Research uncovers role of protein found in light-sensing cells | T-cell therapy performs well against leukemia in new study | Webinar examines clinical decision support tools for Ebola screening
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October 17, 2014
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News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Research uncovers role of protein found in light-sensing cells
A study in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals that a protein found in the retina, called Numb, plays an important role in maintaining the function and survival of light-sensing cells needed for vision. The protein helps cells compartmentalize proteins, and its absence can lead to cell degeneration. (India)/Indo-Asian News Service (10/16)
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T-cell therapy performs well against leukemia in new study
Nineteen patients with relapsing or unresponsive acute lymphoblastic leukemia remained in remission six months after being treated with genetically engineered autologous T-cells, researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania report in The New England Journal of Medicine. The therapy used T-cells reprogrammed to find and destroy B-cells that have the surface protein CD19. Researchers at the National Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have reported similar results with the therapy. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (10/16), HealthDay News (10/15)
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Webinar examines clinical decision support tools for Ebola screening
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology hosted a webinar on the use of clinical decision support tools for Ebola screening. Jon White, the ONC's acting chief medical officer, said the agency will help standardize the CDC's Ebola guidelines for use with electronic systems. Healthcare Informatics online (10/16)
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Agena Bioscience Workshop on Blood Group Genotyping
Hear immunohematologists from four renowned institutions share their experiences with the new Hemo ID Blood Group Genotyping Panel and the MassARRAY System. The discussion will include validation vs. serotyping, high throughput donor screening, and resolution of complex RH genotypes. RSVP HERE for the breakfast workshop on October 27 at 7:00 AM.
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HHS awards $5.8 million to support Ebola vaccine development
Profectus BioSciences has received a $5.8 million one-year contract from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop an Ebola vaccine to be used in animal safety studies and future clinical trials. The contract could be extended and reach up to $8.6 million. The firm expects to begin clinical trials by the middle of next year. (10/16), The Baltimore Sun (10/16), Modern Healthcare (free registration) (10/16)
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Consortium receives $6.5 million to study Staphylococcus aureus
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will provide a five-year, $6.5 million grant to a consortium headed by New York University Langone Medical Center for research on Staphylococcus aureus. The study will use proteomics and genetics to identify antigens for the development of new treatments. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (10/15)
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Orgenesis receives patent for cellular treatment of type 1 diabetes
Orgenesis has received a patent for a cell-based therapy being developed as a treatment for type 1 diabetes. The technique involves converting liver cells into insulin-producing cells. Pharmaceutical Business Review Online (10/16)
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Canada funds 12 translational genomics projects
The Canadian government will invest more than $13 million and partners in Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program will invest another $36 million to fund 12 genomics research projects. Projects include developing an inexpensive diagnostic platform for infectious disease testing, creating a treatment for vascular inflammation and destabilization, finding more effective ways to match drug therapies to mental health patients, and creating a cardiovascular biomarker translation program to combat heart failure. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (10/15)
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AABB Annual Meeting Industry Workshop
Don't miss the Industry Workshop sponsored by Immucor at the AABB Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 26 at 7am in the Convention Center Room 107A/B. Please join us to learn about "Evolution Practices: IVD Molecular Immunohematology & Platelet Refractory Investigations". Click here for a complete list of educational opportunities sponsored by Immucor.
Government & Regulatory
President appoints former vice presidential staffer as Ebola czar
Ron Klain, who served as the chief of staff for Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, has been named by President Barack Obama to help coordinate the nation's response to the Ebola outbreak. Klain will work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies. ABC News (10/17)
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FDA approves Chimerix's trials of experimental Ebola drug
The FDA has permitted Chimerix to conduct clinical trials to test brincidofovir, its experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug, against Ebola. The emergency investigational new drug application submitted by the company was supported by data from in vitro assessments and ongoing animal testing. FDAnews (10/15)
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The Buzz
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Association News
Reminder: AABB requests ideas for educational programs at 2015 Annual Meeting
Individuals interested in suggesting educational program topics for the 2015 AABB Annual Meeting are encouraged to submit proposals; the submission deadline is Nov. 14. Additional information and submission forms are available online.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
Clinical Laboratory ScientistEisenhower Medical CenterRancho Mirage, CA
IRL / Molecular Med Tech IIISan Diego Blood BankSan Diego, CA
Click here to view more job listings.
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."
-- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross,
American psychiatrist
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