QisstPay raises $15M, cementing itself as the fastest growing emerging markets BNPL player from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — QisstPay, Pakistan’s first and fastest growing buy now pay later platform (BNPL), today announced that they have raised $15M across its seed & pre-seed rounds with a mix of equity and debt. MSA Capital led the round, with institutional investment participation from Global Founders Capital; Fox Ventures, First Check Ventures; and a series of strategic angel investments from Simone Mancini and Johnny Mitrevski, Co-Founders of Scalapay, who recently raised a $155M Series A round at a $700M valuation; Ashley Davies, former CFO of Venmo and current Sylp CFO; former C Suite at Affirm; Adam Mawdesley, VP of Partnerships & Product at Splitit; and United Bank Limited of Pakistan.

QisstPay is an installment payment service for emerging markets offering interest free platform. When chosen at checkout, QisstPay allows customers to pay for their purchase in installments with 0% interest and no late fees. The service allows Pakistanis to pay for everyday necessities, effectively building better cash management in what is otherwise considered a very cash-driven society.

Co-Founder and CEO, Jordan Olivas is a former Klarna employee, who supported the launch of the company’s Pay In 4 solution, one of the world’s biggest BNPL platforms. “After moving here to Pakistan, I noticed how badly the people of this country need a financial tool to help them purchase goods and services that they not only want, but actually need,” says Olivas.

Seeing a week to week growth on 92% rate, QisstPay is currently serving over 500 retailers in Pakistan, including Samsung, Camelbak, Diesel, Philips, Xiaomi MiStore, Lenovo & regional leaders such as Sapphire, Uniworth & the largest Shopify store in the country, elo.

“Export leftovers has recently seen another high of hitting the fastest spike of 85% on average order value ever since we have started to offer QisstPay BNPL to our customers,” says Umar Qamar Co-Founder of Elo, the largest shopify Ecommerce brand in Pakistan.

To learn more, please visit https://qisstpay.com/.

About QisstPay

QisstPay is an installment payment service for emerging markets. QisstPay is a Buy Now, Pay Later platform that, when chosen at checkout, allows customers to pay in installments with 0% interest. They are addressing the lack of flexibility, integration, and the hidden fees currently plaguing Pakistan’s BNPL landscape by giving customers an efficient, adaptable, interest free platform.

Adagio Therapeutics Announces New Data Highlighting the Potential of ADG20 for Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19

ADG20 Continues to be Well Tolerated in Healthy Volunteers with Prolonged Half-Life and Serum Virus Neutralization Activity Observed out to Six Months in Ongoing Phase 1 Study

Data from Quantitative Systems Pharmacology/Whole-Body Physiologically Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling Support Evaluation of 300 mg Intramuscular Dose of ADG20 Given as a Single Intramuscular Injection in Ongoing Phase 2/3 Studies

Data to be Presented During IDWeek 2021 and 19th Annual Discovery on Target Conference

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Adagio Therapeutics, Inc., (Nasdaq: ADGI) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of antibody-based solutions for infectious diseases with pandemic potential, today announced new data from the company’s COVID-19 antibody program. Updated, six-month data from its ongoing Phase 1 study of ADG20 in healthy participants and data validating the selection of the 300 mg intramuscular (IM) dose given as a single injection that is being evaluated in the company’s ongoing global Phase 2/3 treatment (STAMP) and prevention (EVADE) clinical trials will be presented during four poster sessions at the Infectious Disease Society of America’s IDWeek 2021, being held from Sept. 29 – Oct. 3, 2021. In addition, Adagio’s chief scientific officer, Laura Walker, Ph.D., will present a subset of the ADG20 Phase 1 data as well as background on the identification and optimization of this differentiated antibody clinical candidate in an oral presentation at the 19th Annual Discovery on Target Conference on Sept. 30, 2021.

“The continued strength of the safety and pharmacokinetic data from our Phase 1 study is encouraging and further underscores the potential impact an antibody like ADG20 – which was designed to be potent, broadly neutralizing and delivered as a single IM injection – could have on people with or at risk of COVID-19,” said Lynn Connolly, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer of Adagio. “These Phase 1 data combined with our dose selection strategy, which relied on our innovative modeling approach, have allowed us to initiate and advance our pivotal trials of ADG20 in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. We anticipate these data will support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application in the first quarter of 2022, which could enable us to bring an important treatment option to patients.”

Phase 1 Trial Update
Adagio is evaluating ADG20 in a Phase 1 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled single ascending-dose study to assess safety and tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), immunogenicity, and serum virus neutralizing activity of ADG20 ex vivo against SARS-CoV-2. Data from a six-month evaluation timepoint confirmed the extended half-life of ADG20, which approached 100 days based on data from the 300 mg IM dose that was given as a single injection. In addition, 50% serum virus neutralization titers at six months after a 300 mg IM dose of ADG20 were similar to observed peak titers with the mRNA-1273 vaccine and exceeded those achieved with the AZD1222 vaccine series. Importantly, ADG20 was well tolerated with no study drug-related adverse events (AEs), serious AEs, or injection-site or hypersensitivity reactions reported through a minimum of three months follow-up across all cohorts. Participants will continue to be followed through 12 months to assess safety and tolerability, PK, immunogenicity and serum virus neutralizing activity.

Phase 1 Poster Information: (633) Preliminary Results from a Phase 1 Single Ascending-Dose Study Assessing Safety, Serum Viral Neutralizing Antibody Titers (sVNA), and Pharmacokinetic (PK) Profile of ADG20: an Extended Half-Life Monoclonal Antibody Being Developed for the Treatment and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

Dose Selection Strategy
To support dose selection for Adagio’s global Phase 2/3 STAMP and EVADE clinical trials, the company modified an existing quantitative systems pharmacology whole-body physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (QSP/PBPK) model to better characterize the PK of extended half-life monoclonal antibodies in serum and key sites of viral replication in the respiratory tract. Adagio’s model adequately a priori predicted the observed ADG20 serum PK in non-human primates (NHPs) and humans. The model was further optimized based on data from Adagio’s Phase 1 clinical trial and then applied for dose selection for STAMP and EVADE.

For the STAMP treatment trial, data compiled to date suggest that the 300 mg IM regimen has a projected ability to rapidly achieve and maintain target concentrations at key tissue sites of viral replication, including the ability to attain near complete (> 90%) and durable (> 28-day) SARS-CoV-2 receptor occupancy across a range of baseline viral loads. Further, for the EVADE prevention trial, data compiled to date suggest the 300 mg IM regimen has a projected ability to rapidly exceed target serum concentrations in the majority of simulated patients and to maintain potentially effective concentrations for up to 12 months.

Dose Selection Poster Information

  • (1086) A Whole-Body Quantitative System Pharmacology Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (QSP/PBPK) Model that a priori Predicts Intramuscular (IM) Pharmacokinetics of ADG20: an Extended Half-life Monoclonal Antibody Being Developed for the Treatment and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  • (1089) Use of a Whole-Body Quantitative System Pharmacology Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (QSP/PBPK) Model to Support Dose Selection of ADG20: an Extended Half-Life Monoclonal Antibody Being Developed for the Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
  • (1088) A Whole-Body Quantitative System Pharmacology Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic (QSP/PBPK) Model to Support Dose Selection of ADG20: an Extended Half-Life Monoclonal Antibody Being Developed for the Treatment of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

The STAMP and EVADE clinical trials are currently ongoing and enrolling patients globally. For more information, please visit clincialtrials.gov.

About ADG20
ADG20, a monoclonal antibody targeting the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses, is being developed for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. ADG20 was designed and engineered to possess high potency and broad neutralization against SARS-CoV-2 and additional clade 1 sarbecoviruses, by targeting a highly conserved epitope in the receptor binding domain. ADG20 displays potent neutralizing activity against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain as well as all known variants of concern. ADG20 has the potential to impact viral replication and subsequent disease through multiple mechanisms of action, including direct blocking of viral entry into the host cell (neutralization) and elimination of infected host cells through Fc-mediated innate immune effector activity. ADG20 is administered by a single intramuscular injection, and was engineered to have a long half-life, with a goal of providing both rapid and durable protection. Adagio is advancing ADG20 through multiple clinical trials on a global basis.

About Adagio Therapeutics
Adagio (Nasdaq: ADGI) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of antibody-based solutions for infectious diseases with pandemic potential. The company’s portfolio of antibodies has been optimized using Adimab’s industry-leading antibody engineering capabilities and is designed to provide patients and clinicians with a powerful combination of potency, breadth, durable protection (via half-life extension), manufacturability and affordability. Adagio’s portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies includes multiple, non-competing broadly neutralizing antibodies with distinct binding epitopes, led by ADG20. Adagio has secured manufacturing capacity for the production of ADG20 with third-party contract manufacturers to support the completion of clinical trials and initial commercial launch. For more information, please visit www.adagiotx.com.

Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “projects,” and “future” or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements concerning, among other things, the timing, progress and results of our preclinical studies and clinical trials of ADG20, including the timing of our planned EUA application, initiation and completion of studies or trials and related preparatory work, the period during which the results of the trials will become available and our research and development programs; our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for, our product candidates; our ability to identify patients with the diseases treated by our product candidates and to enroll these patients in our clinical trials; our manufacturing capabilities and strategy; and our ability to successfully commercialize our product candidates. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results described in or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those risks described under the heading “Risk Factors” in Adagio’s prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on August 6, 2021 and in Adagio’s future reports to be filed with the SEC, including Adagio’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Such risks may be amplified by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of this date, and Adagio undertakes no duty to update such information except as required under applicable law.

Media Contact:
Dan Budwick, 1AB

Investor Contact:
Monique Allaire, THRUST Strategic Communications

13th China Int’l Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition opens in Zhuhai, showing greater openness of the city

ZHUHAI, China, Sept. 29, 2021 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/– On 28 September, the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition or AirShow China officially opened in Zhuhai, south China’s Guangdong Province. This year, 700 companies from nearly 40 countries and regions participated in the exhibition, and a number of new products, technologies, services and achievements representing the world’s advanced level will be exhibited for the first time in China and the world, according to Executive Committee of the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition.

The civil aviation industry, dual-use technology, aviation manufacturing facilities, MRO, unmanned systems, maritime defense and other theme exhibition areas will be on show, covering land, sea, air, space, and electricity sectors.

The spectacular air shows and the dazzling array of advanced equipment demonstrate the confidence and openness of China’s aerospace industry.

The event’s increasing scale and international influence make Airshow China an important opportunity for enterprises to enter Asia-Pacific and the Chinese market. According to the organizer, the number of exhibitors and exhibition area this year have exceeded expectations. The number of pavilions has increased from 8 to 11, with all the world’s famous enterprises in the industry participating. Boeing’s exhibition area increased by 11% and Airbus’s by 65% compared to last year.

Leading enterprises are the “weather vane” of market trends, and the established aviation enterprises choose to come to Zhuhai, where the air show is held, to develop their business, making the city a “new star” in the aerospace industry.

Since 2003, Germany’s largest engine manufacturing giant MTU Aero Engines and China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. have established a joint venture engine maintenance company in Zhuhai Free Trade Zone. Now, the company has completed the third phase of expansion and set up a branch plant in Jinwan District.

The decision to invest in a new plant stems from the company’s confidence in the recovery and development of the Asian market and the growing demand for narrow-body engine services, according to Jaap Beijer, president and Chief Executive of MTU Maintenance Zhuhai Co. Ltd.

“We are happy that we have a lot of partners and customers on the airshow. It gives us a big chance to come together with a lot of people on the short time,” he said.

Given the excellent market expectation and the city’s foresight, various forms of the aviation industry, such as agricultural UAVs, aviation new materials, engine maintenance services, aviation training and research experience, are developing in well in Zhuhai. Data shows that in 2020, the aviation industry output value in the Jinwan district alone has increased by 58.6% and that the aviation industry in Zhuhai continues to grow.

Industrial growth reflects the skyrocketing level of urban openness. As one of the first four special economic zones in China, Zhuhai has been at the forefront of international exchanges and cooperation in its rapid development over the past 40 years. Airshow China’s growing brand recognition has a close link to Zhuhai’s open attitude.

Currently, the Chinese government is promoting the construction of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin, Zhuhai, aiming to explore new paths and new models for deepening reform and opening up for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and even for China. It is foreseeable that Zhuhai will usher in a new round of opening opportunities, and this time it will not only attract the aerospace industry. A more open and efficient city, a high ground in line with international standards of global investment, is rising.

Source: Executive Committee of the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition

Wolters Kluwer Enablon Releases Version 9.3 of Vision Platform Software to Provide 360-Degree Risk Management for Asset-Intensive Enterprises

Companies in asset-intensive industries can achieve increased levels of operational excellence through exclusive holistic view of risk

CHICAGO, Sept. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Managing risk is now easier for enterprises of all sizes, thanks to Version 9.3 of the Enablon Vision platform. Enablon today announces a brand-new release of its integrated risk management platform, adding enhancements in user navigation, deployment options, mobile use cases and cross-domain functionality: Version 9.3 of the Enablon Vision Platform enables customers to obtain a holistic view of risk across their enterprise, a mandatory requirement to increase operational excellence. Enablon is a Wolters Kluwer business and a global leader in Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), Governance, Risk management, and Compliance (GRC), Environment, Health, Safety, and Quality (EHSQ) and Operational Risk Management (ORM) software solutions.

“Organizations now face growing pressure to conduct business in a more responsible, productive, and safe manner,” says Laurent Dechaux, Vice President & Managing Director, Wolters Kluwer Enablon. “Not only is there a shift in expectations from consumers and stakeholders for businesses to do no harm and contribute to a better world, but corporations also face pressure from the market to keep pace with digitization and embrace latest innovations to unlock the full potential of their business.”

Why is 360-Degree Risk Management important?

Data that helps organizations monitor, report, and predict against requirements related to risk is often siloed and stored in disparate systems, and the information needed to make informed decisions is not available to those needing real-time visibility. Version 9.3 of the Enablon Vision platform covers the full range of activities involved with risk, from capturing, measuring, and refining – to managing and predicting risk, in a single platform, with a single user interface and deployment.

“Organizations face challenges in the balance between being a good corporate citizen and being a productive business. To meet those needs, they need a platform that not only allows them to manage risk, but also to make the best decisions possible,” says Rob Davis, Vice President of Product Management, Wolters Kluwer Enablon. “Enablon is the only solution that covers and connects all types of enterprise risk, including operational, environmental, health, safety and quality. Version 9.3 enables our clients to get to the next level and break through the plateau that they are facing in terms of improving safety outcomes, improving operational excellence, efficiency and in making decisions to be more responsible.”

Top 5 Benefits of Enablon Vision Platform Version 9.3:

  1. Single sign-on and enhanced, consistent user interface and navigation: Navigate between capabilities across the platform using one set of credentials for easy access.
  2. Public cloud offering with more options for service continuity: Meet enterprise-class IT requirements through additional worldwide, public cloud deployment options.
  3. Save time in the field with new mobile functionality for Permit to Work and Incident Reporting.
  4. Drive collaboration between previously siloed teams with four cross-domain use cases to manage operational risk:
    • Lessons learned from incidents delivered straight into operational frontline for better Control of Work planning
    • Visualize EHS KPIs within Barrier Management for real-time view on leading indicators
    • Access Bowtie view of risk from the centralized risk register in Risk Management to view level of control effectiveness
    • Access Bowtie view of risk from Barrier Management for full real-time overview of barrier integrity combined with control effectiveness
  5. Address challenges in risk and operations by equipping staff with new expert solutions, including:
    • Calculate aggregated control effectiveness from multiple indicators across the platform
    • Integration with RiskLens to perform financial impact quantification of risks
    • Leverage the Value Reporting Foundation’s SASB framework for ESG reporting through the integration of the SASB Standards and SASB Materiality Map® into the Enablon Vision platform

With Enablon being the only vendor to serve multiple personas in the enterprise using a single integrated risk platform — from boardroom level discussions to supervisors managing controls and barriers onsite — the solution provides a unique capability to integrate key risk data from across the organization into meaningful insights.

Version 9.3 is available now for new Enablon customers and as an upgrade for existing customers. For more information about Enablon’s products and solutions, visit www.enablon.com.

About Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business
Enablon, a Wolters Kluwer business, is the world’s leading provider of integrated software solutions for risk and compliance; engineering and operations; environment, health, safety and quality (EHSQ) and sustainability. We help create a better world by making organizations responsible, productive and safe through innovative technology. Hundreds of industry-leading enterprises and millions of users worldwide rely on our solutions to minimize risks, increase worker safety, prevent incidents from happening, achieve regulatory compliance and reduce environmental impact. For more information, visit www.enablon.com, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Wolters Kluwer (WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the healthcare; tax and accounting; governance, risk and compliance; and legal and regulatory sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with technology and services. Wolters Kluwer reported 2020 annual revenues of €4.6 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 19,200 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.wolterskluwer.com, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Media Contact:
Astrid Greve-Spencer
Global Associate Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications
Wolters Kluwer Enablon
M: +1.708.427.8429
E: astrid.greve@wolterskluwer.com

Govt focusing on development of remote areas through equitable development: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan has declared to hold investigation into the corruption carried out in road infrastructure projects in the past.

Performing the groundbreaking of Jhal Jaho Bela road, in Islamabad today (Wednesday), he said the FIA has been mandated to expose the handful of elements that minted money through road projects.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the road projects being executed by the present government are less in rates when compared with those completed in previous regimes. He said we are spending two hundred million rupees less on a four-lane road than the ones executed back in 2013. He said this demonstrates how much tax payers’ money was plundered in the past. He assured to make the findings of the investigation public.

Imran Khan reaffirmed the determination to ensure equitable development in order to make Pakistan strong. He said we are focussing on the development of backward areas to bring them at par with the developed ones.

The Prime Minister especially stressed for improving connectivity in Balochistan saying this is vital for the development of the province as well as Pakistan.

In his remarks, Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said the construction of Jhal Jaho Bela road is part of Prime Minister Imran Khan's vision to uplift the backward areas. He said the road infrastructure projects in Balochistan are being completed on fast track basis.

Chief Minister Jam Kamal said both federal and provincial government are working together for the development of Balochistan. He said we are ensuring timely completion of road infrastructure projects in the province so that the people can really benefit from them.

Source: Radio Pakistan

Finance Minister Unearths Alarming Details of Cyberattacks on FBR

Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Fayaz Ahmed Tarin on Wednesday revealed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) systems were constantly and on regular basis subjected to cyberattacks – on average, approximately 71,000 times a month.

The minister informed the National Assembly in writing that subject to the immediate request for procurement going through, a more secure organization would evolve over the next 4-6 months.

The minister elucidated that the volume of cyberattacks had, over the past couple of years, sharply increased, as the tools and methods available to the hacking community had become more powerful and sophisticated.

During the past three years, the FBR systems were breached three times (with around a 0.001% success rate). The details are as follows:

i. 18-02-2019 to 22-02-2020 (possible data exfiltration from legacy systems)

ii. 23-03-2021 to 23-03-2021 (website defacement)

iii. 13-04-2021 to 19-08-2021 (no data exfiltration; limited to destruction of virtual machines causing major disruption)

The (i) breach in 2019 was not detected till the investigation into the latest (iii) breach. The (ii) breach was minor in nature and the infrastructure hosting the FBR website was hardened. Therefore, a cyber-breach-related audit was not carried out to date.

However, there is an ongoing investigation into the current (iii) breach with the help of a third party. This third party is helping to deep-scan the entire FBR network, including all machines located in the field formations, in order to determine the possible point of the initial breach. Once this gets determined and remedial actions are taken, a full third-party security audit will be carried out to determine any remaining vulnerabilities. A full action plan to counter the vulnerabilities will be put together and its execution to be monitored.

The (i) breach in 2019 was not detected till the investigation into the latest (iii) breach. The (ii) breach was minor in nature and the infrastructure hosting the FBR website was hardened. Therefore, a cyber-breach-related audit was not carried out to date.

The National Assembly was further informed that technology continues to evolve at breakneck speed and requires constant re-investment. Historically, investment into technology at FBR has remained restricted to specific periods directly related to financing being made available by donor agencies. This method of investment creates technology debt in-between such periods, which can lead to vulnerabilities going unaddressed, which can consequently create opportunities for malicious actors, such as what transpired during this recent event.

It is highly recommended that an annual budget for technology refresh be allocated to FBR, which would allow the organization to keep its technology up to date and allow it to take full advantage of advancements taking place in that space.

This should be equivalent to 0.05% of revenue collected, which would have amounted to Rs. 2.4 billion last year. This amount would have been sufficient for FBR to have upgraded much of its information security infrastructure, which may have prevented this recent incident.

Based on the emergency declared by the Cabinet, considering the recent incident, FBR has been authorized to undertake emergency procurement of Cyber & Information Security-related hardware, software, and services to protect the organization from such future attacks. Having said that, the threat landscape is always evolving at a faster pace, as compared to organizations trying to protect themselves. Therefore, this initial procurement may protect FBR for the immediate & medium future.

However, continued investment, as described above, must be put in place to protect and allow the organization to evolve into a truly data-driven digital organization for the longer term.

Source: Pro Pakistani