First human trial of new experimental Ebola vaccine begin

Oxford University scientists begin to immunise volunteers Hope to immunise 72 adults by the end of the month to trial the new jab A prime injection is followed by a booster to strengthen immune response The vaccine wassuccessfulin protecting primates against Ebola There are now at least three Ebola vaccines being trialled for safety

By Madlen Davies for MailOnline

Published: 10:08 EST, 6 January 2015 | Updated: 12:54 EST, 6 January 2015

The first human trials of a new Ebola vaccine are today underway, the latest step in attempts to halt the spread of the virus in West Africa.

Scientists at Oxford University have immunised the first healthy volunteers with a new drug, which they hope will protect people against the disease.

The World Health Organisation said today more than 8,100 people have now lost their lives to the virus, the majority in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

In September a separate trial was launched at the university, to test the effects of another potential vaccine.

The Oxford Vaccine Group, part of the University of Oxford Department of Paediatrics, aims to have vaccinated 72 healthy adult volunteers by the end of this month.

Oxford University scientists have begun immunising healthy volunteers in a trial of a new experimental Ebola vaccine. They hope to immunise 72 adults by the end of the month

The study involves a ‘prime-boost’ vaccine regime, meaning volunteers are given a first ‘prime’ injection to stimulate an initial immune response.

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First human trial of new experimental Ebola vaccine begin

Health Care Sector Update for 12/12/2014: JAZZ,CCXI,EPRS

Top Health Care Stocks

JNJ -1.22%

PFE -1.72%

ABT -0.34%

MRK -1.61%

AMGN +0.37%

Health care stocks were broadly lower, with the NYSE Health Care Sector Index declining about 1.1% and shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 slipping about 0.8% as a group.

In company news, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ( JAZZ ) fell Friday despite the drugmaker’s saying it has initiated a rolling submission of a new drug application with U.S. regulators for its defibrotide drug candidate as a treatment of severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation therapy.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration previously gave fast-track designation to defibrotide to treat severe VOD.

The company said it expects to complete the new drug application for defibrotide by mid-year, at which time it anticipates requesting a priority review by the FDA. JAZZ in July acquired commercialization rights for the drug in the United States and the rest of North and South America. It also markets defibrotide in Europe as Defitelio.

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Health Care Sector Update for 12/12/2014: JAZZ,CCXI,EPRS

Abnormal properties of cancer protein revealed in fly eyes

Mutations in the human retinoblastoma protein gene are a leading cause of eye cancer. Now, Michigan State University scientists have turned to fruit fly eyes to unlock the secrets of this important cancer gene.

In a paper featured on the cover of the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Michigan State University researchers provide the first detailed examination of a set of mutations similar to those present in the human cancer gene, said Irina Pushel, MSU undergraduate and co-author.

“By systematically evaluating mutations of increasing severity, we now have a model to better predict how we think the protein will react with each mutation,” said Pushel, who co-authored the paper with Liang Zhang, lead author and MSU graduate student, and Bill Henry and David Arnosti, MSU molecular biologists. “We’re trying to understand the protein, not even in the specific context of cancer, but rather studying how it interacts within the cell, how it interacts with DNA.”

The protein, retinoblastoma, would appear to play a key role in everything. When it’s healthy, it helps control cell growth and development. If absent, the organism would die. In its abnormal state cells can overgrow, as seen in cancer, or undergo premature death, as in other human diseases.

Since fruit flies are essentially tiny people with wings, in terms of genetics, these model organisms can play a key role in advancing human medicine.

“If we find one of these mutations in a human, then we can predict what will happen with the protein, such as folding incorrectly,” Pushel said. “This isn’t going to immediately lead to a new drug to treat cancer. However, we have to know how the protein works before we can develop a drug to fix it. Future medicines will be built upon models such as this, though that is years away.”

Previous work has shown that a specific part of this protein plays a role in regulating other genes. In this study, the team modified some of the known important parts of this region of retinoblastoma.

Boosting levels of even standard, or wild-type, protein altered fruit flies eyes and wings. However, when levels of the mutated protein began to climb, deformations were consistent and dramatic.

While a cancer treatment based on this finding may be years away, the insight and understanding into cell development and gene regulation is immediate, Pushel said.

“That’s the cool thing about basic research; it may not lead directly to the creation of a new drug, but it helps decipher the genetic code, which for each person controls the unique pattern of how they grow and how they develop — that’s amazing,” she said. “It will have many impacts, from understanding development to personalized medicine.”

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Abnormal properties of cancer protein revealed in fly eyes

Artificial intelligence, big data and harnessing the bodys hidden drugs

Inside Bergs labs. Courtesy of Berg.

As far as medical science has advanced, weve still not come close to paralleling the amazing natural processes that go on, every day, in the human body.

Berg, a Boston-area startup, builds off that concept of studying healthy tissues to understand the bodys molecular and cellular natural defenses and what leads to a diseases pathogenesis. Its using concepts of artificial intelligence and big data to scope out potential drug compounds ones that could have more broad-ranging benefits, pivoting away from todays trend toward targeted therapies. The companys funded solely by Carl Berg, a Silicon Valley real estate kingpin.

AaronKrol over at Bio-IT Worldpenned a very thoughtful, probing and well-writtenpiece about the company: Berg and the Pursuit of the Bodys Hidden Drugs. He acknowledges the skepticism that comes hand-in-hand with Berg CEO Niven Narains claims: halving the time and cost of bringing a new drug to market, using molecules naturally found in the body to treat intractable diseases like cancer and diabetes.

But if Bergs approach proves to be feasible, it could have pretty far-reachingimplications for drug development, Krol says. Heres why:

Bergs first drug candidate also bucks a key trend in cancer care. Most pharma companies today are looking at narrowly-targeted cancer drugs, meant to treat small molecular subtypes of the disease. This has led to some of the biggest recent advances in oncology, with drugs like Herceptin and Gleevec seeing huge survival gains for their targeted patient populations, but it has also limited the impact of any one therapy.

By contrast, BPM 31510 has a broad mechanism of action, andBergis enrolling patients with any type of solid tumor in its clinical trials. If the therapy does turn out to be among the 10% or so of drugs that make it all the way from Phase I studies to FDA approval, the benefit to patients could be especially large.

Even a skeptic has to hold out a little hope for a result like that.

The companys AI platform, called Interrogative Biology, identifies potential drug candidates faster than human-led R&D efforts, Krol wrote, adding: If even a fraction of those treatments make a real difference to patients, it would represent a genuine advance for the industry.

Of course, this isnt the only company using artificial intelligence and big data computing to identify plausible new drug compounds North Carolina-basedCloud Pharmaceuticals, for instance,is raising $20 million to pursue a similar path.But this concept of in-silico testing is still a nascent field with seemingly few competitors, and it begs closer attention.

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Artificial intelligence, big data and harnessing the bodys hidden drugs

Consumer Reports: Your guide to the new insurance rules

The new health care law has improved a lot of things about health insurance, according to Consumer Reports. You can’t be turned down or charged extra if you have a pre-existing condition, all types of basic health services are covered, plans can’t cap annual or lifetime benefits and most preventive care is free. But your insurance can still be complicated, and if you don’t follow the rules you can run into “gotchas” that can cost you an arm and a leg.

Dr. Orly Avitzur, medical adviser to Consumer Reports, lists five questions you need to answer before you see a doctor.

1. Is he or she in my plan’s network? That seemingly simple question is anything but. Many practices participate in more than a dozen insurance plans. The list on the health plan’s website might not be up-to-date, so it’s best to double-check first with the doctor’s billing office with the exact name of your plan.

2. What are the limitations and exclusions? All plans have to cover “essential health benefits,” such as physicians, hospitals, drugs, maternity care, mental health care, tests, emergency care and rehabilitation, but specifics might vary. You’ll find those details in the standardized Summary of Benefits and Coverage form that all plans must supply. Look to see if any services have limitations (such as a ceiling on physical therapy visits) or aren’t covered at all (such as acupuncture, dentures or hearing aids).

3. Do I need a referral or prior authorization? With many HMOs, you need to get approval from your primary care physician to see other doctors or obtain certain tests or procedures. If you don’t, the plan won’t pay. Don’t wait until the last minute, because offices are inundated with requests.

4. Will this test be covered? A common reason for a claim denial is that an insurance company deems a service “not medically necessary.” You can save yourself an unwanted bill by checking ahead of time with the insurance company and your doctor’s billing office. Keep detailed notes on whom you spoke with and what they told you.

5. How will my medication be covered? Every health plan has its own formulary, or list of preferred drugs, typically organized into as many as four tiers in ascending order of price. Tier 1 usually includes generic medication. You’ll probably be required to pay more for a prescription when a higher-tier brand-name product is dispensed. When starting a new drug, check your plan’s formulary to see what tier it’s in. If it’s expensive, ask your doctor or pharmacist if a similar drug in a lower tier would work as well.

Payment Terms

You’ll pay your share of health care costs in the following ways.

1. Out-of-pocket limit. The most you’ll have to spend from your own pocket for medical care in the policy year. Once you hit that limit, your health plan will pick up 100 percent of any additional costs until year’s end. The maximum allowable “OOP” for 2014 is $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a household.

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Consumer Reports: Your guide to the new insurance rules

Nanotechnology needs standards

Reading the pagesof theMaterials Today website you cannot help but notice the number of times nanotechnology is mentioned, it could be concerning a new drug that might one day cure Cancer or in a new electronic device that might tell us if there is life on Mars. Surprisingly though, nanotechnology is still not completely understood by many including Governments and economic leaders who would benefit from clear position statements, guidelines andstandards outlining the responsible use of nanomaterials in today’s society. Consensus standards should beemployed more widelyas a sure step to improving the information in the public domain which may provide non scientists and scientists alike, with the facts, background and understanding requiredintheir roles.Consensus standardsas the name suggests are agreed through voting and resolution, usually created by standards bodies, with process and interim results laid open to public scrutiny and review. As an example consensus standards play a critical role in the medical devices industry, not only on the material level but also in the end function of the device. Without these standards related industry, surgeons, doctors, healthcare workersand medical centers would have a very difficultmarket in which to function safely and efficiently. For the field of nanotechnology to continue to flourish, develop and play a key role across all major sectors, general and technical consensus standards need to be put in place as quickly as possible to ensure ambiguity and bad practices do not tarnish an opportunity that many are claiming is the next big thing to move our society and economy forward.

Listen to our interview with Prof. Robert Hurt, Editor of Carbon, on a proposed nomenclature for 2D carbon materials. The article, published in Carbon, is available to download.

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Nanotechnology needs standards

EU regulator backs Bayer, GSK drugs, knocks back Novartis, Teva

* European Medicine Agency backs Bayer's Adempas * Knocks back Teva's Nerventra and Novartis' serelaxin LONDON, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Europe's drugs regulator gave its backing on Friday for marketing approval to be granted for Bayer's pulmonary hypertension drug Adempas and for GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes medicine Eperzan. The European Medicine Agency (EMA) also backed a new drug from Dainippon …

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EU regulator backs Bayer, GSK drugs, knocks back Novartis, Teva

House Season 2 Episode 12 – Distractions – Video

House Season 2 Episode 12 – Distractions While a severely burned teenager is admitted and his blood tests come back with strange results, House makes himself the guinea pig in his own unofficial tests of a new drug designed to treat migraines to prove a former medical school colleague is wrong about the drug. House s02e12 House S2e12 s02e12 S2e12 2×12 Season 2 episode 12 tv shows S2 s02 se2 e12 ep12 2×12 4 S02 E12 HQ episodes serie series watch online complete full tv television hd hq part 1 part 2 part 3 part 4. Watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions watch online watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions for free watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions full free watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions full episode online watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions full episode watch full House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions watch House Season 2 Episode 12 Distractions free online.From:ona broellTRViews:0 0ratingsTime:08:44More inPeople Blogs

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House Season 2 Episode 12 – Distractions – Video

Health Care is Going Mobile, Consumers Ready, Doctors Sill Leery

Got a cold, a weight problem or pain that wont go away? Theres an app for that.

The surge in smartphone use is spilling over into the mobile health market with consumers using apps to maintain their health by using apps to do everything from check their blood pressure, log calorie intake and even monitor sugar levels. The trend has caught on, and doctors and hospitals are increasingly embracing mobile apps as an effective way to treat certain conditions.

Its a huge market. Its gone from zero before the iPhone and other mobile devices launched to around a $700 million market, says Chris Wasden, PwCs global healthcare innovation leader. Now hospitals are setting up their own app stores and youve got the [National Health Service] in the U.K. recommending doctors prescribe apps rather than have an office visit.

According to a recent survey and study of the mobile health market (mHealth) for PwC Global Healthcare by the Economist Intelligence Unit, among consumers who use mHealth services, 59% report the services have replaced some doctor office visits.

Survey respondents ranked more convenient access to their health-care provider, the reduction of out-of-pocket health-care costs and having greater control over their health as the top three reasons to use mHealth.

Visit one of the mobile app stores and chances are you will quickly stumble on a mHealth app. According to Wasden, there are 12,000 mhealth apps on the market and number that is only expected to grow.

Some studies have shown apps to be more effective than more traditional treatments. According to a study commissioned by PwC, a clinical trial of the WellDoc diabetes management system has shown users of a diabetes management app see their sugar level decrease over a point and a half. By comparison, the FDA considers a new drug that is able to reduce sugar level by half a point as clinically significant.

Diabetes wont be solved with a pill. Its a behavior problem, says Wasden. If you have a tool that transforms a patients behavior they will be more compliant regarding what they eat and what type of activity they do. According to Wasden, 75% of all health-care costs are associated with chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity. If people change their behavior it eliminates the cost, he says.

Mhealth apps go beyond managing diseases. There are medical devices, including an EKG, that connect to your smartphone to check vitals and lenses that can detect skin cancer.

While medical apps are booming in popularity, their potential in the diagnosis and treatment processes are still just taking off. Experts say that in the future patients will be to talk to other apps and sensors will collect data from a user that can be sent to a doctor to monitor a condition. Even car makers are getting into the game: Wasden says some automobile companies are looking at how to use cars as health pods that passively collects biometric information like heart rate and blood-sugar level.

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Health Care is Going Mobile, Consumers Ready, Doctors Sill Leery

Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery: Global Market for Nanocrystals

NEW YORK, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery: Global Market for Nanocrystals

Nanocrystals will account for 60% of a $136 billion nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery market by 2021. We forecast the total market size in 2021 to be US$136 billion, with a 60/40 split between nanocrystals and nanocarriers respectively.

Since we now understand that most (if not all) biological processes occur at the nanoscale, the application of life science principles studying the causes of biological phenomena at the molecular level means that medical and biomedical research is increasingly using a bottom-up (rather than the top-down) approach.

One of the biggest challenges researchers face when developing a new drug is how to maximise its solubility in the body. Poor solubility in water correlates with poor bioavailability, which in turn leads to poor delivery. Nanocrystals are ground in special mills producing nano-sized drugs, which are applicable intravenously as nanosuspensions. This procedure enhances the surface/volume-ratio and thus the solubility and bioavailability of most insoluble pharmaceuticals.

The low bioavailability resulting from traditional oral and intravenous drug delivery methods and the market forces at work in the pharmaceutical industry where patents expire after a relatively short period of time unless a novel form of drug delivery is developed that will extend the patent are two major forces that will fuel the growth of the nano tech enabled drug delivery market.

The healthcare market is changing. We are seeing a paradigm shift away from blockbusters and a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to a more personalised medicine based on an individual’s unique genome and immune response. The more scientists learn about the molecular causes for disease the more targeted and effective nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery therapies will become.



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Nanotechnology for Drug Delivery: Global Market for Nanocrystals