NIH announces pick for new director of the NHLBI | Study links infection with higher blood clot risk in elderly | Experts create stem cell line that may aid in diabetes research
April 6, 2012
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community
Top Story
NIH announces pick for new director of the NHLBI
The NIH has announced the appointment of Dr. Gary Gibbons as the new director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Gibbons founded the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine and is also its current director. "The globally recognized research and training supported by the NHLBI continues to advance biomedical knowledge in fields related to heart, lung, and blood diseases. I look forward to working with the institute staff and with the many researchers supported by the Institute to foster multidisciplinary approaches to improve disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that will advance the health of all Americans," Gibbons said of his appointment.
Forbes (4/5) 
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Donor Recruiting & Retention is About to Get Easier
The donor landscape is changing. According to IDC, by 2015 less than 50% of the U.S. will access the Internet via a desktop computer. Landline phones are virtually obsolete. Get ready for the future of donor recruiting and retention. Learn more.
Science & Health
Study links infection with higher blood clot risk in elderly
An analysis of data from the Health and Retirement Study found that elderly people who developed infections after staying in hospitals or nursing homes had a nearly sevenfold higher risk of developing a venous thromboembolism, or clot, while those who developed infections at home had a threefold greater risk of a clot within 90 days. Anemia drugs and blood transfusions also increased an elderly person's risk of a blood clot. The findings appeared online in the journal Circulation.
HealthDay News (4/5) 
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Experts create stem cell line that may aid in diabetes research
Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics created a line of human stem cells that may help generate insulin-producing beta cells. The new stem cell line also may serve as a disease-modeling tool to examine how human diseases progress, researchers reported in Cell/Stem Cell. (4/5) 
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Drug targets resistant advanced lymphoma
A drug being developed by Pharmacyclics and Janssen Research and Development shrank or eliminated tumors in 40% of patients with a drug-resistant advanced lymphoma subtype in a small trial, according to a presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. The drug, ibrutinib, blocks the protein Bruton's tyrosine kinase, which National Cancer Institute researchers found to be part of a B-cell-receptor signaling pathway that allows tumor cells to proliferate. blog (4/3) 
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Emerging Trends
LiveNurse app boosts patients' access to nurses
GreatCall introduced this week the subscription-based LiveNurse iPhone application that enables users to connect to a registered nurse any time of the day -- in English or Spanish -- without an appointment. The application, which includes a symptom navigator tool and a medical encyclopedia, has a "Shake for Help" feature that allows users to easily receive information on how a certain screen of the app works. (4/5) 
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Industry News & Practice
Positive trial data unveiled for oral anemia drug
Oral anemia compound AKB-6548, by Akebia Therapeutics, achieved the primary objective of increasing hemoglobin over 42 days during a dose-response midstage test on 93 patients with chronic kidney disease. Akebia said the erythropoietin drug is potentially cheaper and safer than conventional therapy. The firm plans to conduct a six-month Phase IIb trial in the summer. (4/5) 
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MMRF leads multicenter, multiyear myeloma research project
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is leading a multiyear effort to study whether molecular variations affect patient response to therapy. Scientists at the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan will collect, store and extract DNA and RNA from tissue samples, and researchers at Spectrum Health will assist with genetic analyses.
The Grand Rapids Press (Mich.) (4/4) 
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Government & Regulatory
Over-the-counter HIV test to get FDA review
OraSure Technologies said the FDA's Blood Products Advisory Committee will review the over-the-counter potential of its OraQuick Rapid HIV-1/2 test on May 15. The company is expected to present consumer-use data at the meeting. "There is an urgent need for additional testing options to identify individuals who are HIV-positive, link them to care and reduce transmission of the virus," OraSure President and CEO Douglas Michels said.
Drug Store News (4/5) 
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Senate panel releases draft of breakthrough drug approval bill
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a discussion draft of a bill to streamline FDA approval of drugs that address life-threatening conditions. Sponsors propose adding the bill to legislation reauthorizing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act.
The Hill/Healthwatch blog (4/4) 
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Association News
AABB Digital Downloads library updated to include additional chapters from pathogen inactivation book
AABB has made chapters 10 through 17 of the book, "Pathogen Inactivation: The Penultimate Paradigm Shift," available in its Digital Downloads library. Topics include the U.K.'s use of methylene-blue-treated plasma from the U.S., France's use of Cerus Corporation's Intercept platelets and plasma, and the status of pathogen inactivation in the U.S and Europe. Chapters 1 through 9 were previously posted. The chapters are accessible in PDF format, which can be read easily on laptops, iPads, desktops, smartphones and other devices. Visit the AABB Marketplace to purchase this and other AABB Digital Downloads.
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