A new metagenomic next-generation sequencing test developed by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco was more effective than standard clinical methods in detecting neurological infections, study results show. Findings show the mNGS test was able to detect many of the same infections as traditional methods, as well as 13 infections missed by the standard tests.
A Series A funding round has pulled in $15 million for Element Biosciences, which is focused on developing genetic analysis tools. The company plans to use the money to develop technologies that could improve the quality and cut the cost of genomic applications.
Uganda had allowed the use of three investigational treatments for Ebola virus infection from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Gilead Sciences and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, 2,087 cases have now been confirmed and another 322 suspected cases are being evaluated.
Researchers led by Tu Youyou, who shared a Nobel prize for her work on the development of artemisinin, found that extending a three-day regimen by several days and replacing supplementary drugs can address malarial resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy. The study team found the malaria parasite plasmodia can enter a state of dormancy and remain in the body longer than the three-day regimen's drugs.
The FDA has granted breakthrough device designation to Bio-Techne's ExoDx Prostate Intelliscore test, which is designed to evaluate a man's risk of developing prostate cancer. "This assay [has the] ability to give urologists a more precise, genetically informed understanding of a man's risk for aggressive disease via a simple urine sample, without the need for an invasive prostate tissue biopsy," said Bio-Techne President and CEO Charles Kummeth.
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, primarily used to quantify and characterize lipoproteins and lipids, remains under-researched and underutilized in clinical laboratories despite its significant potential, writes Mark Kellogg, associate director of chemistry at Boston Children's Hospital. With the increasing popularity of personalized medicine, the metabolome and metabolomics in clinical diagnostics, "clinical laboratorians need to keep the capabilities of NMR in mind when looking for technology to address the questions being asked and improvements in efficiencies being demanded," writes Kellogg.
A midstage study of sevuparin as a treatment for the management of painful vaso-occlusive crises in people with sickle cell disease found it did not result in clinically meaningful improvements. Modus Therapeutics said it will consider developing the drug for other indications.
World Blood Donor Day is being observed today to highlight the importance of saving lives through blood donation. AABB joins the World Health Organization in honoring volunteer blood donors for their generous, life-saving donations on World Blood Donor Day. This year's theme, "Safe blood for all," seeks to raise awareness about the continued need for safe blood and blood products and the crucial role that voluntary donation plays in achieving the goal of universal access to safe blood products.
Thomas Schinecker has been appointed as the new head of Roche Diagnostics, replacing Michael Heuer, who led the $13-billion-per-year business on an interim basis for several months. Roche CEO Severin Schwan noted Schinecker, who started working as a trainee for Roche Diagnostics in 2003, has "broad and international experience."
Fujifilm's FujiLAM, or SILVAMP TB LAM, a point-of-care assay using urine samples to test for tuberculosis in HIV-positive patients, was found to be superior to Abbott's AlereLAM, or Alere Determine TB LAM Ag.