German scientists have developed a technique to improve the efficiency of the production of the malaria drug artemisinin. The process can convert 40% of waste acid from artemisinin production into the drug.
Achillion is restructuring after Johnson & Johnson ended its partnership with the company on a late-stage program for a hepatitis C regimen, and it has appointed Joseph Truitt as president and chief operating officer. The company is working on a drug candidate for paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria and C3 glomerulopathy.
Sweden's Cavidi announced it has gained $11.5 million in equity financing to sustain development of its automated reverse-transcriptase viral load platform for monitoring HIV burden.
The National Kidney Foundation and the American Society for Clinical Pathology have agreed to work together to standardize testing for chronic kidney disease. Based on clinical practice guidelines, the groups' Kidney Profile recommends combining tests for estimated glomerular filtration rate and urine albumin-creatinine ratio.
Yellow fever activity has been reported in seven countries in South America -- Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru and Suriname -- during the past two years. Brazil has recorded the most cases, and only Brazil and Peru have had cases of the illness this year.
A study in the journal eLife described how researchers discovered that core protein allosteric modulators, or CpAMs, are capable of disrupting capsid protein assembly, which suggests that viral capsids can be penetrated, and that if such interference is effective against the hepatitis B virus, it may also work in other viruses. The discovery was made while investigators were observing how HBV modifies its structure when bound to an experimental antiviral drug currently being tested in clinical studies.
Columbia University scientists are developing a chip-based blood test to detect eight tick-borne diseases, according to a study in the journal Scientific Reports. The test detects antibodies for Babesia microti, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Rickettsia rickettsii, the Powassan virus and the Heartland virus.
The MS Society Tissue Bank is in its 20th year of brain and spinal cord tissue collection, which is used in multiple sclerosis research projects all over the world. More than 700 people have donated in the bank, but there is continued demand from MS researchers.
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary surgeon Emma Davies says cornea transplants are the best treatment for Fuchs dystrophy. "There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of, with gratitude, of that family or the patient who made that decision so that now I can see," transplant recipient Mary Lou Hackett said.
The Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank will hold a healthy breast tissue collection event in March at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, Ariz. "By donating normal breast tissue, a woman can help scientists understand more about breast cancer. We believe that this is a truly genuine and personal way for women to contribute to breast cancer research," Dr. Lida Mina said.
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