Inaccurate lab results prompt retesting of more than 400 Zika virus samples | Merck reports on positive results for lead HIV candidate doravirine | A handful of mutations could let Ebola viruses jump species, study finds
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February 17, 2017
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Inaccurate lab results prompt retesting of more than 400 Zika virus samples
CDC researchers are retesting Zika virus samples from 294 pregnant women, while other CDC-approved public health laboratories are reexamining samples from 115 men and non-pregnant women after a mathematical error in the District of Columbia Department of Forensic Sciences Public Health Laboratory Division caused all tests from mid-July to mid-December to yield negative results. Two of 62 retested samples from pregnant women confirmed flavivirus infections, and the results will be finalized over the next two to three weeks, said Wendi Kuhnert-Tallman, co-leader of the CDC's Zika lab task force.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (2/16),  Reuters (2/17) 
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Science & Health
Merck reports on positive results for lead HIV candidate doravirine
A late-stage clinical trial of Merck's lead HIV candidate found that a doravirine regimen was comparable to that of darunavir. The data were presented by Merck during the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
FierceBiotech (2/15),  Seeking Alpha (free registration) (2/14) 
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A handful of mutations could let Ebola viruses jump species, study finds
University of Kent researchers report in Bioinformatics that fewer than five mutations would allow Ebola viruses to infect a new species. Multiple types of rodents, which aren't normally susceptible to Ebola viruses, began to spread disease to others of their species after multiple exposures to the viruses, and the authors said the findings raise the prospect of swine or canine infections that could also pose a danger to humans.
ScienceDaily (2/15) 
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Emerging Trends
Biotech plans late-stage trial for hemophilia B gene therapy
A late-stage clinical trial is being prepared by uniQure of its hemophilia B gene therapy candidate AMT-060. The trial is expected to begin in 2018.
FierceBiotech (2/16) 
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Industry News & Practice
Cell separation system chosen for testing by EU liquid biopsy consortium
Angle's Parsortix technology has been selected by Europe's Cancer-ID consortium to evaluate its suitability as an acceptable method for harvesting circulating tumor cells.
GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (2/13) 
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Government & Regulatory
Biosimilar cancer drugs being reviewed in Europe
The European Medicines Agency is reviewing approval applications for biosimilar versions of Roche's Rituxan blood cancer drug and Herceptin breast cancer drug.
Reuters (2/15) 
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Association News
PEP mentoring program seeking a few good mentors and mentees
The Professional Engagement Program (PEP) mentoring program is an informal, six-month program that provides a fun way for AABB members to share their expertise, expand their professional network and engage in an exchange of ideas. The program pairs experienced AABB members with colleagues who have worked in blood banking, transfusion medicine, cellular therapies or patient blood management for less than five years. To participate in the program, complete the application and send it to pep@aabb.org.
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