Inovio Pharmaceuticals is the recipient of a $4.6M grant from the NIH that it will use to advance research on antimicrobial resistance with the use of its DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies scaffold. The funding will support preclinical studies to be launched as clinical trials to assess dMAbs for infections resistant to antimicrobials.
A position statement from AACC says clinical laboratories have an important role in fighting the opioid epidemic, and the group is urging a multidisciplinary, team-based approach to the epidemic with more collaboration among clinical laboratories, law enforcement agencies and public health officials. "Leveraging the expertise of clinical laboratory professionals to identify the use of synthetic opioids can help clinicians and first responders make informed treatment decisions and help public health and safety officials identify the cause of overdose outbreaks and coordinate a response," the position statement says.
A study found nondaily pre-exposure prophylaxis use among men in the US resulted in decreased efficacy compared with daily usage. Further studies of effectiveness are needed to guide recommendations, the study team wrote in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
The World Health Organization said its funds for responding to Ebola virus infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo may not be enough to sustain operations through the end of the year. Meanwhile, the number of new weekly cases in two hard-hit provinces was the lowest since March.
Natera's Evercord cord blood and tissue banking unit is being sold to CBR, which is owned by California Cryobank Life Sciences. Natera said it will focus on its core business of genetic testing.
Kenya will begin rolling out a routine malaria immunization for children younger than 2 in eight of its 47 counties. Pilot immunization programs have also been started in Ghana and Malawi.
The UK has partnered with US, Israeli and Chinese experts to conduct research on infectious diseases' evolution and transmission and will donate $10.2 million for the joint research project. The project will be led by the UK Research and Innovation's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and will look at interactions between infectious diseases and humans, wildlife and domesticated plants and animals.
A study in the journal Nature describes how scientists are developing chimeric antigen receptor T cells that can remove fibroblasts that cause cardiac fibrosis. Fibroblast activation protein was identified for the targeted cells, and tests in mice resulted in improved heart function and reduced fibrosis.
CDC officials reported that the number of measles cases in the US reached 1,241 across 31 states as of Sept. 5, the highest number since 1992. The seven new cases reported last week is the lowest number so far this year, indicating the outbreak has slowed, officials said.
Although researchers have made strides in the fight against HIV, experts say the most effective tool in their arsenal would be a vaccine, and although there is no vaccine available today, clinical trials are in the works. HIV has proved challenging in vaccine development in part because it is prone to mutation, but a trial scheduled to start this fall will evaluate a vaccine that contains a variety of genetic sequences derived from multiple viral strains.
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