FasterCures' TRAIN Toolkits provide resources for creating effective partnerships | Get insight on the implementation progress of the 21st Century Cures Act | Blood test spots early-stage cancer DNA
August 17, 2017
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Families seek treatments for rare pediatric syndrome
Lobbyist Joe Lang, whose daughter has Jordan's syndrome -- a genetic mutation at PPP2R5D -- paid for other PPP2R5D families from across the globe to meet in Virginia with researchers including Wendy Chung of Columbia Medical School, who gathered blood samples for research. Lang also aims to raise at least $20 million to fund research into the syndrome.
The Fresno Bee (Calif.) (free registration) (8/12) 
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News from FasterCures
FasterCures' TRAIN Toolkits provide resources for creating effective partnerships
FasterCures' TRAIN Toolkits provide resources for creating effective partnerships
The Research Acceleration and Innovation Network (TRAIN) is a FasterCures program that convenes dozens of forward-thinking foundations to learn from each other and share their novel solutions with the rest of the medical research system. TRAIN Toolkits provide a collection of resources, publications and webinars to help organizations of all shapes and sizes create and maintain collaborative efforts. Use these three toolkits to get background information to help you start your next partnership as well as tools and templates to fast-track the process. Explore Foundation-Company Partnerships, Foundation-University Partnerships and Foundations as Collaboration Conveners.
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Get insight on the implementation progress of the 21st Century Cures Act
Get insight on the implementation progress of the 21st Century Cures Act
Explore FasterCures' 21st Century Cures Tracker for insight on the impact of the 21st Century Cures Act. We are tracking the implementation of the 100+ sections in Division A, which include the key provisions relevant to biomedical research and innovation -- and the hard work of implementation is just beginning. Stay up to date on the effects of the legislation by using the regularly updated tracker to help measure impact, highlight progress and identify areas where more resources may be needed. Filter your search by status, subtitle and various tags to research the topics that matter most to you.
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Science and Technology
Blood test spots early-stage cancer DNA
A blood test that detects DNA fragments released by malignant tumors accurately diagnosed 71% of early-stage colon cancers, 68% of early-stage ovarian cancers and 59% of early-stage breast and lung cancers in 200 patients previously diagnosed with cancer; and yielded no false positives in 44 cancer-free volunteers, researchers reported in Science Translational Medicine. More work on the assay is needed, but the ability to diagnose cancer at very early stages could save lives, says lead researcher Victor Velculescu.
HealthDay News (8/16) 
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Merck-backed startup makes progress on blood test for cancer
The results of a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine are favorable toward a blood test that helps doctors detect a particular type of cancer -- a good sign for biotech startup Grail as it further develops the test. The startup's investors include pharmaceutical company Merck and China's Tencent, as well as Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
Bloomberg (8/10) 
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NIH certifies cloud-based data platform for All of Us study
Researchers working on the All of Us initiative will use Vibrent Health's cloud-based platform, which combines genomic data with information from electronic health records, medical devices, wearable biometric monitors and other sources. The NIH certified that the platform meets federal privacy and security standards.
Healthcare IT News (8/16) 
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Takeda forms alliance with Stanford U. for drug discovery
Takeda Pharmaceutical agreed to a three-year collaboration with Stanford University, forming the Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines, to accelerate commercialization of an estimated 20-plus therapeutic projects made in the university's labs. Under the terms of the deal, Takeda will provide expertise in clinical and scientific research and will be granted first negotiation rights to the products.
BioCentury (8/15) 
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Finance and Economics
Research into genetic links between viruses, microbes awarded $6M grant
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $6 million grant to a University of Delaware study of viruses. Research will focus on finding links between genes and viruses in microbes.
WDDE-FM (Dover, Del.) (8/16) 
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Ala. study to examine possible genetic links to mental illness with $2M grant
The National Institute of Mental Health has awarded a $2 million grant to the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Ala., to study links between genes and mental illness. Research will focus on how certain proteins work in the brain during gene reproduction and how they might be related to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and major depressive disorder.
AL (Ala.) (8/15) 
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Policy and Regulation
Trump declares opioid crisis a national emergency
Trump declares opioid crisis a national emergency
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump last week declared the opioid abuse epidemic a national public health emergency as recommended by the White House's opioid commission, two days after administration officials said the move was not necessary. Six states have already declared statewide emergencies, a move that has allowed them to negotiate improved access to naloxone, an opioid overdose reversal medication.
Reuters (8/10),  The Hill (8/10) 
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Society and Ethics
African-Americans wary of participating in dementia research
Some African-Americans distrust the health care system and are wary about donating the brains of loved ones who die of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias for medical studies. Researchers are working to build trust.
Kaiser Health News (8/9) 
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Patient-centric research methods may improve clinical trial diversity
Modern research methods increasingly rely on study participants' willingness to divulge personal data, leading to a more collaborative relationship between researchers and patients that could overcome distrust of the medical system among disenfranchised populations. Patient-centric research is "very different from the very paternalistic type of model we had with research," said cardiologist W.H. Wilson Tang, director of the Cleveland Clinic's Center for Clinical Genomics.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (8/14) 
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FasterCures is an action tank that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is nonpartisan and independent of interest groups.
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