July 30, 2021
AABB SmartBrief
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Top Story
The CDC has issued COVID-19 testing recommendations urging fully vaccinated people to get tested three to five days after exposure to the virus even if they don't experience symptoms. Prior recommendations indicated fully vaccinated people only needed testing after exposure if they were symptomatic.
Full Story: The New York Times (7/30) 
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Science & Health
The White House is taking additional steps to boost the number of vaccinated Americans as a new wave of COVID-19 infections threatens areas with low vaccination rates with the mandate to require proof of vaccination from federal workers and contractors and payments of $100 for each newly vaccinated. "With freedom comes responsibility. So please exercise responsible judgment. Get vaccinated for yourself, the people you love, for your country," President Joe Biden said. Presently, the number of fully vaccinated Americans has reached 163.9 million, while the number of administered COVID-19 vaccine doses now totals 344.1 million, according to the CDC.
Full Story: Reuters (7/29),  Reuters (7/29) 
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AstraZeneca conducted a study to establish the risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome in persons inoculated with its COVID-19 vaccine. Results released on Wednesday showed a risk of 8.1 per million among those vaccinated with the first dose and no additional risk after the second dose, according to findings reported in the journal The Lancet.
Full Story: Reuters (7/28) 
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Emerging Trends
Resilience has bought bluebird bio's lentiviral vector manufacturing facility in North Carolina for $110 million and the purchase will launch a collaboration between the two companies on "next-generation manufacturing R&D."
Full Story: Endpoints News (free registration) (7/29) 
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Industry News & Practice
The Anschutz Foundation has awarded a $2 million grant to Colorado State University to study ways to prepare for future infectious illnesses and prevent pandemics. The interdisciplinary research will focus on monitoring and surveillance of potential threats as well as more effective ways to distribute treatments and vaccines.
Full Story: KDVR-TV (Denver) (7/27) 
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Government & Regulatory
A public alert has been issued by the FDA to warn health care professionals and patients that Oncopeptides' Pepaxto, or melphalan flufenamide, may cause early death in myeloma patients, citing data from a confirmatory trial. The agency has halted patient enrollment in all Pepaxto clinical studies and may convene a public meeting to "explore the continued marketing of Pepaxto," which received accelerated approval in February for the treatment of relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
Full Story: FiercePharma (7/28) 
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Johnson & Johnson said the FDA allowed the shelf life of the company's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to be extended to six months. The decision was based on ongoing studies indicating the vaccine remains stable at six months when refrigerated.
Full Story: Reuters (7/28) 
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Association News
AABB is pleased to announce the launch of its new Corporate Partner Program, designed to expand the Association's offerings for corporate members of the blood and biotherapies community. The new program focuses on celebrating the vital work of corporate members of the community and offers them new and innovative avenues to connect with professionals in the field. It also offers the opportunity to work directly with AABB to help support education, resources and other tools. For more information about the new AABB Corporate Partner Program, contact Margie Boraz.
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It is a time in which we will redefine what it means to be human, for this is not just the start of a revolution, it is the start of an evolution.
David A. Sinclair,
biologist, professor of genetics
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