Hematology society to develop guidelines on managing sickle cell disease | CDC: Placental, fetal tissue can help determine Zika infection in newborns | Canada responds to shortage of yellow fever vaccine
June 23, 2017
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community
The American Society of Hematology is working on clinical practice guidelines for the management of sickle cell disease. Five panels will consider topics including blood transfusion therapy and stem cell transplantation, and publication is expected in 2019.
CDC researchers tested the placental and fetal tissue of newborns for Zika virus infection and found that only 1 in 10 infants at risk from Zika was infected, and infection did not always result in birth defects. The findings were published in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Yellow fever vaccine in Canada is in short supply, and provincial health centers are splitting some doses among multiple patients. Full doses are being prioritized for certain populations, including travelers to nations where the virus is spreading.
Viruses that have been genetically modified using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing system have shown promise in defeating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a presentation at CRISPR 2017 suggests. Several companies are studying bacteriophages and may be ready to start clinical trials next year.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals gained an exclusive license to APC Therapeutics' antigen-presenting, cell technology-based anticancer compound, which has the potential to be used either as monotherapy or in combination with approved drugs. Under the terms of the deal, Glenmark will handle all clinical development and regulatory and commercialization activities.
The University of Washington's Malaria Evolution in South Asia initiative will be the recipient of a $9.3 million grant from the NIH to continue research in the fight against drug-resistant malaria, particularly in India. "By getting a clearer picture of malaria in India, we're 'closing the gap' on how this complex parasite behaves globally," said Pradipsinh Rathod, director of NIH International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research for South Asia.
Dova Pharmaceuticals is ready for its initial public offering of approximately 4.1 million shares of common stock to fund development of its lead product candidate, avatrombopag, a platelet production stimulant for the treatment of thrombocytopenia. Dova intends to submit a US marketing application next quarter with the FDA.
The FDA accepted Amgen's supplemental application for Xgeva, or denosumab, which is approved to prevent fractures in patients with solid-tumor bone metastases. Amgen seeks to expand its use to include patients with multiple myeloma.
A new formulation of Roche Holding's blockbuster cancer drug Rituxan called Rituxan Hycela can now be given as a subcutaneous injection within a five- to seven-minute period, unlike previous versions of the drug, which require infusion. Rituxan Hycela was approved for the treatment of follicular lymphoma, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and will be available to US patients in one to two weeks, according to Roche.
AABB posted biographies and additional information for candidates for open officer and at-large director positions for the 2017-18 AABB Board of Directors. Nominees include Michael Murphy, M.D., FRCP, FRCPath, FFPath, for president-elect; Dana Devine, Ph.D., for vice president; and Dan Waxman, M.D., for secretary. The candidates for these and open at-large director positions were recommended by the AABB Nominating Committee. Members may also submit nominations through the petition process, as specified in AABB's bylaws, by Aug. 11, 2017.