcoming 10X Challenge. This will be a 10-day program in which Cardone and numerous celebrity guest speakers will join together every day for a live event on Facebook. The goal of the 10X Challenge is to help people around the world improve all aspects of their lives especially those who have been affected by the pandemic and other events. The 10X Challenge is named for Cardone’s 10X philosophy whose core principles are that massive success requires massive action and that people must be willing to do what others are not in order to attain their financial and life goals. The 10X Challenge begins September 28th and continues for 10 days until October 7th. Each episode of the challenge will begin at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. Anyone interested in joining the 10X Challenge can learn more at http://www.grantcardone.com/challenge.

In addition to Cardone and his wife, Elena, also a prime mover in various business ventures, the 10X Challenge will feature 14 celebrity guest speakers who have achieved remarkable success in their respective fields. The all-star roster includes Daymond John from ABC’s Shark Tank, #1 New York Times bestselling author and former monk, Jay Shetty, fashion designer and international brand creator, Rebecca Minkoff, Miami hospitality entrepreneur, David Grutman, champion athlete trainer, Tim Grover and many others with additional guests being announced daily. While the approximate total cost to hire all these speakers would be in the millions, the 10X Challenge is completely free of charge to all participants.

During the 10X Challenge, for one hour every day, Cardone and his guests will share their life stories, their experiences, and their expertise along with the techniques and strategies they use to gain and maintain their phenomenal success, even today while so many others are struggling. Cardone and the rest of the speakers will set daily goals for the attendees and then guide them through the process of achieving those goals. When asked about the nature of the challenge itself, Cardone replied, “The challenge is just showing up every day and doing the work. No one is going to come to your house and make your dreams come true. You gotta show up and get after it.” In his numerous best-selling books, Cardone espouses the pursuit of one’s goals in an aggressive, persistent manner with a “commit now and figure out how later” mentality. Cardone refers to this as “over-promising and over-delivering”.

The idea for the 10X Challenge came to Cardone as he observed how so many people were being adversely affected by the effects of the pandemic. He was shocked by the ensuing economic consequences ranging from business closures to job losses numbering in the millions in the United States alone, to say nothing of the number of newly unemployed people around the world. Realizing that something had to be done, Cardone, who is famous for achieving enormous success on every level after overcoming almost unimaginable personal difficulties in his life, became determined to give as many people as possible a way to help themselves in as short a time as possible. As someone who is famous for achieving his goals through his rugged individualism, Cardone sincerely believes that everyone has the capability to improve their circumstances in every aspect of their life whether it’s personal, professional or financial. This belief is what led Cardone to write his bestselling 10X Rule whose success was the catalyst for a 10X movement which has spread around the world. In fact, 10X has become so popular that Cardone even hosts his own annual event in Las Vegas, The 10X Growth Conference, whose attendees number in the tens of thousands.

In addition to leading the global 10X movement, Cardone owns and operates several successful business ventures including Cardone Capital which manages nearly $2 billion in multifamily real estate assets. Cardone also appears at speaking engagements around the globe to share his unparalleled expertise on sales and marketing. When not running his companies or flying around the world in his signature private jet, Cardone spends a significant amount of time raising funds for several charities including his own Grant Cardone Foundation, which seeks to assist at-risk youths, particularly those without fathers, as Cardone lost his own father at the age of ten. His foundation is extremely important to him since one of, if not the main guiding principle in Cardone’s life is to pay it forward now that he has achieved what most would call the pinnacle of success. This is the reason behind the creation of the 10X Challenge, so that Cardone can give the maximum number of people the information and tools they need to elevate themselves and live their best lives. Cardone concluded by saying, “I am living proof that someone can rise up from rock-bottom to fulfill their ambitions and realize their dreams. Anyone who knows me should know that if I could do it then anyone can. If you give me ten hours I’ll prove it to you.”

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Decode Earns Spot on Houston Business Journal’s Fast 100 List


Decode, a full-service marketing agency in Houston, Texas, was named #48 on the Houston Business Journal’s 2020 Fast 100 List. These awards recognize Houston-area private companies with the fastest revenue growth between the 2017 and 2019 fiscal years. Winners were announced at a virtual awards event hosted by the Houston Business Journal on Friday, September 18.

“I’m proud that Decode is featured among such amazing companies,” said Kathleen Perley, founder and CEO of Decode. “I’m extremely grateful for the enduring support of our clients and the hard work of the Decode team. I feel positive that this growth will continue for Decode.”

Decode, a full-service marketing agency, was founded in 2014 and has since expanded to feature 42 employees. Serving both local and national clients, Decode is proud to be a part of the Houston marketing community and help build up our city’s reputation as a hub for both traditional and digital marketing.

Decode would like to thank all sponsors and partners of the Houston Business Journal’s 2020 Fast 100 List for making this event possible. Decode is also thankful for their clients, who let them flex their creative minds, and their entire team, who works eagerly and passionately to get the work done right.

About Decode

Based in Houston, Texas, Decode began as a digital agency fueled by the possibilities of solving clients’ problems through the humanization of data. Since that time, they have established themselves as an award-winning, full-service marketing agency that views strategy through a customer-centric digital lens. Due to their analytical insight and focus on results, they have become one of the most awarded agencies in Houston’s yearly prestigious marketing award programs, including the AMA Houston Crystal Awards and the AAF-Houston American Advertising Awards. Learn more about Decode by visiting their website at DecodeDigital.co.

About the Houston Business Journal

The Houston Business Journal is a publication of the American City Business Journals. They provide readers with the latest breaking business news, updated throughout the day. To learn more, visit https://www.bizjournals.com/houston/.

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Dracen Pharmaceuticals Announces the Initiation of First-in-human Study of DRP-104 in Adult Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors


Dracen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage privately-funded biotech company developing anti-cancer drugs, today announced the initiation of its first-in-human Phase 1/2a clinical trial of DRP-104.

“Tumors are constantly growing and changing requiring novel therapeutic approaches. Our goal at Dracen is to create a therapeutic that can metabolically reprogram cancer cells,” said Thomas Estok, chief executive officer of Dracen Pharmaceuticals. “DRP-104 is a novel broad-acting glutamine antagonist that has been shown to directly target tumor metabolism and induce a strong anti-tumor response. In addition, DRP-104 leads to profound remodeling of the tumor microenvironment leading to stimulation of both the innate as well as the adaptive immune systems, resulting in a synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

DRP-104 has demonstrated broad antitumor activity in both engineered and patient-derived in vivo models across a wide spectrum of malignancies, both as a single agent and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

“The initiation of this study allows us to explore the profile and promise of immuno-metabolism approaches like DRP-104 in a clinical setting,” said Margaret Dugan, MD, chief medical officer. “We are grateful to the investigators and their clinical colleagues, all participating patients and their families and care givers who are making it possible for us to create a potential new treatment paradigm aimed at treating an unmet medical need for a wide-range of solid tumors.”

The primary outcome of this study is to determine the safety and recommended Phase 2 Dose of DRP-104 as a single agent and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Please refer to http://www.clinicaltrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04471415) for additional clinical trial information.

About DRP-104

Our lead glutamine antagonist, DRP-104, is currently in early stage clinical development. The mechanisms of action and subsequent effects of DRP-104 include: (1) direct inhibition of tumor cell addiction to glutamine leading to substantial single agent activity and tumor regression; (2) broad metabolic remodeling of the tumor microenvironment leading to enhanced anti-tumor immune activity; (3) stimulation of T effector, NK and NKT cells; and, (4) inhibition of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and macrophage cells, leading to greater long-term durable responses and survival.

About Dracen Pharmaceuticals

Dracen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biotech company developing proprietary anti-cancer drugs that target immuno-metabolism. Dracen’s investors include Deerfield Management; Osage University Partners; and The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague). Dracen is headquartered in New York, NY with research operations in San Diego, CA.

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