Study assesses venetoclax for acute myelogenous leukemia | Researchers seek ways to combat latent HIV | Pfizer to buy Medivation for $14B
August 23, 2016
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community
Top Story
Study assesses venetoclax for acute myelogenous leukemia
A midstage study found that daily oral venetoclax monotherapy was associated with an objective response rate of 19% among 32 patients with acute myelogenous leukemia whose conditions were relapsed or refractory or who were not considered good candidates for induction therapy. One patient proceeded to stem cell transplant, according to the study in the journal Cancer Discovery.
Medscape (free registration)/Reuters (8/19) 
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Reading Between Blood Samples
Masimo noninvasive and continuous total hemoglobin (SpHb®) offers real-time visibility to changes in hemoglobin between invasive blood sampling. SpHb may provide additional insight when the hemoglobin trend is:
• stable and the clinician may otherwise think hemoglobin is dropping
• rising and the clinician may otherwise think hemoglobin is not rising fast enough
• dropping and the clinician may otherwise think hemoglobin is stable
Science & Health
Researchers seek ways to combat latent HIV
The NIH-funded Collaboratory of AIDS Researchers for Eradication is supporting clinical trials of latency-reversing agents intended to eliminate HIV from the body. "We have learned a lot, and made advances, and we hope that we now have the tools to begin to chip away at the persistent virus that remains in patients," principal CARE investigator Dr. David Margolis said.
Specialty Pharmacy Times (8/20) 
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White Paper: HCLL Blood Bank System Delivers Safe and Reliable Integration with Epic
Epic® and HCLL Transfusion support the flow of orders, product preparation, issue and release, PPID at the bedside, and transfusion. The systems also provide complete and automatic documentation. Therefore, whether your blood bank information system (BBIS) or laboratory information system (LIS) is stand-alone or all-in-one, integration among systems is the best possible way to enable real-time care that minimizes errors and keeps patients safe. Download the white paper.
Emerging Trends
Pfizer to buy Medivation for $14B
Drugmaker Pfizer has completed an agreement to take over Medivation, maker of a widely prescribed drug for prostate cancer, in deal worth about $14 billion. The drug, Xtandi, is bringing Medivation about $2 billion in sales a year, and analysts say the figure could double or more.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/22) 
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Industry News & Practice
NMDP CEO: Reimbursement shortcomings reduce access to transplants
A proposal by the CMS does not sufficiently increase reimbursements for outpatient bone marrow and cord blood transplants, and a rule finalized this month does not address flaws in reimbursements for inpatient transplants, writes Dr. Jeffrey Chell, CEO of the National Marrow Donor Program. "For those of us in healthcare, we understand that when the numbers do not add up, especially to this extent, limited access is the unfortunate result," Chell writes.
The Hill (8/19) 
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Arbutus to relocate to Warminster, Pa.
Arbutus Biopharma is moving from the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center in Bucks County, Pa., to a larger, 35,000-square-foot facility in Warminster, Pa. The growing firm, which is focused on developing treatments for hepatitis B, intends to renovate and build lab space at the new location over the next several months.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Philadelphia (8/22) 
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Investigating Positive DAT Results: A Case Study Approach
Written by experienced serologists, this book provides realistic testing cases for professionals who investigate hemolytic transfusion reactions. It is available in print and digital formats, and as a bundle with Antibody Identification: Art or Science? Sharpen your skills in investigating a positive DAT and antibody identification and buy the bundle now!
Government & Regulatory
BARDA to fund development of Regeneron's MERS treatment
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority entered into an agreement with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which will study and manufacture two potential antibody therapies to prevent and treat Middle East respiratory syndrome. Under the terms of the deal, BARDA will provide as much as $8.9 million for packaging and labeling of the antibodies, regulatory submission and a clinical trial conducted by the NIH.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (8/22) 
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Association News
Early discounted registration for Annual Meeting ends Wednesday
Early discounted registration rates for the 2016 AABB Annual Meeting -- to be held Oct. 22-25 in Orlando, Fla. -- end on Aug. 24. Those who register by the deadline can save $200 off general registration rates. The four-day event offers participants access to educational sessions on the latest research in transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management; continuing education credits; networking opportunities; social events; and exhibits featuring innovative products and services.
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