CDC expands Zika travel alert in Caribbean | Australian scientists developing new treatment for corneal damage | Bonesupport's antibiotic-eluting bone substitute gets IDE from FDA
August 17, 2016
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CDC expands Zika travel alert in Caribbean
The Cayman Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Turks and Caicos Islands have been added to the CDC's travel alert list due to Zika virus cases in the region.
TravelMarketReport.com (8/17),  Caribbean News Now (8/4) 
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Tissue Banking in the News
Australian scientists developing new treatment for corneal damage
Australian researchers are working on a method for growing corneal cells on a hydrogel film with the goal of restoring vision loss due to corneal damage. Lead researcher Berkay Ozcelik said clinical trials could begin in 2017.
ScienceAlert (Australia & New Zealand) (8/16) 
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Government & Regulatory
Bonesupport's antibiotic-eluting bone substitute gets IDE from FDA
The FDA has given Swedish company Bonesupport an investigational device exemption to conduct a 230-patient study of its next-generation Cerament G injectable antibiotic-eluting bone substitute, which is intended for promoting bone healing within 12 months and prevent bone infection at the same time. In the study, the efficacy and safety of the product will be assessed as part of the surgical restoration of open diaphyseal tibial fractures.
MassDevice.com (Boston) (8/12) 
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Confirmed Zika cases in Fla. rise to 441
Three new cases of Zika virus infection caused by local mosquito transmission have been confirmed by Florida officials, including one individual from Palm Beach County. Florida now has reported 413 travel-related cases of Zika infection and 28 cases of non-travel-related Zika.
Reuters (8/12) 
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$81M in diverted funds to aid in battle against Zika
HHS said it will shift $81 million from other projects to advance the development of a Zika vaccine, with $34 million going to the NIH and $47 million to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. The decision by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell is a stopgap measure until Congress votes on Zika funding after returning from the summer recess in September.
Reuters (8/11),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/11) 
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FDA authorizes Luminex test for Zika infection
The FDA approved Luminex's RNA test for Zika virus for emergency use. Amy Altman, vice president of biodefense and protein diagnostics at Luminex, said the company previously developed a diagnostic for Ebola virus but did not seek FDA authorization.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/Austin, Texas (8/9),  Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (8/8) 
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Trends
Study aims to develop regeneration strategies for heart muscle cell formation
Researchers from the University of Houston have identified heart formation regulators that are active during the formation of heart muscle tissue, according to a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The regulators -- most of them microRNA -- play a role in the early steps of the cardiac cell formation process.
BioNews Texas (8/11) 
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Mallinckrodt enters deal to buy Wis. regenerative medicine firm
Mallinckrodt has reached an agreement to acquire Wisconsin-based regenerative medicine firm Stratatech, which develops the StrataGraft skin substitute for treating burns. The acquisition, for which terms were undisclosed, is expected to expand Mallinckrodt's hospital portfolio pipeline and be completed in the second half of this year.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/St. Louis (8/11) 
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UK study on use of human tissue in research gains funding
Maria Belvisi of Imperial College London has been awarded a grant worth about $520,000 to support a study on the use of postmortem human lung tissue for research that reduces the use of animal tissue. She is part of the Asthma Advisory Board for the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research.
Imperial College London (U.K.) (8/9) 
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Bone marrow transplants performed in mice without chemotherapy
Stanford University researchers found that bone marrow transplants can be performed in mice without chemotherapy, according to a study in the journal Science Translational Medicine. The process uses biologic agents and an antibody to clear blood-forming stem cells before the transplant.
Business Standard (India)/Agence France-Presse (8/11) 
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