Discovery could protect blood stem cells during sepsis, chemo | Study examines how key blood factor fights malaria parasite | Héma-Québec to conduct more tests on quarantined blood
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December 7, 2012
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Discovery could protect blood stem cells during sepsis, chemo
Australian researchers have pinpointed a "kill switch" that eliminates blood stem cells during stress brought on by events such as chemotherapy or sepsis, according to a study in the journal Immunity. "You have to repopulate those immune cells somehow and these come from progenitor cells in the bone marrow and we think that this cell death pathway is something we can block to try and help the new cells regenerate to fight the infections better," said researcher Dr. Seth Masters. ABC (Australia)/"AM With Tony Eastley" (12/7)
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Science & Health
Study examines how key blood factor fights malaria parasite
Between 98% and 100% of people living in Africa do not carry a molecule on red blood cells called Duffy, which is key to fighting the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. The lack of the Duffy molecule, however, boosts protection against another malaria parasite -- Plasmodium vivax. A study published in the journal Science says Duffy's presence allows the molecule PF4 to eliminate P. falciparum. The Australian (tiered subscription model)/Australian Associated Press (12/7)
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Héma-Québec to conduct more tests on quarantined blood
Héma-Québec is continuing its quarantine on certain blood and has received approval from Health Canada to perform additional tests for bacteria. So far, the tests have not found bacteria and health officials have not reported infections in patients. The quarantine began after microfissures were found in blood-collection devices. A total of 15 devices have now been identified as having the leaks, Héma-Québec said. Haemonetics has responded to this issue and has included information for its customers on its website. The Gazette (Montreal) (tiered subscription model) (12/5)
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Emerging Trends
HHS unveils mobile app challenge to boost use of online data
An innovation challenge launched by HHS calls on developers to design a mobile application with a customized platform that enables users to leverage the wellness and prevention data available on the agency's healthfinder.gov website. The contest offers a $50,000 prize for the winning app. Interested developers can submit their applications until Feb. 1. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/5)
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Industry News & Practice
Biomatrica to advance research and manufacturing capacity
Biomatrica has raised $5 million from a funding round, and the company said it will use the money to advance research and boost manufacturing capabilities and company infrastructure. Biomatrica's products are used in various fields, including biobanking. Its SampleMatrix technology allows the banking of samples such as blood, tissue and cell lines. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (12/6)
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Curetis plans 2014 FDA filing for Unyvero System
Curetis said it plans to file a 510(k) submission to the FDA for its Unyvero System in 2014. The test employs polymerase chain reaction technology to isolate, amplify and identify DNA for bacteria and antibiotic resistance. To prepare for the filing, the company has initiated a clinical trial for the system and its lower respiratory tract application. The company is working on a second Unyvero application for implant and tissue infections, and on cartridges for conditions including bloodstream infections. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (12/6)
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The Buzz
Digi-Trax® Corporation Helps Ensure your Facility's FDA Compliance
HemaTrax-UNITY is our newest blood bank software for printing ISBT 128 compliant labels. It works with your BBIS and can also be used as a standalone system — very useful for disaster recovery. Our single-source solution combines HemaTrax-UNITY software with printers, scanners, validation, labels and service. Learn more.
 
Government & Regulatory
FDA approves more drugs this year
The FDA has approved 31 new drugs in 2012 for conditions including cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The total is the most since 2004, reflecting faster drug development. A separate report showed that in fiscal year 2012 the agency granted 35 new approvals. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/5)
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2 lawmakers unveil bill requiring FDA registration of compounders
Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., introduced legislation that would mandate registration with the FDA by drug compounders. The Supporting Access to Formulated and Effective Compounded Drugs Act would create an FDA database for use by federal and state regulators in the oversight of compounding pharmacies, but the bill is not expected to be voted on by the end of this session. On Dec. 19, state and FDA officials will meet to discuss states' current authority to regulate compounders. Modern Healthcare (subscription required) (12/5), Reuters (12/5)
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Governors urge Obama to loosen strings on Medicaid funds
Governors meeting with President Barack Obama about avoiding automatic tax increases and spending cuts asked for more flexibility in their management of Medicaid and other federal-state programs. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat, said that his state would have to revisit its plan to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act if the federal government reduces funding. CBS News (12/4)
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CDC, FDA find additional contaminants in multiple NECC drugs
The FDA and the CDC have identified additional fungal and bacterial contamination in the drugs distributed by the New England Compounding Center, which is at the center of a national meningitis outbreak. The agencies reported additional fungi and bacteria in solutions of cardioplegia, betamethasone and triamcinolone. The Tennessean (Nashville) (tiered subscription model) (12/4), Medscape (free registration) (12/4)
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Association News
AABB seeks next CEO
AABB seeks a leader with a commitment to improving health care to serve as its next chief executive officer. This prestigious position offers an extraordinary opportunity to lead a respected national professional and scientific association that serves as a preeminent knowledge-based organization focused on improving health through advancing the science and practice of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. The executive search firm Witt/Kieffer has been retained by AABB to assist in recruiting the new CEO. Those interested in applying for the position should visit the company's website for more details.
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Who's Hiring?
Position TitleCompany NameLocation
West Coast Account ManagerMacopharma USAUS - Nationwide
Director, Patient Blood ManagementAABBUS - MD - Bethesda
Click here to view more job listings.
 
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You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it."
-- Charles Buxton,
British brewer, philanthropist, writer and legislator
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