The American Association of Tissue Banks will sponsor the presence of 17-year old tissue recipient, Peter "P.J." Williams, on the Donate Life Rose Parade float on Jan. 1. P.J. was diagnosed with bone cancer when he was 12 but was able to overcome his disease and maintain normal growth and mobility thanks to a donated gift of musculoskeletal tissue. The stories of young people will be among those highlighted on this year's float, whose theme is "Gift of Time."
Ashley Power said "it really wasn't a decision" when she was presented with a choice of whether to donate her son Jake's corneas after his death in an accident in 2013 because he was such a giving child. John Martinez of SightLife works with grieving families and says it's not uncommon for them to not know about the option of cornea donation.
Nonprofit organ procurement organizations, which match patients across the nation with donated tissue and organs, are using business intelligence and analytics tools to improve community outreach and monitoring of their metrics. "In donation and transplant, there isn't any room for error. You can imagine that if you or a loved one was in need of a lifesaving organ, it would not be acceptable for us to make a mistake," Indiana Donor Network Chief Operating Officer Steve Johnson said.
Donated corneas can be stored safely for 11 days before surgery, according to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology based on data for 1,090 Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty procedures. Rates of graft success after three years were similar for tissue stored up to a week and for tissue stored eight to 14 days.
An advisory panel for the FDA recommended Friday that Zika virus screening standards for blood donations be relaxed because of reduced risk of transmission via blood transfusion. The panel suggests using "mini-pools" of blood samples for testing instead of testing individual donations, a change that would align Zika testing with West Nile virus testing. The experts said stricter testing would be warranted if risk increases in the future.
The Zika vaccine developed by researchers from the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and licensed to Sanofi exhibited promising immune responses in more than 90% of the human subjects who received the vaccine, according to data published in the journal The Lancet. The Army is considering licensing the ZPIV Zika vaccine to other pharmaceutical firms after Sanofi decided to end its development when it lost funding support originally expected from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.
Chembio Diagnostics said it was awarded a contract by the United Nations Children's Fund to supply its point-of-care DPP Zika System, which consists of the Dual Path Platform Zika IgM/IgG Assay and DPP Micro Reader, until Dec. 31, 2019. The $4.9 million contract stipulates a purchase commitment of $1.5 million and potential additional purchases that could be worth up to $3.4 million.
Takeda Pharmaceutical launched an early-stage trial to evaluate TAK-426, its Zika virus vaccine candidate. Preliminary data from the Phase I study is expected to become available in 2018, with the goal of initiating Phase II studies as soon as possible if positive results are obtained.
Researchers in Sweden have developed an alternative to highly invasive and painful techniques for harvesting useful quantities of stem cells. The new method gathers the cells, useful in the treatment of many diseases, from the amniotic fluid surrounding a fetus by using a 3D-printed bio-inert plastic device that attaches firmly to the fetal cavity.