Technology changes reduce blood transfusions at Calif. hospital | Case report details first local Zika transmission case in US last year | Genetic modification boosts mosquitoes' immunity to dengue
January 13, 2017
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News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community
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Technology changes reduce blood transfusions at Calif. hospital
University of California at Los Angeles Health reported reducing red blood cell transfusions by almost 20% when it transitioned blood administration processes to all-electronic bar code scanning. The switch from the systems' previous hybrid electronic-paper format involved an eight-month bar coding project and an eight-month embedded clinical decision support project. The results of the change will be presented at a meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
Healthcare IT News (1/11) 
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Science & Health
Case report details first local Zika transmission case in US last year
A case study in The New England Journal of Medicine described a 23-year-old Florida woman who developed Zika virus symptoms such as widespread pruritic rash, fever and sore throat, as well as muscle and joint pain during the 23rd week of pregnancy, becoming the first case of locally acquired Zika virus in the US. The woman's pregnancy continued normally and her baby was born full-term, testing negative for Zika and without Zika-related birth defects.
ABC News (1/11),  Physician's Briefing/HealthDay News (1/12) 
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Emerging Trends
Genetic modification boosts mosquitoes' immunity to dengue
Scientists from Baltimore's Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health made modifications to the genetic makeup of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that increased their resistance to the dengue virus. The findings were reported in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
United Press International (1/12) 
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Bayer, U. of Pittsburgh form research pact
The University of Pittsburgh and Bayer have entered into an alliance to study diseases of the blood, heart and lungs. The partnership will include data analysis, basic research and drug development.
FierceBiotech (1/10) 
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Takeda, Maverick sign $125M cancer therapy collaboration
Takeda Pharmaceutical has entered into a collaboration with Maverick Therapeutics to develop the latter's T-cell redirection therapy platform for cancer treatments in a deal that could generate $125 million for Maverick. Takeda will pay an upfront option and equity fees, provide funding for research and development and also get the exclusive right to acquire Maverick for an undisclosed amount after five years.
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (1/11) 
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Industry News & Practice
Funding round brings in $15M for OncoImmune
A round of Series A financing generated $15 million for Rockville, Md.-based OncoImmune. The firm's lead candidate is being tested in a midstage study for the prevention of graft-versus-host disease.
BioCentury (1/12) 
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Government & Regulatory
Abbott's Alinity s blood, plasma screening system gains CE approval in Europe
Abbott's Alinity s system has received CE mark approval in Europe for blood and plasma screening. (India) (1/12) 
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NCI initiative aims to accelerate cancer studies
The National Cancer Institute's new Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program will negotiate agreements between researchers and participating drugmakers to allow the use of specific agents in NCI-supported preclinical and clinical cancer studies. Six drugmakers have signed on to the initiative and agree to review proposals for listed agents within 60 days of receiving them from CTEP.
Regulatory Focus (1/11),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (1/11) 
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Association News
AABB seeks Editor-in-Chief for "Transfusion" journal
Paul M. Ness, MD, who has been editor-in-chief of the journal "Transfusion" since 2003, has elected to end his term of service in 2018. Thus, AABB is seeking candidates for the position. The editor-in-chief provides direction for the journal by setting policy, planning strategy, promoting contributions and determining overall content. Considered by many to be the foremost transfusion medicine research journal in the world, "Transfusion" contains original research articles, discussions with opposing viewpoints on controversial issues and key conference proceedings. In addition to blood banking and transfusion medicine topics, "Transfusion" covers issues concerning patient blood management, tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular and gene therapies. The job description and position announcement can be found on the AABB website.
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