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VOL. 45 | NO. 42 | Friday, October 15, 2021

Nashville International ranks No. 9 in U.S.

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Condé Nast Traveler has announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Nashville International Airport named as the Ninth Best Airport in the U.S.

More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot about the places they can’t wait to return to next. The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry.

“BNA works tirelessly to create a welcoming environment and enjoyable travel experience,” says Doug Kreulen, BNA president and CEO. “It’s an honor to be recognized by the magazine’s readers around the globe.

“We remain committed to continuing the experience that travelers appreciate at BNA and look forward to providing an even bigger, better airport with the expansion and renovation currently underway.”

Sixeight buys Murfreesboro company

Sixeight, a Knoxville-based growth equity firm specializing in privately-owned, legacy businesses, has acquired US Machine & Tool, a Murfreesboro precision CNC machining and fabrication company.

US Machine & Tool has been delivering world-class work for leading manufacturers for more than 35 years, and the company provides a wide selection of services such as CNC milling and lathe work, wire EDM, surface and OD grinding, and CMM high precision inspections. They also build production jigs, fixtures, and tooling for other manufacturers.

Sixeight acquired the company due to its potential for high growth in revenue and profit, its strategic placement in the region, and its potential to disrupt their industry.

Thyme Care closes on $22M in funding

Thyme Care, a Nashville-based oncology care management solution, has announced it closed $22 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, AlleyCorp, and Frist Cressey Ventures with participation from Casdin Capital and Bessemer.

The capital will be used to accelerate Thyme Care’s technology and advance partnerships with oncologists, health plans, employers and risk-based entities.

Thyme Care was founded by oncology industry veterans and clinicians all personally impacted by cancer, with a shared mission to transform the cancer experience and improve the quality of life for individuals diagnosed with cancer.

Navigation solutions often rely on limited technology without interaction with those who are actually delivering the care, leading to low engagement and utility at critical points of decision-making. Thyme Care guides better oncology outcomes by engaging individuals and families in their health and informing their decisions at every stage of care. The company’s platform connects patients, caregivers, providers and payers for integrated cancer care that leads to better results, higher value, and aligned incentives.

Thyme Care has assembled a strong team of industry leaders with a proven track record including former executives from Flatiron Health, Sarah Cannon and OneOncology.

Valkyrie Digital Assets unveils Zilliqa Trust

Nashville-based Valkyrie Digital Assets has launched its sixth investment vehicle, the Valkyrie Zilliqa Trust.

The Trust is the first investment vehicle at Valkyrie to invest solely in Zilliqa, the digital asset that powers the Zilliqa blockchain network. The primary investment objective of the Trust is to reflect the value of ZIL held within and to offer investors access and exposure to the cryptocurrency in an insurable, cost-effective manner.

This Trust launch comes just days after the launch of the Valkyrie TRON Trust, and is the latest in a family of trusts launched to bring more exposure to a wider universe of digital assets. Zilliqa is the first to be built on a sharded architecture, which enables network scaling even for large volumes of transactions at any given time. It is seen by many as an alternative to the congestion and high fees experienced on other blockchains.

Pharos Capital buys THEMA Health

Pharos Capital Group, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm based in Dallas and Nashville, has acquired THEMA Health Services, a provider of hospice, skilled home health, and palliative care services throughout the state of Arizona. Founder Theresa Lungwitz will retain a minority stake in the company and serve as executive chairperson.

Additional terms were not disclosed.

THEMA provides hospice care, including routine medical care, pain and symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support for terminally ill patients and their loved ones.

Jim Phillips, a partner at Pharos, says, “As Medicare hospice daily per diem payments cost about four times less than daily skilled nursing facility services and 40 times less than acute-care inpatient services, THEMA’s hospice offering delivers significant institutional cost-saving benefits, while also maximizing quality of life with compassionate, accessible care.

This marks the second investment from Pharos’s latest flagship fund, Pharos Capital Partners IV, LP, investing alongside its parallel fund, Pharos Capital Partners IV-A, LP, a licensed Rural Business Investment Company. The funds will continue Pharos’s mission of lowering costs, improving outcomes and expanding access to care, particularly within underserved urban and rural communities.

Southern Land, GTIS sell property to Google

Southern Land Company, a national real estate developer headquartered in Nashville, and GTIS Partners, a real assets investment firm, have completed the sale of the office component of Rêve Boulder, a mixed-use community located in a Qualified Opportunity Zone in Boulder, Colorado, to Google.

The office space will serve as an extension of Google’s Pearl Place Campus, which is located across the street.

GTIS and Southern Land previously announced in March 2021 the sale of the multifamily and retail components of Rêve Boulder for $151.25 million.

The four-story office building totals 124,000 square feet of interior space and over 6,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space on the fourth floor.

The Rêve Boulder project was purposefully planned with a focus on the environment and surrounding community, including the creation of an expansive central landscaped public plaza and park, preservation and revitalization of the historic irrigation waterway that flows through the site, and building of new bridges, bicycle pathways and secure bicycle parking.

Appello begins Parkinson’s drug study

Nashville-based Appello Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company, announced that dosing has commenced in the company’s Phase 1 dose-escalation study of its lead drug candidate, AP-472.

Originally developed at Vanderbilt University’s Warren Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery with funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Michael J. Fox Foundation, among others, AP-472 is intended for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

AP-472 is a highly selective, small molecule, positive allosteric modulator of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 4, or an “mGlu4 PAM.”

The Phase 1 study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, being conducted in healthy young, middle-aged and elderly adults, to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of AP-472.

Delta Dental expands school water program

Delta Dental of Tennessee has announced a new grant opportunity for middle schools to replace an existing water fountain with a contactless Elkay bottle-filling stations through its Water’s Cool@School program.

All Tennessee middle schools are encouraged to apply before the Nov. 23 deadline. Delta Dental will award grants to 25 middle schools across the state.

Grant announcements will be made in early 2022, and installations will be scheduled for spring 2022.

Delta Dental originally launched the Water’s Cool @ School program in 2020 to help commemorate its 55th anniversary, awarding 55 grants to elementary schools across the state to upgrade their water fountains.

To apply ahead of the Nov. 23 deadline, interested schools should: Visit tennessee.deltadental.com/WCS for more information and to complete the online application.

LaVergne’s JPW buys Axiom Tool Group

LaVergne-based JPW Industries has acquired Axiom Tool Group.

JPW is a global designer, manufacturer and distributor of branded metalworking and woodworking equipment and specialty shop tools. JPW is a Gamut Capital Management portfolio company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2014, Axiom is a marketer, designer and distributor in the U.S. of computer numerical control machines and accessories sold under the Axiom brand.

Axiom’s operations in Westerville, Ohio, including warehousing, customer service and technical service will remain in their current locations.

Todd Damon, Axiom’s Founder, will join JPW to support the growth and expansion of the Axiom brand and its position within the CNC category more broadly.

Priority Ambulance adds First Call

Nashville-based First Call Ambulance is joining Priority Ambulance of Knoxville.

The addition solidifies Priority Ambulance’s position as the largest ambulance provider in Tennessee. First Call Ambulance is a leader in emergency and interfacility ambulance services in Middle and East Tennessee serving more than 50,000 patients annually.

“First Call has dramatically grown in Tennessee over its 17-year history,” says Bryan Gibson, CEO of Priority Ambulance. “We look forward to welcoming the First Call leadership and team to our Tennessee family and supporting them in their plans for continued growth.’’

First Call Ambulance was founded in 2004 in Middle Tennessee and rapidly expanded to be one of the largest medical transportation services in the state. Today, more than 300 First Call EMTs, paramedics, dispatchers and support staff serve more than 50,000 patients annually with 54 ambulances and support vehicles. First Call serves nearly every major hospital system customer throughout metro Nashville and the Middle Tennessee region.

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