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News Article | March 2, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

This year ten researchers - including four women and six men - will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. The recipients were chosen by a selection committee in Bonn appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The prizewinners will each be presented with the €20,000 prize on 3 May in Berlin. This will be followed by a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize has been awarded annually to outstanding early career researchers since 1977 - as both recognition and an incentive to continue pursuing a path of academic excellence. Since 1980 it has been named after the atomic physicist and former DFG President Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, during whose period in office (1973-1979) it was first awarded. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is regarded not just as the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. In a survey carried out by "bild der wissenschaft" magazine, the major research organisations voted the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize the third most important research prize in Germany - after the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, presented by the DFG, and the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, awarded by the German President. A total of 154 researchers representing all research areas were nominated for this year's prize; 14 of the nominees were then shortlisted. "We were delighted at the sheer number of nominations received in the prize's anniversary year," said the chair of the selection committee, mathematician and DFG Vice President Prof. Dr. Marlis Hochbruck. "The ten recipients are an outstanding example of the high standard of academic quality and qualification of many young researchers in Germany." In his research, Andreas Geiger deals with the broad field of computer vision, in which he has already achieved international renown. His work combines machine vision and robotics. Geiger's main aim is to understand the basic principles of autonomous intelligent systems, especially in the area of autonomous driving. His work is therefore highly relevant not only socially, but also economically. Many of the algorithms he has developed are now being used by research teams and companies throughout the world and his scientific papers have already won multiple awards. Since 2016 Geiger has led the independent Max Planck research group 'Autonomous Machine Vision'. In the same year he was offered an interim professorship at ETH Zurich, in one of the world's biggest and most renowned labs for computer vision. As a postdoctoral researcher Christian Gross was involved in the pioneering development of microscopes for the observation of single atoms in optical grids. This enabled him to model a wide range of quantum systems experimentally and answer questions at the boundary of statistical physics and quantum mechanics. Gross achieved important results relating to phase transitions, magnetic correlations and non-equilibrium systems. Another key area of his work is the physics of Rydberg superatoms, with which he has generated new types of quantum crystals, for example. In 2015 Gross received an ERC Starting Grant for his project 'Rydberg-dressed Quantum Many-Body Systems' in order to advance research with his team that could pave the way for the design of quantum magnets. How do our attitudes influence our choices and ability to make moral judgements? When do personal experiences turn into prejudices? Mandy Hütter seeks answers to questions like these. She demonstrates that not all attitudes are the result of conscious learning processes and that moral judgements are also dependent on 'situational cues'. Hütter has published her results in internationally respected journals. In clinical practice they have proved useful in interventional approaches for phobias and are also creating new insights in the area of social prejudices, the study of democratic processes and the 'wisdom of the many'. Hütter, who also regularly presents her work to the general public, is a junior professor and the leader of the Social and Organisational Psychology group at the University of Tübingen. She also leads an Emmy Noether independent junior research group. Difficulty dealing with emotions and regulating them through changed evaluation is not limited to people with a range of psychological disorders: the same applies to healthy people who have an increased risk of developing such disorders. This is one finding from the work of psychologist Philipp Kanske, who studies the influence of emotions on the way we think and perceive things. He combines basic research with clinical studies, which enables him to adopt an original perspective on the topic at various psychological levels. With approximately 50 publications to date, Kanske has already had a notable impact on clinical-psychological neuroscience. In 2015 he was appointed to the Junge Akademie of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. At the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig he leads the Research Unit 'Psychopathology of the Social Brain'. Since 2013 Kirchlechner has led the working group 'Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials' at the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in Düsseldorf, where he and his team study the deformation and failure of materials in mesoscopic dimensions. The team's combination of micromechanical experiments and innovative methods for the characterisation of structures - including the so-called micro-Laue method - is unique. One measurement method co-developed by Kirchlechner makes it possible to investigate the influence of atomic defects on specific material properties. It therefore provides answers to key questions in materials science and engineering, specifically the mechanisms of fine grain hardening and the formation of dislocation structures during fatigue processes. Kirchlechner is already considered an internationally recognised expert in micromechanical experiments on synchrotrons. Olivier Namur collected a number of awards while still a student in Belgium and now publishes in his specialist field - the study of volcanic systems and magmatic processes on Earth, the Moon and Mercury - with remarkable impact in international bodies. Namur has developed thermodynamic models not only of the crystallization of magmas, but also of their physical properties. His research has also resulted in new experimental high-pressure, high-temperature methods. Another focus of Namur's research is the investigation and modelling of the textures of minerals in igneous rock, which contain information about the transport of materials and temporal processes in the Earth's deep crust. In recent years this has included crystal mushes, magmas with a very high crystalline content, which reach the surface as fragments due to eruptions and could provide clues as to the structure of the Earth's lower crust. Ute Scholl's field is the study of hypertonia, especially (pre)disposition to this condition due to genetic defects in ion channels and ion transporters. After writing her doctoral thesis on CIC-K chloride channels, which produced a number of highly regarded publications, in her postdoctoral phase she became the first researcher to describe a new syndrome and its genetic basis, which is associated with epilepsy, inner ear hearing loss, ataxia and renal salt loss. Scholl's research has made a significant contribution to the understanding of the hormonal degeneration processes that lead to secondary hypertonia with consequences such as cardiac circulatory disorders or stroke. Since 2014 Scholl has been a junior professor in Experimental Nephrology and Hypertensiology at the University of Düsseldorf. In 2016 she served as deputy spokesperson of the Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Her work has won numerous awards, including the Walter Clawiter Prize and the Ingrid zu Solms Research Prize. With his dissertation 'Verisimilitudo. Die epistemologischen Voraussetzungen der Gotteslehre Abaelards' and his habilitation thesis 'Theologie aus anthropologischer Ansicht. Der Entwurf Franz Oberthürs (1745-1831)', within a few years Michael Seewald established himself as an expert in dogmatics and ecumenical theology. The former won the Cardinal Wetter Prize of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria, while the latter was awarded the Karl Rahner Prize presented by the University of Innsbruck. Through his habilitation thesis, in particular, Seewald presented a fundamental work on the reception of the European Enlightenment in the environment of Catholic dogmatics, which, through an individual person, also sheds new light on the general relationship between the Catholic Church and modernity. This fills an important gap in research. Since January 2016, Seewald has taught as a private lecturer in dogmatics and ecumenical theology at LMU Munich. Marion Silies began to study the motion perception of Drosophila as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Since 2014 she has led the Emmy Noether independent junior research group 'The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Motion Perception' at the University of Göttingen. In this group she investigates the outstanding question of how neural networks perform critical calculation operations and how sensory systems use these calculations to extract information from the environment and control behaviour. Among the tools Silies uses is a genetic 'toolbox', established by her and now used by countless laboratories worldwide. With this toolbox researchers can manipulate neural function in specific cells and thus identify the neural networks of motion perception. Silies has won multiple awards for her work. In 2016 she received an ERC Starting Grant for her project 'MicroCyFly'. Within comparative literature, Evi Zemanek's fields of research range from antiquity to the present day. In the field of cultural ecology and 'ecocriticism', which investigates literary texts in the context of ecological aspects, she is considered a pioneer in German-language literature studies. In 2012 she established the DFG early career researcher network 'Ethics and Aesthetics of Literary Representations of Ecological Transformations', on behalf of which she organised six groundbreaking conferences. Since her dissertation 'Das Gesicht im Gedicht' (2010), intermediality research, especially the relationship of literature to painting, photography and architecture, has been another key aspect of her scholarly work. Zemanek is a junior professor of Modern German Literature and Intermediality at the University of Freiburg. In the winter semester 2016/2017 she will serve as an interim professor in the Institute of Media and Cultural Studies. The 2017 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize award ceremony, followed by a celebratory event, will be held on 3 May at 6 pm at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin. Representatives from the media are cordially invited to attend the award ceremony. Please register in advance with the DFG Press and Public Relations Office, tel. +49 228 885-2109, presse@dfg.de. More information about the prize and previous winners is available at: http://www.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Convention Industry Council (CIC) has selected SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other, to provide full-service association management. The council’s CEO, Karen Kotowski, CAE CMP, will continue to serve as CIC’s chief executive, and its headquarters will move to 2025 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on April 1. The Convention Industry Council was founded in 1949 by four organizations to facilitate the exchange of information within the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. CIC has grown to include 33 member organizations representing over 103,500 individuals and 19,500 firms and properties. The mission of the Convention Industry Council is to strengthen the value and sustainability of its members, support the premier credentialing program for the meeting professional, and provide a vibrant, collaborative platform to address critical issues and ensure a thriving events industry. CIC offers many tools and programs designed to support the industry and meet its challenges. It facilitates the exchange of information and ideas, and educates the public on the industry’s profound economic impact. CIC provides the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, which is recognized globally as the badge of excellence in the meeting, convention, exhibition and event industry. CIC also is spearheading the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative to develop accepted practices for the industry. “The Board of Directors is very pleased with the level of support that SmithBucklin will bring to CIC, and its ability to help our organization both now and as we work to realize our potential in the future,” said Susan Robertson, CAE, CIC Chair. “SmithBucklin’s culture and values are aligned with CIC’s. The staff is extremely well-qualified to support critical areas such as the domestic and global expansion of the CMP credential, APEX standard-setting, and major events such as the Hall of Leaders. Further, SmithBucklin’s solid services in the areas of marketing and branding, IT and website development are essential for taking CIC to the next level.” “CIC’s plans will really impact how people are engaging and finding value in the meetings community,” Kotowski said. “I am so happy to be part of the SmithBucklin team so that we can make these plans a reality.” “We are delighted to have been selected to serve the Convention Industry Council,” said Matt Sanderson, President & CEO, SmithBucklin. “We share CIC’s passion for bringing people together to achieve great things, and we look forward to serving this thriving industry, which is, of course, such an important focus of our company.” “In addition to feeling very honored to serve CIC, we are also thrilled to welcome Karen Kotowski to our SmithBucklin team,” said Jim McNeil, Executive Vice President & Chief Executive, Business + Trade Industry Practice. “Together, we are committed to helping CIC achieve its mission. We embrace the board’s vision for events industry excellence and are thrilled to help CIC create value for its member organizations and achieve the growth that the board envisions.” SmithBucklin will provide CIC with a complete management solution. In her continuing role as CEO, Kotowski will work with the CIC Board of Directors to establish strategic objectives, while being accountable for developing and executing plans that achieve results. She also will lead a team of professionals who will be responsible for all aspects of the association’s operations, membership recruitment and engagement, financial management, marketing and branding, communications and publications, technology, and conference management. The SmithBucklin team also will support CIC’s initiatives, including the CMP program, APEX, the Green Meetings Industry Council, and the Hall of Leaders program, which recognizes pioneers of the industry. Kotowski has more than 24 years of association experience. She has served CIC for eight years. Previously, she served as staff vice president at the National Association of Home Builders. Kotowski has a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, and she holds two certifications: the Certified Association Executive (CAE) and the Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) since 1995. SmithBucklin's Business + Trade Industry Practice helps a wide range of trade and professional associations achieve their missions, create value for their stakeholders and advance their industry professions. The practice's unmatched team of association professionals applies leading practices across a wide spectrum of association management services. One of the most respected and engaged participants in the conference, convention and trade show industry, SmithBucklin’s Event Services team delivers powerful results through conference design, business model development, curriculum design, participant marketing, event technology delivery, and registration and event logistics management, while enhancing the complete attendee experience. And, due to its significant buying power, the team is able to provide cost savings and favorable contract terms and conditions. Additionally, SmithBucklin professionals manage trade show and sponsorship sales and fulfillment, helping to create and implement strategic sales plans, identify new year-round revenue opportunities, and develop and sustain long-term partner relationships. SmithBucklin is the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. Our mission is to achieve the missions of the client organizations we serve and provide uncompromised stewardship for their long-term prosperity. SmithBucklin offers full-service management and outsourced services to trade associations, professional societies, technology user communities, industry consortia, charitable organizations, corporations and government institutes. Founded in 1949, SmithBucklin has offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Old Lyme, Conn., St. Louis, Bethesda, Md., and San Ramon, Calif., and delivers seamless association and event management services worldwide. The company is 100 percent employee-owned. For more information, please visit www.smithbucklin.com or call 1-800-539-9740.


News Article | February 22, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Maritz, the 123-year-old sales and marketing services company, and Capital Innovators, one of the nation’s top 10 tech accelerators, are celebrating one year of meaningful partnership set up to strengthen each other’s portfolio of companies. Key elements of the partnership include knowledge sharing, mentoring and exchanging best practices. “The partnership has been invaluable to our companies and the hands-on help that Maritz provides exemplifies what every corporation should be doing in the start-up space,” said Judy Sindecuse, founder and CEO of Capital Innovators. “Maritz has definitely led the charge for innovation engagement with startups in St. Louis and we’re excited to further deepen our relationship.” In efforts to elevate the learning/sharing process between the two, Maritz has established a formal mentorship program where employees are matched to a company participating in Capital Innovators’ accelerator program based on specific skillsets needed. To date, Maritz has mentored Capital Innovators’ last three cohorts of companies, lending expertise from sales effectiveness to brand loyalty. “The Maritz/Capital Innovators mentorship program has served as a win-win opportunity for both organizations,” said Tracie Gildehaus, senior director of insights & innovation at Maritz. “Capital Innovators’ companies are exposed to Maritz’ subject matter experts and gain access to the company’s robust network, whereas Maritz mentors learn how to think like an entrepreneur and gain insight into nascent industries.” The two organizations continue to co-lease space at Cortex through CIC’s (Cambridge Innovation Center) membership. About Maritz Holdings Inc. St. Louis-based Maritz is a sales and marketing services company, which helps businesses achieve their full potential through inspiring and motivating employees, channel partners and customers. Maritz companies provide market and customer research; customer loyalty, sales incentives and employee rewards and recognition programs; and meeting, event and travel incentive services to Fortune 500 companies and beyond. For more information, visit maritz.com or contact us at 1-877-4MARITZ. About Capital Innovators The Capital Innovators® start-up accelerator program was created by Judy Sindecuse in 2010 and provides tech startups with the resources they need to get to the next level. Capital Innovators provides $50,000 in seed funding, mentorship from a seasoned pool of knowledgeable experts, stellar perks, educational and social events, and the opportunity to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalist firms at the end of the program. For more information, visit capitalinnovators.com.


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Feb. 23, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (TOMI) (OTCQX:TOMZ), a global bacteria decontamination and infection prevention company, and its board of directors announced the formation and approval of  TOMI’s scientific advisory board. “We are honored William, Miguel and Helene – experts in intellectual property law, biosafety and infection prevention, respectively – have agreed to join our scientific advisory board,” stated Dr. Halden Shane, TOMI’s Chief Executive Officer. “We believe their support validates TOMI’s groundbreaking SteraMist™, and their guidance will help TOMI in "Innovating for a Safer World.” The team is charged with constructively challenging management to help develop strategy; ensuring the necessary resources are in place to enable us to achieve objectives in scientific research and development; and monitoring technological and regulatory trends that could impact our business as well as our performance against our goals. We believe their insight will be invaluable.” William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD William M. Brown, PhD, MBA, JD is a consultant and advisor to a series of biotech and life sciences companies. Dr. Brown is a seasoned attorney in intellectual property with deep experience in healthcare-related matters. He is licensed to practice law in several states and is a registered patent attorney. His consulting experience includes intellectual property portfolio management, clinical trial contracts, and patent/business development matters. He holds a PhD from the University of Southampton, England, an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a JD from New York Law School. Dr. Brown conducted postdoctoral research at Harvard, Johnson & Johnson, NIH, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng Miguel A. Grimaldo, MEng is an Assistant Professor for the Department of Pathology, Director of Institutional Biocontainment Resources at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) and the Director of the Biocontainment Engineering Division for the Galveston National Laboratory. His responsibilities include the review of all design, construction, commissioning and operation of High and Maximum containment laboratories as well as to ensure regulatory compliance and to conduct ongoing evaluation and recertification on all critical containment features, equipment and operations for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3), Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL3) and Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory facilities at UTMB. He is also a member of the UTMB Institutional Biosafety Committee. He has served as Committee Member for development of the ANSI Z9.14‐2014 Standard ‐ Testing and Performance‐Verification Methodologies for Ventilation Systems for Biosafety Level 3 (BSL‐3) and Animal Biosafety Level 3 (ABSL‐3) facilities as well as for the 2016 Edition of the National Institute of Health (NIH) ‐ Design Requirements Manual (DRM) for Biomedical Laboratories and Animal Research Facilities. Miguel routinely serves as Biocontainment Advisor for containment laboratories nationally and internationally on design, construction and operations and also routinely contributes to a technical column in the American Biological Safety Association (ABSA) journal, Applied Biosafety entitled, “Containment Talk”. Mr. Grimaldo obtained his Masters of Engineering from the University of Louisville and Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University. Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC Dr. Helene Paxton, MS, MT(ASCP), PhD, CIC, is an Infection Preventionist, owner of Bio Guidance, LLC, adjunct biology professor at Rowan University and Director of Infection Prevention at Saint Francis Healthcare. She is Infection Control Certified (CIC), board certified as an International Medical Laboratory Scientist and holds a PhD in Epidemiology. Dr. Paxton has 40 plus years’ experience in medical devices and infectious disease consulting. Dr. Paxton obtained her PhD from Kennedy Western University and her MS from Bowling Green State University. Scientific Advisory Board Provisions and criteria have been set in the company's bylaws and scientific advisory board charter. TOMI’s scientific advisory board will always observe in the letter and spirit the duties, rights and role as a member of the company's board as stipulated in the relevant listing standards. About TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. TOMI™ Environmental Solutions, Inc. (OTCQX:TOMZ) is a global bacteria decontamination and infectious disease control company, providing eco-friendly environmental solutions for indoor surface disinfection through manufacturing, sales and licensing of its premier platform of Hydrogen Peroxide based product that uses Binary Ionization Technology® (BIT™) , a state of the art technology for the production of its Activated Ionized Hydrogen Peroxide mist represented by the TOMI™ SteraMist™ brand. TOMI’s products are designed to service a broad spectrum of commercial structures including hospitals and medical facilities, cruise ships, office buildings, hotel and motel rooms, schools, restaurants, for non-food safety in meat and produce processing facilities, military barracks, and athletic facilities. TOMI’s products and services have also been used in single-family homes and multi-unit residences. TOMI also develops training programs and application protocols for its clients and is a member in good standing with The American Biological Safety Association, The American Association of Tissue Banks, Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, The Restoration Industry Association, Indoor Air Quality Association, and The International Ozone Association. For additional product information, visit www.tomimist.com or contact us at info@tomimist.com. Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 Certain written and oral statements made by us may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). Forward-looking statements are identified by such words and phrases as “we expect,” “expected to,” “estimates,” “estimated,” “current outlook,” “we look forward to,” “would equate to,” “projects,” “projections,” “projected to be,” “anticipates,” “anticipated,” “we believe,” “could be,” and other similar phrases. All statements addressing operating performance, events, or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future, including statements relating to revenue growth, earnings, earnings-per-share growth, or similar projections, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. They are forward-looking, and they should be evaluated in light of important risk factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our anticipated results. The information provided in this document is based upon the facts and circumstances known at this time. We undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements after the date of this release.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

WARRINGTON, PA, February 13, 2017 — KMRD Partners, Inc. (KMRD) is pleased to announce that it has been selected as the Small Company winner of the 2017 Societas Award for Responsible Corporate Conduct. Presented by DeSales University’s Forum for Ethics in the Workplace, the Societas Award recognizes companies that demonstrate responsible corporate conduct through legal compliance, corporate and individual accountability, commitment to stakeholders, and social responsibility. “This is an incredible honor for KMRD,” said Co-Founder & Principal, Bob Dietzel. “Since our firm was founded more than a decade ago, high ethical standards have been central to the way we do business and how we build relationships with our clients.” Kevin McPoyle, President added; “This high achievement is a testament to our dedicated and hard working people inside KMRD, and I believe it speaks directly to our unique culture and the high quality talent we are able to draw into our firm.” To be considered for the award, companies submit detailed information about their operations that addresses recognized elements of ethical business practices, such as accountability in all levels of the organization, strong compliance systems, and corporate citizenship. BerkOne of Bethlehem received the Large Company award and Concannon Miller of Bethlehem was selected as the Mid-size Company recipient. The DeSales University news story can be found at: http://www.desales.edu/home/news//2017/02/02/three-companies-receive-the-2017-societas-award To learn more about delivering successful risk management solutions from KMRD, contact Bob Dietzel, ARM, CIC, Co-founder and Principal at 866.957.5673 or email him at bdietzel(at)kmrdpartners(dot)com or visit http://kmrdpartners.com/risk-management-solutions To learn more about delivering successful human capital solutions from KMRD, contact John E. Garber, Jr., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Managing Director at 267.486.7018 or email him at jgarber(at)kmrdpartners(dot)com or visit http://kmrdpartners.com/human-capital-solutions KMRD Partners, Inc. is a boutique risk management and human capital solutions firm with over 800 clients nationwide. Founded in 2005, our award-winning team, disciplined approach and proven processes make KMRD the leading choice for clients and future partners looking to improve enterprise risk. For more information, visit http://kmrdpartners.com


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: phys.org

A goal in materials science, biomedicine and nanotechnology is the non-invasive compositional mapping of materials with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. A variety of high-resolution imaging techniques exist (for example, electron or scanning probe microscopies), but they cannot meet the increasing demands of high, noninvasive chemical sensitivity. Nanoscale chemical analysis has recently become possible with nano-FTIR spectroscopy, an optical technique that combines scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. By illuminating the metalized tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) with a broadband infrared laser or a synchrotron and analyzing the backscattered light with a specially designed Fourier transform spectrometer, local infrared spectroscopy with a spatial resolution of less than 20 nm has been demonstrated. However, only point spectra or spectroscopic line scans comprising not more than a few tens of nano-FTIR spectra could be achieved on organic samples, owing to the long acquisition times. Now, researchers from CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian, Spain), Ikerbasque (Bilbao, Spain), Cidetec (San Sebastian, Spain) and the Robert Koch-Institut (Berlin, Germany) have developed hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging. The technique allows for recording two-dimensional arrays of several thousand of nano-FTIR spectra—usually referred as to hyperspectral data cubes—in a few hours, and with a spatial resolution and precision better than 30 nm. "The excellent data quality allows for extracting nanoscale-resolved chemical and structural information with the help of statistical techniques (multivariate data analysis) that use the complete spectroscopic information available at each pixel," says Iban Amenabar, first author of the work. Even without any previous information about the sample and its components, pixels with similar infrared spectra can be grouped automatically with the help of hierarchical cluster analysis. By imaging and analysis of a three-component polymer blend (Figure 1) and, the researchers obtained nanoscale chemical maps that not only reveal the spatial distribution of the individual components but also spectral anomalies that were explained by local chemical interaction. The researcher also demonstrated in situ hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging of native melanin in human hair. For their experiments, the researchers used the commercial nano-FTIR system from Neaspec GmbH including a mid-infrared laser continuum that covers the spectral range from 1000 to 1900 cm-1. Multivariate analysis of the hyperspectral data was done with the software tool CytoSpec, which was developed by coauthor Peter Lasch. "With the rapid development of high-performance mid-infrared lasers and by applying advanced noise reduction strategies, we envision high-quality hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging in few minutes," concludes Rainer Hillenbrand, who led the work. "We see a large application potential in various fields of science and technology, including the chemical mapping of polymer composites, pharmaceutical products, organic and inorganic nanocomposite materials or biomedical tissue imaging," he adds. Explore further: European researchers identify materials at the nanoscale More information: Iban Amenabar et al. Hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging of organic samples based on Fourier transform infrared nanospectroscopy, Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14402


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An ultimate goal in materials science, biomedicine or nanotechnology is the non-invasive compositional mapping of materials with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. A variety of high-resolution imaging techniques exist (for example, electron or scanning probe microscopies), however, they cannot meet the increasing demand in research, development and industry of being noninvasive while offering highest chemical sensitivity. Nanoscale chemical analysis has recently become possible with nano-FTIR spectroscopy, an optical technique that combines scattering-type scanning near-field optical microscopy (s-SNOM) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. By illuminating the metalized tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) with a broadband infrared laser or a synchrotron, and analyzing the backscattered light with a specially designed Fourier Transform spectrometer, local infrared spectroscopy with a spatial resolution of less than 20 nm has been demonstrated. However, only point spectra or spectroscopic line scans comprising not more than a few tens of nano-FTIR spectra could be achieved on organic samples, owing to the long acquisition times. Now, researchers from CIC nanoGUNE (San Sebastian, Spain), Ikerbasque (Bilbao, Spain), Cidetec (San Sebastian, Spain) and the Robert Koch-Institut (Berlin, Germany) developed hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging. The technique allows for recording two-dimensional arrays of several thousand of nano-FTIR spectra - usually referred as to hyperspectral data cubes - in a few hours and with a spatial resolution and precision better than 30 nm. "The excellent data quality allows for extracting nanoscale-resolved chemical and structural information with the help of statistical techniques (multivariate data analysis) that use the complete spectroscopic information available at each pixel", says Iban Amenabar, first author of the work. Even without any previous information about the sample and its components, pixels with similar infrared spectra can be grouped automatically with the help of hierarchical cluster analysis. By imaging and analysis of a three-component polymer blend and (Figure 1), the researchers obtained nanoscale chemical maps that do not only reveal the spatial distribution of the individual components but also spectral anomalies that were explained by local chemical interaction. The researcher also demonstrated in situ hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging of native melanin in human hair. For their experiments, the researchers used the commercial nano-FTIR system from Neaspec GmbH including a mid-infrared laser continuum that covers the spectral range from 1000 to 1900 cm-1. Multivariate analysis of the hyperspectral data was done with the software tool CytoSpec, which was developed by coauthor Peter Lasch. "With the rapid development of high-performance mid-infrared lasers and by applying advanced noise reduction strategies, we envision high-quality hyperspectral infrared nanoimaging in few minutes", concludes Rainer Hillenbrand who led the work. "We see a large application potential in various fields of science and technology, including the chemical mapping of polymer composites, pharmaceutical products, organic and inorganic nanocomposite materials or biomedical tissue imaging ", he adds.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY), a leading commercial property/casualty and professional liability insurance company for niche markets, announces the promotion of five employees to Vice President. Yvonne Burgess, Michael Ricca, and Chris Rosecrans are now Vice Presidents in the Marketing department. John Preston assumes the position of Vice President in the Compliance department and Irene Varga is now a Vice President in the Claims department. Yvonne Burgess joined PHLY in 2006 as Regional Sales Manager and was promoted to Assistant Vice President in 2011. Prior to joining PHLY, she worked in the industry for 13 years serving in various roles within Claims, Underwriting, and Sales. Ms. Burgess manages a team in the Company’s Rocky Mountain Region and also participated in PHLY’s Leadership Academy in 2016. She attended University of Colorado at Boulder and has a B.A. in Economics with a Business minor. She also has a CIC designation. Mike Ricca joined PHLY in 1998. He spent two and a half years as a Claims Examiner before becoming a Marketing Representative for PHLY’s Metro Region. Mr. Ricca has had a consistent track record of sales success and was promoted to Regional Sales Manager in 2010 and Assistant Vice President in 2013. In addition to managing a team of Marketing Representatives, he has been integral in the training and assistance of many Marketing Trainees. Mr. Ricca also participated in the 2016 PHLY Leadership Academy. He graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Secondary Education. Chris Rosecrans joined PHLY as a Marketing Representative in 2007. He has worked most of PHLY’s California Sunbelt Territory as he moved his way through the ranks and developed key relationships with agents throughout the region. Mr. Rosecrans manages a successful Marketing team in Southern California. He holds a CIC designation and was a participant in the Tokio Marine North America Junior Leadership Program. Mr. Rosecrans earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. John Preston has 30 years of industry experience, including nearly 25 years with PHLY. While with PHLY, Mr. Preston spent 11 years in the Underwriting department holding various positions and more than nine years in the Corporate Underwriting and Compliance departments where he most recently served as Assistant Vice President. His current responsibilities include managing underwriting audit & compliance, agency licensing, legal notices, statistical reporting, DMV reporting, and assigned risk management. He was a member of the 2013 Tokio Marine Leadership Development Program and has a B.S. in Business Management from La Salle University. Irene Varga has more than 30 years of insurance claims experience including technical, operational, and managerial positions. Ms. Varga joined PHLY in 2006 as a Claims Specialist handling General Liability Claims. She quickly moved into a management role as a Supervisor and most recently as an Assistant Vice President. In addition to overseeing the technical quality of claims, Ms. Varga has made a significant contribution to the hiring and training process for GL claims professionals. In 2013, Ms. Varga participated in the Tokio Marine North America Leadership Program, exploring synergies among Tokio Marine’s U.S. Group companies. Ms. Varga graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Education. Headshots are available upon request by emailing phlypr(at)phly(dot)com. About Philadelphia Insurance Philadelphia Insurance Companies designs, markets, and underwrites commercial property/casualty and professional liability insurance products incorporating value added coverages and services for select industries. In operation since 1962, the Company, whose commercial lines insurance subsidiaries are rated ’A++’ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company and ’A+’ for counterparty credit and financial strength by Standard & Poor’s, is nationally recognized as a member of Ward's Top 50, National Underwriter’s Top 100, and one of the Top 150 Workplaces in America. Policies are underwritten by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company. The organization has 50 offices strategically located across the United States to provide superior service. For more information, please visit http://www.PHLY.com.


News Article | January 30, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

(1) Refer to the "Reconciliation of Annualized Net Interest Margin, Fully Tax-Equivalent (non-GAAP)" table included in this earnings release. (2) Refer to the "Reconciliation of Return on Average Common Tangible Equity (non-GAAP)" table included in this earnings release. DUBUQUE, Iowa, Jan. 30, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLF) today reported net income available to common stockholders of $19.1 million, or $0.74 per diluted common share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2016, compared to $14.4 million, or $0.67 per diluted common share, for the fourth quarter of 2015. Return on average common equity was 10.48% and return on average assets was 0.92% for the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 10.69% and 0.79%, respectively, for the same quarter in 2015. Net income available to common stockholders for the year 2016 was $80.1 million, or $3.22 per diluted common share, compared to $59.2 million, or $2.83 per diluted common share, recorded during the year 2015. Return on average common equity was 11.80% and return on average assets was 0.98% for the year 2016, compared to 11.92% and 0.88%, respectively, for the same period in 2015. Commenting on Heartland’s results for 2016, Lynn B. Fuller, Heartland’s chairman and chief executive officer said, "Heartland just completed its best year on record with net income available to common stockholders of $80.1 million, a 35 percent increase over 2015, with earnings per share growing by 14 percent." On October 29, 2016, Heartland entered into a definitive merger agreement for the acquisition of Founders Bancorp, parent company of Founders Community Bank, based in San Luis Obispo, California. The transaction is valued at approximately $29.1 million, subject to adjustment. Of the merger consideration, 70% will be in the form of shares of Heartland common stock, and 30% will be in cash. As of September 30, 2016, Founders Community Bank had total assets of $198.5 million, which includes gross loans of $106.6 million and total deposits of $180.5 million. The closing of the acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including approvals by the Founders Bancorp shareholders and banking regulators, and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2017. Simultaneous with the close, Founders Community Bank will be merged into Heartland's Premier Valley Bank subsidiary. Heartland expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings per share during 2018. On November 8, 2016, Heartland closed its sale of 1,379,690 shares of the its common stock pursuant to an underwriting agreement with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. as underwriter, providing for the offer and sale of the shares in a firm commitment underwritten public offering. The net proceeds from this offering were approximately $49.7 million. Heartland is using the net proceeds from this offering for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, working capital, debt repayment or financing potential acquisitions. Net Interest Margin Remains Consistent As a Percentage of Average Earning Assets and Increases In Dollars Net interest margin, expressed as a percentage of average earning assets, was 3.96% (4.14% on a fully tax-equivalent basis) during the fourth quarter of 2016, compared to 3.97% (4.14% on a fully tax-equivalent basis) during the third quarter of 2016 and 3.82% (3.99% on a fully tax-equivalent basis) during the fourth quarter of 2015. Fuller said, "Throughout the year, we were pleased to see tax-equivalent net interest margin maintained nicely above the key 4 percent level. Despite continued pressure from a very low interest rate environment, we continue to find opportunities to increase asset yields while reducing our funding costs." Interest income for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $82.8 million, an increase of $12.6 million or 18%, compared to the $70.2 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015. The tax-equivalent adjustment, which accounts for income taxes saved on the interest earned on nontaxable securities and loans, was $3.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 and $2.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. With these adjustments, interest income on a tax-equivalent basis was $86.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of $13.3 million or 18%, compared to $73.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase in interest income in the fourth quarter of 2016, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, was primarily due to an increase in average earning assets, which totaled $7.55 billion during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $6.51 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015, a $1.04 billion or 16% increase. A majority of this growth was attributable to the acquisition of Premier Valley Bank completed on November 30, 2015, and acquisition of CIC Bancshares, Inc. completed on February 5, 2016. Interest expense for the fourth quarter of 2016 was $7.6 million, an increase of $160,000 or 2% from $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015. Average interest bearing liabilities increased $424.6 million or 9% for the quarter ended December 31, 2016, from $4.78 billion in the same quarter in 2015, while the average interest rate paid on Heartland's interest bearing deposits and borrowings declined 4 basis points from 0.62% in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 0.58% in the fourth quarter of 2016. The average interest rate paid on savings deposits was 0.21% during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 0.20% during the fourth quarter of 2015, and the average interest rate paid on time deposits was 0.77% during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 0.82% during the fourth quarter of 2015. Net interest income increased $12.5 million or 20% to $75.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 from the $62.7 million recorded in the fourth quarter of 2015. After the tax-equivalent adjustment discussed above, net interest income on a tax-equivalent basis totaled $78.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2016, an increase of $13.1 million or 20% from the $65.5 million recorded during the fourth quarter of 2015. Noninterest income totaled $24.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $24.4 million during the fourth quarter of 2015. Service charges and fees totaled $8.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $6.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of $1.5 million or 22%. This increase was primarily attributable to a larger demand deposit customer base, a portion of which is attributable to the acquisitions completed during the last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016. Gains on sale of loans held for sale totaled $5.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $7.1 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, a decrease of $1.2 million or 18%. Net securities gains totaled $1.6 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $3.9 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, a decrease of $2.3 million or 59%. For the fourth quarter of 2016, noninterest expenses totaled $69.9 million compared to $66.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of $3.9 million or 6%. The category with the most significant increase was salaries and employee benefits, which increased $5.5 million or 16%. Other categories experiencing increases, primarily attributable to the recent acquisitions, were occupancy, furniture and equipment, professional fees and intangible assets amortization. Heartland's effective tax rate was 30.38% for the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 23.03% for the fourth quarter of 2015. Included in Heartland's income taxes for the fourth quarter of 2015 were federal historic rehabilitation tax credits totaling $1.4 million associated with Heartland's ownership interest in a qualifying real estate project. Federal low-income housing tax credits included in the determination of Heartland's income taxes totaled $304,000 during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to $145,000 during the fourth quarter of 2015. Heartland's effective tax rate was also affected by the level of tax-exempt interest income which, as a percentage of pre-tax income, was 23.69% during the fourth quarter of 2016 compared to 27.70% during the fourth quarter of 2015. Total assets were $8.25 billion at December 31, 2016, an increase of $552.3 million or 7% from $7.70 billion at year-end 2015. Included in this growth, at fair value, were $772.6 million of assets acquired in the CIC Bancshares, Inc. transaction. Securities represented 26% of total assets at December 31, 2016, compared to 24% at December 31, 2015. Total loans held to maturity were $5.35 billion at December 31, 2016, compared to $5.00 billion at year-end 2015, an increase of $350.2 million or 7%. This increase includes $581.5 million of total loans held to maturity, at fair value, acquired in the CIC Bancshares, Inc. transaction. Exclusive of this transaction, total loans held to maturity decreased $87.0 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 and decreased $231.2 million during the year 2016. Total deposits were $6.85 billion as of December 31, 2016, compared to $6.41 billion at year-end 2015, an increase of $441.6 million or 7%. This increase included $648.1 million of deposits, at fair value, acquired in the CIC Bancshares, Inc. acquisition. Exclusive of this transaction, total deposits decreased $65.3 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 and $206.5 million during the year 2016. Demand deposits totaled $2.20 billion at December 31, 2016, an increase of $287.9 million or 15% from $1.91 billion at year-end 2015, with $164.3 million of the increase attributable to the CIC Bancshares, Inc. transaction. Exclusive of this transaction, demand deposits decreased $36.7 million during the fourth quarter of 2016 and increased $123.6 million during the year 2016. Fuller said, "Though deposit growth has slowed, we continue to be pleased with the favorable shift in deposit mix as non-time deposits represent 87 percent of total deposits." Nonperforming assets were $74.8 million or 0.91% of total assets at December 31, 2016, compared to $51.7 million or 0.67% of total assets at December 31, 2015. Exclusive of $3.5 million of nonperforming assets, at fair value, acquired in the CIC Bancshares, Inc. transaction, nonperforming assets increased $19.6 million or 38% since year-end 2015. Nonperforming loans were $64.4 million or 1.20% of total loans at December 31, 2016, compared to $39.7 million or 0.79% of total loans at December 31, 2015. Contributing to the increase in nonperforming loans during 2016 were two  loans totaling $20.7 million at Dubuque Bank and Trust Company, both of which are in the process of collection. Based upon the current valuation of the collateral securing each loan relationship, we anticipate no additional provision for loan losses on either of these credits. The allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2016, was 1.02% of loans and 84.37% of nonperforming loans, compared to 0.97% of loans and 122.77% of nonperforming loans at December 31, 2015. The provision for loan losses was $2.2 million for both the fourth quarter of 2016 and 2015. Conference Call Details Heartland will host a conference call for investors at 5:00 p.m. EST today. To participate, dial 877-407-0782 at least five minutes before start time. To listen to the live webcast, log on to www.htlf.com at least 15 minutes before start time. A replay will be available until January 29, 2018, by logging on to www.htlf.com. About Heartland Financial USA, Inc. Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is a diversified financial services company with assets exceeding $8 billion. The company provides banking, mortgage, private client, investment, insurance and consumer finance services to individuals and businesses. Heartland currently has 108 banking locations serving 85 communities in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Minnesota, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California. Additional information about Heartland Financial USA, Inc. is available at www.htlf.com. Safe Harbor Statement This release, and future oral and written statements of Heartland and its management, may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 about Heartland's financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance and business. Although these forward-looking statements are based upon the beliefs, expectations and assumptions of Heartland's management, there are a number of factors, many of which are beyond the ability of management to control or predict, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in its forward-looking statements. These factors, which are detailed in the risk factors included in Heartland's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, include, among others: (i) the strength of the local and national economy; (ii) the economic impact of past and any future terrorist threats and attacks and any acts of war, (iii) changes in state and federal laws, regulations and governmental policies concerning the Company's general business; (iv) changes in interest rates and prepayment rates of the Company's assets; (v) increased competition in the financial services sector and the inability to attract new customers; (vi) changes in technology and the ability to develop and maintain secure and reliable electronic systems; (vii) the potential impact of acquisitions, (viii) the loss of key executives or employees; (ix) changes in consumer spending; (x) unexpected outcomes of existing or new litigation involving the Company; and (xi) changes in accounting policies and practices. All statements in this release, including forward-looking statements, speak only as of the date they are made, and Heartland undertakes no obligation to update any statement in light of new information or future events.


NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Please replace the release, dated March 1, 2017, with the following corrected version due to multiple revisions in the Financial Results bullets and financial tables. SYNERGY PHARMACEUTICALS REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR 2016 FINANCIAL RESULTS AND BUSINESS UPDATE Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:SGYP), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel gastrointestinal (GI) therapies, today reported its financial results and business update for the full year and the three months ended December 31, 2016. “The approval of TRULANCE™ (plecanatide) in the United States for the treatment of adults with chronic idiopathic constipation was a tremendous event not just for Synergy, but also for the millions of patients with CIC who have been in need of a new therapeutic option,” said Gary S. Jacob, PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. “I am pleased with the progress our team has made implementing a strong and compelling commercial plan, a robust high quality supply chain, and ensuring that the Synergy organization, healthcare providers and payers, are well prepared for the launch of TRULANCE this month. In addition, we are continuing our efforts to bring TRULANCE to patients with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation, as we remain on-track to file a supplemental new drug application (sNDA) this month.” “Together with the approval of TRULANCE, the fourth quarter of 2016 and beginning of 2017 were marked by several key accomplishments, including positive top-line results in two Phase 3 trials of TRULANCE in IBS-C which will support the sNDA filing and the recent publication of our Phase 3 CIC data in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. We’ve also strengthened our balance sheet and enhanced our strategic options as we completed a $125 million financing, continued to reduce our convertible debt and successfully eliminated restrictive covenants associated with that debt. These achievements put Synergy in an excellent position for future growth as we begin to commercialize our first product, TRULANCE.” We are focused on three key strategic imperatives to achieve our objective of ensuring that TRULANCE is ready for launch this quarter: TRULANCE is a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist indicated in adults for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). Please click here for Full Prescribing Information. CIC affects approximately 14 percent of the global population, disproportionately affecting women and older adults. People with CIC have persistent symptoms of difficult-to-pass and infrequent bowel movements. In addition to physical symptoms including abdominal bloating and discomfort, CIC can adversely affect an individual’s quality of life, including increasing stress levels and anxiety. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder characterized by recurrent abdominal pain and associated with 2 or more of the following: related to defecation, associated with a change in the frequency of stool, or associated with a change in the form (appearance) of the stool. IBS can be subtyped by the predominant stool form: constipation (IBS-C), diarrhea (IBS-D), or mixed (IBS-M). Those within the IBS-C subtype experience hard or lumpy stools more than 25 percent of the time they defecate, and loose or watery stools less than 25 percent of the time. It is estimated that the prevalence of IBS-C in the U.S. adult population is approximately 4 to 5 percent, although this number may vary as patients often fluctuate between the three subtypes of IBS. TRULANCE™ (plecanatide) is a once-daily tablet approved for adults with CIC and is being evaluated for IBS-C. With the exception of a single amino acid, TRULANCE is structurally identical to uroguanylin, a naturally occurring and endogenous human GI peptide. Uroguanylin is thought to act in a pH-sensitive manner, targeting GC-C receptors primarily in the small intestine coinciding with areas of fluid secretion. Synergy is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel GI therapies. The company has pioneered discovery, research and development efforts on analogs of uroguanylin, a naturally occurring and endogenous human GI peptide, for the treatment of GI diseases and disorders. Synergy’s proprietary uroguanylin analog platform includes one commercial product TRULANCE (plecanatide) and a second lead product candidate - dolcanatide. For more information, please visit www.synergypharma.com. Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by the use of forward- looking words such as "anticipate," "planned," "believe," "forecast," "estimated," "expected," and "intend," among others. These forward-looking statements are based on Synergy's current expectations and actual results could differ materially. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, substantial competition; our ability to continue as a going concern; our need for additional financing; uncertainties of patent protection and litigation; uncertainties of government or third party payer reimbursement; limited sales and marketing efforts and dependence upon third parties; and risks related to failure to obtain FDA clearances or approvals and noncompliance with FDA regulations. As with any pharmaceutical under development, there are significant risks in the development, regulatory approval and commercialization of new products. There are no guarantees that future clinical trials discussed in this press release will be completed or successful or that any product will receive regulatory approval for any indication or prove to be commercially successful. Investors should read the risk factors set forth in Synergy's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and other periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While the list of factors presented here is considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. Unlisted factors may present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof, and Synergy does not undertake any obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

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