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Posts Tagged ‘Property & Casualty’

Zika threat continues to rise

April 20, 2016 Leave a comment

ZIKAVIRUSWith the warm weather approaching, many people are thinking of summer vacations and shedding the winter clothes. However, with the changing seasons comes the threat of bugs and the viruses they carry. As we previously discussed on our blog, Zika Virus is the threat of the year and does not appear to be going anywhere due to the lack of knowledge surrounding the virus.

According to the CDC, there are currently 358 confirmed cases of Zika Virus in the United States, but it’s important to note that 351 of these are from those who have traveled to other countries where the virus lives, and only 7 are due to sexual transmission. The biggest concern for the CDC is the transmission of the disease from one person to another. Women who have been in an infected area are told to wait 8 weeks before trying to conceive; while men are told to wait 6 months, as the virus has been noted to last even longer in their bodies. The transmission of the disease between partners and to an unborn child is a significant scare due to the lack of preparation against the disease.

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3D printing’s breakthrough in the life science market

March 24, 2016 Leave a comment

16661915478_b89cf8096e_qA new item is being introduced into the life science market and it’s getting wide recognition for being the first of its kind: 3D printing. There has been much talk regarding the world of 3D printing but it has not been previously connected with the life science industry. The FDA has approved the first 3D printing drug, produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals and its being made to treat seizures and epilepsy.

The 3D pill hit the market earlier this year and questions as to whether the same guidelines apply to the production are arising. When a new drug is introduced, there are several markers that the company must follow, what companies are wondering now is if the same rules apply for a drug that is being 3D printed. Will there be similar guidelines for equipment use and quality control? Quality assurance has been one of the biggest questions surrounding 3D printing in terms of products; with the product now being of a medical background the quality control guidelines are going to be strictly followed and monitored to be sure the product comes out the same as it would under a mechanically generated pill. Read more…

Private equity update: Optimistic for more deal activity

March 22, 2016 Leave a comment

magnifying_glassDeal volume in Q4 2015 was very high, with many private equity firms charging hard for year-end closes. However, January experienced a slower pace for deal volume. Our team suspects many private equity firms were evaluating their portfolios, if sellers will adjust their pricing, and evaluating any potential impact from China’s economy.

In addition, the actions and commentary of the Fed in January when it comes to raising interest rate, has provided some uncertainty.

With February behind us, and only a few weeks away from the end of Q1, activity has steadily increased, and it appears as if the rest of 2016 will continue to follow suit. Deal flow has increase quite well, and in speaking with deal professionals and advisors, many seem to be cautiously optimistic for 2016 overall, as pipelines are filling up. Read more…

Scammers are phishing for tax refunds

W2At least a dozen companies have recently been tricked into sending employees’ W-2 Forms to unknown third parties in response to email requests that appeared to be from others within the corporate network.   The immediate goal of the scammers is apparently to file fraudulent tax returns in the name of the victims and seek large refunds. W-2s contain almost all the information they need.

Tax refund fraud a growth business. The FTC has indicated that it is largely responsible for last year’s dramatic increase (nearly 50%) in complaints of consumer identity fraud.  Scammers seeking fraudulent tax refunds even stole sensitive data of about 330,000 people from the IRS’s own website. Read more…

Autonomous cars on the move

carGoogle reported Monday that it is partly to blame for an accident involving one of its autonomous vehicles hitting a municipal bus in California. This is the first accident that Google has taken blame for in the past six years; there have been 17 minor accidents during that time, however none have held Google at fault.

Driverless cars are fast becoming the trend in the next layer of technology. The Tesla Model S is one of those cars that is fast becoming a known name. The Tesla allows for autonomous driving while the actual driver is in the car to observe. The driver is still responsible and in control, putting the layer of risk back on the driver and not the company, unlike the situation with the Google car. Read more…

Growth in renewable jobs in Massachusetts

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment

solar_workerAccording to a recent report from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the state has seen an increase in jobs and performance in the energy sector over the past two years. The double-digit growth has been consistent for the past four years with the state now employing 98,985 workers at 6,439 clean tech and renewable energy companies across the state. Massachusetts clean energy is now an $11 billion dollar industry, making it a stand out on the map for global leadership in clean energy.

The innovation and investing in the field has allowed Massachusetts to grow the industry into a model of what other states want to accomplish. “Private sector innovation and investment combined with public sector leadership on forward thinking clean energy policies are continuing to prove to be a strong formula to drive the flourishing of this industry,” commented Northeast Clean Energy Council President Peter Rothstein. Read more…

Zika virus rises to public health emergency status

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment

zikaLike so many other viruses or diseases that make media headlines, the Zika virus has proven to be the latest in a long line of “bugs” that has raised the public awareness of the dangers that appear from foreign lands and seem to be of an unknown origin. However, the truth of the matter lies far from perceptions and assumptions made in the media. What is not a myth is the risk that these types of pandemic exposures present to healthcare providers across the entire industry spectrum.

Unlike the most recent scare that made so many headlines, the transition of the Zika virus is very different from that of Ebola and other “bugs” that have caused pandemic headlines. Read more…