Blood donation standards modified by FDA | Global COVID-19 cases top 1M, US cases surpass 245K | Point-of-care COVID-19 antibody test rolled out
April 3, 2020
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Top Story
The FDA has updated guidance on blood donation due to immediate and pressing need, shortening the deferral period from 12 to 3 months for men who have had sex with men, women who had sex with men who had sex with men, people with recent piercings or tattoos and people who have visited regions where malaria is endemic.
Full Story: National Public Radio (4/2),  Seeking Alpha (free registration) (4/2) 
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Science & Health
Global COVID-19 cases top 1M, US cases surpass 245K
(Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/Getty Images)
The novel coronavirus has now infected more than 1 million and killed almost 53,000 people worldwide as cases continue to surge in the US, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. The US accounted for more than 245,000 infections and more than 6,000 deaths, while Italy and Spain reported 13,915 and 10,935 deaths, respectively.
Full Story: USA Today (4/3),  Reuters (4/3),  CNBC (4/2) 
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Emerging Trends
A COVID-19 point-of-care test that can deliver results within 15 minutes was launched by Becton Dickinson. The test confirms previous or current exposure to the novel coronavirus by checking for antibodies present in the blood.
Full Story: MassDevice (Boston) (4/1) 
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Industry News & Practice
Neurimmune of Switzerland and German biotech Ethris have partnered to create messenger RNA antibodies that can be inhaled and delivered directly into a patient's lungs to neutralize SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Full Story: Labiotech (Germany) (4/2) 
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Vir Biotechnology and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have increased their collaboration in a quest to advance investigational RNAi therapies that target host factors in treating COVID-19. The companies will evaluate the RNAi therapeutics targeting three host factors that the SARS-COV-2 infection requires.
Full Story: Reuters (4/2) 
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Government & Regulatory
Celularity's investigational new drug application was cleared by the FDA, allowing the company to launch a clinical trial to evaluate its stem cell therapy CYNK-001 to treat COVID-19. CYNK-001 uses placental stem cell-derived natural killer cells.
Full Story: Forbes (4/2) 
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Priority review status was granted to Mesoblast's allogeneic cell therapy Ryoncil, or remestemcel-L, as a treatment for pediatric patients with steroid-refractory acute graft-versus-host disease. The FDA could issue a decision on the drug's approval by Sept. 30.
Full Story: Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (4/1) 
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Association News
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AABB has elected to delay the effective dates of the 32nd edition of Standards for Blood Banks and Transfusion Services (BBTS) and 11th edition of Standards for Immunohematology Reference Laboratories (IRL) to July 1, 2020. AABB previously scheduled both sets of Standards to take effect on April 1, 2020. AABB reserves the right to extend the effective dates past July 1, 2020, if deemed appropriate. To prepare for the July 1, 2020, effective dates, individuals can access the Standards Committee's responses to comments and significant changes online. Those with questions should contact AABB's Standards department at
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