Age-of-onset information helps identify 76 genetic variants associated with allergic disease. – Physician’s Weekly

Risk factors that contribute to inter-individual differences in the age-of-onset of allergic diseases are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to identify genetic risk variants associated with the age at which symptoms of allergic disease first develop, considering information from asthma, hay fever and eczema. Self-reported age-of-onset information was available for 117,130 genotyped individuals of European ancestry from the UK Biobank study. For each individual, we identified the earliest age at which asthma, hay fever and/or eczema was first diagnosed and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of this combined age-of-onset phenotype. We identified 50 variants with a significant independent association (P<310-8) with age-of-onset. Forty-five variants had comparable effects on the onset of the three individual diseases and 38 were also associated with allergic disease case-control status in an independent study (n = 222,484). We observed a strong negative genetic correlation between age-of-onset and case-control status of allergic disease (rg = -0.63, P = 4.510-61), indicating that cases with early disease onset have a greater burden of allergy risk alleles than those with late disease onset. Subsequently, a multivariate GWAS of age-of-onset and case-control status identified a further 26 associations that were missed by the univariate analyses of age-of-onset or case-control status only. Collectively, of the 76 variants identified, 18 represent novel associations for allergic disease. We identified 81 likely target genes of the 76 associated variants based on information from expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and non-synonymous variants, of which we highlight ADAM15, FOSL2, TRIM8, BMPR2, CD200R1, PRKCQ, NOD2, SMAD4, ABCA7 and UBE2L3. Our results support the notion that early and late onset allergic disease have partly distinct genetic architectures, potentially explaining known differences in pathophysiology between individuals.


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Age-of-onset information helps identify 76 genetic variants associated with allergic disease. - Physician's Weekly

Whole-Town Study Reveals More Than 40% of Covid-19 Infections Had No Symptoms – Global Health News Wire

Professor Stefano Merigliano testing a child in Vo

A study of COVID-19 in the quarantined Italian town of V, where most of the population was tested, reveals the importance of asymptomatic cases.

The authors of the new research, from the University of Padova and at Imperial College London, publishedinNature, suggest asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people are an important factor in the transmission of COVID-19. They also argue that widespread testing, isolating infected people, and a community lockdown effectively stopped the outbreak in its tracks.

The town of V, with a population of nearly 3,200 people, experienced Italys first COVID-19 death on 21 February 2020. The town was put into immediate quarantine for 14 days. During this time, researchers tested most of the population for infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, both at the start of the lockdown (86 percent tested) and after two weeks (72 percent tested).

The testing revealed that at the start of the lockdown, 2.6 percent of the population (73 people) were positive for SARS-CoV-2, while after a couple of weeks only 1.2 percent (29 people) were positive. At both times, around 40 percent of the positive cases showed no symptoms (asymptomatic). The results also show it took on average 9.3 days (range of 8-14 days) for the virus to be cleared from someones body.

None of the children under ten years old in the study tested positive for COVID-19, despite several living with infected family members. This is in contrast to adults living with infected people, who were very likely to test positive.

As a result of the mass testing any positive cases, symptomatic or not, were quarantined, slowing the spread of the disease and effectively suppressing it in only a few short weeks.

Co-lead researcher Professor Andrea Crisanti, from the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Padua and the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial, said: Our research shows that testing of all citizens, whether or not they have symptoms, provides a way to manage the spread of disease and prevent outbreaks getting out of hand. Despite silent and widespread transmission, the disease can be controlled.

The results of the mass testing programme in V informed policy in the wider Veneto Region, where all contacts of positive cases were offered testing. This testing and tracing approach has had a tremendous impact on the course of the epidemic in Veneto compared to other Italian regions, and serves as a model for suppressing transmission and limiting the virus substantial public health, economic and societal burden, added Professor Crisanti.

As well as identifying the proportion of asymptomatic cases, the team also found that asymptomatic people had a similar viral load the total amount of virus a person has inside them as symptomatic patients.

Viral load also appeared to decrease in people who had no symptoms to begin with but later developed symptoms, suggesting that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission could contribute significantly to the spread of disease, making testing and isolating even more important in controlling outbreaks.

Co-lead researcher Dr Ilaria Dorigatti, from the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Jameel Institute (J-IDEA), at Imperial College London, said: The V study demonstrates that the early identification of infection clusters and the timely isolation of symptomatic as well as asymptomatic infections can suppress transmission and curb an epidemic in its early phase. This is particularly relevant today, given the current risk of new infection clusters and of a second wave of transmission.

There are still many open questions about the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as the role of children and the contribution of asymptomatic carriers to transmission. Finding answers to these questions is crucial to identifying targeted and sustainable control strategies to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Italy and around the world.

Professor Enrico Lavezzo, from the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Padua said: The result concerning asymptomatic carriers is key. We took a picture of the V population and found that about half of the population testing positive had no symptoms at the time of testing and some of them developed symptoms in the following days. This tells us that if we find a certain number of symptomatic people testing positive, we expect the same number of asymptomatic carriers that are much more difficult to identify and isolate.

The fact that the viral load is comparable between symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers means even asymptomatic infections have the potential to contribute to transmission, as some of the reconstructed chain of transmission obtained from the detailed contact tracing conducted in V confirmed.

On the one hand, it is likely that a symptomatic infection transmits large quantities of virus, for example via coughing, but it is also reasonable to think that symptoms may induce a person with a symptomatic infection to stay at home, limiting the number of contacts and hence the transmission potential. On the other hand, someone with an asymptomatic infection is entirely unconscious of carrying the virus and, according to their lifestyle and occupation, could meet a large number of people without modifying their behaviour.


Whole-Town Study Reveals More Than 40% of Covid-19 Infections Had No Symptoms - Global Health News Wire

Wayne Medicine and Wayne Law professors team up to explore legal and ethical issues of wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 – The South End

Faculty from the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Wayne State University Law School have teamed to publish a paper this month on legal and ethical issues associated with community detection of COVID-19 through wastewatermonitoring.

Professor of Physiology Jeffrey Ram, Ph.D., and Associate Professor of Law Lance Gable, Ph.D., along with Dr. Rams daughter, University of Maryland Professor of Law Natalie Ram, co-wrote Legal and Ethical Implications of Wastewater SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring for COVID-19 Surveillance, now available in the Journal for Law and Biosciences.

The paper, already a popular download, is listed on the Social Science Research Networks Top Ten download list in several categories.

Dr. Ram also is director of the Wayne State University Belle Isle Aquarium Field Research Laboratory.

Scientists have observed that molecular markers for COVID-19 can be detected in wastewater during an outbreak and, in some cases, before the first case is confirmed, they wrote. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other government entities, are considering whether to add community surveillance through wastewater monitoring to assist in tracking disease prevalence and guiding public health responses to the pandemic.

This scientific breakthrough may lead to many useful potential applications for tracking disease, intensifying testing, initiating social distancing or quarantines, and even lifting restrictions once a cessation of infection is detected and confirmed. Yet, new technologies developed in response to a public health crisis may raise difficult legal and ethical questions about how such technologies may impact both the public health and civil liberties of the population, the authors wrote. Even if reliability and efficacy are established, limits on sample and data collection, use and sharing, must also be considered to prevent undermining privacy and autonomy in order to implement these public health strategies consistent with legal and ethical considerations.

The article describes recent scientific evidence regarding COVID-19 detection in wastewater, identifying public health benefits that may result from this breakthrough, and limitations of existing data. It also assesses the legal and ethical implications of implementing policy based on positive sewage signals.

The topic of wastewater epidemiology of COVID-19 is a very new and extremely active one, Dr. Ram said. We (at Wayne State) have assembled a team that includes microbiologists, an epidemiologist, a law professor, medical students, collaborators outside of Wayne State and more.We have support from Healthy Urban Waters.

Healthy Urban Waters is a collaboration of WSU researchers networked with the community to focus on water in an urban setting and future impacts of human culture on community, the ecosystem and economic health.

Dr. Ram and Dr. Gable were invited to present at a new community interaction forum organized with COVID-313 by the WSU Office of theProvosts Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health Steering Committee. They plan additional projects together.

Natalie Ram writes about the legal and ethical uses surrounding various biotechnologies, including the use of DNA by the police. Her decision to pursue the philosophical side of science, including ethics and law, was partly inspired by her Wayne State connections.She was part of a summer science program for girls organized by Wayne State Professor Alvin Saperstein at Wayne State, and while a college student at Princeton she conducted molecular research one summer on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis at WSUs Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics.

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Wayne Medicine and Wayne Law professors team up to explore legal and ethical issues of wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 - The South End

Rare Disease Diagnostics Industry Anticipated to Reach $26.7 Billion by 2024 – Market Shares by Disease Class, Indication, Analysis Platform, Analysis…

DUBLIN, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The "Rare Disease Diagnostics: Technologies and Global Markets" report has been added to ResearchAndMarkets.com's offering.

The global rare disease diagnostics market should reach $26.7 billion by 2024 from $17 billion in 2019, rising at a CAGR of 9.5% over the forecast period.

The scope of the report includes rare disease diagnostic technologies, applications, industries, initiatives, patents and companies. The market for rare disease diagnostic products and services is given for 2018 and 2019, and then forecast through 2024.

This report reviews the main diagnostic technologies and explains why genetic variation is important in clinical testing and disease. It then discusses significant large-scale research initiatives that impact rare disease diagnostic applications. Of particular interest is a discussion of global population-scale sequencing projects and their likely impact in linking genetic variation to rare disease diagnostics. The main market driving forces for rare disease diagnostic products and services are listed and discussed.

The report categorizes and quantifies the rare disease diagnostics market by the disease category, technology platform, test purpose, analysis target and geography segments.

More than 95 companies in the rare disease diagnostic industry are profiled in this report.

The research also provides a summary of more than 50 of the main industry acquisitions and strategic alliances that took place from April 2018 through April 2020, including key alliance trends.

The report includes:

Market Insights

Rare diseases comprise a growing public health priority, as they affect upward of 300 million people globally and they are difficult to diagnose and treat.

There is a pressing need for better ways to detect and diagnose rare diseases, as well as to provide companion diagnostics for therapy guidance, clinical trials enrollment and therapy monitoring applications.

Better diagnostic tests for rare diseases can make significant differences in the lives of those affected by these conditions. Many rare diseases go undiagnosed for long periods of time because patients, families and physicians may have limited awareness of certain diseases, and the symptoms may not be informative to healthcare workers who may not have encountered such diseases before.

Extended time to diagnosis of a rare disease, along with so-called diagnostic odysseys, can lead to negative outcomes, including misdiagnosis or disease progression. Rapid, accurate diagnostics can significantly shorten these diagnostic odysseys.

In addition to early detection and diagnostic potential, rare disease therapeutics will be important in orphan drug development and use. Orphan drugs address rare disease patient populations, and they are expected to have a high growth rate through 2024. By 2024, orphan drugs may make up as much as one-fifth of global prescription sales. Rare disease diagnostics can be used to help physicians make proper decisions regarding which therapies to use and ways to monitor the efficacy of those therapies during treatment courses. Rare disease diagnostics can also be used to help select patients for orphan drug clinical trials.

More than 70% of rare diseases are inherited conditions, and they thus have genetic components, so this industry relies heavily on genetic analysis methods, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR), next-generation sequencing (NGS) and Sanger sequencing.

Key Topics Covered

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Summary and Highlights

Chapter 3 Overview

Chapter 4 Technology Background

Chapter 5 Rare Disease Diagnostics Initiatives

Chapter 6 Rare Disease Diagnostic Industries

Chapter 7 Rare Disease Diagnostics Strategic Alliances and Acquisitions

Chapter 8 Rare Disease Diagnostics Markets

Chapter 9 Rare Disease Diagnostics Patents and Intellectual Property

Chapter 10 Company Profiles

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/r/rp6ok6

Research and Markets also offers Custom Research services providing focused, comprehensive and tailored research.

Media Contact:

Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager [emailprotected]

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Rare Disease Diagnostics Industry Anticipated to Reach $26.7 Billion by 2024 - Market Shares by Disease Class, Indication, Analysis Platform, Analysis...

Why are some people at greater risk of severe COVID-19? – Medical News Today

A new study explores the interactions between airway cells and immune cells at the molecular level to identify why some people are at risk of severe COVID-19 while others are not.

There is plenty of evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus, affects individuals differently. About 80% of those who have SARS-CoV-2 experience a clinically mild version of COVID-19, meaning that they get better without needing to go to the hospital.

Risk factors for severe disease include being male, being older, and having underlying health conditions, among other factors.

What drives these risk factors is not entirely clear.

Some experts have suggested that an excessive immune reaction in response to the virus is at the heart of the damage to the lungs and other parts of the body that people with severe COVID-19 experience.

Writing in Nature Biotechnology, scientists from the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and the Charit Universittsmedizin Berlin in Germany aimed to tease out the molecular actions that underpin such excessive immune reactions.

Prof. Roland Eils, chair and founding director of the Center for Digital Health, is one of the five senior study authors.

To pinpoint how different cells interact and communicate with each other, the multidisciplinary research team performed a single cell RNA sequencing analysis of upper and lower respiratory tract samples from 19 people in the hospital with COVID-19 and five volunteers without the new coronavirus.

In total, the scientists analyzed 160,528 individual cells.

Of the 19 people with COVID-19, eight had moderate disease, the authors write, while they classed 11 as critical. Two people died from the disease.

In the participants with COVID-19, the team saw a three-fold increase in gene expression of the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) gene, which encodes the receptor that the new coronavirus uses to attach to cells during infection.

It is interesting to note that in the case of COVID-19, the signaling protein interferon, which is actually the immune systems central defense strategy against viral infections, contributes to the epithelial cells producing more ACE2 and hence becoming more vulnerable to viral infection, Prof. Irina Lehmann, head of the Molecular Epidemiology Research Group at the BIH and one of the studys senior authors, explains.

In COVID-19, the immune system thus helps the virus to infect further cells, thereby amplifying the disease, she continues.

Next, the team identified the specific subsets of epithelial and immune cells that were present in the samples and found proinflammatory cell types that may be driving cell death in the lungs.

Especially in severely ill patients, we observed that an overreactive immune system drives the destruction of the lung tissue. This might explain why these patients are more severely affected by the infection than patients in whom the immune system reacts appropriately.

Prof. Roland Eils, corresponding author

Professor Leif-Erik Sander, another of the study senior authors, also weighs in on the findings:

These results suggest that our treatments in COVID-19 patients should not only be directed against the virus itself but should also consider therapies that constrain the immune system, such as those now being used with dexamethasone, possibly even at the onset of the disease to prevent the immune system from overreacting.

Specifically, the researchers suggest that targeting the proinflammatory CCR1 and/or CCR5 pathways might suppress immune hyperactivation.

The team acknowledges that their study has some shortcomings. Due to the relatively low number of people with COVID-19 who required hospital care in Germany, the study was not large enough to look at the influences of age, sex, and underlying health conditions on the results.

The researchers were also not able to include people who had mild COVID-19 and did not require hospital care.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Why are some people at greater risk of severe COVID-19? - Medical News Today

Experts warn of COVID-19 spread among people without symptoms – KSDK.com

While most people won't require hospitalization, it's hard to tell who will. That's why doctors recommend social distancing, even if you "feel fine."

ST. LOUIS With COVID-19 cases again on the rise in many places, health experts are once again warning of the danger that comes with asymptomatic spread: transmission of the virus from someone who isnt showing signs of infection.

That's been the Achilles heel really of this pandemic, said Dr. Jad Khoury, an infectious disease doctor at Mercy.

The CDC reports about 35% of infected people are asymptomatic, and the World Health Organization has determined about 40% of transmission may be from people who dont show signs of the virus. (The WHO has also walked-back their assessment of asymptomatic transmission as rare, after blow back and evidence from the global health community to the contrary.) Its hard for doctors to tell exactly how common this issince people who dont show symptoms usually dont get tested.

I think it's happening more so than we actually think, said Dr. Khoury.

Some experts worry asymptomatic carriers could pose the biggest public health risk in being able to get the virus under control.

The silent spread of the virus makes it all the more challenging to control, says Eric Topol, MD, professor of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research. Their recent findings suggest asymptomatic carriers may have played a significant role in COVID-19s early spread.

As businesses reopen, even temperature checks at the door cant determine if someone contagious.

In a lot of cases fever may not be the initial or presenting symptom, said Dr. Khoury.

Sometimes a person is pre-symptomatic: they develop signs of the virus when theyve already had it for awhile.

Those are the patients that eventually developed symptoms, but they can transmit the virus before they start showing symptoms, said Dr. Khoury. And there's a debate about how soon before the symptoms show up can you transmit. Some accounts say like two to three days before you show symptoms, you can pass it on. Some say even up to six days prior to the symptom onset, that you can still have an infectious virus that you can pass on to others.

If you do show any symptoms, doctors warn: stay home. Even minor signs of the virus should be a major warning.

You're much more likely probably to get infected from somebody who is symptomatic than from somebody who is a symptomatic because they probably don't shed as much virus as a symptomatic person, he said, noting that coughs and sneezes carry more of the viral load than regular breathing does.

He adds, though, that when youre not wearing a mask or social distancing, youre also more likely to catch the virus from breathing and talking, even when no symptoms are present. The risk is definitely there.


Experts warn of COVID-19 spread among people without symptoms - KSDK.com

Are Students Excited to Return to Campus This Fall? It Depends Who You Ask – Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

No forced triples. No crowded common rooms. No packed lecture halls.

President Martha E. Pollacks long-awaited Tuesday announcement welcomed Cornellians back to campus, but described a Cornell that faintly resembles the one students left in March. Many say they are still thrilled to return to Ithaca in September, eager to book plane tickets and arrange car rides as soon as move-in dates are announced.

But many students were also skeptical of the reopening message, wary of what social distancing will mean in an environment built for socializing. And for some students, the promise of a restricted in-person fall semester isnt compelling enough to return to Ithaca at all.

Lillian Hong 22 was excited when she first read the email. After months of waiting for fall semester news, her days at home in Boston finally became numbered.

I assumed we were going back, she said, but it was super great to finally get that information.

As Anneliese Markus 23 opened Pollacks email Tuesday afternoon, she too was relieved to hear that she would come back to New York after spending months at her childhood home in Colorado.

But Markus said the restrictions and regulations were hard to digest, learning she will return to take-out and reservation-only dining halls, online club meetings and likely few in-person classes.

Im so desperate to go back, Markus said. I just feel like Ive regressed as a human. I want to be back on campus, but theres so much that makes me sad. The whole point of school is to be a safe space, and so many people are losing that.

It wasnt worth it

Other students are less desperate to return. Jack Sillin 22 said he decided in May that this fall, he would plan to continue online learning at home in Yarmouth, Maine.

Living in an off-campus apartment wasnt worth the money while restricted to mostly online activities, Sillin said. Not wanting to risk thousands of dollars, he decided not to sign a lease for next year, figuring all classes would continue online in the fall.

Pollacks email only solidified his decision to stay home. Sillin said he realized the fall semester would exclude some of the experiences he values most: sharing meals with friends, in-person office hours and debating with the Cornell Political Union.

All those parts of the college experience are ones I value a lot, and they wont be possible to do responsibly until theres a vaccine, Sillin said. It wasnt worth it to me to spend about $12,000 on an apartment to be doing virtual office hours, virtual clubs, [and] many of my classes virtually.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Starbucks on March 20, after its dine-in operations were suspended. Students will return to a Collegetown this fall that will likely feel different from the placetheyleft in March.

Some students share Sillins reasoning: As the Cornell Reddit page swelled with comments about the fall reopening plan, one incoming sophomore wrote that if the classes Im taking are largely online I dont see the point of putting myself through so many restrictions and paying for dining and housing. Others expressed frustration over tuition, which appears unlikely to budge, whether or not they return to campus.

Another student wrote that with the slew of restrictions, they would rather stay at home even though the rising senior had previously marked on a survey that they would live in Ithaca if the semester were held online. Now, the student would happily change their response.

But factors beyond money and a seven-hour drive to Ithaca are pushing Sillin to remain home this fall. After mulling Pollacks email and reading the 97-page report, Sillin said he is skeptical students will change their behavior to comply with social distancing measures, even as administrators urge them to resist large gatherings.

The current reopening plan relies heavily on voluntary student compliance. According to Sillin, education campaigns and agreement signatures have an uninspiring track record, historically failing to prevent risky behavior such as underage alcohol use.

Why am I supposed to think that when we try those same tactics in this situation, all of a sudden were going to have compliance from everyone? Sillin said. It really only takes one frat party for all of these measures to be rendered moot. The bar is really high for changing behavior.

Sillin isnt the only student questioning whether their peers will radically adapt their behavior. Even the student-run McGraw Tower Instagram account @bingaleedingalee called on students currently partying in Ithaca to wear masks and respect social distancing, writing in a Tuesday post: Realize how your actions put cornell employees, immunocompromised folk, your peers at cornell who might not have the same access to masks that you might have, faculty, and families in ithaca, at risk!

Modeling the fall semester

Prof. Peter Fraziers model which became the basis for the Universitys reopening decision says a residential semester that includes a virus screening program will better protect the public health of the community than a semester held completely online.

But Jeff Pea grad, a Ph.D. student in cellular and molecular medicine who sat on a reopening committee, worries that Cornell placed too much weight on a model a predictive framework that relies heavily on assumptions to explain why they decided to welcome students back to campus.

He said the model attempts at [predicting] a lot of things well in trying to grasp what campus would look like in the fall. But with so much uncertainty, he said he doesnt fully agree with the conclusion that a residential semester is safer than keeping campus closed.

No model is perfect, Pea said. I think it shouldnt be what were putting all our weight into. Theres a real concern for students coming back.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

The exodus of thousands of students in March left Cornells typically bustling campus nearly abandoned. With strict social distancing guidelines planned for the Universitys reopening, it remains to be seen what the new normal will look like.

Pea added that Pollacks reopening announcement was only a starting point for ongoing conversations about campus health and safety, with information gaps to fill, particularly within the graduate student community.

In a Sun letter to the editor, Pea, Rebecca Harrison 14 grad and Arielle Johnson grad called on Cornell to give all graduate students the option to workremotely without needing to go through medical accommodations or provide documentation. The current recommended policy asks graduate students to apply for remote work through Cornell Student Disability Services or their supervisor.

I share many other graduate students concerns about the absence of attention to our health and safety in President Pollacks reopening announcement, Harrison told The Sun in an email on Tuesday. Graduate student labor is critical for keeping the gears of undergraduate education at Cornell running, but this should not be at the expense of our own needs to be comfortable returning to our classrooms.

Nothing is clear

Pollacks email also left many undergraduates eager for more information. How will students physically distance while walking between classes? How will bathrooms operate? How will Cornell monitor travel away from campus?

For Markus, the reopening message left questions about everything from pre-enrollment dates to library policies.

Its all so obscure, whats going on behind the scenes, Markus said. Nothing is clear. I still dont really know what their plan is. I have no sense of what is going to go on next semester.

Even as the email left students with more questions than answers, many also said they see the value of reopening campus, particularly for those without access to a computer or a safe learning environment at home.

Sillin called reopening campus necessary for many students without quiet home study spaces and internet connection, even as he worries those who suffered the most during the remote spring 2020 semester could again face the brunt of a potential second campus shutdown.

Despite so many unknowns, students who are able to return know one thing: Theyre grateful to be heading back to campus, even if it wont feel the same.

Im absolutely just going to be glad to be back on campus, Hong said. Leaving was very emotional. It made a lot of us realize how much the college experience means to us, and its a short four years. Having any of that back in any capacity is better than nothing.

Hongs off-campus apartment lease has already started, but more than that, she said she is looking forward to building physical models with CUAir, her project team, and reuniting with her friends.

When she gets back to campus, she first plans to buy a tub of Big Red Bear Tracks.

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Are Students Excited to Return to Campus This Fall? It Depends Who You Ask - Cornell University The Cornell Daily Sun

How lab animals have fared in the coronavirus crisis – DW (English)

At a time when most of us had still not even thought about panic-buying toilet paper, Andreas Lengeling was stocking up on boxes of hay and aspen wood bedding, food pellets and veterinary drugs. He did not want to rely on external suppliers for the following three months. It was the end of February, and he was bracing himself for the coronavirus pandemic to hit Germany.

As the animal research and welfare officer at the Max Planck Society, Lengeling's main responsibility is to ensure that the 65 species of animals housed across its research institutes in Germany and abroad are well cared for. These include insects, rodents, fishes, clawed frogs, song birds and larger vertebrates like alpacas.

In March, US-based researchers gave accounts of how lockdowns and stay-in-place orders made it difficult to take care of lab animals. Thousands of mice have been culled. This is partly due to staff shortages as older and vulnerable people resort to working from home. Most experiments have also ground to a halt. A researcher in Colombia even carried 100 turtle eggs to her house to protect them.

Quick action and teamwork

"I'm absolutely concerned about these reports," says Lengeling. "It's really heartbreaking to hear."

Read more:Germany's CureVac to launch human trial of experimental coronavirus vaccine

Scientist and Animal Welfare Officer at Max Planck Society, Andreas Lengeling

But he reports that the situation has not been as dire in Germany.

"We reacted really early," says Lengeling. "At the end of February, we were already adapting our emergency plans to the pandemic scenario. We were really well-prepared."

Other institutes took early note as well. At the German Research Center for Environmental Health (HMGU) in Munich, where scientists work with rodents and fish, all new experiments were put on hold. Animals were, however, saved because of excellent cooperation between animal caretakers, scientists, animal welfare officers and the crisis management team, according to Johannes Beckers, an HMGU research group leader.

But not every institute in Germany acted in time to rescue test animals. The Max Delbrck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) in Berlin reported that 1,500 young mice and rats were euthanized as a consequence of the disruption caused by the pandemic. This is because most mice and rats used in experiments have to be at a specific age depending on what is being researched. These particular animals were too young to be used in experiments and will be too old by the time experiments resume.

Read more:Worldwide, researchers work on a coronavirus vaccine

Three zebrafish as imaged by Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tbingen

The MDC's press officer, Jutta Kramm, says that staff have, however, remained dedicated to maintaining the welfare of animals within their facility. "All suitable employees work in shifts to provide food and water to the animals and to clean the cages," she says.

The German Cancer Research Center has had to reduce the number of rodents in its care, too. But its response to DW's query on how many animals this might have involved is pending.

Experiments halted, projects delayed

The pandemic has posed a particularly difficult challenge to research labs that work with non-human primates such as rhesus macaques and marmosets. That is because there is a risk of humans transmitting a SARS-CoV-2 infection to monkeys in a so-called cross-infection.

This threat has had a large impact on researcher Sabine Borchert's life. As a technical assistant at the German Primate Center in Gttingen, Borchert typically spends several hours each day training macaque monkeys for experiments. She needs to learn what each monkey likes and dislikes eating, how each of them react to different situations and when changes in their behavior begin to signal stress. "When you walk into the department, you don't know what will happen that day," she says. "It's like having children."

But during the pandemic, scientists and assistants have split into mixed groups of two that work alternate weeks, minimizing contact among themselves and with the animals. This means Borchert sees far less of Ralph, Millhouse and Barney.

In the lab, led by Hansjrg Scherberger, monkeys learn to grasp objects of different shapes and sizes so that researchers can decode how the brain controls movements of the hands and fingers. Many monkeys have taken months and even years to learn these tasks. If they now spend an extensive period without practice, it is hard to say how long they will retain the abilities they have learned.

"I think they won't forget everything. But it will take weeks to get their performance back up again," says Borchert. This does mean, however, that doctoral and postdoctoral projects will be delayed by weeks or months.

Animals susceptible to SARS-CoV-2

Finding out which species of animals face the risk of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 is, in its turn, the job of Andreas Lengeling in Munich. He digs through old literature on coronaviruses and sets up alerts on PubMed to track the release of new research papers. He shares his findings with veterinarians across the many Max Planck institutes to drive decisions.

Read more:Tiger tests positive for coronavirus at New York zoo

A rhesus macaque is learning to grasp objects of different shapes and sizes at German Primate Centre (DPZ) in Gttingen.

"Luckily, it looks like most of the animal species cannot be infected by the [new] coronavirus," says Lengeling. "But there are a few exceptions." Cats, hamsters, ferrets, minks and non-human primates can get sick. In macaque monkeys, the illness presents as mild, cold-like symptoms. Other animals, as of now, appear to be resistant to any natural transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

A recent study by Sinovac Biotech, a private Beijing-based company currently racing to develop the first coronavirus vaccine, showed that its vaccinecontaining an inactivated form of the virusmakes macaque monkeys immune to a second infection. But this finding must be taken with a pinch of salt: As symptoms of COVID-19 in humans are far more damaging and severe, the animal and human systems are not necessarily comparable.

Animal testing for COVID-19

These tests of COVID-19 vaccines on animals and the news that many lab rats have been culled has fueled an old and ongoing debate. Those who do not support animal testing to gain scientific knowledge and say the cruelty it entails outweighs its benefits have initiated online petitions and started threads on Reddit.

But Ulrich Kalinke, a professor at the Institute for Experimental Infection Research in Hanover, makes a clear case for continuing animal testing. He says that developing a vaccine without an infection model is not only dangerous, but difficult.

"I feel tremendous pressure," says Kalinke. "We need a vaccine. But if you try to address those questions only in humans, without putting humans in danger, you would have to start with very, very low dosages of vaccine. This would take ages."

And time is of the essence in this fight against the novel coronavirus.

Vaccines: Sometimes a two-edged sword

In the past, there has been no dearth of examples where the use of new vaccines has gone wrong. In 1966, a clinical trial of a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus in the US met a disastrous end when it resulted in the death of two infants. More recently, an oral vaccine for polio, given widely to low and middle-income families across the world, was discovered to have caused many cases of the disease instead.

Read more:What is the future of animal testing?

Scientist and professor Ulrich Kalinke from Institute for Experimental Infection Research in Hannover is heading project TWINCORE for coronavirus-related research

Ulrich Kalinkesays that the scientific community has learned from such failures. He also wants to avoid a scenario where one individual out of every 1,000 vaccinated comes down with severe side effects, when prior testing in animals can prevent this from happening.

In the project TWINCORE, he is leading the development of a mouse model of COVID-19 that will show the same pathology of the disease as seen in humans. The idea is to then inject vaccines and test what kind of immunity is created throughout the bodies of mice.

Ulrich Kalinke said the mass inoculation needed to curb the coronavirus pandemic across the globe means that safety concerns are paramount: "We are speculating that there will be the need to vaccinate maybe one or two-thirds of the whole world population. So we had better know that the vaccine is safe."

Researchers at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute in China have found that the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, can be transmitted between cats. Domesticated house cats are also able to pass the virus on to members of their species, but not very easily, said Hualan Chen, a lead researcher of the - not peer reviewed -paper which was published in "bioRxiv" on March 31.

But cat owners shouldn't panic. Felines quickly form antibodies to the virus, so they aren't contagious for very long. Domestic cat owners with preexisting medical conditions, or the elderly, should temporarily restrict where their cats are able to wander. Healthy people should wash their hands thoroughly after patting them.

Unlike cats, the virus is unable to replicate easily in dogs, the researchers report. So you're all clear when it comes to walking or training your pooch.

This domesticated pig out walking the streets of Rome doesn't need to be afraid of any dogs. And, the dog needn't be afraid of its grunting opponent, either. Pigs aren't considered a natural reservoir for the coronavirus, the veterinarians discovered.

Things are different for the members of the Mustelidae family. Hualan Chen also researched ferrets, and found that SARS-CoV-2 is able to reproduce in these animals, just as in cats. The transmission between the animals occurs through respiratory droplets. Researchers found the virus on swabs taken from the throat and nose of ferrets and cats, but were unable to detect any lung infections.

Experts have given the all-clear for people who handle poultry, such as this trader in Wuhan, China, where scientists believe the first case of the virus emerged late last year. Humans have nothing to worry about, as chickens are practically immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as are ducks and other bird species.

People can be infected by animals, but the same can also happen in reverse. Four-year-old Malayan tiger Nadia tested positive for COVID-19 recently at the Bronx Zoo in New York. "It's the first time, to our knowledge, that a [wild] animal has gotten sick from COVID-19 from a person," Paul Calle, the zoo's chief veterinarian, told "National Geographic" magazine.

Bats are considered the most-likely carrier of SARS-CoV-2, but veterinarians believe that in December 2019, another species must have existed in Wuhan as an intermediate host between them and humans. Could it have been ferrets or cats?

Pangolins are also under suspicion for transmitting the virus. Researchers from Hong Kong, China and Australia have detected a virus in a Malaysian Pangolin that shows stunning similarities to SARS-CoV-2.

Author: Fabian Schmidt

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How lab animals have fared in the coronavirus crisis - DW (English)

Hope against COVID-19: Drug cuts deaths by a third and other findings – Medical News Today

Given the current climate primarily in the United States of social unrest, injustice, and uncertainty, it may seem strange to read or even think about hopeful or positive things. But scientists are advancing in the fight against the new coronavirus, and this feature rounds up their progress.

Some have suggested that the U.S. is currently struggling with two pandemics at once. Although a simple vaccine cannot fix the racism pandemic, many scientists are actively working to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in their labs.

In this feature, we continue our series on hopeful scientific findings by rounding up the evidence available. Since we last wrote about scientific progress in the fight against COVID-19, many developments have taken place.

A mathematical model showed that the widespread use of face masks even homemade ones could slow the pandemic and prevent a second wave. Meanwhile, a new antibody test promises more accuracy, and a study has shown that the lockdown measures that authorities put in place prevented an additional 500 million infections a staggering number.

Importantly, an analysis of more than 15,000 new coronavirus genomes from 75 different countries revealed that SARS-CoV-2 mutations do not strengthen the virus but are either neutral or detrimental to it.

The most heartening findings, though, are probably in the realm of potential treatments. From a duo of antiviral drugs that inhibits the virus to a common steroid drug that slashed deaths in a clinical trial and a cancer drug that may prevent severe inflammation, we explore potential new therapies for COVID-19 below.

First, we begin with the surprising benefits that an antibiotic may offer in the treatment of COVID-19.

Article summary

Medical News Today has recently conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Catherine Oldenburg, co-principal investigator in the ACTION trial.

The ACTION trial is a nationwide trial in the U.S. that is designed to evaluate the efficacy of a single dose of azithromycin compared to placebo for [the] prevention of hospitalization in COVID-19 patients who have either no symptoms at all or mild-to-moderate ones.

In the interview, Dr. Oldenburg explains why she and her team chose azithromycin, an antibiotic, to treat an infection with SARS-CoV-2.

The researcher notes that the choice of an antibiotic to treat a viral infection may seem counterintuitive, as antibiotics do not treat viruses. However, azithromycin is special in that it affects the immune system.

[O]ne of the interesting things about azithromycin is that it has really strong immunomodulatory effects, so it has these [] nondirect effects on the immune system. That means its an interesting candidate.

Previous studies have shown the drug to be effective against SARS-CoV-2 when in combination with hydroxychloroquine. However, because the latter raised great concerns about safety, and the FDA have retracted their emergency use authorization for it, the scientists decided to investigate the antibiotic on its own.

Furthermore, due to its excellent safety profile and extremely wide use, Dr. Oldenburg explains, azithromycin was perfect for including in an outpatient trial. The interview contains details about how to enroll in the trial.

A team of researchers from the United Kingdom recently announced that the common steroid drug dexamethasone drastically reduced deaths in a clinical trial of people with severe COVID-19.

Scientists at the University of Oxford led the trial, called RECOVERY, which involved testing six potential treatments for COVID-19, dexamethasone being one of them. Doctors commonly use dexamethasone to treat inflammation, allergic reactions, and immune-mediated conditions.

In the trial, the researchers compared dexamethasone treatment with standard of care in a group of severely ill COVID-19 patients who required ventilators or supplemental oxygen to breathe.

The 28-day mortality rate was one-third lower in the dexamethasone group.

Furthermore, the overall mortality rate was 17% lower in the dexamethasone group than in the control group.

Commenting on the findings, Duncan Young, a professor of intensive care medicine at the University of Oxford, said:

The results are very robust due to the large number of patients recruited to the trial. The drug prevented one death in eight in ventilated patients, and one death in 25 in patients on oxygen.

Although this appears [to be] a relatively modest effect on outcome, for ventilated patients, the NNT (number needed to treat) of eight is better than almost any other intervention studied in patients on ventilators for any disease.

Dr. Nick Cammack, COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Lead at the Wellcome Trust in London, said:

This is a major breakthrough: Dexamethasone is the first and only drug that has made a significant difference to patient mortality for COVID-19. Potentially preventing one death in every eight ventilated patients would be remarkable. Finding effective treatments like this will transform the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lives and economies across the world.

While this study suggests dexamethasone only benefits severe cases, countless lives will be saved globally, added Dr. Cammack.

Drugs such as dexamethasone have an advantage over novel treatments in the fight against COVID-19 due to their proven safety record. After a clinical trial, they can be fast-tracked to reach the wider population.

So, other scientists have looked to similarly safe and already approved drugs for help in the fight against the virus.

After testing several antiviral drugs in a cell culture model, scientists in Norway and Estonia found that a combination of nelfinavir, an anti-HIV drug, and amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug, inhibited SARS-CoV-2 in the lab.

One of the drugs worked by shielding the healthy host cells, while the other targeted the virus itself. Scientists say that this combined strategy has worked well in the past against infections with other viruses.

Now, the scientists are looking to move to preclinical and clinical studies.

The same team of Estonian- and Norwegian-based researchers set out to test the efficacy of convalescent blood plasma for treating COVID-19, after concerns emerged that the approach may not be as effective as the team initially believed.

The scientists found that the blood of patients who had recovered from COVID-19 more recently contained more antibodies. Therefore, their serum was better at neutralizing the virus than the serum that the researchers collected from people later after their recovery.

This means if you collect blood from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 after 2 months from diagnosis of the disease and transfuse their plasma/serum to severely sick patients, it may not help, says study co-author Svein Arne Nordb, an associate professor in the Norwegian University of Science and Technologys Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

The conclusion so far is that clinicians need to collect plasma for treatment purposes as soon as patients recover from COVID-19.

Svein Arne Nordb

In the meantime, another preliminary study has confirmed the safety of convalescent plasma, further adding to the evidence that the practice is indeed safe. The MNT article that covers the study also tackles some concerns about how to time the use of plasma as therapy.

Giving the therapy earlier in the illness would be safer and more effective for the patient, as after a certain point, their immune system is likely to go into inflammation overdrive, triggering a phenomenon known as a cytokine storm.

Concerns about the cytokine storm drove the efforts of another team of researchers, who used a cancer drug to quench inflammation in people severely ill with COVID-19.

During the cytokine storm, the hyperinflammation that causes damage to the lungs and other vital organs may result in death for these individuals.

Macrophages are a type of immune cell that plays a role in triggering the cytokine storm. More specifically, an enzyme called Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) initiates this phenomenon.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute, U.S., turned to an already existing cancer drug that inhibits the activity of BTK in the hope that it will prevent the cytokine storm in COVID-19.

The drug is called acalabrutinib, and doctors currently use it to treat blood cancers. In the new study, the team administered acalabrutinib for 1014 days to 19 people hospitalized with COVID-19. At the start of the study, 11 participants needed oxygen masks to breathe, and eight were on ventilators.

By the end of the 14 days, eight of the 11 patients who had been using oxygen masks no longer needed help breathing and were discharged from the hospital.

Of the eight patients on ventilators, four no longer needed them, and two were discharged from the hospital. The other two patients had died. Importantly, the drug showed no evidence of toxicity.

Research from 2016 showed that a type of UV light that has shorter wavelengths called UVC light can kill coronaviruses on surfaces.

In a new study appearing in the journal The Lancet Microbe, an international team of researchers introduced a new material that conducts electricity and is transparent to UV light. The material could serve to make portable devices that can kill SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces, thus disinfecting them, say the researchers.

The authors explain that they believe that manufacturers could incorporate UV LEDs made with their new material into lamps that are lighter, cheaper, and more efficient than the standard disinfecting lamps that are already available.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Hope against COVID-19: Drug cuts deaths by a third and other findings - Medical News Today

Researchers find on-off switch for inflammation related to overeating – ScienceBlog.com

Researchers at Yale have identified a molecule that plays a key role in the bodys inflammatory response to overeating, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases. The finding suggests that the molecule could be a promising therapeutic target to control this inflammation and keep metabolic diseases in check.

The study appears on June 29 in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

When a person overeats, the body stores excess calories in the form of fat in the adipose tissue, or body fat, said lead authorXiaoyong Yangof Yale School of Medicine. As the amount of calories consumed continues to increase, this leads to inflammation in adipose tissue and the release of fatty acids into other tissues, including the liver and muscles.

This is dangerous, Yang said, and leads to metabolic disorders like diabetes.

Researchers were aware that overeating led to inflammation and metabolic diseases, but until now, they did not know the precise way that the bodys immune cells, such as macrophages which react to excess calorie consumption contributed to this process. The new research by Yang and team zeroed in on a pathway called O-GIcNAc signaling, which activates when a person overeats, instructing the cells to limit inflammation.

Inflammation happens when the bodys immune system reacts to injury or threat, and involves increased blood flow, capillary dilation, and an influx of white blood cells.

The body is smart, said Yang, associate professor of comparative medicine and of cellular & molecular physiology. It tries to protect against inflammation when fat builds up in the body. We discovered a key pathway that quenches inflammation caused by overnutrition.

In particular, the researchers found that OGT (O-GIcNAc transferase), an enzyme that activates GIcNAc signaling, was responsible for activating the bodys pro-inflammatory response by turning on or off a specific signaling pathway in macrophages.

The macrophage can be a good guy or a bad guy, Yang said. It becomes a bad guy in overnutrition, secreting a lot of inflammatory factors. In other contexts, its a good guy and has an anti-inflammatory effect. We found out that OGT tries to stop the macrophage from becoming a bad guy to stop the pro-inflammatory response.

Their finding suggests that OGT could be a target for new therapies to suppress inflammation and improve health.

The study also sheds light on the workings of glutamine and glucosamine, nutritional supplements recommended by doctors for arthritis and inflammation of the joints, Yang said. While researchers have known that these supplements promote O-GlcNAc signaling and reduce inflammation, they did not know how this process worked.

Our finding further implicates how glutamine and glucosamine suppress inflammation, Yang said.

Other members of the Yale research team include Dr. Gerald I. Shulman, Dr. Marie E. Robert, Rachel J. Perry, Yunfan Yang, Xiruo Li, Harding H. Luan, Bichen Zhang, Kaisi Zhang, Zongyu Li, Minnie Fu, Dongyan Zhang, Simeng Wang, Yuyang Liu, Joo Paulo Albuquerque, Qunxiang Ong, Rui Li, and Qi Wang.

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Researchers find on-off switch for inflammation related to overeating - ScienceBlog.com

Global Nuclear Medicine Market By Therapy, By Type, By Application, By Therapeutics, By Route of Administration, By End-User, By Region, Forecast…

NEW YORK, July 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- This report is 80% complete and can be delivered within three working days post order confirmation and will include the latest impact analysis of Covid-19 in 2020 and forecast.

Read the full report: https://www.reportlinker.com/p05916726/?utm_source=PRN

Global Nuclear Medicine Market By Therapy (Radioactive Iodine, Radioactive Antibodies, Others), By Type (SPECT, PET, Alpha-emitters, Beta-emitters, Brachytherapy), By Application (Cardiology, Respiratory, Orthopaedics, Others), By Therapeutics (Alpha Particle Emitters, Beta Particle Emitters, Others), By Route of Administration (Oral, Intravenous, Nasal), By End-User (Hospitals, Diagnostic centers, Others), By Region, Forecast & Opportunities, 2025

Global nuclear medicine market is estimated to grow at an impressive rate during the forecast period owing to increasing incidence and prevalence of diseases like cancer, initiatives to reduce the demand and supply gap of Mo-99 and increasing research and development activities in radiotherapy to treat various diseases. Furthermore, nuclear medicines are extensively being used in molecular imaging, which is a technique involving molecules as biomarkers for specific molecular processes that determines the onset or progress of a disease. Nuclear medicines are convenient and safer alternative for patients as compared to X-Rays and other external radiation imaging devices.Due to this major factor, chemotherapy methods are being replaced by radiopharmaceuticals or nuclear medicines for cancer treatment.

They are also used in applications such as lymphoma and bone metastasis.Some of the nuclear medicines used in diagnostic procedures are F-18, Tc-99, Ga-67, and I-123 while I-131, Ir-192, Y-90, I-125, Lu-177, and Ra-223 are used in therapeutics procedures.

These factors are anticipated to drive global nuclear medicine market until 2025.

Apart from above mentioned growth factors, the global nuclear medicine market also faces some restrains.Short half-life of nuclear medicines or radiopharmaceuticals reduces their potential adoption.

Other restraining factors include supply shortages, logistical difficulties, and limited number of trained medical personnel.

The global nuclear medicine market is segmented based on therapy, type, application, therapeutics, route of administration, end-user and region.Based on application, the global nuclear medicine market is segmented into cardiology, respiratory, orthopaedics, neurology, oncology and urology.

Among them, the oncology segment accounts for the major market share due to increasing prevalence of cancer worldwide.Based on type, the nuclear medicine market is segmented into SPECT, PET, alpha-emitters, beta-emitters and brachytherapy.

The SPECT segment accounts for the largest market share and is expected to hold its dominance in the coming years owing to low cost and wide usage in different applications.

Major players operating in the global nuclear medicine market include Cardinal Health, Curium, Lantheus, Bracco, Advanced Accelerator Applications, NTP Radioisotopes, Eckert & Ziegler, Jubilant DraxImage, GE Healthcare, Siemens Healthineers, Rotem Industries, Eczacibasi-Monrol, IBA Group, Ire-Elit, Lucerno Dynamics, Positron Corporation, NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, Pharmalucence, Norgine, Roche and others. Key market players are implementing activities like product developments, business expansion, and collaborative development to maintain significant share in the market for nuclear medicine.

Years considered for this report:

Historical Years: 2015-2018 Base Year: 2019 Estimated Year: 2020 Forecast Period: 20212025

Objective of the Study:

To analyze and forecast the market size of global nuclear medicine market. To classify and forecast global nuclear medicine market based on therapy, type, application, therapeutics, route of administration, end-user, company and regional distribution. To identify drivers and challenges for global nuclear medicine market. To examine competitive developments such as expansions, new product launches, mergers & acquisitions, etc., in global nuclear medicine market. To conduct pricing analysis for global nuclear medicine market. To identify and analyze the profile of leading players operating in global nuclear medicine market. The analyst performed both primary as well as exhaustive secondary research for this study.Initially, the analyst sourced a list of manufacturers across the globe.

Subsequently, the analyst conducted primary research surveys with the identified companies.While interviewing, the respondents were also enquired about their competitors.

Through this technique, the analyst could include the manufacturers which could not be identified due to the limitations of secondary research. The analyst examined the manufacturers, distribution channels and presence of all major players across the globe. The analyst calculated the market size of global nuclear medicine market using a bottom-up approach, wherein data for various end-user segments was recorded and forecast for the future years. The analyst sourced these values from the industry experts and company representatives and externally validated through analyzing historical data of these product types and applications for getting an appropriate, overall market size.

Various secondary sources such as company websites, news articles, press releases, company annual reports, investor presentations and financial reports were also studied by the analyst.

Key Target Audience:

Nuclear medicine manufacturer, suppliers, distributors and other stakeholders Hospitals & Clinics Government bodies such as regulating authorities and policy makers Organizations, forums and alliances related to nuclear medicine Market research and consulting firms The study is useful in providing answers to several critical questions that are important for the industry stakeholders such as manufacturers, suppliers and partners, end users, etc., besides allowing them in strategizing investments and capitalizing on market opportunities.

Report Scope:

In this report, global nuclear medicine market has been segmented into following categories, in addition to the industry trends which have also been detailed below: Market, By Therapy: o Radioactive Iodine o Radioactive Antibodies o Radioactive Phosphorus o Others Market, By Type: o SPECT (Single Photo Emission Computed Tomography) o PET (Positron Emission Tomography) o Alpha-emitters o Beta-emitters o Brachytherapy Market, By Application: o Cardiology o Respiratory o Orthopaedics o Neurology o Oncology o Urology Market, By Therapeutics: o Alpha Particle Emitters o Beta Particle Emitters o Auger Electron Emitters Market, By Route of Administration: o Oral o Intravenous o Nasal Market, By End-User: o Hospitals o Diagnostic Centers o Others Market, By Region: o Asia-Pacific o Europe o North America o South America o Middle East & Africa

Competitive Landscape

Company Profiles: Detailed analysis of the major companies present in global nuclear medicine market.

Available Customizations:

With the given market data, we offers customizations according to a company's specific needs. The following customization options are available for the report:

Company Information

Detailed analysis and profiling of additional market players (up to five).

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About Reportlinker ReportLinker is an award-winning market research solution. Reportlinker finds and organizes the latest industry data so you get all the market research you need - instantly, in one place.

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Global Nuclear Medicine Market By Therapy, By Type, By Application, By Therapeutics, By Route of Administration, By End-User, By Region, Forecast...

Molecular Medicine | Home

Dr Betty Diamond (Editor-in-Chief) graduated with a BA from Harvard University and an MD from Harvard Medical School. She performed a residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and received postdoctoral training in immunology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

DrDiamond has headed the Rheumatology Divisions at Albert Einstein School of Medicine and at Columbia University Medical Center. She also directed the Medical Scientist Training Program at Albert Einstein School of Medicine for many years. She is currently head of the Center for Autoimmune, Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases at The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Director of the PhD and MD/PhD programs at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra-Northwell.

A past president of the American Association of Immunology, DrDiamond has also served on the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology and the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

Dr Diamond is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Valentin Pavlov,The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, USA- Executive Editor

Maria Ruggieri,The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, USA- Managing Editor

Sonya VanPatten,The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, USA- Coordinating Editor

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Molecular Medicine | Home

Molecular medicine – Wikipedia

Molecular medicine is a broad field, where physical, chemical, biological, bioinformatics and medical techniques are used to describe molecular structures and mechanisms, identify fundamental molecular and genetic errors of disease, and to develop molecular interventions to correct them.[1] The molecular medicine perspective emphasizes cellular and molecular phenomena and interventions rather than the previous conceptual and observational focus on patients and their organs.[2]

In November 1949, with the seminal paper, "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease",[3] in Science magazine, Linus Pauling, Harvey Itano and their collaborators laid the groundwork for establishing the field of molecular medicine.[4] In 1956, Roger J. Williams wrote Biochemical Individuality,[5] a prescient book about genetics, prevention and treatment of disease on a molecular basis, and nutrition which is now variously referred to as individualized medicine[6] and orthomolecular medicine.[7] Another paper in Science by Pauling in 1968,[8] introduced and defined this view of molecular medicine that focuses on natural and nutritional substances used for treatment and prevention.

Published research and progress was slow until the 1970s' "biological revolution" that introduced many new techniques and commercial applications.[9]

Some researchers separate molecular surgery as a compartment of molecular medicine.[10]

Molecular medicine is a new scientific discipline in European universities.[citation needed] Combining contemporary medical studies with the field of biochemistry, it offers a bridge between the two subjects. At present only a handful of universities offer the course to undergraduates. With a degree in this discipline, the graduate is able to pursue a career in medical sciences, scientific research, laboratory work, and postgraduate medical degrees.

Core subjects are similar to biochemistry courses and typically include gene expression, research methods, proteins, cancer research, immunology, biotechnology and many more. In some universities molecular medicine is combined with another discipline such as chemistry, functioning as an additional study to enrich the undergraduate program.

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Molecular medicine - Wikipedia

Molecular Medicine | USF Health

Considered the vanguard of the new millennium in which science truly complements the art of medicine, molecular medicine strives to understand the molecules key to normal body function and the pathogenesis of disease and to design molecular tools for diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Recent changes in research and scholarship in the biomedical sciences has directed attention to the development and training of students who are able to cross the barriers of traditional disciplines and embrace the concepts of interdisciplinary approaches to biomedical problems. The Master's of Science in Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine concentration, has been developed to provide a novel interdisciplinary and concentrated program of study that is designed for students interested in either future doctoral or professional programs in the biomedical sciences. The program integrates several disciplines, including biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, genomics, microbiology, immunology, virology and biomedical ethics to provide a solid medically-relevant foundation. The rigorous program allows students to demonstrate their full academic ability for future graduate programs or medical school. The interdisciplinary program promotes the broad intellectual focus required of future graduate students in the biomedical sciences or health-care profession. The courses integrate modern teaching methods with extensive student participation designed to improve their oral and presentation skills that are critical to their future professional development.

Jonna Ocampo, an alumna of the Molecular Medicine concentration, has had many notable accomplishments in the field of Molecular Medicine. While enrolled, she worked in the labs of Dr. Caralina Marin de Evsikova and Dr. Alexei Evsikov. During her time in the lab, sheresearched metabolic disease in the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans utilizing techniques such as DNA Sequencing, RNA interference, and Bioinformatics analysis. Additionally, she conducted NASA Florida Space research on Transposon Expression Changes Induced by Simulated Microgravity as an area of priority that aligns with the NASA Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate for Space Life and Physical Sciences Research & Applications.

Jonna also conducted research in Chemistry and Molecular Medicine with Dr. Bill Baker and Dr. Xingmin Sun. In these labs, she studied the chemical ecology of Antarctica and Florida marine invertebrates for carrying out natural product isolation. Research included isolating the microorganisms and testing using minimum inhibitory concentrations for potential pharmaceutical applications against Clostridium difficile.

In August 2018, Jonna was awarded theNASA Florida Space Grant Consortium Fellowshipfor her submissionTransposon Expression Changes Induced by Simulated Microgravity.In December of 2018Jonna was selected for an oral presentation at theUnited Nations Expert Meeting on Human Space Technology Providing Access to Spacein Vienna, Austria. Her presentation focused on Synergistic effects on gene expression changes in microgravity: bioinformatics analysis for the model organismOryzias latipesand propagation toward astrobiological, simulated microgravity experiments. Jonnaalso presented at the 4th Mexican Congress of Medicine & Space Health, inMexico City, Mexico and to the Board of FloridaSpace Grant Consortium at NASA Kennedy Space Center.

Jonna has given poster presentations atFlorida Institute of TechnologyandSoutheastern Regional Society for Developmental Biology. Her poster presentation focused onIdentification of candidate ATP synthase subunits homologs and their expression across developmental stages ofCaenorhabditis elegans.

While at USF, Jonna submitted two patents for a biomedical and a biotechnology patent with the Patent and Research Office at the University of South Florida, January 2019.

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Molecular Medicine | USF Health

Duo of antiviral drugs strongly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in the lab – Medical News Today

A combination of two existing drugs is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures, researchers in Norway and Estonia have found.

In a separate experiment, the researchers used the same cell cultures to show that convalescent blood plasma may be ineffective if the patient donated it 2 months after receiving a diagnosis of COVID-19. This is the respiratory disease that SARS-CoV-2 causes.

On June 16, 2020, scientists at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom announced the first drug proven to reduce mortality in people with severe COVID-19.

The breakthrough, which the team will report in the journal Nature, means that doctors can immediately start treating hospitalized patients with dexamethasone. This is a cheap, readily available steroid that has been in widespread use for decades.

Drugs with a proven safety record, such as dexamethasone, have a clear advantage over novel treatments and vaccines; after a relatively swift clinical trial, national drug regulators can immediately approve their use.

Research by scientists in Norway and Estonia has now identified two more drugs that regulators could potentially fast-track in this way.

The drugs are antivirals that already have approval to treat other infections. Like dexamethasone, researchers would need to test their efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 in people with the virus.

In the new study, a group of scientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim collaborated with scientists at the University of Tartu in Estonia.

They first screened 12 human and animal cell lines to determine which was the most susceptible to the virus.

They identified one cell line called Vero-E6, which they extracted from African green monkeys, then they exposed cultures of these cells to SARS-CoV-2 plus varying concentrations of 136 antiviral drugs.

The drugs were from a database of broad-spectrum antiviral agents (BSAAs), which the same research team set up earlier in 2020. BSAAs are drugs that have passed a clinical safety trial and that work against two or more families of viruses.

After 72 hours, the researchers counted how many cells were still alive in each culture dish. This allowed them to narrow down the field to six drugs that were the most effective at rescuing cells from SARS-CoV-2.

The six antivirals that were active against the virus were:

Next, the scientists repeated the process using pairs of the drugs in combination.

Antivirals, such as those that treat HIV, often work synergistically that is, they are more powerful together than individually. Also, viruses are less likely to develop resistance to a combination of drugs.

Nelfinavir, an anti-HIV drug, and amodiaquine, an antimalarial drug, exhibited the strongest synergy of all the possible combinations.

Interestingly, one of these drugs works by shielding the host cells, while the other targets the virus itself. This is a combined strategy that the researchers say has worked well against other viral infections.

The team checked that this drug combination was effective against each of seven available strains of SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers have now published their results in the journal Viruses.

This orally available drug combination nelfinavir-amodiaquine inhibits the virus infection in cell cultures, says senior study author Denis Kainov, an associate professor in the Norwegian University of Science and Technologys Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine. It should be tested further in preclinical studies and clinical trials now.

In a second set of experiments using the same monkey cell line, the researchers collaborated with doctors at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim, Norway, to test the efficacy of convalescent blood plasma.

For more than 100 years, doctors have used blood plasma, or serum, from people who have recovered from a particular infection to treat other people with the same infection.

Hospitals around the world are already using convalescent serum to treat COVID-19. However, although the treatment appears to be safe and large trials are underway, scientists have yet to prove its efficacy.

Concerns have emerged that the blood of some convalescent patients contains few, if any, antibodies that can neutralize the virus.

Regular antibody tests detect the presence of antibodies to the virus in plasma, but not all antibodies are able to kill or neutralize the virus.

So, to investigate further, the scientists used their monkey cells to develop a neutralizing antibody test for the virus.

When they exposed the cells to SARS-CoV-2 in the presence of plasma samples from people who have recovered, they discovered that the more recently the donor had recovered from COVID-19, the greater the neutralizing capacity of the serum.

By 2 months after diagnosis, serum did not contain enough antibodies to neutralize the virus.

This means if you collect blood from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 after 2 months from diagnosis of the disease and transfuse their plasma/serum to severely sick patients, it may not help, says study co-author Svein Arne Nordb, an associate professor in the Norwegian University of Science and Technologys Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine.

The conclusion so far is that clinicians need to collect plasma for treatment purposes as soon as patients recover from COVID-19, says Nordb.

If someone had exposure to the virus a second time, however, their immune systems memory cells would likely start producing neutralizing antibodies again.

An important caveat of the new findings is that the cells the researchers used in the experiments were from monkeys, not humans.

Also, what happens in a dish of cells may not reflect what happens in a whole organism.

The researchers hope to conduct further research in animals, followed by a clinical trial in humans.

In the meantime, they have created a regularly updated website dedicated to available and emerging treatment options for SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers database of BSAAs and their research status with regard to particular viruses is also publicly available. They believe that it may prove a valuable resource in the event of future viral outbreaks.

Our bigger ambition is to assemble a toolbox of BSAAs for the treatment of emerging and re-emerging viral infections. This toolbox can be offered to the [World Health Organization] as a means for the fast identification of safe and effective antiviral options.

Study co-author Aleksandr Ianevski et al.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Duo of antiviral drugs strongly inhibits SARS-CoV-2 in the lab - Medical News Today

The science behind why this is the safest way to breathe to avoid coronavirus – oregonlive.com

By Louis J. Ignarro, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Molecular & Medical Pharmacology, UCLA School of Medicine

Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Its not just something you do in yoga class breathing this way actually provides a powerful medical benefit that can help the body fight viral infections.

The reason is that your nasal cavities produce the molecule nitric oxide, which chemists abbreviate NO, that increases blood flow through the lungs and boosts oxygen levels in the blood.

Breathing in through the nose delivers NO directly into the lungs, where it helps fight coronavirus infection by blocking the replication of the coronavirus in the lungs. But many people who exercise or engage in yoga also receive the benefits of inhaling through the nose instead of the mouth. The higher oxygen saturation of the blood can make one feel more refreshed and provides greater endurance.

I am one of three pharmacologists who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 for discovering how nitric oxide is produced in the body and how it works.

The role of nitric oxide in the body

Nitric oxide is a widespread signaling molecule that triggers many different physiological effects. It is also used clinically as a gas to selectively dilate the pulmonary arteries in newborns with pulmonary hypertension. Unlike most signaling molecules, NO is a gas in its natural state.

NO is produced continuously by the 1 trillion cells that form the inner lining, or endothelium, of the 100,000 miles of arteries and veins in our bodies, especially the lungs. Endothelium-derived NO acts to relax the smooth muscle of the arteries to prevent high blood pressure and to promote blood flow to all organs. Another vital role of NO is to prevent blood clots in normal arteries.

In addition to relaxing vascular smooth muscle, NO also relaxes smooth muscle in the airways trachea and bronchioles making it easier to breathe. Another type of NO-mediated smooth muscle relaxation occurs in the erectile tissue (corpus cavernosum), which results in penile erection. In fact, NO is the principal mediator of penile erection and sexual arousal. This discovery led to the development and marketing of sildenafil, trade name Viagra, which works by enhancing the action of NO.

Other types of cells in the body, including circulating white blood cells and tissue macrophages, produce nitric oxide for antimicrobial purposes. The NO in these cells reacts with other molecules, also produced by the same cells, to form antimicrobial agents to destroy invading microorganisms including bacteria, parasites and viruses. As you can see, NO is quite an amazing molecule.

Nitric oxide gas as an inhaled therapy

Since NO is a gas, it can be administered with the aid of specialized devices as a therapy to patients by inhalation. Inhaled NO is used to treat infants born with persistent pulmonary hypertension, a condition in which constricted pulmonary arteries limit blood flow and oxygen harvesting.

Inhaled NO dilates the constricted pulmonary arteries and increases blood flow in the lungs. As a result, the red blood cell hemoglobin can extract more lifesaving oxygen and move it into the general circulation. Inhaled NO has literally turned blue babies pink and allowed them to be cured and to go home with mom and dad. Before the advent of inhaled NO, most of these babies died.

Inhaled NO is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Researchers are hoping that three principal actions of NO may help fight covid: dilating the pulmonary arteries and increasing blood flow through the lungs, dilating the airways and increasing oxygen delivery to the lungs and blood, and directly killing and inhibiting the growth and spread of the coronavirus in the lungs.

How nitric oxide kills viruses

In an in vitro study done in 2004 during the last SARS outbreak, experimental compounds that release NO increased the survival rate of nucleus-containing mammalian cells infected with SARS-CoV. This suggested that NO had a direct antiviral effect. In this study, NO significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS-CoV by blocking production of viral proteins and its genetic material, RNA.

In a small clinical study in 2004, inhaled NO was effective against SARS-CoV in severely ill patients with pneumonia.

The SARS CoV, which caused the 2003/2004 outbreak, shares most of its genome with SARS CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. This suggests that inhaled NO therapy may be effective for treating patients with COVID-19. Indeed, several clinical trials of inhaled NO in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19, who require ventilators, are currently ongoing in several institutions. The hope is that inhaled NO will prove to be an effective therapy and lessen the need for ventilators and beds in the ICU.

The sinuses in the nasal cavity, but not the mouth, continuously produce NO. The NO produced in the nasal cavity is chemically identical to the NO that is used clinically by inhalation. So by inhaling through the nose, you are delivering NO directly into your lungs, where it increases both airflow and blood flow and keeps microorganisms and virus particles in check.

While anxiously awaiting the results of the clinical trials with inhaled NO, and the development of an effective vaccine against COVID-19, we should be on guard and practice breathing properly to maximize the inhalation of nitric oxide into our lungs. Remember to inhale through your nose; exhale through your mouth.


The science behind why this is the safest way to breathe to avoid coronavirus - oregonlive.com

Blood Type and COVID-19 Risk – Everyday Health

One of the goals of COVID-19 research is understanding why some people develop mild or moderate cases while others experience life-threatening illness. Researchers have made progress in understanding some of the factors that make a difference, including obesity and underlying health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Recently, an ongoing study by European scientists has suggested one more potential factor to consider: blood type. Preliminary results of this investigation (which have not yet been peer reviewed) were shared on June 2 on the preprint service MedRxiv.

The researchers scrutinized blood samples from 1,610 hospitalized patients in Italy and Spain with the disease, as well as a 2,205 healthy people in a control group. Their analysis identified variations at two distinct areas on the genome (the complete set of human DNA, including all genes) that were associated with greater risk for severe reactions toSARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including respiratory failure.

One of these areas on the genome is related to blood types. The researchers found that type A blood was associated with a 50 percent increase in risk that a patient would become extremely ill with COVID-19 and need supplemental oxygen or a ventilator.

This conclusion supports findings from early research done in China, which appeared March 27 in MedRxiv. This gave the researchers more confidence in the associations, says study coauthor Andre Franke, PhD, professor of molecular medicine at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel, Germany.

Researchers on another ongoing study, by genetic testing firm 23andMe, released preliminary data on June 8 suggesting that type O blood is protective against COVID-19. The researchers found that people with type O blood are between 9 and 18 percent less likely to test positive for COVID-19 than other blood types.

The 23andMe study is still recruiting subjects, but already has 750,000 participants and is likely to come out with more data regarding genetic associations and COVID-19.

RELATED: The New Normal: What We Know About the Coronavirus So Far and How We Got Here

Dr. Franke hopes to build on the findings about type A blood withmore targeted research, he says, especially because there are 36 known human blood groups. In addition to the four main types A, B, AB, and O there is also a deeper classification system that includes different combinations of antigens (molecules on the surface of every red blood cell) and other substances.

There are other types of diseases where blood types and blood groups affect a persons susceptibility. For example, people who lack a specific type of antigen, called a Duffy antigen, have a higher resistance to malaria.

In terms of why a variant like the gene related to blood type would have significance for COVID-19, Franke says there are three possible hypotheses.

One is that the genetic variant itself contributes to the so-called cytokine storm, in which a persons immune system goes into overdrive in response to the novel coronavirus threat, releasing large amounts of pro-inflammatory substances called cytokines. An excess of cytokines can damage healthy tissues.

The second hypothesis is that the genetic variant causes more coagulation (blood clotting) in response to the coronavirus an already observed result of disease progression.

The third theory is that both of these reactions are occurring simultaneously.

There may be other issues at play here, but given the way we know COVID-19 works, these seem the most likely reasons, Franke says. Next steps are to dig deeper into the blood groups system and see if we can pinpoint actual disease causes.

RELATED: What People With Heart Disease Need to Know About COVID-19

What should you do in response to these studies, considering you can't change your blood type? Nothing yet. Theres no need to get to a doctor if youre type A, and on the flip side, theres no reason to relax your precautions against coronavirus transmission like social distancing and hand-washing if youre type O.

Keep in mind these are preliminary results and more research needs to be done to understand how genetic variations truly affect COVID-19.

More than anything, its a nod toward how much we have left to learn about the way this virus operates, and how genetic variants may affect why some people end up in the ICU and others have milder symptoms or even none at all, says Priya Duggal, PhD, director of the genetic epidemiology program at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

If we can find genes that may explain some of the risk or protection from this infection, it will give us insight into the mechanism of disease, she says.

If genetics studies help us better understand how COVID-19 affects the body, they may eventually help lead to treatments.

This genetic study is hopefully the first of many that will help us to elucidate disease mechanism, susceptibility to infection, and maybe even antibody response, says Dr. Duggal. That could provide potential targets for therapeutics. We have a lot to learn from this point, but were gaining more insight with every study.

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Blood Type and COVID-19 Risk - Everyday Health

FoundationOneCDx Receives FDA Approval as the First Companion Diagnostic to Identify Advanced Cancer Patients with Solid Tumors that are Tumor…

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Foundation Medicine, Inc., today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved FoundationOneCDx as a companion diagnostic for KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Mercks anti-PD-1 therapy, which was also approved under accelerated approval for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic tumor mutational burden-high (TMB-H) [10 mutations/megabase (mut/Mb)] solid tumors, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. FoundationOne CDx is the first and only FDA-approved companion diagnostic to measure TMB and help identify patients who may be appropriate for treatment with KEYTRUDA, regardless of solid tumor type.

TMB is a measure of the number of somatic mutations per coding region within a tumors genome.1 This genomic signature can help determine a patients likelihood to respond to immunotherapies. FoundationOne CDx, Foundation Medicines comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) assay approved for all solid tumors, enables oncologists to identify TMB-H patients ( 10 mutations/megabase) with unresectable or metastatic solid tumors across all tumor types who could potentially benefit from KEYTRUDA.

Immunotherapy is revolutionizing cancer treatment. Not only does this approval mean that clinicians will be able to identify more patients who could benefit from this treatment option, but its an important milestone in the shift toward making biomarker-driven, tumor agnostic therapies available to patients, which is possible through an FDA-approved companion diagnostic, said Brian Alexander, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer at Foundation Medicine. Were proud to have been at the forefront of efforts to bring TMB from research into clinical practice in partnership with the oncology community. Its exciting to see this breakthrough translate into advanced care for patients.

FoundationOne CDx is the first FDA-approved CGP test that is clinically and analytically validated for all solid tumors and incorporates multiple companion diagnostic claims. It is currently approved as the companion diagnostic test for more than 20 therapies across multiple cancer types.

This approval represents a paradigm shift toward biomarker-driven cancer treatment. Its made possible in part by an unparalleled collaboration to better understand how TMB levels are measured and reported, said Jeff Allen, President and CEO of Friends of Cancer Research. TMB provides an additional tool to inform clinical care, especially for cancer patients previously ineligible for immunotherapy based on existing biomarkers.

Merck also announced today that the FDA approved its supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for KEYTRUDA, for adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic tumor mutational burden-high (TMB-H) solid tumors, as determined by an FDA-approved test, that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options. The accelerated approval was based on a prospectively planned and retrospective analysis of the KEYNOTE-158 open-label trial, which used a clinical trial assay (CTA) based on FoundationOne CDx to determine TMB status in patients tumor tissue. The results showed that patients with TMB-H in solid tumors ( 10 mutations/megabase) who were treated with KEYTRUDA had a higher overall response rate (29%) compared to patients with TMB <10 mut/Mb (6%).2

KEYTRUDA is an anti-PD-1 therapy that works by increasing the ability of the bodys immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells. KEYTRUDA is now approved for two pan-tumor indications. In 2017, KEYTRUDA was granted FDA approval as the first cancer treatment based on a genomic signature, regardless of cancer type, in microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) solid tumors. More information about KEYTRUDA can be found at http://www.keytruda.com.

About FoundationOne CDx

FoundationOne CDx is a next-generation sequencing based in vitro diagnostic device for detection of substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations (indels), and copy number alterations (CNAs) in 324 genes and select gene rearrangements, as well as genomic signatures including microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutational burden (TMB) using DNA isolated from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tumor tissue specimens. FoundationOne CDx is for prescription use only and is intended as a companion diagnostic to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with certain targeted therapies in accordance with their approved therapeutic product labeling. Additionally, FoundationOne CDx is intended to provide tumor mutation profiling to be used by qualified health care professionals in accordance with professional guidelines in oncology for patients with solid malignant neoplasms. Use of the test does not guarantee a patient will be matched to a treatment. A negative result does not rule out the presence of an alteration. Some patients may require a biopsy. For a full list of targeted therapies for which FoundationOne CDx is indicated as a companion diagnostic, please visit http://www.F1CDxLabel.com.

About TMB

Tumor mutational burden (TMB) is a measure of the total number of mutations per coding area of a tumor genome.3 TMB is an additional genomic signature, similar to a biomarker, that can help identify more candidates likely to benefit from immunotherapy across a range of tumor types. Levels are measured by the number of non-inherited mutations occurring per megabase (1 million DNA base pairs) of the tumor genome.4 TMB-H tumors may be more likely to respond to certain immunotherapies because their high number of mutations make them easier for the immune system to identify. Higher TMB levels are correlated with higher levels of neoantigens, which help the immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.5 TMB can be measured with both tissue and blood-based comprehensive genomic tests.

About Foundation Medicine

Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient's unique cancer. The company offers a full suite of comprehensive genomic profiling assays to identify the molecular alterations in a patients cancer and match them with relevant targeted therapies, immunotherapies and clinical trials. Foundation Medicines molecular information platform aims to improve day-to-day care for patients by serving the needs of clinicians, academic researchers and drug developers to help advance the science of molecular medicine in cancer. For more information, please visit http://www.FoundationMedicine.com or follow Foundation Medicine on Twitter (@FoundationATCG).

Foundation Medicine and FoundationOne are registered trademarks of Foundation Medicine, Inc.

KEYTRUDA is a registered trademark of Merck.

Source: Foundation Medicine

1 NCI Cancer Dictionary. Tumor Mutational Burden. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/795825. Accessed March 5, 2020.2 Marabelle et al. Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v475-v532. 10.1093/annonc/mdz253)3 NCI Cancer Dictionary. Tumor Mutational Burden. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/795825. Accessed March 5, 2020.4 NCI Cancer Dictionary. Tumor Mutational Burden. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/795825. Accessed March 5, 2020.5 NCI Cancer Dictionary. Tumor Mutational Burden. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/795825. Accessed March 5, 2020.

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FoundationOneCDx Receives FDA Approval as the First Companion Diagnostic to Identify Advanced Cancer Patients with Solid Tumors that are Tumor...

Three UMass Medical School researchers are studying ways to stop, treat and protect against COVID-19, as the disease continues to kill worldwide -…

A trio of researchers at UMass Medical School in Worcester are attacking the coronavirus pandemic from three different angles, as part of a $17-million Massachusetts effort to help the world combat the disease which has killed more than 400,000 people globally.

Dr. Jeffrey Luban, a professor of molecular medicine at UMass Medical School

The researchers Dr. Robert Finberg, Dr. Ann Moormann, and Dr. Jeffrey Luban are studying ways to treat COVID-19, understand how it spreads, how people can be immune from its effects, and how herd immunity can be achieved.

We would like to know a little bit more about exactly how the virus causes the damage that it does, Finberg said.

The three UMass Medical School researchers are part of the Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness, known as MassCPR, which is a statewide initiative including scientists and clinicians from Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston University, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts, and local biomedical research institutes.

MassCPR is working to develop the infrastructure to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It was created through a research agreement between Harvard and the Evergrande Group in China, which is sharing financial support equally between Massachusetts research and researchers at the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health in China. The funding is for five years.

MassCPR has obtained roughly $16.5 million to support and fund this first round of initiatives and projects. After receiving more than 400 applications for funding in March, MassCPR chose more than 60 applicants to receive funding, including the three at UMass.

This was obviously a very stiff competition, so anyone who actually received funding had an amazing application, said Professor David Golan from Harvard Medical School, one of the faculty co-leads of MassCPR.

According to UMass Medical School, projects selected were for their potential to influence clinical outcomes within the next 12 months. Luban, for example, a professor of molecular medicine at UMass Medical School, is researching the virologic mechanisms of COVID-19, attempting to discover what makes it unique. He aims to precisely understand infectiousness of coronavirus with his research.

Finberg, chair of the UMass Department of Medicine, is researching how to identify and target host cells and genes crucial in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. His background in studying respiratory viruses makes researching COVID-19 a natural shift.

Dr. Robert Finberg, chair of the UMass Medical School Department of Medicine

The questions I was interested in are one, whether we can find a drug to treat the virus and the other was to find out exactly what cells the virus infects and what kind of cells respond to the virus, Finberg said in a phone interview.

His project funded by MassCPR focuses on specifically these two parts, how disease is caused and if there could be a viral treatment. Finberg does this through studying human samples.

Infectious disease can be defined in what cells the virus infects and what the host response is both cause disease, said Finberg.

Other than looking at the possibility of an antiviral agent to treat COVID-19 and how exactly the disease is caused, he is trying to understand how the virus works inside the body.

Part of Dr. Finbergs research has to do with finding so-called host targets that could be potentially drug targets that could help to prevent the infection of cells by the coronavirus, said Golan.

Moormann, a professor at UMass Medical School who focuses on infectious diseases and immunology, is looking into one of the most popular current research topics in relation to COVID-19, functional antibodies, which help the body fight off the disease.

Dr. Ann Moormann, a professor at UMass Medical School

Her study measures the spectrum of functional antibodies, how long these antibodies last for, and how they differ in people of different ages. Antibodies indicate past infections.

Part of the research I have funded is to look at the question of how long do the immunities to the virus that causes COVID-19 last, said Moormann.

Though looking at human samples to see how many antibodies currently exist in a person is part of this project, her research has a more longitudinal element where she looks at how the antibodies change over months, getting samples three, six, and nine months after the initial sample.

You can have an immune response that only protects you for a certain period of time, and it might be because your immune response doesnt become a memory response but it helps clear the infection We dont know how long [COVID-19 antibodies] last, said Moormann.

Moormann gets samples from patients who have recovered from coronavirus but also from people who were not diagnosed. She recruits study participants that are healthy and that are patients. She then tests to see whether or not the individual has antibodies.

Participants can choose to give a sample once, or, for those who want to be in the longitudinal part of the study, choose to come back in the following months to give more samples.

I want to look beyond [a few months]. Like in six months, in nine months, do you still have antibodies? Are you still protected? Moorman said.

Her research is a necessary part of understanding if and how herd immunity can be achieved to stop the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moormanns research is one of the very hottest topics right now in thinking about the pandemic, Golan said.

Its incredibly important for two reasons. One is when people get coronavirus infections, they develop the antibodies and its a question whether those antibodies protect you against another infection of coronavirus, said Golan.

Each of these doctors research projects aims to understand COVID-19 better so they are able to correctly fight against it which is why they obtained crucial funding from MassCPR.

MassCPR has been able to create a community of researchers and scientists in Massachusetts that have come together to better understand and control coronavirus. Golan said the collaboration and sharing of data between researchers is a key part of MassCPR and is already leading to important findings.

One thing that has been hugely highlighted by this pandemic is that we werent too well prepared for it, Golan said. Its our obligation to the next generation to be ready for the next one in a better way.

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Three UMass Medical School researchers are studying ways to stop, treat and protect against COVID-19, as the disease continues to kill worldwide -...

Here’s what you need to know about asymptomatic transmission and COVID-19 – The Dallas Morning News

The World Health Organization caused widespread confusion and drew sharp criticism from health experts after one of its officials said recently that asymptomatic transmission of the novel coronavirus was very rare then walked back the remarks the next day.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHOs technical lead on COVID-19, had said nations that have conducted contract tracing studies are not finding secondary transmission onward [from asymptomatic cases]. Its very rare, The Washington Post reported.

She later clarified the comments during a live Q&A, saying that she had been referring to a small number of unpublished studies when she answered a reporters question and was not stating the policy of WHO, adding that much more research is needed.

So where do health experts stand on asymptomatic transmission? Heres what you need to know.

Health experts dont know for sure how many people have COVID-19 but dont show symptoms. But they have come up with estimates using models and available data.

In the Q&A, Van Kerkhove said WHO estimates that 6% to 41% of patients are asymptomatic, with a point estimate a single value given as an estimate of a parameter of a population of 16%.

But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put its estimates somewhat higher. Based on data available before May 1, the CDC estimates 35% of cases may be asymptomatic, which is a 10% jump from the 25% estimate CDC Director Robert Redfield floated in March.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the countrys top infectious diseases expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has given estimates closer to the CDCs numbers. He told ABCs Good Morning America that the number may be between 25% and 45%.

Other studies have found estimates within the CDCs range: A review paper published in early June in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that between 40% and 45% of patients dont have symptoms but noted that the data used to conduct the review had limitations.

Health experts say its hard to know for sure how many people are asymptomatic because many arent likely to get tested if they arent feeling sick. Individuals who contract the virus but dont show symptoms are more likely to be younger people with no underlying health conditions, health experts have said. And if their only symptoms are mild, such as feeling more tired than usual, they probably wont attribute them to COVID-19.

WHO health experts said its more important to focus on symptomatic cases first to slow the spread because most known transmissions have happened when people show symptoms, and because many nations still dont have the widespread testing capabilities needed to identify asymptomatic cases.

We have to focus our testing on those who we need to test most: health workers, people in long-term care facilities, people who are clinically unwell with the disease, said Mike Ryan, executive director of WHOs Health Emergencies Programme. I think there is much to be answered on this, there is much that is unknown. But we know enough to support the strategies that have already been put in place and continue with those strategies.

Its possible a person who isnt showing symptoms isnt passing the virus on to others, health experts say.

Besides the question of how many infected patients are asymptomatic, researchers are also trying to figure out what proportion of asymptomatic patients go on to make others sick.

Whatever proportion of the disease is transmitting from asymptomatic individuals, that is unknown, Ryan said. And that is occurring, Im absolutely convinced that that is occurring. The question is how much?

In guidance posted on its website earlier this month about the use of face masks, WHO states that evidence indicates that asymptomatically infected individuals are much less likely to transmit the virus than those who develop symptoms.

But other estimates indicate its much more common the CDC estimates that about 40% of transmissions occur before people show symptoms.

One study published in Nature Medicine in mid-April found that 44% of patients are infected by people who didnt have symptoms. And The New York Times previously reported that researchers in Hong Kong found that between 20% and 40% of infections in China may have happened before symptoms appeared.

The Annals of Internal Medicine paper found that based on patients in Iceland, Indiana and Italy, the rate of asymptomatic transmission could be as high as 45%. But the authors of that paper said that the data used in the paper are imperfect in many ways and that an ideal study of asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection has yet to be done.

We simply dont know how much asymptomatic transmission happens, Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine at Scripps Research and one author of the study, told The Washington Post. Sometimes its important to just say that.

Health experts say its important to note that some definitions of asymptomatic include people who are pre-symptomatic or who dont show symptoms initially but later get sick.

The CDCs estimate, which says 35% of people may be asymptomatic, includes individuals who are pre-symptomatic, and the CDC has said people may be able to transmit the disease up to 48 hours before they begin showing symptoms. Some studies also include pre-symptomatic cases when estimating asymptomatic rates.

Van Kerkhove previously told ProPublica that the WHO has found few truly asymptomatic cases, or people who never show any symptoms throughout the course of the illness.

But some health experts say differentiating between the two only creates more confusion.

Its debating semantics because in a practical sense, there is no difference between people who simply havent developed symptoms yet and are infecting others, and those who are truly asymptomatic, Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco, told The Washington Post. It looks the same in the early stages.

Ultimately, health experts say the most important thing for the public to know isnt the specific numbers. People need to understand that asymptomatic transmission does happen and that its important to take precautions as if you and those around you may be infected.

You can be vertical and feel 100% or virtually 100% and going about your daily business and unaware that youre infected and perfectly capable of transmitting the virus, Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and CDC adviser, told CNN. How do we inhibit transmission of the virus by these people who are doing their full range of normal activities? The answer is social distancing and wearing masks and good hand hygiene and stay away from crowds. Thats the formula.


Here's what you need to know about asymptomatic transmission and COVID-19 - The Dallas Morning News