Ebola outbreak taking an unusually heavy toll on children | Medical journal issues retraction for stem cell paper | Novartis, Foundation Medicine collaborate on companion diagnostics
October 19, 2018
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Ebola outbreak taking an unusually heavy toll on children
Since Aug. 1, at least 223 confirmed cases of Ebola have been documented in an outbreak of the virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and at least 144 people have died. Public health workers have struggled in some cases to implement preventive measures, and researchers are especially concerned about a disproportionate number of infections seen in children, who accounted for 60% of newly reported cases in the first two weeks of October around the current epicenter of disease.
STAT (tiered subscription model) (10/19),  The Associated Press (10/17) 
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Science & Health
Medical journal issues retraction for stem cell paper
A retraction was issued by the New England Journal of Medicine for a 2011 paper titled "Evidence for Human Lung Stem Cells," co-authored by Dr. Piero Anversa, cardiac stem cell proponent and former Harvard University professor, and the journal also published an "expression of concern" concerning two other studies. The retraction was made because of evidence that some images included in the paper had been manipulated.
Medscape (free registration) (10/18) 
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Emerging Trends
Novartis, Foundation Medicine collaborate on companion diagnostics
Foundation Medicine and Novartis are collaborating on development of companion diagnostics for use with Novartis' cancer treatments to advance personalized medicine in oncology. The partnership will enable Foundation to move into international markets such as Japan, where it is working with manufacturer Chugai and is seeking regulatory approval of its FoundationOne CDx test.
MedCity News (10/17) 
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Industry News & Practice
Rocket Pharma provides update on Fanconi anemia study in Spain
Rocket Pharmaceuticals unveiled updated long-term results from a Phase I/II study being conducted in Spain to assess its gene therapy candidate RP-L102, indicated for patients with Fanconi anemia, a rare, inherited hematologic disorder. The data were presented at the meeting of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, which showed durable engraftment in four patients based on follow-up data for 12 months.
Seeking Alpha (10/18) 
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Pain crises in sickle cell patients diminished with crizanlizumab
Based on post hoc analysis from its midstage SUSTAIN study, Novartis reported that nearly 36% of sickle cell patients treated with crizanlizumab, or SEG101, did not experience post-treatment pain crises, compared with 16.9% of patients given a placebo. Findings were published in the American Journal of Hematology.
Sickle Cell Anemia News (10/18) 
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Chinese biopharma initiates Phase I study for AML candidate
An early-stage study was launched in China by Hutchison China MediTech, or Chi-Med, to assess the preliminary efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetics of its experimental drug HMPL-523, combined with azacitidine, as a treatment for elderly acute myeloid leukemia patients who have not been previously treated or who are ineligible to undergo standard induction therapy. The study's primary endpoint includes overall response rate as well as adverse events.
Seeking Alpha (10/18) 
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Government & Regulatory
Zika screening test by Co-Diagnostics earns CE mark
Co-Diagnostics' Logix Smart Zika test received CE-IVD marking, permitting the assay's sale in European Union states and other regions where the designation is recognized. The test can identify if the Zika virus is present in plasma or serum from patients suspected of having the infection.
Seeking Alpha (10/18),  360Dx (tiered subscription model) (10/18) 
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Association News
On-demand sessions from AABB's 2018 Annual Meeting available for purchase
Individuals who were unable to attend the meeting can purchase access to content for the entire meeting, by day or for self-assessment modules (SAM)-only sessions through Annual Meeting On-Demand. CME/CE credit is available to individuals who purchase access to the entire meeting. AABB will provide access via email prior to Dec. 5, 2018. Access is valid through Dec. 31, 2020. Presentations are available at the discretion of the speakers and subject to change without notice.
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