Three studies in the journal Science detailed how CRISPR gene-editing technology can be used to advance disease detection and treatment. DNA Endonuclease Targeted CRISPR Trans Reporter, or DETECTR, is being developed to identify human papillomavirus strains; SHERLOCK version 2.0 can detect and distinguish Zika or dengue viruses in blood samples; and the CRISPR-mediated analog multi-event recording apparatus, or CAMERA, is being developed to make cells record exposure to pollutants.
A study in the journal Cell Reports described how scientists found the Pi4Ka gene played an important role in blood cell development but can also lead to forms of hematologic malignancy and anemia when disrupted.
In Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, fractional doses of yellow fever vaccine stretched the supply and allowed more people to be vaccinated. Researchers reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that the smaller doses resulted in high rates of immune response.
While Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for an investigation of direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies' privacy policies, the FDA is working on hastening the regulatory approval of DTC genetic testing in order to help expand the testing market. "The accelerated development of these innovative DTC genetic risk tests paired with the known safety considerations presents unique challenges to FDA regulation, as these technologies don't fit squarely into our traditional risk-based approach to device regulation," according to a statement released by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Gilead has won a reversal on a ruling for its patent suit with Merck regarding its hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni after US District Judge Leonard Stark of Delaware decided Merck's patent was invalid and didn't fulfill a requirement disclosing how the treatment can be made without undue experimentation. Stark's ruling overturned a jury verdict that had required Gilead Sciences to pay Merck a record $2.54 billion for the patent infringement.
Investigators at the Imperial College London developed a liver-on-a-chip platform capable of hosting the hepatitis B virus. The system, which captured all stages in the hepatitis B virus life cycle, could reduce the costs of drug development, researchers wrote in the journal Nature Communications.
A study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases found the addition of primaquine and methylene blue to antimalarial regimens blocked human-to-mosquito transmission. The midstage randomized study tested four regimens in 80 participants.
Baylor Scott & White Health in Texas has begun a kidney transplant program focused on the needs of Latino communities. The program will offer bilingual education and attempt to increase living donations.
Agios Pharmaceuticals' new-drug application for ivosidenib, which is being developed as a treatment for patients with isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 mutation-positive relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia, was accepted for priority review by the FDA. The PDUFA date for the drug is Aug. 21.