Study identifies protein crucial to blood stem cells' self-renewal ability | Arthritis drug prevents graft-versus-host disease, study finds | Longer anti-clotting therapy reduces heart attack risk after stent
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November 17, 2014
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Study identifies protein crucial to blood stem cells' self-renewal ability
University of California, Los Angeles, researchers have identified GPI-80, a surface protein expressed by the subpopulation of human fetal hematopoietic cells that is able to self-renew and differentiate. It is present in multiple phases of human hematopoietic stem cell development and migration, making it a useful marker for stem cell identification. The study in the journal Cell Stem Cell also found that the loss of GPI-80 causes stem cells to differentiate. (11/13)
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Science & Health
Arthritis drug prevents graft-versus-host disease, study finds
The rheumatoid arthritis drug tocilizumab protects leukemia patients from graft-versus-host disease after bone marrow transplants, according to a study in The Lancet Oncology. In a Phase I/II trial, treatment with the IL-6 inhibitor was associated with a GVHD incidence of 12%, compared with 50% for patients who received standard care. A late-stage study is being conducted in Australia. ABC (Australia) (11/14), (India)/Asian News International (11/14)
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Longer anti-clotting therapy reduces heart attack risk after stent
Patients treated with dual anti-platelet therapy for 30 months after stent placement had a reduced risk of heart attacks and in-stent clotting compared with those given aspirin and a placebo after 12 months of dual therapy, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. Bleeding was more common with extended dual therapy, but the rates of fatal bleeding were not significantly different. Reuters (11/16), Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (11/16), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (11/16), MedPage Today (free registration) (11/16)
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Overuse of anti-clotting drugs may increase dementia risk
A study presented at the American Heart Association meeting found that patients with atrial fibrillation who showed signs of overtreatment with anti-clotting drugs had a twofold greater risk of developing dementia. The results suggest that microbleeds may cause chronic brain injury and could contribute to the link between atrial fibrillation and dementia, said an expert. HealthDay News (11/17)
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Efficient Generation of Cytotoxic T Cells
Join us November 18 for the Efficient Generation of Cytotoxic T Cells webinar offered by the AABB Center for Cellular Therapies. Presenters will discuss the generation of CTLs in-vitro from peripheral blood and cord blood, types of cytotoxic T cell therapies, list the sources of cytotoxic T cells, as well as review the scalability of CTL production for clinical use. Register Now!
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Emerging Trends
Hemodialysis reduces Ebola viral load, case report suggests
Doctors from Goethe University in Germany reported at the Kidney Week conference that Aethlon's Hemopurifier helped reduce the viral load of an Ebola patient from 400,000 per mL of blood to 1,000 per mL of blood. The device was attached to a hemodialysis machine during 6.5 hours of treatment. After the procedure, the patient showed rapid improvement. (11/14)
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AABB Patient Blood Management Learning Module — Now Available
Need guidance in implementing a PBM program or having a difficult time understanding the different facets of PBM? AABB's new interactive Web-based module provides the rationale for why your facility will want to embrace a PBM initiative and gives you step-by-step guidance on how to make the first move toward implementation. Order Now!
Industry News & Practice
Federal contract supports study of immune response to Ebola and hepatitis C
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has granted Integral Molecular a five-year, $3.5 million contract to research the human immune response to the Ebola and hepatitis C viruses. Integral Molecular will use epitope mapping to determine how antibodies against the viruses develop or fail to develop. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (11/14)
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Geron licenses myelofibrosis drug to Janssen in potential $935 million deal
Geron granted Johnson & Johnson's Janssen unit the licensing rights to co-develop its myelofibrosis drug candidate imetelstat. Under terms of the deal, Janssen also will be in charge of global regulatory filing and marketing activities. The deal entitles Geron to $35 million upfront and up to $900 million in milestone fees plus sales royalties. Yahoo/Reuters (11/13), Fox Business/The Associated Press (11/13)
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Gates and Allen foundations fund development of Ebola test
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have given Cepheid a grant worth up to $3.3 million to develop the Xpert Ebola diagnostic test, which the company says could be offered for use during emergencies. The test would identify the Ebola virus in a saliva sample or a drop of blood. Reuters (11/13)
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The Buzz
Title21 Announces Title21 Health Solutions
Title21 Software unveiled the company's name change to Title21 Health Solutions reflecting their sole focus on health sciences. Title21 delivers easy-to-use, integrated electronic solutions to improve quality, compliance, and operational efficiencies in health science organizations. Click here to read the Press Release.
Government & Regulatory
FDA authorizes emergency use of Altona's Ebola testing kit
Altona Diagnostics announced that the FDA has authorized the emergency use of its RealStar Ebolavirus RT-PCR Kit 1.0, an in vitro diagnostic assay used in the qualitative detection of Ebola virus RNA in human EDTA plasma specimens from people showing symptoms of infection. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (11/13)
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Association News
New Patient Blood Management learning modules available for pre-order
An increasing number of health professionals are embracing PBM -- an evidence-based, multidisciplinary approach to optimizing the care of patients who might need a transfusion. In response to increasing demand for PBM-related educational content, AABB is issuing the following PBM modules to accompany the Introduction to Patient Blood Management Module released earlier this year: Optimizing Transfusion Benefits: Recognizing When Transfusions Are Helpful; Intraoperative Blood Conservation, Transfusion Strategies and Surgical Techniques; and Patient Blood Management for Coagulopathy. Currently, individuals can access the Introduction to Patient Blood Management Module and pre-order the remaining three, which will be presented later this month. Those purchasing a bundle of all four modules will receive a discount, and AABB is offering introductory pricing for the modules now through Nov. 30. Institutional packages with multiple licenses also are available. Further information is located on the PBM Learning Modules Web page. Additional modules on such topics as anemia management are in development.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Laboratory quality manager/QC unitTexas Stem CellHouston, TX
Clinical Laboratory ScientistEisenhower Medical CenterRancho Mirage, CA
Facility processing DirectorTexas Stem CellHouston, TX
Medical Blood Bank Technologists & Sr TechnologistsUniversity of Miami Miller School of MedicineMiami, FL
Deputy Director, Regulatory AffairsAABBBethesda, MD
Click here to view more job listings.
Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."
-- Og Mandino,
American author
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