Malaria rates not higher with hydroxyurea treatment in study | Observational study finds no higher bleeding risk for newer anticoagulants | CDC updates Zika screening, care guidelines for infants
October 20, 2017
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Malaria rates not higher with hydroxyurea treatment in study
A double-blind trial in Uganda found that rates of malaria infection were not higher among children treated with hydroxyurea for sickle cell diseases compared with children who received a placebo. "There are concerns that hydroxyurea might worsen the severity of malaria in young children with sickle cell anemia, so a clinical trial using hydroxyurea in a malaria endemic region of Africa was warranted," Dr. Chandy John of Indiana University said of the study in the journal Blood.
Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (10/19) 
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Bridging the gaps
Distance and time can be the enemy. Utilize resources better by connecting information for making important decisions on patient care. Use Bio-Rad Immunohematology tools and methods to improve your productivity and connect your world. Click and choose IH-Complete to Close the Gap.
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Science & Health
Observational study finds no higher bleeding risk for newer anticoagulants
Newer direct oral anticoagulants were not associated with higher risks of major bleeding or mortality than the older blood-thinning drug warfarin, a 60,000-person observational study in The BMJ found. The only direct oral anticoagulant with an antidote to stop bleeding is dabigatran, or Pradaxa.
HealthDay News (10/18) 
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CDC updates Zika screening, care guidelines for infants
The CDC has issued updated guidance saying that pediatricians should evaluate the risk of congenital Zika virus infection in babies born to mothers with possible Zika infection during gestation; communicate with obstetric providers; provide vision and hearing screenings and assessments for hydrocephaly, swallowing and breathing difficulties among those with congenital Zika syndrome birth defects; and let ophthalmologists offer eye exams for those without CZS birth defects but whose mothers have laboratory evidence of Zika. However, the guidelines in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report now recommend against routine infant thyroid and hearing screenings at ages 4 months to 6 months.
Contagion Live (10/19),  MedPage Today (free registration) (10/19) 
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Experts recommend auxiliary care practices for Ebola patients
Two studies, one in The Lancet and the other in Emerging Infectious Diseases, outline evidence-based recommendations for treatment and triage of cases of Ebola virus infection. The first study emphasizes supportive care including immediate oral and intravenous hydration, while the second recommends using risk scores based on symptoms and, if available, laboratory test results to identify patients likely to have the Ebola virus until rapid point-of-care tests are available.
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (10/18) 
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Choose increased platelet availability
When the FDA issues final guidance regarding bacterial risk control strategies for platelets, you will have to decide which approach to use. Our Platelet PGD test is the ONLY way to enable 7-day platelet dating, which ensures a consistent platelet supply, simplifies inventory management and provides inventory flexibility for HLA matched units. Learn More.
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Emerging Trends
GSK, Plasticell collaboration to advance stem cell research project
GlaxoSmithKline and Plasticell have partnered to manufacture hematopoietic cells from induced pluripotent stem cells using the Plasticell's stem cell screening technology called Combinatorial Cell Culture, or CombiCult, based on molecular combinations to be provided by GSK. No financial details of the partnership were disclosed.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (10/18) 
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7 keys: Put real-world evidence into action
Life sciences organizations need to know how their therapies work in the real world once clinical trials end. And these seven key components to standardizing real-world data and analytics platforms are how they get started. Read the paper, Institutionalizing Real World Evidence.
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Industry News & Practice
Study of hemophilia B gene treatment to be launched by uniQure
UniQure intends to launch a pivotal study next year that will evaluate AMT-061 in patients with severe and moderately severe hemophilia B in which the primary endpoint will be the prevention of bleeds in patients. The drug candidate has been included by the FDA in the breakthrough therapy status and investigational new drug designation for the structurally identical AMT-060, while the European Medicines Agency will include AMT-061 under its PRIME status.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (10/19) 
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Quest Diagnostics enters deal to acquire Cleveland HeartLab
Quest Diagnostics agreed to buy Cleveland Clinic spinoff Cleveland HeartLab, a company that offers biomarker tests for predicting cardiovascular diseases, under an equity deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Quest will also partner with the Cleveland Clinic for diagnostic services and create a national center of excellence in cardiometabolic disorders at Cleveland HeartLab.
The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) (10/19) 
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5 organizations to study HIV cures with $7.5M grant
A $7.5 million grant issued by Gilead Sciences will be shared by five institutions in a second round of funding for Gilead's HIV cure grants program. Grant recipients include the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and University of Massachusetts Medical School.
The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (10/18) 
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Government & Regulatory
FDA gives orphan status to Pluristem's acute radiation syndrome drug
Pluristem Therapeutics' PLX-R18, which is being developed as a treatment for patients with acute radiation syndrome, was granted orphan drug designation by the FDA. An early-stage trial is underway in patients with incomplete bone marrow recovery who had hematopoietic cell transplant.
Seeking Alpha (free registration) (10/19) 
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Association News
AABB to host an eCast on Root Cause Analysis
AABB will host an eCast, Root Cause Analysis: A Critical Component of Quality Management, on October 30 at 2 pm ET. This program will review Root Cause Analysis (RCA) principles and incorporate techniques as error management strategies to eliminate the source of issues and prevent re-occurrences. This eCast is complimentary with AABB Center for Patient Safety membership.
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