Volvo receives Europe’s largest order for electric buses

Volvo Buses has received the largest single order for electric buses in Europe. Volvo Buses will deliver 157 electric articulated buses to Transdev starting in 2020. The buses will operate on a number of routes in Gothenburg. With their introduction, emissions and noise will be significantly reduced, and the electric buses will be able to operate in sensitive areas or zones with special restrictions. 

“It is immensely gratifying that we have secured Europe’s largest ever single order for electric buses – no less than 157 buses. Volvo is a pioneer in electromobility and sustainable public transport. We have a holistic system perspective for cities that encompasses vehicles, services and charging infrastructure. We focus on solutions that offer high reliability and high service levels for route operators and passengers. This large order confirms that electric buses are already recognised as a sustainable and financially viable solution for demanding high-capacity public transport needs,” says Håkan Agnevall, President of Volvo Buses

“Transdev is today Europe’s leading operator of electric buses and we know what challenges there are with the transition to electric propulsion. We’ve therefore been extremely thorough in choosing a partner with a holistic approach, a partner that will be able to deliver both buses and charging infrastructure on time and with excellent uptime. Being able to announce that we have chosen Volvo as our partner for city bus operations in Volvo’s home city of Gothenburg is of course particularly satisfying,” says Gunnar Schön, CEO of Transdev Sweden

All of the buses will be of the recently launched 7900 Volvo Electric Articulated model. The Volvo Electric Articulated can carry 150 passengers with an energy consumption that is 80 per cent lower than that of a corresponding diesel bus. The Volvo Electric Articulated combines high passenger capacity with low operating costs. The buses will be charged at quick-charge stations along the route, using the industry common charging interface OppChargeTM, in order to ensure the most efficient operation possible. In addition to the electric buses, the order includes 27 Euro VI buses for regional operations, running on biodiesel. 

“For us as a mobility supplier, it is vital to always be able to offer passengers good service and functional vehicles, but it is also important that our drivers have a good working climate. New buses, in particular quiet electric buses, not only result in cleaner cities – they also improve the everyday working environment,” explains Gunnar Schön.

“Electromobility creates new exiting opportunities for urban planning since we now get emission-free and quiet public transport that can operate closer to the city’s residents. Volvo aims to be a leader in increased electrification and to be a partner for cities that wish to implement long-term sustainable public transport solutions for their inhabitants,” concludes Håkan Agnevall.


Gothenburg, November 5, 2019
For further information, please contact: 
Joakim Kenndal, Manager Media Relations, Volvo Bus Corporation,                       
Phone +46 739-02 51 50 or e-mail [email protected]


Unikrn Offers the Best Job in Gaming: A $50,000 Salary for New Streaming Talent

One gamer will kickstart a lifelong gaming career with one of esports’ oldest teams.

Unikrn Offers the Best Job in Gaming A USD50,000 Salary for New Streaming Talent
Unikrn Offers the Best Job in Gaming A USD50,000 Salary for New Streaming Talent

 November 5, 2019 Unikrn, the world’s longest-operating esports-first betting operator, is seeking an ambitious gamer to help build an audience in 2020. The winning streamer will be given a 6-month partnership with Unikrn and $50,000 to stream full-time and build an audience. Anybody can apply for the unprecedented opportunity at unikrn.com/best-job.

 Streaming is one of Earth’s fastest-growing entertainment sectors, but more than 99% of Twitch streamers are unpartnered and have no way to monetize their passion. Nearly 4,000,000 broadcasters have streamed every month in 2019, with only about 35,000 partnered broadcasters. With over 50,000 average live channels in any given moment, breaking into the industry is harder than ever before.

 “Becoming a professional streamer requires a lot of luck,” said Mike Dalton, VP Marketing for Unikrn, “We believe that for every streamer who builds an audience, there’s three gamers with amazing potential to offer the community something fresh who just never get an opportunity to be noticed.”

 The awarded contract will include a 6-month period to represent Unikrn as an official streamer for Unicorns of Love, one of gaming’s most beloved fan-focused esports franchises, and a $50,000 stipend.

 Unikrn was awarded as the best Esports Bookmaker of the Year for 2019, its first full year of operation with its own wagering licenses, and has options for fans to enjoy gaming both with and without gambling. Its wagering options include Unikrn UMode, the world’s only way to bet on your own success in online matchmaking games.

 This could be the best opportunity in esports for 2019, and it’s open for any esports fan to enter.

 “The Unicorns of Love family is changing today,” said Jos Mallant, UOL’s Owner, “We can’t wait to welcome a fan into our clan to stream or compete in 2020.”

 Streamers may enter the search until Nov 30, 2019.

ABOUT UNIKRN

Established in 2014, Unikrn is one of the world’s leading esports companies, building extensive crossroads through betting, content and gaming. Unikrn began operations with its fully-owned IOM licenses in November, 2018 and was awarded EGM Esports Bookmaker of the Year 2019. Unikrn has been a leading endemic bookmaker in esports and video games for years and has patent-pending technologies and completely unique gaming experiences.

Those unique experiences include Virtual CS:GO & SFV, skill-based betting on online matchmaking, streamer better, esports and sports bookmaking, daily gaming giveaways and an online casino, each available as regulator approved.

Flarin Holdings completes first round of fundraising for revolutionary drug

Investment from IW Capital to drive rapid commercialisation of world’s first lipid formulated ibuprofen

Flarin Holdings Limited today announces the completion of its first round of fund-raising by IW Capital. Flarin Holdings was recently demerged from Infirst Healthcare Limited in order to provide greater focus on the rapid commercialisation of Flarin.

Flarin is a unique and patent protected lipid formulated ibuprofen which at a dose of 1200 mg/day has shown to be as effective as 2400mg/day of standard liquid ibuprofen capsules in patients with acute joint pain 1. Flarin’s unique lipid formulation also helps to shield the stomach from damage 2.

“The very positive response we have had from presenting Flarin to new investors has given us great confidence in taking Flarin to the next stage of its commercial development,” says Andrew Macmillen, Managing Director. “These new funds give Flarin greater ability to increase investment in marketing in the UK as well as building a network of distributors and licensing partners in other countries.” 

Luke Davis, IW Capital chief executive, said:

“We are hugely excited to be involved with this innovative pharmaceutical product at an early stage in its commercial development. It is also key to be able to work with such an experienced management team in the pharmaceutical and healthcare arena.

“Our research shows that around 20% of private investors are looking to invest within Pharma and Biotech while half of this group is put off by Big Pharma. With this in mind we were not surprised that the initial investment target for Flarin was over-subscribed by IW capital’s network of net-worth individuals and independent financial advisors.

There is a fantastic exit opportunity here with the product already fully developed and on sale in UK pharmacies, meaning there is already an established sales infrastructure in place.”

If you have any questions about the release or would like to speak to Luke please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

About Flarin Holdings 
Flarin Holdings is a new company demerged from Infirst Healthcare Limited in order to focus on commercialising Flarin’s unique lipid formulation of ibuprofen.

About Flarin Lipid Formulation Technology
Flarin is a unique and patent protected lipid formulated ibuprofen which at a dose of 1200 mg/day has shown to be as effective as 2400mg/day of standard liquid ibuprofen capsules in patients with acute joint pain1. Flarin’s unique lipid formulation also helps to shield the stomach from damage2.

About IW Capital
IW Capital is a leading SME investment provider specialising in private equity and debt financing, having facilitated well over c.£100m in development capital investment in UK companies.

Bierma- Zeinstra SMA, Conaghan PG, Brew J et al. Osteoarthr Cartil:  2017 25; 12: 1942-1951 Open Access: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.joca.2017.09.002 Accessed at: http://www.oarsijournal.com/article/S1063-4584(17)31197-4/fulltext
2 Data on file, Infirst Healthcare Limited.

www.flarin.co.uk
https://www.linkedin.com/company/flarin/

UK and Indian leaders to come together for green growth at new Sustainable Investing Partnership Forum

Over 150 business and finance leaders from the UK and India are to attend the first meeting of the new UK-India Sustainable Investing Forum at London’s Guildhall on Thursday 7th November.

Dr Mohan Kaul, President of the Indian Professionals Forum

​​The event, convened by the India Professionals Forum, the City of London, and the High Commission of India, will bring together leaders in the field of sustainable investment from the UK and India to work together to advance and scale the sustainable finance market in India.

For India, the Forum provides an opportunity for a rapidly emerging nation to increase the green investment it needs to achieve sustainable growth. For the UK it represents a further opportunity to deepen ties with friends and economic partners outside Europe in a post-Brexit world and an opportunity to help tackle another of the UK’s biggest priorities – the global green agenda.

Speakers at the first Forum will include Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin; High Commissioner of India Her Excellency Mrs Ruchi Ghanashyam and Lord Ahmad, Minister of State for the Commonwealth, the United Nations and South Asia​.

Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of the Green Finance Institute, will deliver a keynote on the City of London as a global centre for sustainable and green finance, focusing on building a global approach and leveraging synergies between global public and private networks. Lord Gadhia, Director of UK Government Investments, will chair a session on sustainable investing standards and practices with a view to engaging global stakeholders.

Lord Mayor of London Peter Estlin said:

“The UK and India are pioneers in green finance and responsible business best practices. We are excited about the launch of the UK-India Sustainable Investing Forum to support the greening of India’s economic growth story and drive forward our partnership for years to come.”

India Professionals Forum President Dr Mohan Kaul said:

“India’s sheer size and rapid growth provides challenges to delivering sustainable economic solutions. Yet despite these challenges, India’s policy makers and industry leaders vie to show leadership in combating climate change and meeting UN Sustainable Developmental Goals in many of their developmental schemes.

Meanwhile, the City of London – at the heart of delivering financial solutions for strong, sustainable and balanced growth – aims to have a comprehensive approach to greening financial systems, and mobilising finance for clean and resilient growth.

By bringing leaders from the UK and London together we hope to open up new opportunities for green investment.”

Other prominent business leaders and investment experts speaking at the Forum include Howard Sherman, Executive Director of MSCI ESG Research; Tatiana Boroditskaya, Director Emerging Market Credit, UBS; Loknath Mishra, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank UK; Srini Sundaram, Founder and CEO, Agvesto; and Manish Malhotra, AVP and Head FinTechs, Infosys.

Among topics to be discussed at the Forum are sustainable investing in India’s emerging environmental, social and governance (ESG) asset class; partnering to achieve sustainable goals; sustainability strategies for Indian trade and infrastructure investment; India’s Clean Ganges Sustainable Infrastructure Programme; and the regulatory, market and fintech developments required to catalyse sustainable investing solutions, unlock market efficiencies and drive scale for the next generation.

The Sustainable Investing Forum is free to attend for members of the Indian Professionals Forum and by invitation only by registering here: https://www.ipforum.net/

For further information, or to attend, please contact: Alan Wheeler [email protected]

1. Journalists wishing to attend the launch can register here: https://www.ipforum.net/

2. The Indian Professional Forum (IPF) is a non-profit think tank for diaspora related policy advocacy and a member’s club that promotes networking and professional development for Indian Professionals. Set up with the support of the High Commission of India, members are invited from a cross section of society including academics, artists, scientists, engineers, business and entrepreneurs. IPF provides a collective voice and framework to the contribution they make to the UK economy and strengthen their participation in the mainstream of society as well as help in identifying opportunities to contribute towards the development of their community, India and India-UK relations. IPF will recognise the work of young professionals and encourage members to participate in high level policy advocacy and help in identifying such opportunities. Through its membership IPF aims to focus on creating an interesting, influential and thought provoking think tank that acts as a fount for insightful policy ideas and community leadership. More information at https://www.ipforum.net/ 

The Financial World Will Be Completely Reliant on Big Data Within Five Years

Over a third of CFOs see big data as a threat to employment

Marieke Saeij
Marieke Saeij

London, 05 November 2019 – Almost two-thirds (64%) of CFOs expect that within the next five years the financial world will no longer be able to operate without big data, however, 13% of CFOs think this is already the case. Currently, financial directors are mainly using big data to make well-informed decisions (54%), to make predictive analyses (41%) and to analyse large, unstructured databases (29%). Almost one-fifth of CFOs (18%) do not use big data at all, according to the results of the 2019 FinTech Barometer, an annual survey conducted by order-to-cash specialist Onguard.

Impact on employment

More than a third of CFOs (38%) expect big data to have a significant impact within the financial sector, particularly on aspects such as job opportunities, with 36% of CFOs seeing big data as a threat to employment. Trends such as robotisation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also on the radar of financial directors, with 42% of CFOs expecting AI to have a major impact on employment opportunities and 30% of CFOs seeing robotisation as the biggest threat to jobs.

Marieke Saeij, CEO, Onguard: “I’m not surprised that CFOs expect to be completely dependent on big data within such a short timeframe. Big data can help them, as well as finance professionals within their organisations, with the execution of their work. Finance professionals have a great deal of information from both internal and external sources that is of added value for both the performance of the organisation and customer service. The more information that is available about the market and customers, the better finance professionals can advise customers. Thanks to big data, risks can be assessed more accurately and it is also possible to predict in real-time whether and when customers will start paying so as an organisation, you can properly anticipate this. This development will require finance professionals to develop new skills, such as greater analytical capacity, as a necessity.”

About Onguard
Over the past 25 years, Onguard has grown from a specialist in credit management software to a market leader in innovative solutions in the field of order to cash. The integrated platform ensures that all processes in the order-to-cash chain are optimally linked and that critical data can be shared. Intelligent tools which interface seamlessly combine to provide an overview and control of the payment process and help build lasting customer relationships. Users in over 50 countries worldwide work with the Onguard platform on a daily basis to achieve successful management and tangible results in Order to Cash and Credit Management. Read more at http://onguard.com/

World Tolerance Summit 2019 gains momentum, more sponsors join 2-day event

Dubai, 5 November 2019: The Organising Committee of World Tolerance Summit acknowledged the growing support for the upcoming event, and appreciated the participation of more sponsors.

The two-day World Tolerance Summit (WTS) held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will be held at Madinat Jumeriah Conference and Events Centre on 13-14 November, and is themed ‘Tolerance in Multiculturalism: Achieving the Social, Economic and Humane Benefits of a Tolerant World’.

The new sponsors of the summit, an initiative of the International Institute for Tolerance (IIT), a part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, include Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Human Resources & Emiratisation, Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi, Dubai Media Incorporated, and Tik Tok MENA among others.

Lt-General Saif Abdullah Al Shafar, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, affirmed the ministry’s keenness on the directives of HH Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior to participate and strengthen collaborations with ministries, government and private bodies for the comprehensive development of the nation. He said, “We are delighted to participate in the summit that underscores the values of security, peace, coexistence and tolerance, the qualities that are instilled in us by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Al Nahyan.”

Meanwhile, Dr Hamad Al Shaibani, Managing Director of IIT and Chairman of the Higher Committee of the WTS, thanked the great role played by the wise government led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and appreciated the support of the sponsors for the two-day global summit to promote tolerance, peace and harmony across the globe.

Ahmed Saeed Al Mansouri, Executive Director of radio and television division at Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), said that the sponsorship for second edition of WTS embodies the vision of all radio, print and TV channels under the DMI. He said, “Our media partnership with the WTS is in line with the strategic objectives of the Government of Dubai that underlines the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Deputy Ministers, Ruler of Dubai for having constant cooperation between government departments and other institutions in the UAE.

“We would also want to be part of creative initiatives that can highlight UAE as the global capital of tolerance aimed at deepening the values of tolerance, dialogue, acceptance of others and openness to different cultures.”‘

He added that Dubai TV, with its radio, television and digital channels, will have a dedicated crew to cover the two-day summit.

Meanwhile, Nora Al Marzouqi, Assistant Undersecretary for Policy and Strategy Affairs at the MoHRE, said that the summit reflects the stand of the UAE society, whose foundations are based on a set of principles and values ​​that focus on respect and empowerment of human beings. She also lauded the efforts of IIT and organisers of WTS.

Gita Ghaemmaghami, Regional Communications Director at TikTok MENA, another sponsor of the WTS, said: “As the leading destination for short-form mobile video, our mission in the UAE and wider region is to inspire creativity and bring joy through TikTok. In line with the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, through our platform we continuously aim to spread positivity that celebrates diversity. This is why we are extremely excited to partner with the 2019 World Tolerance Summit and look forward to constantly empowering people in the UAE to express their creativity by capturing and sharing moments that matter in their lives.”

For more details, and to register for the event, visit www.worldtolerancesummit.com

List of sponsors

1. RTA – Strategic Partner of IIT initiatives, including World Tolerance Summit

2. Office of Minister of Tolerance

3. Ministry of Interior

4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation

5. Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation

6. Dubai Police

7. Department of Community Development Abu Dhabi

8. Emirates Real Estate Solutions

Media Partners: Dubai Media Incorporated, NBC Group & Tik Tok MENA

Note to editors

World Tolerance Summit, started in 2018, is a first of its kind event in the region that brings together more than 2000+ delegates, including government representatives, peace experts, youth, men and women from more than 105 countries to promote the concept of tolerance as a language of understanding and dialogue across the globe.

Organised by Strategic Exhibitions and Conferences, WTS 2019 is in line with the declaration of 2019 as Year of Tolerance by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Strategic Exhibitions and Conference: Since its inception in 2000, Strategic Exhibitions & Conference is the trusted partner for many government entities in developing and managing high-profile conferences and events in the UAE. We are associated with Annual Investment Meeting, World Tolerance Summit, Global Investment in Aviation Summit, International Property Show, Dubai Investment Week and many more.

For more details, Contact

Nazeem Beegum

E:    [email protected]

E:    [email protected]

Internet of People, the New Internet Paradigm

In the typical Internet infrastructure, people and their devices were somehow mere end-users of applications; however, users, along with the expansion of the Internet, started establishing tighter interactions with their devices and – through them – with other individuals. The concept of the Internet of People reflects the active roles that humans are playing and is also the answer created to solve the new types of interactions.

Internet of People, the New Internet Paradigm.

So what is the Internet of People?

Internet of People, also known as IoP, is the connection between people through the Internet and other technologies. It resembles a digital cooperative, which offers open- source and decentralized infrastructure. It uses blockchain and advanced peer-to-peer technologies to enable people to communicate and do business without compromising their privacy and free from third-party censorship.

The advantage of the Internet of People’s decentralization

The goal of IoP is to eliminate the middlemen during our online activity, enabling us to perform perform any transaction or sharing information with our consent freely. The decentralization that IoP offers saves us from data breaches or misuse of our data. It is well known that companies gather and the excessive amount of data from the users and, frequently, they sell it, re-direct it, or use it for means users don´t even know.

Besides the systematized rupture of our privacy, another issue is that as companies don´t always store users´ data with the required level of security, our information and identity are at risk of being publicly exposed. The same way IoP enables authorized information sharing, it also enables device-to-device connection without a central server routing the connection, which ensures privacy.

The origins of IoP

Internet of People project was founded by Luis Fernando Molina with the financial support of Lan Tschirkly, who abandoned it in June 2017. When Molina discovered the Bitcoin, he decided that he would take advantage of the underlying technology to solve the problem humans face of “unlimited concentration of power.” Molina, with Tschirkly’s support, first created a group of tech-savvy adventurers created the “Fermat Community,” which later split into IoP and Fermat Community.

The technology behind IoP

IoP uses a combination of Proof of Work and Proof of Stake systems, combined the so-called SHA256 algorithm, an algorithm that transforms data into text and uses unique digital signatures that need to be proved by one of the above mentioned proof systems. The good news is that the most common devices, from a PC to a smartphone can mine IoP tokes, without the need for sophisticated hardware or software.

The future of IoP

Although the numbers for IoP don´t seem appealing enough to invest on it yet, it’s underlying concepts of freedom and decentralization, along with the solution it presents to data privacy and security as growing needs, may indicate that there are great chances of development and global growth for IoP.  

The time for big companies and institutions to decide whether to bet on it or not is soon to arrive. Would you bet your two cents into it?

See also about Modern Monetary Theory, Blockchain and more.

Vatican Facing Bankruptcy Due to Decreased Donations

Recent leaks claiming that the Vatican would be facing bankruptcy added to the statements made by the investigative author Gianluigi Nuzzi in his just-published book “Giudizio Universale”, have caused a stir in Rome despite the denials of two leading bishops.  

Vatican Facing Bankruptcy Due to Decreased Donations

In the book “Giudizio Universale” (Universal Judgement), Italian journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi exposed unpublished documents about the deteriorated Vatican’s financial situation. The author ensures that financial and real estate assets mismanagement, along with a notorious decrease in donations, are the main reason why the Vatican is facing bankruptcy. 

Dramatic loss

According to the book published last October 21, last year, the Holy See lost 44 million euros. Nuzzi claims that at the edge of bankruptcy, the measures the Pope has been taking are not enough. The situation is so severe that last year, the Church decided to sell families’ jewellery such as the property “Santa María de Galería,” 424 hectares on the outskirts of Rome. 

Decline of donations

The data presented in the book shows that the contributions to the Church, known as “Obolo de San Pedro,” have been reduced by half in a decade (from 101 million in 2006 to 51 in 2008). Because of the crisis, 58% of the received amount serves to clean up accounts, and only 20% remain as a deposit. As Nuzzi explained, the result is that of each ten euros, only two end up serving the purpose of helping those in need. 

A surprising fact the journalist and author describes is the origin of the donations: dioceses are the first source, foundations come in second place, and private donors come just in third place. Italy and Germany are the most prominent supporters with more than 1.5 million euros each; their support decreased by more than 20%. 

The official response

The head of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), Bishop Nunzio Galantino, promptly denied that the finances of the Holy See were about to go bankrupt. “There’s no bankruptcy or default here. There’s only a need for a spending review,” Galantino insisted. “The ordinary management of the APSA in 2018 closed with a profit of over 22 million,” he expressed to the “Vatican News.”

Regarding the properties managed by the APSA and the accusations of mismanagement, Galantino explained that they include 2,400 apartments located mostly in Rome and Castel Gandolfo plus another 600 shops and offices.

 In response to Nuzzi’s statement that 40% of the patrimony doesn’t grant income, Galantino explained that those not generating revenue are service apartments or offices of the Curia. He also told that about 60% of the apartments are rented for reduced rent, to employees in need.

 He considered this a kind of social housing, something that, when done by private companies, is praised, but when it’s the Vatican doing it, it is considered incompetent. 

 “There is no threat of collapse or default here. There is only the need for a spending review. And that is what we’re doing. I can prove it to you with numbers,” Galantino said on October 22.

Is the Vatican facing bankruptcy or not? 

This is something that only time will reveal. So far, the bells of broke seem to be tolling despite the official statements. 

See also about Business Risks.

The growing movement of people fuels demand for international tax advice

4 November 2019

The increasing global movement of people and businesses is driving the significant growing demand for international tax advice. 

The observations come from deVere Tax Consultancy, part of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations, which operates in more than 100 countries.

The world is currently experiencing the highest levels of movement on record.  

According to the International Organization of Migration, the leading inter-governmental agency in the field, approximately 258 million people – or one in every 30 – were living outside their country of origin in 2017.

That is both a record high – and a number that has beaten all expectations. Indeed, a 2003 projection anticipated that by 2050, there would be around 230 million based outside their birth nation. But the latest projection has been dramatically revised upwards – there will be more than 405 million living away from their country of birth by 2050.

James Green, divisional manager at deVere Group, observes: “We’ve noted a year-on-year increase in international tax advice enquiries of more than a third.  

“This can be attributed, we believe, to three key factors.

“First, is the increasing movement of people. Whether driven by geopolitical, work or lifestyle reasons, more and more individuals are on the move around the world.  

“In addition – and despite the rhetoric of some populist politicians – globalisation in the world of trade and commerce is here to stay and is, if anything, gaining momentum as it encourages economic growth, creates jobs, makes firms more competitive, and lowers prices for consumers.

“Second, since the global financial crisis both individuals and companies have become more financially literate and aware of the importance of specialist financial advice, especially when it comes to cross-border affairs.

“And third, the reporting and tax filing requirements are increasing in most jurisdictions.  For instance – and this is just one example – in the U.S. where the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, is almost universally recognised as being burdensome, onerous and complex.”

Director of deVere Tax Consultancy, Mitch Young, notes: “The enquiries are coming from both internationally-mobile individuals and firms who are seeking advice on compliant and up-to-date tax filing, residency issues, inheritance tax, self-assessment, property tax structuring and disclosures, national insurance contributions, trusts and wills.

“Due to this considerable surge in demand for our services we have recruited more senior tax consultants, account managers and in-house barrister intermediaries.

“We have also launched our first tax apprenticeship scheme to find and train the top tax talent of the future.  In addition, we’re in the process of building an international tax network to meet the needs and expectations of our clients.” 

James Green concludes: “The demand for international tax advice is set to grow further still as the world becomes increasingly globalised and as the cross-border regulatory landscapes continue to evolve – and at a faster pace.”

Desentum will run a clinical trial on its allergy vaccine this winter supported by 4 M€ of new investments

Finnish biopharmaceutical company Desentum is about to initiate a first-in-human clinical trial with its birch pollen hypoallergen designed to improve immunotherapeutic treatment of birch pollen allergy. In a funding round arranged by Springvest Oy, the company raised 4 million euros that it intends to use for funding clinical trials, developing new hypoallergens and advancing business goals.

Desentum develops novel type of immunotherapeutic hypoallergens, so called allergy vaccines. The hypoallergens are biotechnologically produced, modified allergen proteins aimed for improving the efficiency of allergen immunotherapy while also reducing the time required for treatment. The lead product candidate, birch pollen hypoallergen DM-101 (Bet v 1 dm), has produced good results in preclinical tests assessing allergenicity and immunogenicity, and is now advancing to clinical phase.

In clinical trials, the safety and efficacy of a new medicinal product is demonstrated in volunteer study subjects. The primary objective of Desentum’s first clinical trial is to confirm the safety of DM-101, but information about the immunological response generated by the hypoallergen is also collected.

“For the past couple of years, we have worked together with international allergen immunotherapy experts to prepare for the clinical studies. The first study plan was submitted for regulatory and ethics evaluation in the summer of 2019. The study will be performed in Finland and the dosing is scheduled to be completed before 2020 birch pollen season”, explains Pekka Mattila, CEO of Desentum.

To strengthen the company’s financial position, Desentum initiated a funding round in September. It was carried out by a Finnish investment service company Springvest Oy. The public offering was fully subscribed, which translates to approximately 4 million euros of collected capital. Desentum plans on using the majority of the proceeds for funding early-stage clinical trials. The remaining funds will be used for the research and development of new hypoallergens as well as for partnering activities to support late-stage clinical trials and market access.

“We are very happy with the results of the public offering. The collected capital enables us to focus on our primary goal, which is testing the novel immunotherapeutic allergy treatment and bringing it to the market. Today, allergy affects a huge number of people, and I believe that in addition to the expectation of financial return, many investors also hope that our technology could solve a health problem that impacts the life of their family or friends”, says Mattila and continues: “This is our target as well. We have started by looking at birch pollen allergy, but our platform can be used for producing hypoallergens from other allergens, too. We are already developing similar products to address peanut, grass pollen, dog and horse allergies.”

Immunotherapy in allergy treatment

Allergy is one of the most common chronic conditions in Europe. Today, more than 150 million Europeans suffer from allergic diseases. For one in five patients the condition is severe enough to create a constant threat of a severe allergic reaction or an asthma attack. European Academy of Allergy and Clinical immunology (EAACI) predicts that by 2025 allergy will affect half the population in Europe. Allergies cause social and economic burden such as health care costs, missed school and work days and impact on the daily lives of the patients.

Allergies are generally managed by medication that alleviates the symptoms. The most common medications are antihistamines and corticosteroids. Immunotherapy is the only treatment currently known that affects the mechanism of allergy. It re-educates the immune system to tolerate the allergen, decreasing the need for medication. Immunotherapy can be administered as injections or sublingual tablets or drops, and the treatment usually takes a few years. The novel immunotherapeutic products that are under development aim for speeding up the treatment as well as improving the safety, efficacy and convenience.

About Desentum Oy: Desentum is a biopharmaceutical company based in Espoo, Finland. It is specialized in developing a novel type of allergen immunotherapy based on switching the immune system’s response to allergens from hypersensitivity to tolerance by utilizing modified hypoallergens. Desentum, founded in 2011, is a spin-off company from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. In 2013 VTT received an EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) Innovation Prize for the work behind the immunotherapeutic products. In 2018, Desentum was awarded a 1,9 M€ grant from the highly competitive Horizon 2020 SME instrument for the first-in-human clinical trial and business development.

Contact:

Pekka Mattila, CEO
Desentum Oy
Tel. +358-500-512934
[email protected]
www.desentum.com