Day: November 12, 2020


The Lancet Respiratory Medicine: Clinical trial finds inhaled immune response protein increases odds of recovery for hospitalised COVID-19 patients

Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People

  • Inhaled delivery of a formulation of a key protein involved in the immune response – interferon beta-1a – to hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the UK reduced the odds that they would develop severe disease or die from SARS CoV-2 infection.
  • Those patients who received inhaled interferon beta-1a were more than twice as likely to recover from COVID-19 infection to a point where everyday activities were not limited compared with those who received a placebo.
  • The trial included 101 patients, with the data providing strong rationale for larger studies to further investigate the impact of this treatment on clinical outcomes.

Hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the UK who received an inhaled form of interferon beta-1a (SNG001) were more likely to recover and less likely to develop severe symptoms than patients who received a placebo, according to a new clinical trial published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal. This is the first evidence published in a peer-reviewed medical journal that inhaled interferon beta-1a could lessen the clinical consequences of COVID-19 and serves as proof-of-concept that this treatment could help hospitalised patients recover, but further research is required.

As the number of COVID-19 infections continues to rise around the world, there is a pressing need to develop new treatments for the more severe and life-threatening symptoms such as pneumonia and respiratory failure.

Interferon beta is a naturally occurring protein that coordinates the body’s immune response to viral infections. Laboratory studies have found that the SARS CoV-2 virus directly suppresses the release of interferon beta, while clinical trials demonstrate decreased activity of this important protein in COVID-19 patients. The formulation of interferon beta used in this new study – SNG001 – is directly delivered to the lungs via inhalation and has been trialled in the treatment of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of SNG001 to treat hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

The trial was conducted at nine UK hospitals with patients who had a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. It compared the effects of SNG001 and placebo given to patients once daily for up to 14 days, and followed up patients for a maximum of 28 days after starting the treatment. Patients were recruited from March 30 to May 30, 2020, and were randomly assigned to receive the treatment or a placebo. All members of the research team were blinded to which group the patients were allocated. During the study, changes in the clinical condition of patients were monitored.

Of the 101 patients enrolled in the study, 98 patients were given the treatment in the trial (three patients withdrew from the trial) – 48 received SNG001 and 50 received a placebo. At the outset of the trial 66 (67%) patients required oxygen supplementation at baseline (29 people in the placebo group and 37 in the SNG001 group). Patients who received SNG001 were twice as likely to show an improvement in their clinical condition at day 15 or 16, compared with

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First Diversity Week at Stanford Medicine tackles tough topics in medical education, health care | News Center

People are a composite of many interconnected identities, Lassiter said, and taking an “intersectional” point of view is helpful in assessing how diverse, equitable and inclusive a workplace is. As an example, Lassiter described a case study of a particular organization that touted the number of women and people of color in their workforce. 

 The “statistics sound great on the surface, but … when we look at the data from an intersectional perspective, we see that the women in the organization are mostly white women, and the largest group of men in their organization is white men,” Lassiter said. 

 “When organizations say, ‘We’ve increased our numbers of women,’ who are those women?” Lassiter said. Similarly, when groups claim, “’We’ve increased our numbers of people of color,’ who’s included in [their definition of] people of color?” These are the questions that the framework of intersectionality helps us address, Lassiter said.

Diversity, equity and inclusion in medical education

We have to be willing to employ the same kind of rigor we apply to studies of science and medicine to efforts designed to eliminate bias and racism and promote diversity and inclusion, several speakers said.

In 2017, a 10-month program called Leadership, Education and Advancing Diversity, or LEAD, was created to pair Stanford Medicine residents and fellows with mentors who are Stanford Medicine faculty or educational administrators. 

“I had no idea how impactful this work would be,” Carmin Powell, MD, clinical assistant professor of pediatrics, told attendees at the Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Oct. 9. Powell co-directs LEAD with Lahia Yemane, MD. 

Every month, LEAD’s participants take part in discussion-based lectures on various topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion. They also work with their mentors to develop a presentation to deliver at the annual Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

 In just four years, LEAD has tripled in size, growing from 30 scholars and mentors to more than 100, Powell said. Part of the program’s success is its engagement with medical residents and fellows early in their careers, making equity, diversity and inclusion a part of their training.

Knowledge is key

Educating yourself on the history of racism and how to foster diversity and inclusion is essential, said Marc Nivet, executive vice president for institutional advancement at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and keynote speaker at this year’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum.

“If you get nothing else out of today’s talk, I would just implore you to read and to get educated,” Nivet said. 

“You can no longer be an effective leader, period — not just in academic medicine — but period, without being much more elevated in your ability to understand these issues,” he said. “And that comes from reading and learning.”

Learning, trying new things and sharing what does — and doesn’t— work is important for progress, Nivet explained. “I think we don’t share the results of failure, which is typical in academic medicine. We don’t get points for writing about failures or initiatives that didn’t work and why

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Shred Raises $4M to Modernize Home Fitness with Fun, Motivating, Social Workouts

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Shred, the best way to get fit together, announced $4M in seed funding from leading Silicon Valley investors and celebrities. The funding will be used to grow and expand Shred’s digital fitness platform and bring new products and features to its growing community, including the launch of a new video streaming platform that lets consumers workout with their friends. This new functionality will begin rolling out by the end of the year, just in time for the holidays. You can join the waitlist here!

Since inception, more than a million consumers have made Shred their fitness destination, with COVID-19 driving significant interest as consumers reshape their fitness routines while gyms around the globe remain closed. The number of home workouts versus gym workouts has doubled during the pandemic. The growing number of Shred users have created a unique, motivated community because the ability to egolessly motivate each other is so powerful and engaging. Collectively, more than 3 million workouts and 76 million exercises have been completed on Shred.

“When we started Shred, we wanted to build a way for our friends to exercise with each other, despite being separated by hundreds of miles and having very different, very busy schedules. It’s amazing to see our passion turn into something that’s changing so many lives for the better. Shred embodies what tech-for-good means and I’m proud to build Shred every day,” said Charlie Hale, Shred Co-founder and Head of Product.

“I’m excited for the potential I see for Shred users in a new era of social fitness. While the world has clearly changed over the past several months, mobile technology has also created a once in a generation opportunity to create an amazing experience. The team at Shred has built an incredibly engaging product, and I’m even more excited about what I know what’s coming soon,” said Eduardo Vivas, an early investor and angel investor. 

The future of fitness is increasingly remote and asynchronous. People want to work out with their friends and on their own time – which was previously impossible to achieve. With Shred and the upcoming video-based social workout launch, people can workout whenever they want with whoever they want and have a great time doing it!

About Shred

Shred is the best way to get stronger & workout harder with dynamic, personalized training programs for your home or gym, step-by-step coaching & tracking, and fun motivation from a hardworking community around the world. Let’s get started! Visit

Press Contact
Jessi West
[email protected] 
(415) 343-5880

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Top fitness, health and sleep gifts for the holidays

Looking for a smartwatch or a cool sleep or health item with a tech edge to gift this holiday season? Here’s a roundup of some options.

Finding a

for that fitness lover, health-focused family member, or sleep-deprived friend can be time-consuming. There are plenty of tech options available and here’s a roundup of some of the best and most useful choices for everyone from your favorite teen to your aging parent. 


Image: Fossil

The Fossil Gen 5E smartwatch is a sleek new device available in two sizes, 42mm or 44mm. It has an optimized activity tracker, sleep tracking, cardio fitness tracking and phone app updates. It runs on Wear OS by Google. 

$249 at Fossil


Image: UA

Under Armour has developed a face mask for athletes to use while training and working out. It has a moldable nose bridge to secure it in place and mitigate airflow to the eyes so that glasses won’t fog as easily. It’s reuseable. It comes in four sizes: SM/MD, MD/LG, LG/XL, XL/XXL.

$30 at Under Armour


Image: Palo Alto Innovation

The Sandman Doppler is an all-in-one charging station and alarm clock with Amazon Alexa built in. It has six high-speed USB charging ports and the manufacturer, Palo Alto Innovation, plans to roll out updates in Q1, including two programmable smart buttons to let users set up their own routine. 

$200 at Palo Alto Innovation


Image: UA

This is the first basketball shoe that Under Armour has developed specifically for a female basketball player. It was built for elite female players to give them an advantage on the court.

$110 at Under Armour


Image: Jabra

These earbuds have up to 28 hours of battery life and they’re ideal for sports, music and calls. They’re waterproof and engineered to fit snug in your ear, so they’re perfect for a long run or workout.

$200 at Jabra


Image: Eggtronic

The Einova Mundus Pro is a UV-C disinfecting device to kill germs and bacteria on high-touch items like wallets, keys and phones. This is a UV-C disinfecting tray that holds more than just a phone with dimensions of 19.5 x 19.5 x 5.2 inches. A full cycle takes eight minutes, but four minutes will substantially sanitize devices and the novel coronavirus is killed in one minute, according to studies the company has cited. The top of the tray is a fast Qi-certified 10w wireless charging dock.

$119 at Eggtronic


Image: Joovv

This portable light therapy device provides red light therapy for improved cellular function, increased blood circulation and optimizing sleep. It delivers red and near infrared (NIR) wavelengths. 

$545 at Joovv

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Business Insider’s top advertising and media stories for November 13

Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for November 13. I’m Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at [email protected]

First: We are looking for nominations for the top PR firms in the tech industry. Nominations are open until November 18.

Today’s news: L’Oréal’s US chief marketing officer Gretchen Saegh-Fleming leaves for at-home fitness startup Hydrow, inside WarnerMedia’s huge layoffs, and how Jennifer Prosek became a star in financial PR.



L’Oréal’s US CMO has jumped to at-home fitness startup Hydrow, which just raised $25 million as it aims to take on Peloton and Mirror

Read the full story here.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar

Jason Kilar.


Inside WarnerMedia as huge layoffs hit the company and speculation swirls around the futures of CNN and HBO Max

Read the full story here.

Jennifer Prosek, managing partner of Prosek Partners

Jennifer Prosek, managing partner of Prosek Partners, speaks at the Page Spring Seminar in 2015.


Inside the rise of Jennifer Prosek, who went from upstart to financial public relations juggernaut who spins for clients like Goldman Sachs and Bridgewater Associates

Read the full story here.

More stories we’re reading:

 Thanks for reading and see you on Monday! You can reach me in the meantime at [email protected] and subscribe to this daily email here.

— Lauren

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RTE star Lottie Ryan says she’s ‘elated’ with new smile as she shows off gorgeous teeth following trip to dentist

RTE star Lottie Ryan has revealed that she is “elated” after she showed off her gorgeous teeth following a trip to the dentist.

The radio presenter took to her Instagram stories today following her trip today to her local dentist, Merrion Road Dental.

Lottie shared a picture she took of her teeth before she went to the dentist


Lottie shared a picture she took of her teeth before she went to the dentistCredit: Instagram
Lottie said that she is thrilled with how her teeth are now


Lottie said that she is thrilled with how her teeth are now Credit: Instagram
Lottie explained that two of her teeth were bothering her


Lottie explained that two of her teeth were bothering her Credit: Instagram

She explained that she has been going to the same dentist for years and she was thrilled with today’s visit.

The Dancing With The Stars winner said that she always had a problem with two of her teeth but the dentists were able to fix it.

Speaking with her followers Lottie started off by saying: “Happy Friday everyone.

“So I’m just back from the dentist and usually I am not elated when I come home from a visit to the dentist but this time I am and I thought I would share with you why because why not?

“So I have been going to my dentist since I was a baby and then my dental practice was taken over by some young women who I have been going to for years now and they are a small practice and I just love them.”

She explained that she got her two of her teeth composite bonding and she is loving her new smile.

The presenter continued saying: “I think they are amazing and I went into them today and was saying two of my teeth were bothering me .

“She is just such a genius she did this thing called composite bonding on two of my teeth and when I say I sat up and smiled and nearly died I’m not joking.”

She added: “I feel, this is an exaggeration, I feel like I got veneers and I didn’t these are all my own and I was in and out within two hours.”

Lottie then shared a before and after snap of her teeth as she praised the dental practice more.

Speaking with her fans she said: “I am going to show you a picture I took before I went into her and a little picture now and you will see the difference.

“They’re just phenomenal I can’t recommend them enough.

“I am mad into teeth and I always have been, I think it’s probably because my granddad

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The new Amazfit Band 5 fitness tracker is on sale for $45


The Amazfit Band 5 is slim, capable and affordable, and it lets you choose between dozens of slick faces.

Rick Broida/CNET

Looking for a budget fitness band to slap on your wrist? The new Amazfit Band 5 deserves careful consideration, and not just because it’s only $50. It’s because right now, the Amazfit Band 5 is on sale at Amazon for just $45. That’s for the black version; if you want it in orange or olive, Amazfit proper has it for the same price. Granted, a $5 discount isn’t much, but this thing was already a compelling option at $50.

If this looks a bit familiar, perhaps you’re thinking of the Xiaomi Mi Band 5. You’re not wrong: The two are virtually identical. (Fun fact: Amazfit is owned by Huami, which is a manufacturing partner of Xiaomi.) I’d go so far as to say they’re indistinguishable, though there are a couple key internal differences:


The Band 5 on the left is a little better than the Band 5 on the right. And they’re priced within about $5 of each other. 


The Band 5 — sorry, Amazfit Band 5 — ticks an impressive number of fitness boxes. It measures heart rate, blood oxygen level, steps, sleep, women’s health and more. It can also monitor your stress levels and run guided breathing exercises.

On the watch front, you get a choice of over 45 colorful faces, plus the typical stuff like notifications, call alerts, meeting reminders and so on. You can’t reply to a text message, but you can decline a phone call. You can also control music playback and your phone’s camera shutter. Good stuff.

Amazfit promises up to 15 days of operation on a charge with typical usage, or 25 days of power-saving usage. (That means no HR monitoring or the like.) I wasn’t able to put the battery to the test, but even if those estimates are high, the Band 5 will outlast many other fitness bands.

Another notable feature: built-in Alexa. This was very much in beta during my tests, and it showed: A while after authorizing the Band 5’s app to work with my Alexa account, that authorization was lost; I had to set it up again. After that, I’d get “server is busy” or “could you repeat that” messages when trying to issue certain commands. It just didn’t work reliably.

Meanwhile, it’s not a hands-free implementation — to use it, you swipe right from the clock screen — and because the Band 5 has no speaker, you won’t hear audible responses. Of course, your phone needs to be in proximity as well, with the Zepp app running.

Yep: Zepp. That’s the new name for Amazfit’s app, just to keep things good and confusing. I don’t love it, but it’s fine for use with a $50 fitness band. It’s wrong to expect the sun, moon and stars at this price.

CNET hasn’t done

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Co-Founder of YouTube Chad Hurley Announces Investment in CLMBR, Marking His First Venture into the Connected Fitness Space

DENVER, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today CLMBR – a leader in connected fitness technology – announced the addition of Chad Hurley, co-founder and former CEO of YouTube, to its board of advisors. Hurley’s role at CLMBR will have a particular focus on the buildout of a cutting edge content ecosystem for the brand. He also joins venture capital and private equity firm KBW-Ventures; exercise physiologist and CEO and Founder of 22 Days Nutrition, Marco Borges; and others as an investor in a seed round that will be used to support the launch and delivery of CLMBR Connected and CLMBR Pure vertical climbing machines.


A former cross-country and track and field runner, Hurley was searching for an interesting alternative to running on a treadmill amid the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. He read about how star athletes like LeBron James swear by vertical climbing and discovered CLMBR, the world’s first connected vertical climbing machine.

“The pandemic put into perspective the importance of prioritizing my health, and vertical climbing is an impactful full-body exercise that has made a big difference throughout my recent fitness journey. Not only is the CLMBR team reimagining at-home exercise equipment, it is working to democratize the fitness experience for all consumers through its upcoming advanced and diverse content platform. I’m looking forward to providing my expertise within the content streaming space to help CLMBR create a one-of-a-kind user experience that matches its one-of-a-kind machine,” said Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube.

CLMBR is an ergonomic and innovative vertical climbing apparatus and the first vertical climber to feature a large-format touch display with on-demand, instructor-led classes. The patent-pending design has a high-quality build, minimal level of required maintenance, and features an integrated audio system that can fill an entire room with sound, enhancing excitement for the user. It also offers a state-of-the-art companion app to display key metrics including vertical feet climbed and workout targets reached. 

“When Chad reached out with interest in joining the CLMBR team, we were very eager to tap into his expertise and background in delivering content to a wide range of consumers,” said Avrum Elmakis, founder and CEO of CLMBR. “CLMBR is disrupting the way people exercise and offers a new take on a classic machine. We aim to go a step further with our in-app experience and unique content platform. A lot of our time is now spent at home, and we want to make sure that consumers have access to a range of fitness experts at home and can walk away from our machine feeling connected to a community of likeminded people on their fitness journeys. With the addition of Chad, we’re confident that we’ll be able to deliver a workout experience unmatched by any others in the connected fitness space. We’re excited to share more in the coming months.”

Sign up for pre-order notification of CLMBR Connected for home and CLMBR Pure for commercial use at

CLMBR is an ergonomic and

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SPENGA Becomes First Certified Pure Air Fitness Studio in the World

“Becoming a Certified Pure Air Indoor Environment has given our members the confidence to come back in for classes,” says owner Dan Foster. “It’s really provided the bounce we need to get back to business and has given us an edge over the competition.”

What is a Certified Pure Air Indoor Environment?

Pure Air Indoor Environment is a combination of services. Each service improves and maintains optimal indoor air quality.

HVAC Cleaned and Restored

The first step in the certification was to clean two rooftop air handling units with the PURE-Steam™ method. High temperature steam provides thorough disinfection of the RTUs. Then insulation was coated with encapsulating paint as part of the HVAC New Life™ process. This prevents the spread of fiberglass particles into the building below.

Pathogens Neutralized

PURE-Decon topical cleaning together with an electrostatic spray method disinfects pathogens. This method goes well beyond CDC recommendations. Next, two needlepoint PURE-Plasma BiPolar Ionizers and two PURE+AeraMax air purifiers were installed to eliminate microbes and particles.

Conditions Tested

Pure Air Control’s EDLab analyzed samples from coronavirus environmental testing and found no presence of virus RNA. As a result, the studio was verified safe for occupancy.

Conditions Monitored

The last step for certification included the installation of IAQ Guard technology. This system continuously monitors the facility for particles, temperature, rH, CO2, and VOCs. Finally, before entering the studio, members get checked at a touchless temperature detection kiosk.

Certified Pure Air Controls Success

“We were honored to help SPENGA achieve their IAQ goals to protect their members and staff,” says Alan Wozniak, CEO of Pure Air Control Services. “They are an elite fitness studio so becoming certified with our healthy building program speaks volumes of their commitment to the high standards they’ve set for themselves.”

Contact: Troy Raszka, (727) 572-4550

SOURCE Pure Air Control Services

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Planet Fitness Stock Had a Terrible Quarter. Here’s Why It’s Still a Buy

Gyms have been one of the business models hurt most by the pandemic. Lockdowns had forced most gyms to shut down, and some simply never reopened. For gyms open today, strict capacity restrictions provide yet another temporary headwind for success.

Considering all of this, it’s no wonder that Planet Fitness (NYSE:PLNT) had such a bad quarter. Regardless, it is a strong long-term buy.

How is the company is doing today?

A man and a women running on treadmills in a gym

Image source: Getty Images.

In Planet Fitness’ most recent quarter, it posted a 36.8% year-over-year decrease in revenues and a 5.6% year-over-year decrease in same-store sales. Its adjusted EBITDA was cut in half to $32 million, and the company reported its first GAAP net income loss in years — ouch. Encouragingly for investors, management believes brighter days are ahead.

In the same report, CEO Chris Rondeau pounded the table on his conviction in long-term market share gains for Planet Fitness. The structure of its operations deserves a lot of the credit for that.

Fortunately for the company, its franchisee business model creates an asset-light approach to operating gyms. Rather than owning the vast majority of Planet Fitness locations, the company collects rent from franchisees owning roughly 75% of stores. This approach allows Planet Fitness to enjoy EBITDA margins double that of competitors like Crunch Fitness, and enabled staying-power for Planet Fitness while others like Gold’s Gym declared bankruptcy due to the pandemic.

The profile of a typical Planet Fitness franchisee is also ideal. Company franchisees own, on average, 20 locations in multiple states. This fosters durability among Planet Fitness location-owners, which also served the company immensely well during a tough 2020.

It’s nice that Planet Fitness can survive turbulent times, but how will it perform as the world begins to recover? Early signs are positive.

Today, 95% of Planet Fitness locations are open once more. Usage rates at the open locations are surprisingly in line with pre-COVID levels, and its membership of 14.1 million is flat from before the pandemic. Ideally, member count would be growing — but considering the global pandemic, status quo is just fine.

In September, Planet Fitness resumed national marketing for the first time since the pandemic began. The early results have been solid, with a chunk of locations actually returning to positive year-over-year membership growth during the quarter. Based on the early advertising success, the national gym chain decided to increase funds allocated to marketing for the rest of 2020. This does not sound like a struggling company.

While the pandemic has been a massive demand shock for gym chains, people will likely still want to work out when they feel it’s safe to do so. With Planet Fitness’ industry-low $10-a-month membership — and the economic pain cause by COVID-19 — it’s reasonable to believe the company could emerge out of the pandemic even stronger than before.

More growth to come

Through all of the chaos, Planet Fitness opened 29 new locations during the quarter and began to capitalize on the industry consolidation it has

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