The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Jazz Pharmaceuticals have partnered in a five-year deal that will focus on appraising therapies for the treatment of hematologic malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndromes using Jazz's drug candidate Vyxeos, or daunorubicin and cytarabine, liposome for injection, in novel patient populations, as well as combined with other therapies. The partners will also engage in research opportunities in disease sectors with high unmet need.
Researchers have developed a technique to expand adult hematopoietic stem cells from human umbilical cord blood without the need to differentiate the cells. Using the protein YTHDF2, they were able to block expression of genes involved in regulating the ability of stem cells to replicate without differentiating. The technique resulted in an eightfold increase in ex vivo production of functional HSCs, which could ultimately increase the availability of transplants, according to the study in Cell Research.
Administration could begin Wednesday for Merck's investigative Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo, health officials said. The effort will seek to reach health care workers and people who have been in contact with those with confirmed cases.
Labs should use reflex testing algorithms to assess thyroid function in high-risk pregnant patients and should make sure the algorithms use appropriate tests, methods and reference intervals. "In the absence of universal screening recommendations, laboratories should outline carefully defined screening parameters to guide clinicians in determining when it is appropriate to screen for thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy," write Alison Woodworth, medical director of the core clinical laboratory and point-of-care testing at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, and Erin Schuler, clinical chemistry fellow at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Chronic hepatitis B patients died, on average, 14 years younger than the general US population and had higher rates of death from all causes, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Researchers said the findings "strongly support hepatitis B elimination as a national public health goal."
A study in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis found that five of 15 patients with both hepatitis B and hepatitis C and compensated liver cirrhosis experienced HBV virological reactivation after treatment with direct-acting antivirals.
An experimental form of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell gene therapy developed by China's Nanjing Legend Biotech is expected to begin trials in the US this month. Legend is being backed by Johnson & Johnson, which provided $350 million in funding in exchange for co-development and marketing rights.
The FDA has granted Siemens Healthineers clearance to market its Atellica IM BRAHMS PCT Assay for sepsis evaluation, mortality risk assignment and antibiotic therapy decision-making in intensive care units and emergency departments.
University of Texas at Austin researchers found that the Cas12a enzyme used with CRISPR technology had increased precision compared with the Cas9 enzyme and strongly discriminated against mismatches in most of the DNA target sequence despite its functionally irreversible binding, which suggests that Cas12a's bonds during R-loop formation are reversible. However, the findings in the journal Molecular Cell showed that Cas12a was blind to certain RNA and genomic target mispairings, said researcher Ilya Finkelstein.
The health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo said 13 cases of Ebola virus infection have been confirmed, including three deaths. The ministry is investigating an additional 33 possible cases and is following over 875 people who may have had contact with people with the illness.