A report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report documents 10 cases of yellow fever among unvaccinated travelers coming back from Brazil, four of whom died. The CDC has updated its recommendations for travel vaccinations to include popular tourist destinations in Brazil.
Prior chemotherapy appears to limit the expansion and efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor T cells in children with certain types of cancer, according to research reported in advance of the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Specific types of chemotherapeutic drugs, such as doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, were associated with depleted T cell energy reserve, a sign of poor clinical performance, and efficacy appears to be influenced by the fuel pathways used by T cells. The findings could lead to alternate approaches "to make sure that we make a highly functional CAR T-cell product, not only for kids with leukemia but also for potentially solid-tumor CARs, as we try to develop those in the future," said Dr. David Barrett of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Primary endpoints for safety and tolerability were met in Inovio Pharmaceuticals' Phase I clinical study evaluating its DNA immunotherapy candidate INO-1800 as a standalone treatment or combined with INO-9112 among 90 subjects with chronic hepatitis B infection. More data from the study will be submitted for publication and future medical conference presentation.
Cesca Therapeutics announced that a licensing agreement was signed between its subsidiary ThermoGenesis and IncoCell Tianjin to provide cellular processing services for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies on a contract development and manufacturing basis to several Asia Pacific countries. Cesca will receive a percentage from IncoCell's gross contract development revenues.
A 10-year partnership deal, valued at $40 million in upfront payments and up to $10 million worth of ongoing royalties and milestones, was reached by Qiagen with its longtime customer, Natera, calling for Natera to create cell-free noninvasive prenatal tests for use on Qiagen's GeneReader NGS System. The assays, which will build on Qiagen's PAXgene blood cell-free DNA collection and sample processing technology, will identify if a baby is at an increased risk for common genetic conditions.
A study in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found the Xpert HCV Viral Load Finger Stick, which uses finger-stick capillary blood samples to detect hepatitis C virus infections, had 100% sensitivity and specificity when tested on participants in Australia. Researchers found the assay can produce results in 60 minutes during a single clinical visit.
Gilead Sciences has named John McHutchison, executive vice president of clinical research, as its new chief scientific officer who will lead the company's research and development group, while Andrew Cheng, executive vice president of clinical R&D operations, will take on the role of chief medical officer. Both changes will take effect next month with the departure of Norbert Bischofberger as chief scientific officer and executive vice president of R&D.
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged two executives from the blood startup Theranos -- Elizabeth Holmes, CEO and founder, and Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani, former president -- with fraud. The SEC alleges that the company misled investors about a blood-testing device that supposedly required only a few drops of blood for laboratory tests and that it exaggerated or falsified data regarding revenues and collaborations.
The FDA approved the investigational new drug application for Actinium Pharmaceuticals' Phase I trial for its candidate Actimab-A in combination with CLAG-M to treat relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. The trial will enroll 18 participants to assess the combination therapy's safety and efficacy in AML patients based on factors such as response rates, overall survival and the percentage of patients receiving a bone marrow transplant.
A 3-year-old Canadian girl from Nova Scotia will receive a cornea transplant in Toronto to repair a membrane in her right eye that has grown back repeatedly after surgical removal. Norah Cameron-Ranni was born with cataracts and developed glaucoma in both eyes, and her father says her left eye will likely need a cornea transplant in the future.
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