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Canadian luxury real estate market caps historic year with multiple records broken

    TORONTO –  The country’s major metropolitan luxury real estate markets broke consecutive records throughout 2021 as Canadians’ urgent, pandemic-influenced demand for housing mobility and strengthening confidence in the country’s economic…

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TORONTO –  The country’s major metropolitan luxury real estate markets broke consecutive records throughout 2021 as Canadians’ urgent, pandemic-influenced demand for housing mobility and strengthening confidence in the country’s economic recovery drove price gains, eroded inventory and propelled markets to historic highs.

According to new data released by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, the performance of the Greater Toronto Area (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) transcended that of other Canadian markets in 2021, as the region’s breakaway performance established a new and unrivalled benchmark for luxury real estate for the nation. Residential real estate sales over $4 million (condominiums, attached and single family homes) soared 224% year-over-year while ultra-luxury sales over $10 million saw annual gains of 238% from 2020 levels. Consumer demand gained traction across all luxury housing types through 2021, and $4 million-plus condominium, attached and single family home sales rose 179%, 267% and 227% year-over-year, respectively. Overall, residential sales above $1 million saw annual sales gains of 194%, despite significant constrictions on activity due to enduring supply shortfalls.

As in the case of other major Canadian metropolitan areas, Vancouver’s monumental deficit of conventional and luxury housing supply frustrated sales activity and the mobility of prospective homebuyers and sellers in 2021, leaving demand unsatiated despite urgent and evolving housing needs. Despite supply constraints, residential sales over $4 million and $10 million closed the year at record-breaking volumes that surpassed 2020 levels by a significant 171% and 218% respectively. Luxury condominium sales over $4 million soared 137% year-over-year, while attached home sales climbed 367%. As $4 million-plus single family home sales rose 172% in the city, ultra-luxury home sales on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) over $10 million surged a noteworthy 240%, the highest annual percentage gains in sales volume experienced in $10 million-plus single family transactions of Canada’s largest urban markets. Vancouver also set a new price record with the private sale of the region’s highest single-family residential sale on a single lot by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. Overall, 2021 residential real estate sales over $1 million were up 145% from 2020 levels.

Montreal’s luxury real estate market surpassed record after record through the course of 2021, setting new benchmarks for sales volume and prices. The city ended the year with $4 million-plus residential real estate sales up 171% from 2020 levels, while sales volume over $1 million was up 137%. Single family home sales over $1 million increased 130% year-over-year, while $1 million-plus attached home and condominium sales rose 130% and 165% respectively.

The $1 million-plus residential real estate market in Calgary transitioned into balanced conditions by mid-year, before evolving into sellers’ market conditions through the latter half of 2021. As local consumer confidence firmed with recovering global oil and gas prices and Alberta’s economy, the city’s top-tier market revitalized and sales over $1 million rose 222% year-over-year from the levels seen in 2020, while sales over $4 million doubled to four properties sold. The city’s market for $1 million-plus single family and attached homes saw healthy 219% and 244% annual sales gains respectively. While condominium sales over $1 million saw robust year-over-year gains of 267%, this housing type constituted a minimal percentage of the luxury market with 24 units sold in 2021.

“Canada’s real estate market was redefined in 2021. There has been a transformative change in Canadians’ perceptions of the importance of their homes as an investment in lifestyle and pleasure, physical sanctuary and security, as well as financial stability and generational wealth,” says Don Kottick, President and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Within the luxury real estate market, one of the pandemic’s lasting influences has been the elevation in standards of what constitutes ‘luxury’. Today’s affluent consumers are seeking a calibre of architectural excellence, design, technology, service and amenities that meet lofty global standards. This willingness to invest in excellence will continue to foster a competitive environment for luxury real estate in the market ahead.”

According to Kottick, local demand was the principal driver of Canada’s luxury and conventional housing market in 2021, as low-interest rates, record cash savings and underlying anxiety regarding future stock market performance continue to encourage diversification into real estate. A gradual increase in international enquiries on luxury properties through the year reflect an ongoing build-up in demand from expatriates, new Canadians and permanent residents that will flow into the market as travel restrictions gradually ease.

2021 Top-Tier Market Highlights

Vancouver

The City of Vancouver’s luxury real estate market maintained a feverish pitch through the course of 2021. Driven by pressing local demand for enhanced living spaces, secondary vacation homes and financial investments due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, luxury sales finished the year at record high prices and sales volumes across all top-tier housing types.

Overall, luxury residential real estate sales over $4 million (condominiums, attached and single family homes) soared 171% year-over-year to 410 properties sold in 2021. Despite the increasing desire for privacy by owners of prestigious residences, 24 properties sold over $10 million on Multiple Listing Services (MLS) over the course of the year, a significant 218% increase over the 11 properties sold in this ultra-luxury price range in 2020. Overall, residential real estate sales over $1 million were up 145% to 5,794 properties sold in 2021.

$4 million-plus sales trends in the latter half of 2021 reflected the monumental constraints that the city’s shortfall of housing inventory placed on sales activity and the mobility of prospective Vancouver homebuyers. Despite strong underlying local demand, scarce supply resulted in double-digit price gains and frenetic bidding wars. This amplified shortages by discouraging potential sellers from placing homes on the market due to concerns about their ability to secure a new home that would match increasingly lofty prices and desired lifestyles. Overall, sales over $4 million were up a modest 10% to 163 properties sold between July 1 – December 31, 2021, while $10 million-plus luxury sales were up 14% to eight properties sold. Overall, residential $1 million-plus sales experienced a nominal 1% gain to 2,470 properties sold in the last half of 2021.

As in the case of the country’s largest metropolitan real estate markets, the City of Vancouver had experienced its initial post-pandemic rebound in its single family home segment. This demand endured through 2021, propelling luxury single family home sales over $4 million to rise 172% year-over-year to 362 homes sold, as ultra-luxury sales over $10 million surged 240% to 24 sold in 2021. Overall, $1 million-plus single family home sales were up 129% year-over-year to 2,909 homes sold.

Sales trends in the latter half of 2021 reflected the pressures placed on a market where the demand for conventional and high-end single family homes significantly outstripped listings. Sales over $4 million saw annual gains of a more moderate 9% to 139 homes sold between July 1– December 31, 2021. During this time, ultra-luxury home sales over $10 million increased 14% to eight homes sold. Overall, $1 million-plus single family home sales were down 16% year-over-year to 1,170 homes sold in the last half of 2021.

The city’s luxury attached home market remained robust through 2021, as sales over $4 million climbed 367% to 11 homes sold. As was the case in 2020, no ultra-luxury attached home sales over $10 million were reported in 2021. Overall, 1,285 attached homes sold over $1 million in 2021, up 158% year-over-year. The retreat of discouraged buyers and hesitant sellers from the hyper-competitive attached home market in the latter half of 2021 only magnified the city’s deficiency in attached housing options. While $4 million-plus attached home sales increased to six properties sold between July 1 – December 31, 2021, compared to two sold in the last half of 2020, overall, $1 million-plus attached home sales were up a modest 10% year-over-year during this time to 557 homes sold.

Underlying demand for luxury Vancouver condominiums propelled the market to new records in 2021, even as prospective buyers hesitated given the widening disparity between rising prices and the options available on the market. Over the course of the year, luxury condominium sales over $4 million rose 137% to 37 units sold. There were no ultra-luxury condominium sales over $10 million recorded on MLS in 2021, as activity normalized in this exclusive segment. Overall, $1 million-plus condominium sales increased 171% year-over-year to 1,600 units sold in 2021.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada experts noted that as price gains propelled Vancouver luxury condo prices to record highs, potential luxury and ultra-luxury condo purchasers sought features and amenities to match. In the last half of 2021, there was growing discord between the expectations of affluent and ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) buyers for escalating price points, and the city’s comparatively limited supply of ultra-luxury condominiums reflecting the standards of opulence, prestige and bespoke features, amenities and services common in other major North American and global luxury condo markets. Despite strong underlying demand, sales of condominiums over $4 million were down 5% year-over-year from July 1 – December 31, 2021, to 18 properties sold while the overall $1 million-plus market saw gains of 36% to 743 units sold.

Calgary

Following a tenuous 2020 marked by COVID-19 restrictions and economic uncertainty, the City of Calgary’s $1 million-plus real estate market regained momentum, growth and optimism in 2021. Consumer confidence rose steadily through the year as the job market recovered and unemployment rates reached pre-pandemic levels. The slow but steady recovery of Alberta’s oil and gas industry, the diversification of Calgary’s economy into sectors such as technology, and the attraction of new corporations including Amazon’s cloud-computing server hub into the region, led to a boost in local confidence in top-tier real estate.

With some of the country’s most affordable prices for conventional and luxury homes, a recent generational trends report released by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada revealed that Calgary is not only retaining young locals with affordable housing options, it is also attracting young first-time homebuyers and upsizers from other major Canadian metropolitan areas who are seeking better living standards and top-tier homes at accessible prices. While activity in the conventional and luxury real estate market is predominantly driven by locals, there has also been a new and notable upswing in interest from foreign buyers, particularly from Mainland China and the United States, a reflection of the city’s emerging position on the international real estate stage.

Overall residential real estate sales over $1 million (condominiums, attached, and single family homes), increased 222% year-over-year to a total of 1,101 homes sold in 2021, and Calgary reported four luxury property sales in the $4 million-plus segment, double the properties sold in this price category in 2020. Consistent with 2020, there were no ultra-luxury property sales reported over $10 million on MLS; however, local Sotheby’s International Realty Canada experts noted a rise in luxury real estate auctions in the Calgary region through strategic partner Concierge Auctions, in which Sotheby’s, the world’s premier destination for fine art and luxury goods, and Realogy Holdings Corp., the largest full-service residential real estate services company in the United States, recently acquired a joint 80% ownership stake.

While sales activity and housing prices in Calgary’s top-tier real estate market continued to trend upward throughout 2021, the surge in demand rapidly absorbed housing supply; as such, inventory levels, particularly for single family homes, dwindled throughout the year. By December, overall inventory levels were down 29% year-over-year, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board. As a result, Calgary saw fewer conventional and top-tier real estate transactions than its potential in the last six months of the year. From July 1– December 31, 2021, 483 properties sold over $1 million, up 54% from the last half of 2020, while three properties sold over $4 million.

Top-tier single family home sales made up 92% of 2021 $1 million-plus real estate transactions, with 1,011 homes sold over $1 million, an increase of 219% year-over-year. Of these, three homes sold in the luxury $4 million-plus range, an increase from two sold in 2020. According to leading Sotheby’s International Realty Canada experts, sales activity was restricted in the latter half of the year by the city’s lack of available inventory, rather than lack of demand. As a result, single family home sales over $1 million in the second half of 2021 were up a moderate 53% year-over-year to 441 properties sold, while luxury sales over $4 million rose to three homes sold from two sold in 2020.

Sales activity in Calgary’s luxury attached home market also soared in 2021, with total sales over $1 million experiencing a 244% increase year-over-year. Of the 66 $1 million-plus attached homes sold, none were in the luxury $4 million-plus segment, on par with 2020 levels.

Calgary’s $1 million-plus condominium market was red hot in 2021, signalling a return to city living led by job creation and revitalizing downtown corporate headquarters. According to the Calgary Real Estate Board, 307 total condominium sales were reported in December the City of Calgary in 2021, an increase of 66% year-over-year. Total new listings increased by 2%, with benchmark condominium prices holding steady, reporting only a 3% increase in 2021 in comparison to 2020, making Calgary’s condominium market an attractive housing type for investors and locals alike. The city’s luxury $1 million-plus condominium sales increased 267% year-over-year to 24 units sold in 2021. $4 million-plus condominium sales saw a marginal increase to one unit sold in 2021, compared to zero sales above this price point in 2020. In the last half of 2021, top-tier condominium sales over $1 million saw more modest annual gains than in the first half of the year. $1 million-plus sales increased 114% year-over-year to 15 units sold between July 1– December 31, 2021.

Greater Toronto Area

Canada’s largest luxury real estate market transcended the robust gains experienced across the country as the breakaway performance of the Greater Toronto Area (Durham, Halton, Peel, Toronto and York) catapulted the region to record highs in 2021. According to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada experts, local real estate market confidence has been robust since the start of the pandemic; through 2021, this confidence was amplified by the strength of the GTA economy and continued pandemic-driven lifestyle pressures that resulted in an outpouring of record savings accumulation into housing. The fact that real estate is now a preferred asset class given low-interest rates, inflationary pressures and heightened sensitivity across global financial markets also fueled local demand.

2021 also marked a year in which local ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) consumers and market-responsive developers and home builders redefined the concept of luxury real estate for the region and for Canada. As GTA buyers increasingly sought bespoke condominiums and single family homes reflecting standards of luxury seen only in the world’s most prestigious real estate markets, regional architectural, interior and outdoor design trends, amenities, and services elevated to new extremes.

Overall, the $4 million-plus residential real estate market (condominiums, attached and single family homes) soared 224% year-over-year to 805 properties sold in 2021. Ultra-luxury property sales over $10 million recorded on Multiple Listings Service (MLS) surged 238% to 31 properties sold, even as luxury sales continued to migrate away from MLS towards exclusive sales and marketing platforms as homeowners sought to protect privacy. Overall top-tier real estate transactions over $1 million in the GTA were up 194% to 52,776 properties sold in 2021. Within the City of Toronto, luxury sales over $4 million surged 188% year-over-year to 465 properties sold in 2021, with 19 of these selling over $10 million, up 173% from 2020 levels. Overall City of Toronto sales over $1 million rose 158% from 2020 to 16,041 properties sold.

Despite the record-setting annual performance, top-tier sales in the last half of 2021 revealed significant strains in the market brought on by the growing imbalance between relentless consumer demand and limited inventory. From July 1–December 31, 2021, the GTA’s $4 million-plus real estate market saw a comparably modest 58% year-over-year increase to 396 properties sold, even though ultra-luxury real estate sales over $10 million were up 167% to 16 units sold. GTA sales over $1 million were up 31% overall to 23,506 properties sold in the last half of 2021. During this period, sales in the City of Toronto mirrored this trend. Between July 1–December 31, 2021, sales over $4 million were up a moderate 41% year-over-year to 234 properties sold while sales over $10 million doubled to 10 units sold. $1 million-plus sales were up 9% year-over-year in the last half of 2021, to 7,028 properties sold.

The luxury condominium market was exuberant in the GTA through 2021. Demand for expansive “mega-units” equipped with international-calibre, ultra-luxury amenities and services such as private entrances and elevators, spacious outdoor spaces, on-call concierge and sommeliers, full spa facilities, state-of-the-art fitness and recreational facilities, and comprehensive business and meeting centres, strengthened amongst local UHNW buyers. Overall luxury condominium sales over $4 million saw a 179% annual increase in activity to 43 units sold, with two units selling over $10 million where none had sold above this price in 2020. $1 million-plus condo sales were up 195% year-over-year to 3,194 units sold in 2021.

The condo market’s steady momentum was reflected in the last half of 2021 when sales over $4 million increased 75% year-over-year to 28 units sold, while ultra-luxury sales over $10 million rose from zero units sold in 2020 to one unit sold in the last half of 2021. Overall GTA condo sales over $1 million were up 73% overall to 1,589 properties sold during this time. City of Toronto condominium sales over $4 million between July 1–December 31, 2021, increased 69% year-over-year to 27 properties sold, while sales over $10 million were up from zero units in 2020 to one unit in the latter half of 2021. Overall, $1 million-plus sales rose 60% year-over-year in the last half of 2021 to 1,246 condominiums sold.

Attached homes remained one of the GTA’s most coveted luxury housing types in 2021, as diverse buyers bid for limited inventory. The region’s $4 million-plus attached home market experienced a significant 267% increase year-over-year to 16 homes sold in 2021 and saw the greatest annual percentage gains of the housing types. Overall top-tier attached home sales over $1 million increased 288% to 9,188 homes sold. In the City of Toronto, sales over $4 million experienced a 267% annual increase in sales volume with 16 homes sold in 2021; while overall $1 million-plus attached luxury home sales increased 156% to 3,727 units sold.

Despite strong demand, attached home sales activity reflected the pressures of insufficient regional supply in the latter half of 2021. GTA sales over $4 million were up a healthy 120% year-over-year to 11 units sold between July 1– December 31, 2021, while sales over $1 million were up 114% overall to 4,570 properties sold during this time. With potential activity constrained by limited inventory, City of Toronto attached home sales over $4 million were up 120% year-over-year in the last half of 2021, while $1 million-plus sales were up a modest 3%.

The GTA luxury single family home market eclipsed previous sales and price records in 2021. As sales over $4 million increased 227% from 2020 levels to 746 homes sold, ultra-luxury sales over $10 million also surged 223% to 29 properties sold. Overall, $1 million-plus single family home sales were up 181% year-over-year to 40,394 homes sold. In 2021, City of Toronto luxury single family home sales over $4 million and $10 million experienced a 188% and 155% year-over-year surge in annual sales activity to 409 and 17 homes sold. Overall sales over $1 million increased 157% to 10,020 homes sold.

The GTA luxury single family home market came under pressure in the last half of 2021, as buyers competed for scarce inventory. $4 million-plus luxury sales rose to 357 homes sold during this period, up 56% year-over-year, while 15 ultra-luxury homes sold over $10 million, up 150%. Single family home sales over $1 million were up a modest 16% year-over-year in the latter half of 2021 overall. During this time, City of Toronto single family home sales over $4 million rose 35% year-over-year to 196 homes sold, while $1 million-plus sales were up 9% to 4,444 transactions.

Montreal

The City of Montreal’s luxury real estate market shattered multiple records in 2021. The city saw steady gains in sales activity and prices that reflected consumer optimism in light of a recovering job market and economy. As low interest rates and pandemic influences continued to motivate buyers to prioritize their living space and focus on upward housing mobility, limited inventory in sought-after neighbourhoods led to a hyper-competitive market within the city and thriving demand for luxury real estate cascaded beyond the city to surrounding areas. Notably, in December 2021, the highest residential property sale through the MLS® (Multiple Listing Service) system in Quebec’s history was recorded by Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec for a private waterfront estate listed at $19,885,000 CAD in the village of Senneville, situated outside the city on the western tip of the Island of Montreal.

Overall, the City of Montreal’s $4 million-plus luxury residential real estate sales (condominiums, attached and single family homes) saw bold gains of 171% year-over-year, with 41 total units sold in 2021. Of these, two properties sold above $10 million, the same number of sales reported in this prestigious price segment in 2020. Sales over $1 million were up 137% year-over-year to 1,810 properties sold in 2021. Despite steady consumer demand, top-tier sales activity slowed in the second half of 2021 as the shortfall of premier housing inventory coupled with rising prices and buyer expectations thwarted potential transactions. Sales over $4 million between July 1 – December 31, 2021, were up 50% to 27 properties sold, with one transaction reported in the $10 million-plus price point. Overall, $1 million-plus sales were down 3% year-over-year to 826 properties sold during this time.

Single family home sales made up 44% of $1 million-plus real estate transactions in Montreal, with 794 total properties sold in 2021, a 130% year-over-year increase. Strong demand for top-tier single family homes led to steady price gains throughout the year, with the median cost of a single family home in the metropolitan area increasing to $525,000 in November 2021, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, an increase of 21% year-over-year. Of the 794 $1 million-plus single family home sales reported in 2021, 32 did so in the luxury $4 million-plus range, an increase of 178% from 2020. One single family home sale was reported in the $10 million-plus price point. Deficient single family home supply limited transactions in the latter half of 2021; as a result, while luxury sales over $4 million were up 46% year-over-year to 19 homes sold between July 1 – December 31, 2021, overall sales above $1 million fell 11% to 360 transactions during this time.

Montreal’s top-tier attached home market reflected similar trends. In 2021, this housing segment saw 578 home sales reported over $1 million, an increase of 130% year-over-year. Of these, two were reported in the $4 million-plus range where none had sold in this price range in 2020. No attached homes sold over $10 million, as was the case in 2020. Severe supply constraints depressed sales activity in the last half of 2021, as attached home sales over $1 million fell 17% to 237 properties sold. Of these, two attached homes sold over $4 million, compared to the fact that there had been no transactions above this price during the same period last year.

Most notably, Montreal’s luxury condominium market soared to new records in 2021, with sales over $1 million rising 165% year-over-year. In fact, condominium sales made up 24% of all luxury real estate transactions over $1 million in Montreal in 2021, a new high. As local end-user, investor and out-of-province demand for high-end, high-density housing strengthened, overall, $1 million-plus condominium sales increased 165% year-over-year to 438 units sold, while the city’s $4 million-plus condominium market saw sales climb 117% year-over-year to seven units sold in 2021. One ultra-luxury condominium sold over $10 million in 2021: listed at $12.9 million by Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec, the sale of the penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Montreal to a U.S. buyer broke the province’s historic for condominium prices on MLS.

About Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

Combining the world’s most prestigious real estate brand with local market knowledge and specialized marketing expertise, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is the leading real estate sales and marketing company for the country’s most exceptional properties. With offices in over 30 residential and resort markets nationwide, our professional associates provide the highest caliber of real estate service, unrivalled local and international marketing solutions and a global affiliate sales network of approximately 1,000 offices in 74+ countries and territories to manage the real estate portfolios of discerning clients from around the world.

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Economics

Those big billion-dollar PhIII studies? Martin Landray says they can be done for a tiny fraction of the cost

Martin Landray knows what controversy in clinical drug development feels like, from first-hand experience.
Bioregnum Opinion Column by John Carroll
Landray…

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Martin Landray knows what controversy in clinical drug development feels like, from first-hand experience.

Bioregnum Opinion Column by John Carroll

Landray was the chief architect of RECOVERY, a study that pitted a variety of drugs against Covid-19. And he offered some landmark data that would help push dexamethasone out into broader use as a cheap treatment, while helping ice hydroxy’s reputation as a clear misfire.

“Lots of people told us we shouldn’t use it,” Landray says about dexamethasone and Covid-19. “It was dangerous. We shouldn’t even do a trial. They also cared about hydroxychloroquine and lots of people said we shouldn’t do a trial because it must be used. I’ve got the letters from both sets of people.”

Now, after 20 years of mounting clinical trials, the Oxford professor is building on what he’s learned from RECOVERY and scores of drug studies to take on one of the most quixotic tasks in the industry: building an organization that can take a drug — anything from a cheap generic like dexamethasone to an experimental biopharma drug — and put it through its paces in large Phase III trials. And at just a tiny fraction of the cost developers would normally spend on late-stage programs.

A lot of this depends on approaching drug data in a new way, carefully and precisely identifying the data needed, without overcomplicating matters, then working in alignment with key drug developers, patient groups, providers — the UK’s NHS, with its massive database, is a supporter — and clinical organizations to recruit en masse.

In doing that, he intends to break a decades-long trend in drug development that has steered large and small organizations away from the big population studies needed for cardio and other broad disease areas like dementia and into the rare disease field, where smaller trials are the norm.

And that makes him a radical in what he sees as a field that’s begging for a game-changing revolution.

“It’s unsustainable,” says the Oxford professor about the Phase III sector of R&D. “I mean, it’s already broken … The so-called GCP regulations, good clinical practice, the old joke goes they’re not good, they’re not clinical, and they’re not practical. And that joke has been around 25 years and hasn’t changed much.”

This is not something that needs incremental improvement. From his perspective, this is a big issue for the world.

Huge financial and public health issues were at stake when the Covid vaccines first entered the clinic, and decisions were made on those with what Landray considers “pretty scruffy evidence.”

“The original vaccine trials cost probably a billion dollars apiece,” Landray says. “The idea, if you turned around to one of those companies and said, ‘And now we want you to do a trial of a million people.’ They’d say, ‘Well, our pockets are just not that deep.’ If you say, ‘Well, I want to do a trial of a million people and it costs a million pounds,’ suddenly the possibilities open up. And we put the proposal together for that. I’m absolutely serious about those numbers.”

David Schenkein

Click on the image to see the full-sized version

Landray has done more than simply win over some converts to the Phase III revolution he’s plotting. He’s building a non-profit organization called Protas that has drawn some influential backers in biopharma. Sanofi came in early on with a promise to collaborate and £5 million. And today GV — Google’s venture arm — is in for another £5 million grant, with active support from David Schenkein, a high-profile researcher who helped build Agios before jumping to venture capital.

“I’ve been doing clinical trials my whole life out of grade school,” Schenkein, a Genentech alum, tells me, “and we need to see the whole ecosystem improve. And that’s good for everybody. So it is definitely a philanthropic grant, but we think it’ll improve the entire ecosystem, which we’re obviously so committed to. We’ve known Martin and his team for years and have just been incredibly impressed. And we’ve looked at the clinical trial space and we’ve talked about this before, you and I, but what Martin and his team have done have just been outpacing everybody else.”

“There’s no question that the way we do Phase III clinical trials today is largely no different than the way we did them when I first went into the industry or where we’ve been doing it for 40 years, which means we enroll patients the same way we used to. We don’t go directly to patients in many cases,” Schenkein adds. “We only go through the sites. The sites say, ‘Yeah, I’ll give you 20 patients.’ They end up giving you zero. And so you need more sites. We end up collecting way more data. We don’t know which is the right data to collect, and so we collect everything. We clean everything. And all of that drives the cost up exponentially and slows it down. And what Martin and his team have just gotten so much smarter using data to be able to say, not only how do we enroll patients in a different way, how do we know the right data to collect, not collect too much data, the right data. So all of that will just completely change the way we think about conducting clinical trials, and that has to happen.”

Dietmar Berger

“We engaged with them because we believe integration of clinical trials into everyday clinical practice can be an important new model, which offers advantages both for the healthcare system as well as for sponsors,” Sanofi development chief Dietmar Berger tells me. “Running large late-stage trials in close collaboration with practicing physicians and a large healthcare provider (for example via Protas) can lead to more efficient data generation, with representation of a diverse, ‘real world’ population. This could apply especially for large studies in common diseases, and include novel drugs.”

Right now, there are no trials underway at Protas or ones planned before 2024. Landray is using his funding to create a group that can orchestrate a variety of new methods to smash classic Phase III budgets. And his experiences running the informatics part in the early days of the UK Biobank project — with its half a million subjects enrolled in a massive genetics project — have helped.

We just need to spend those two years making sure that we’ve got all the right things in place. Part of that is technology. IT systems actually make it easier to do the right thing in terms of following the protocol. Part of that is about regulatory and other policies. And we’ve been doing a lot of work with ICH, with FDA, with all sorts of organizations around what should good clinical trials regulation look like? Part of that is building on the experiences from things like the RECOVERY trial. Part of that is partnerships with clinicians, clinical health services, and patient groups. We need those things in place before one actually starts delivering.

If you say, have we started planning? Yes, we’ve started thinking about some of those first trials. I just don’t have anything concrete to talk about today.

Landray has given this all a lot of thought, and it’s worth listening carefully to what he has to say about the many things that have skewed so far off course in drug development. And why it’s important to get on the right track.

What we’ve seen is that Big Pharma has largely opted out of developing new drugs for common diseases. That’s true in heart disease, in arthritis, and so on. Respiratory disease. It’s very true if one looks at depression. It’s substantially true if one looks at dementia, where there are two challenges to dementia. One is, can we find some potential drugs that might work? Probably. And then the second is, how are we ever going to make that commercially successful? And that’s going to be driven in large part by what’s the affordability and the practicality of doing those sorts of trials that you would need to do in dementia.

So it’s not just about how we get drugs cheaper, but it’s also, from my point of view, it’s can we get better drugs to treat the big issues? And if one looks at a health system and again — goes back to that point of view for a moment — the reason that everybody’s health system is creaking/broken is largely because there are very large numbers of people who are late middle aged and elderly with two or three or possibly more relatively common conditions. And if we want to actually get something that is much more sustainable in terms of an overall health system and public health, then we have to tackle common disease and we have to also tackle the prevention elements, whether that’s early detection of cancer or preventative treatments like reducing the risk of future cardiovascular events.

Schenkein agrees wholeheartedly: “I think that the most important factor here is the shift we’ve seen in our industry away from investments in the common diseases more towards the rare. I agree with Martin. The rare diseases are critically important, but that shift has to come back the other way.”

Consider the case of PCSK9, the big target that drove Amgen and Novartis out onto the market with limited data on efficacy in an attempt to reach a portion of the population that could benefit from it.

Here’s Landray:

In the PCSK9 antibodies, yes, they showed it reduced MACE, major cardiovascular events, but didn’t show an impact on cardiovascular death and they didn’t have the full range of safety information you might want to see for a new class of drugs. Then what happens was that someone had to pay back the cost of those trials. One of the many contributing factors, but a significant one, is how do we recoup our R&D costs, of which something like half or more is probably on that single late-phase trial.

And then the payers turn around…and they say, that’s all very well, but we see you’ve demonstrated efficacy in that, remember, limited population of all the patients who’ve had heart disease, but we can’t really afford to treat all of those patients. And therefore we’ll put in place some other clinical guidance. It’s all called clinical guidance or whatever, but it’s basically a form of rationing.

That can substantially be avoided if you avoid calamitous R&D costs.

That could be arguable, as drugs aren’t priced — in the US in any case — according to the cost of development. But you’ll never break through that barrier, Landray argues, until you start doing huge studies at relatively meager prices.

For Landray, this isn’t about empire building. If Protas can break the mold and essentially force the rest of the R&D world to adopt it, he’d gladly shut down a decade from now. Mission accomplished.

But first there’s a revolution to inspire.

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Economics

New Research Shows Declining Confidence in the Education Profession, With Educators Calling for Connection, Community and Customization

New Research Shows Declining Confidence in the Education Profession, With Educators Calling for Connection, Community and Customization
PR Newswire
BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2022

Critical insights reveal how edtech is transforming the classroom; 81% of educ…

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New Research Shows Declining Confidence in the Education Profession, With Educators Calling for Connection, Community and Customization

PR Newswire

Critical insights reveal how edtech is transforming the classroom; 81% of educators say we are now closer to fully realizing the potential of technology in teaching

BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the 2022 Educator Confidence Report, released today from learning technology company HMH, confidence in the education profession has dropped for the second year in a row. An annual barometer for how educators across the country are feeling about the state of teaching and learning, today's report found more than 3 in 4 (76%) educators feel negatively about the state of the teaching profession in the U.S. The Educator Confidence Index, a measure of overall confidence (out of 100), continues to drop and now sits at 40.0—its lowest in the report's history—down from 42.7 in 2021 and 49.0 in 2020.

According to HMH's research, which surveyed more than 1,000 K-12 classroom teachers and 125+ administrators, educator retention hinges on immediate needs more than long-term developments, including improved salary and benefits, support for educator well-being and adequate funding for the classroom. Conducted between May and June in partnership with MarketCast, the report revealed three major themes for achieving success in the future:  Connection, Community and Customization.

Connection: A Digital-First Era

When it comes to technology, educators see strong connections between the teacher, student, classroom and home as the top priority. Seventy-three percent of educators report feeling technology is significantly more integrated into the classroom now than pre-pandemic, with tools to communicate between teachers and parents (63%) and tools that deliver interactive learning opportunities to students (57%) most favored among teachers. Even more, 68% of educators said edtech has become essential to the classroom.

Importantly, survey results showed that educators realize the potential in classroom technology and can visualize how it fits into their workflow. 81% report the experiences of the last two years have moved education closer to fully realizing the potential of technology in teaching. Educators are most excited about easy-to-use technology that can be used in-classroom and remotely (63%).

"We believe that the future of learning will be powered to a meaningful degree by technology yet centered on human connection, and this year's survey data gives us clear insight into how to realize that vision," said Jack Lynch, CEO of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "Educators are telling us that today's status quo isn't cutting it, but they also see a path to the future. Importantly, that path relies on addressing basic needs like wellbeing and mental health concerns, both for teachers and students, supported by connected technology that allows educators and focus on what matters most, human relationships."

Community: A Need for Broad Support

Educators report needing more consideration for their overall wellbeing now, with 78% of educators stating that their top concern is the mental health of their peers. The majority also need more aid in the classroom, with 64% saying they need adequate funding for classroom supplies and resources.  According to today's educators, improved salary and benefits (90%) and more support for educator well-being (67%) would make the profession more appealing to new educators.

"On top of concerns around student wellness and performance, educators are increasingly worried about their peers," said Francie Alexander, Chief Research Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "To nurture their needs, we must invest in tools to help our educators make the connections with their networks in ways that best serve them. Parents, administrators, policymakers and community members are all needed to support teachers and foster a new generation of educators."

Customization: Personalization for Students and Educators

Data shows that educators believe the future of the classroom is personalized—for both students and teachers, with data-driven, personalized edtech solutions making it possible to meet everyone where they are. 79% of educators say customized learning based on what students know and what they need would most transform learning and teaching in the future.

With pandemic-induced interrupted learning continuing to stay top of mind in the classroom, educators said the top tools to aid sustained learning recovery were targeted instructional materials or resources (62%), followed by supplemental resources (55%). When looking ahead, 65% of educators say technology solutions that connect instruction—including supplemental and remediation work—and assessment on one platform are will transform the next era of education.

Additional key findings from the eighth annual Educator Confidence Report include:

  • Community support for teacher compensation is key for not only retention, but for the future of the profession. Concerns about teacher salaries are up 16% since 2020, and when looking forward to the next school year, a higher salary would be most motivating for educators, especially teachers (84%).
  • Teachers are looking for more appreciation, respect and "trust in their experience." When considering long-term developments to support the profession, educators want increased community support and engagement (52%) – as respect for the role of the teacher is down 26% since 2020 and a strengthening of the connection between families and schools has dipped 18% since 2020.
  • Educator and student wellbeing emerges as a top theme coming out of the pandemic. 61% of educators agree the most positive thing to come out of pandemic-era schooling is the increased attention paid to student social and emotional needs. For this reason, there is a strong agreement around the need for well-planned SEL programs (87%).

About the Educator Confidence Report
The Educator Confidence Report is an annual independent study, distributed to a diverse national cross section. The eighth annual Educator Confidence Report, underwritten by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and conducted between May-June 2022 with MarketCast, surveyed more than 1,200 educators, including 1,058 teachers and 143 administrators.

Learn more about the 2022 Educator Confidence Report at hmhco.com/ecr.

About HMH
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a learning technology company committed to delivering connected solutions that engage learners, empower educators and improve student outcomes. As a leading provider of K–12 core curriculum, supplemental and intervention solutions, and professional learning services, HMH partners with educators and school districts to uncover solutions that unlock students' potential and extend teachers' capabilities. HMH serves more than 50 million students and 4 million educators in 150 countries. For more information, visit www.hmhco.com

Follow HMH on TwitterFacebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Media Contact
Katie Marshall
Communications Manager, HMH
Katie.Marshall@hmhco.com 

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-research-shows-declining-confidence-in-the-education-profession-with-educators-calling-for-connection-community-and-customization-301608315.html

SOURCE Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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Economics

Bank of America Awards More Than $1.2 Million to Atlanta Nonprofits

Bank of America Awards More Than $1.2 Million to Atlanta Nonprofits
PR Newswire
ATLANTA, Aug. 18, 2022

Grants to 53 organizations across region focus on basic needs, workforce development, and education in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities
A…

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Bank of America Awards More Than $1.2 Million to Atlanta Nonprofits

PR Newswire

Grants to 53 organizations across region focus on basic needs, workforce development, and education in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities

ATLANTA, Aug. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America announced more than $1.2 million in grants to 53 Atlanta nonprofits to help drive economic opportunity for individuals and families. Grants focus on workforce development and education to help individuals chart a path to employment and better economic futures, as well as basic needs fundamental to building life-long stability.

While Atlanta's economy is recovering from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Georgia's unemployment rate (2.9%) is better than the national average (3.6%), the state has also added more jobs. According to the Georgia Department of Labor, the state's jobs are at all-time high.

Employment is a key driver of economic mobility in Atlanta. That's why the bank is focused on building pathways to employment by supporting a range of workforce development and educational opportunities that will help vulnerable individuals and families stabilize and advance.

"Investing in partnerships with nonprofit organizations addressing issues like workforce development, food insecurity and affordable housing is part of our approach to driving economic opportunity and social progress in Atlanta," said Al McRae, president, Bank of America Atlanta. "This recent philanthropic investment in Atlanta nonprofits is just one way Bank of America deploys capital locally to help remove barriers to economic success and build a more sustainable community."

One Bank of America grant recipient is Georgia Justice Project (GJP). For 15 years, GJP has helped individuals clean up their criminal history to remove barriers to employment, housing and education. With this support from Bank of America, GJP will be able to help people leaving the criminal justice system become empowered members of our community.

"One mistake should not mean a lifetime without opportunity," said Georgia Justice Project's Executive Director, Doug Ammar. "This support from Bank of America will help Georgia Justice Project expand its commitment to Georgians who have been impacted by the criminal legal system and help marginalized people get a second chance. Our gratitude to Bank of America for furthering our mission to reduce crime and recidivism in our communities by empowering individuals to make positive changes in their lives."

The full list of organizations receiving grants are:

  • Asian American Resource Foundation
  • Atlanta Business League
  • Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency
  • Atlanta Police Foundation
  • Atlanta Victim Assistance
  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation
  • Back on My Feet
  • Bigger Vision of Athens
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese Atlanta
  • CHRIS 180
  • City of Refuge
  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Communities in Schools of Atlanta
  • Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School
  • Dalton State College Foundation
  • East Lake Foundation
  • Families First
  • Family Promise of Hall County
  • Food Bank of Northeast Georgia
  • Genesis Joy House Homeless Shelter
  • Georgia Justice Project
  • Georgia Mountain Food Bank
  • Grady Health System
  • Grove Park Foundation
  • Jonathan's House Ministries
  • Junior Achievement of Georgia
  • La Amistad
  • Latin American Association
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation
  • Meals on Wheels Atlanta
  • Must Ministries
  • Nana Grants
  • Open Hand Atlanta
  • Partnership Against Domestic Violence
  • Per Scholas
  • Saint Joseph's Mercy Care Services
  • Shelters to Shutters
  • Strive International
  • Teach for America
  • The Posse Foundation
  • The Summit Counseling Center
  • The Urban League of Greater Atlanta
  • Trees Atlanta
  • United Negro College Fund
  • United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • University of Georgia Research Foundation
  • Urban League of Greater Columbus
  • Urban Health and Wellness
  • Women in Technology
  • Women Moving On
  • Year Up
  • Young Men's Christian Association of Athens, GA
    - Young Women's Christian Organization of Athens, GA

Since 2017, Bank of America's nearly 5,000 Atlanta teammates have contributed over 255,000 volunteer hours and $30 million in grant support to organizations in metro Atlanta. These investments are part of the company's commitment to responsible growth to improve the financial lives of individuals, families, and communities across the state.

Learn more about Bank of America's Philanthropic Strategy

Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 67 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 4,000 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs and award-winning digital banking with approximately 55 million verified digital users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and approximately 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Reporters may contact:

Matthew Daily, Bank of America   
Phone: 1.404.607.2844
matthew.daily@bofa.com

View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bank-of-america-awards-more-than-1-2-million-to-atlanta-nonprofits-301608570.html

SOURCE Bank of America Corporation

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