Graft-versus-host disease risk lower for leukemia patients ages 2-12 | Noninvasive biomarker found for kidney disease with sickle cell anemia | Changing epidemiology requires careful S. aureus treatment
December 6, 2017
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community
Top Story
Graft-versus-host disease risk lower for leukemia patients ages 2-12
An analysis of data from 476 patients with acute leukemia found that patients ages 2 to 12 years had a lower risk for grade 2 to 4 acute graft-versus-host disease and chronic graft-versus-host disease compared with those ages 13 to 18 years. The findings were reported in the journal Biology of Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
OncLive (12/4) 
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Science & Health
Noninvasive biomarker found for kidney disease with sickle cell anemia
Howard University researchers found that urinary ceruloplasmin in patients with sickle cell anemia is a possible noninvasive biomarker for chronic kidney disease, according to a study in the American Journal of Hematology. Urine samples of sickle cell anemia patients with hemoglobinuria exhibited much higher levels of ceruloplasmin than those of controls.
eMPR/HealthDay News (12/5) 
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Changing epidemiology requires careful S. aureus treatment
The rise in rates of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus, as well as resistance to antibiotics such as clindamycin and Bactrim, underscore the importance of understanding antimicrobial resistance when prescribing antibiotics, according to research presented at the Infectious Diseases in Children Symposium. A study by the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program found that using Bactrim to treat pediatric patients who had undergone drainage procedures due to MRSA infections resulted in a 25% increased risk of recurrence and an almost doubled risk of treatment failure.
Healio (free registration)/Infectious Diseases in Children (12/4) 
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Choose increased platelet availability
When the FDA issues final guidance regarding bacterial risk control strategies for platelets, you will have to decide which approach to use. Our Platelet PGD test is the ONLY way to enable 7-day platelet dating, which ensures a consistent platelet supply, simplifies inventory management and provides inventory flexibility for HLA matched units. Learn More.
Emerging Trends
Sanofi terminates development of C. diff vaccine
Sanofi terminated development of its Clostridium difficile vaccine based on an Independent Data Monitoring Committee's assessment that the vaccine had a low probability of success after looking at interim data from a late-stage study.
FiercePharma (12/4),  Seeking Alpha (free registration) (12/1) 
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Researchers expanding use of immunotherapy to treat viral infections
While immunotherapy is most often associated with treating cancer, a number of research projects over the past several years have focused on T-cell therapies to target viral infections in bone marrow transplant patients. "Using T cells to target infectious diseases is not a new field, but it's something that's expanding a great deal," says Dr. Michael Keller, an immunologist at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C.
The Scientist online (12/4) 
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Researchers' persistence pays off as gene therapies yield results
Gene therapy has been tested in a small number of patients, and more longer-term studies are needed to judge safety and efficacy, but early results against devastating diseases are promising. Researchers have overcome setbacks and "have reached a point of maturation in the science and in some of the new approaches to gene therapy that have allowed us to make rapid advancements in a fairly short period of time," said NIH Associate Director for Science Policy Carrie Wolinetz.
National Public Radio (11/29) 
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Industry News & Practice
Athyrium, Neuberger Berman raise $2B for health care fund
Investment management firm Neuberger Berman and asset management firm Athyrium Capital Management have raised $2 billion for the Athyrium Opportunities Fund III, a fund dedicated to public and private commercial-stage health care companies with a focus on medical products, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, health care information technology and health care services. The fund, which has over 45 institutional investors, will invest between $20 million and $300 million in companies across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
MassDevice (Boston) (12/4) 
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Thermo Fisher enters global reseller deal with Dutch molecular Dx firm
Thermo Fisher Scientific reached a non-exclusive agreement with Dutch molecular diagnostics company Genome Diagnostics, also known as GenDx, allowing it to become a global reseller of Thermo Fisher's Applied Biosystems QuantStudio real-time PCR systems. The deal authorizes GenDx and its local distributors to supply the systems and service contracts to be used in chimerism monitoring and human leukocyte antigen typing in their respective countries.
GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (12/5) 
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Calif. stem-cell research projects awarded $8.7M in grants
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has awarded over $8.7 million in grants to a number of San Diego-area stem-cell research projects. Two of the projects are focusing on acute myelogenous leukemia while others are focusing on pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration, Parkinson's disease and regenerative therapies.
The San Diego Union-Tribune (tiered subscription model) (12/4) 
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Association News
Deadline to comment on proposed Standards for Molecular Testing for Red Cell, Platelet, and Neutrophil Antigens is Dec. 20
The proposed 4th edition of Standards for Molecular Testing for Red Cell, Platelet, and Neutrophil Antigens is available for public comment until Dec. 20, 2017. After the comment period ends, the Molecular Testing Standards Program Unit will review all comments submitted. The 4th edition will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2018.
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