Australia-based SpeeDx, which specializes in molecular diagnostic solutions such as multiplex diagnostics for sexually transmitted infection, respiratory disease and antibiotic resistance markers, secured an undisclosed amount in a Series A funding round. The company plans to use the proceeds to expand its product portfolio and prepare for US launch later this year.
Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation can be effective for improving quality of life and outcomes for patients with multiple sclerosis, systemic sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases, but patient selection is important, according to data from several studies presented at a meeting of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. "Because this is primarily an anti-inflammatory type of treatment, you don't want to select patients that are so far down the line, where the inflammation is no longer the main component and all they've got is permanent damage, or the degenerative component," said Dr. John Snowden, director of blood and marrow transplantation at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals in the UK.
CDC officials have confirmed 626 measles cases across 22 states this year, including 71 reported during the week ending April 19, and the total is on track to exceed the 667 cases recorded in 2014, the highest since the disease was thought to have been eliminated in the US in 2000. The increasing prevalence of measles has prompted the FDA to issue a reminder regarding the safety and efficacy of measles, mumps and rubella vaccination.
A clinical trial of GlaxoSmithKline's malaria vaccine candidate RTS,S is beginning in Malawi. The vaccinations will be integrated into the nation's childhood immunization program.
A study focused on treatment of chronic hepatitis C using direct-acting antivirals found high adherence rates and decreases in medical and drug costs once antiviral therapy was introduced, with efficacy comparable to that achieved in clinical trials. The study was published in the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy.
Though it is not yet a routine clinical assay, oxytocin testing could someday help health care providers evaluate psychiatric, behavioral and stress-related conditions. Oxytocin can be detected in a variety of physiological fluids but "saliva could ultimately become the sample of choice because it is less invasive and would also facilitate data comparison due to the fact that a large number of studies are already using this matrix to measure oxytocin," writes Damien Gruson, head of the department of clinical chemistry at Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels.
European regulators have granted CE mark approval to Hologic's ThinPrep Genesis processor, which is designed for use in cytology slide and molecular test preparation. The device, which features an LED touchscreen interface, allows users to automatically barcode samples for accurate tracking.
A Series A funding round has pulled in more than $31 million for Sherlock Biosciences, a developer of a new generation of molecular diagnostics using engineering biology tools such as CRISPR and synthetic biology. The company plans to use the proceeds to advance the development of its core platform technologies.
The CDC shared recommendations for vaccination and symptom checks for emergency responders and health care workers traveling to areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo where cases of Ebola virus infection are being treated. On Friday, a World Health Organization official was killed during a rebel militia attack on a treatment center in the eastern part of the country.
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