Study finds reduced risk of graft-versus-host disease with low-dose steroids | Portugal reports results for new hepatitis C treatments | Brazil reports over 91,000 suspected cases of Zika infection
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April 28, 2016
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Study finds reduced risk of graft-versus-host disease with low-dose steroids
Researchers in Beijing found that haploidentical stem cell transplant recipients who received low-dose corticosteroid prophylaxis had lower rates of grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease, according to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The randomized trial, which involved 228 patients, also found that low-dose steroid therapy was associated with faster platelet recovery and a low rate of adverse events.
MedPage Today (free registration) (4/26) 
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Science & Health
Portugal reports results for new hepatitis C treatments
A February 2015 Portuguese health policy granted comprehensive access to direct acting antivirals for patients with hepatitis C. Based on an analysis of data for 1,069 people who had been assessed following treatment by the end of January, 94% achieved a sustained virological response. The data were presented at the International Liver Congress.
Aidsmap (4/27) 
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Brazil reports over 91,000 suspected cases of Zika infection
Health officials in Brazil announced that 91,387 cases of Zika virus infection were reported from Jan. 3 to April 2, with a high share in the nation's Northeast. The Health Ministry also said dengue cases rose by 13.7% compared with the same period the previous year.
Yahoo/Agence France-Presse (4/27) 
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Emerging Trends
Modified antibodies show potential against HIV in animal trials
Investigators with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that four antibodies were capable of protecting macaque monkeys from a combination of HIV and a simian form of the virus, according to a study in the journal Nature. A genetically modified version of VRC01 protected the primates longer than the original antibody.
HealthDay News (4/27) 
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Industry News & Practice
GlaxoSmithKline to collaborate with Zymeworks on antibody development
GlaxoSmithKline will work with Zymeworks on the development and marketing of bispecific antibodies using the latter's Azymetric drug discovery technology. Under the terms of the agreement, GSK gets the option to develop and market the antibodies for multiple indications and will provide Zymeworks with an upfront payment of $36 million and as much as $872 million in milestone fees plus sales royalties.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (4/26) 
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IPO could bring in $85M for Intellia Therapeutics
Intellia Therapeutics has filed updated plans for an initial public offering with the goal of raising $85 million. The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm uses CRISPR-Cas9 technology for the development of gene-editing treatments.
GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (4/27),  Renaissance Capital (4/27) 
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Q2 revenue increases for Hologic
Hologic generated $693.3 million in revenue during its fiscal second quarter ending March 26, up from $655.5 million in the same period a year earlier. The growth was driven in part by a 14% year-over-year increase in US gynecology surgical business sales, which was the company's biggest overall gain.
GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (4/27) 
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Getting Ready for Patient Blood Management Certification Webinar
Join experts from The Joint Commission and AABB for a FREE webinar, Getting Ready for Patient Blood Management Certification, May 12 at 2:00 ET. Attendees will learn more about the benefits of the new Patient Blood Management Certification Program and how to prepare for and build support within your organization. Joint Commission accredited hospitals and critical access hospitals are eligible for the new voluntary certification. Register now.
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Association News
Reminder: Annual Meeting abstract submission deadline is May 4
The deadline to submit abstracts is May 4 for the 2016 AABB Annual Meeting, taking place Oct. 22-25 in Orlando, Fla. This year, AABB will accept 20 percent more abstracts for oral presentations and present $500 awards to 2 trainees in each of the 5 categories who submit outstanding abstracts -- submit yours today.
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