A round of seed financing led by Ikove Venture Partners brought in over $4 million for Ohio-based ParaGen Technologies. The proceeds will be used to achieve significant milestones and support the regenerative scaffold that is used by its portfolio companies for various treatments.
Ginger Rothrock and Leah Johnson are leading an initiative at RTI International to develop a device that delivers contraceptive and HIV preventive drugs for use in sub-Saharan Africa. RTI Women's Global Health Imperative Director Ariane van der Straten said reducing unintended pregnancy and HIV transmission improves women's health and increases educational and economic opportunities.
Salk Institute plant geneticist Joanne Chory hung up her lab coat and safety goggles and donned a sequined dress and metal-framed glasses to accept one of this year's Breakthrough prizes. Chory, the only woman in the group of 12 awardees, genetically engineers crops to absorb and store significant amounts of carbon dioxide, and she hopes the prize will spark enough interest among investors to finance large-scale field trials and seed production.
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research Director Janet Woodcock said her top priority for next year is pushing through an informatics system "so that we can get out of nonautomated processes, that we can capture our workflow automatically [and] connect our databases." Other priorities include meeting user fee agreement goals, improving the efficiency of facility inspections, issuing guidance documents for targeted therapy subpopulations and addressing drug shortages.
A large, long-term study in Denmark found a link between hormonal birth control methods and a slightly elevated risk for breast cancer, and women who are concerned should discuss the finding with their doctor instead of discontinuing contraceptive use, Ruth Graham writes. "But zooming out to the public health level, this study is also an important reminder that women still bear the overwhelming responsibility for managing reproduction and the negative ramifications that come with it," Graham notes.
More than half the open board seats at S&P 500 companies this year went to women and minorities amid investor pressure to improve board diversity. Despite the gain, low attrition rates mean that the overall percentage of female or minority board members rose only one point, to 22% for women and to 17% for minorities.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would ban enforcement of forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts that serve to mute employees who have been sexually harassed or assaulted. The bill has bipartisan support, and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson is lobbying Congress to pass the bill.
Hillary Diane Andales, an 18-year-old from the Philippines, won this year's Breakthrough Junior Challenge, and will receive $250,000 in educational prizes. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will design a new laboratory worth $100,000 for Andales' school, and her science teacher will also receive a $50,000 award.
Health officials in Pakistan say HIV cases number 133,000 in the country and are increasing. The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is starting an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, and a new center focused on HIV/AIDS care is set to open there.
The AABB Memorial Awards honor those who have made significant contributions to the fields of transfusion medicine, cellular therapies and patient blood management (PBM) by recognizing achievements in administration, immunohematology, quality and innovative research, as well as overall outstanding service to the field. Individuals can nominate candidates by completing and submitting the online nomination form and supporting documentation by Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. Awards will be presented during the 2018 AABB Annual Meeting -- to be held Oct. 13-16 in Boston -- or during the 2019 AABB Annual Meeting in San Antonio.