World Blood Donor Day is being observed today to highlight the importance of saving lives through blood donation. AABB joins the World Health Organization in honoring volunteer blood donors for their generous, life-saving donations on World Blood Donor Day. This year's theme, "Safe blood for all," seeks to raise awareness about the continued need for safe blood and blood products and the crucial role that voluntary donation plays in achieving the goal of universal access to safe blood products.
Thomas Schinecker has been appointed as the new head of Roche Diagnostics, replacing Michael Heuer, who led the $13-billion-per-year business on an interim basis for several months. Roche CEO Severin Schwan noted Schinecker, who started working as a trainee for Roche Diagnostics in 2003, has "broad and international experience."
Fujifilm's FujiLAM, or SILVAMP TB LAM, a point-of-care assay using urine samples to test for tuberculosis in HIV-positive patients, was found to be superior to Abbott's AlereLAM, or Alere Determine TB LAM Ag.
The FDA has granted 510(k) clearance to Akonni Biosystems' TruDiagnosis system, which can perform multiplex analyses of clinical samples and automate complex laboratory processes. The molecular diagnostic platform can "handle any protein or nucleic acid-based assay," according to the company.
A funding round has pulled in $4.1 million for precision oncology genomics testing firm Saga Diagnostics. The Sweden-based company will use part of the proceeds to fund new product development and expedite market launch of its portfolio of kits and services.
UK firm Sphere Fluidics secured $2.9 million in the additional tranche of its funding round, bringing the total amount raised to $4.8 million. Proceeds will be used as working capital for the firm's Cyto-Mine single-cell analysis system, and to fund expansion of its UK facility and open a new sales office and demo lab in the US.
Laboratories handle calcium measurements in a variety of ways; for example, some measure ionized calcium in all samples while others measure it only in specific patients when there is a clinical indication. For other patients, those labs may report albumin-adjusted total calcium "with the caveat that--given the differences in the performance of published correction equations--each laboratory should derive its own equation for correcting total calcium based on albumin," writes Tahir Pillay, head of the department of chemical pathology at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
The UK's National Health Service Blood and Transplant agency reported about a 25% drop in blood donations by men. Men's donations decreased from 466,346 in 2013-2014 to 350,425 in 2018-2019.
R3 Stem Cell, a clinic based in Arizona, received a letter from the FDA about the marketing of stem cell therapies for unapproved uses, including the treatment of Lyme disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. "The reality is that at this time, there isn't enough evidence to support the use of stem cells for purposes other than reconstitution of blood formation and the immune system," acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said.
In a study of 64 patients with acquired hemophilia A, decreases in the ratio of clotting factor VIII to von Willebrand factor were associated with relapse, while regular increases were associated with an absence of relapse. The ratio should be studied in larger groups, the study team wrote in the journal Haemophilia.
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