Mass spectrometry offers savings and analytical superiority for measuring monoclonal proteins, but more steps are needed before expanding its use. "Before laboratories start replacing electrophoresis with MS, follow-up studies need to replicate the initial reports, and reagents, software, and instrumentation for automation need to be developed further," writes Mayo Clinic fellow John Mills. "Clinical laboratories also will need significant training and expertise in MS-based testing before they will be comfortable interpreting the raw data these methods generate."
A team of Russian epidemiologists will begin research on the Ebola virus and yellow fever at the Russia-Guinea Research Center for Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases in Guinea. The research will focus on development of new diagnostic tools and preventive therapies.
Egypt has begun a new national initiative focused on treating hepatitis C virus among drug users through early detection. The program, supported by the state's Addiction Treatment and Abuse Fund and the Egypt Long-Life Fund, will start with the treatment of 400 recovering addicts.
An animal study found Moderna Therapeutics' Zika virus vaccine protected 100% of immunized mice, according to a report in the journal Cell. An early-stage clinical study is underway, with 30 healthy participants receiving the vaccine so far.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, based in Israel, will seek approval of its stem cell therapy as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. BrainStorm is working with the nonprofit CCRM.
Modus Therapeutics, formerly known as Dilaforette, gained $3.59 million from a funding round to ensure completion of its Phase II clinical trial to test the efficacy of sevuparin, a drug candidate designed to improve blood flow of patients with sickle cell disease. The midstage trial is being conducted in Bahrain in partnership with the Arabian Gulf University, and results are expected to be released by mid-2018.
Arizona State University evolutionary ecologist James Collins discusses gene drive technology's potential to eradicate malaria. "We need to understand the system well enough so that we can take ethical concerns into account as we make decisions," Collins said.
Dengue fever increases the risks of maternal and infant bleeding complications during birth, according to this article in the Journal of Medical Case Reports. The report describes the perinatal treatment, including transfusions of thrombocyte concentrate, for a woman with dengue fever in Indonesia.
At the Munich Security Conference, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates said the world is not prepared to deal with bioterrorism and deadly health threats such as Ebola, anthrax and the plague. He called on conference participants to focus on improving monitoring for early disease outbreaks and said new antiviral drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and antibodies are needed.
A late-stage clinical trial of Merck's lead HIV candidate found that a doravirine regimen was comparable to that of darunavir. The data were presented by Merck during the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Seattle.
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