Administration could begin Wednesday for Merck's investigative Ebola vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo, health officials said. The effort will seek to reach health care workers and people who have been in contact with those with confirmed cases.
Labs should use reflex testing algorithms to assess thyroid function in high-risk pregnant patients and should make sure the algorithms use appropriate tests, methods and reference intervals. "In the absence of universal screening recommendations, laboratories should outline carefully defined screening parameters to guide clinicians in determining when it is appropriate to screen for thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy," write Alison Woodworth, medical director of the core clinical laboratory and point-of-care testing at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, and Erin Schuler, clinical chemistry fellow at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.
Chronic hepatitis B patients died, on average, 14 years younger than the general US population and had higher rates of death from all causes, according to a study in Clinical Infectious Diseases. Researchers said the findings "strongly support hepatitis B elimination as a national public health goal."
A study in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis found that five of 15 patients with both hepatitis B and hepatitis C and compensated liver cirrhosis experienced HBV virological reactivation after treatment with direct-acting antivirals.
An experimental form of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell gene therapy developed by China's Nanjing Legend Biotech is expected to begin trials in the US this month. Legend is being backed by Johnson & Johnson, which provided $350 million in funding in exchange for co-development and marketing rights.
The FDA has granted Siemens Healthineers clearance to market its Atellica IM BRAHMS PCT Assay for sepsis evaluation, mortality risk assignment and antibiotic therapy decision-making in intensive care units and emergency departments.
University of Texas at Austin researchers found that the Cas12a enzyme used with CRISPR technology had increased precision compared with the Cas9 enzyme and strongly discriminated against mismatches in most of the DNA target sequence despite its functionally irreversible binding, which suggests that Cas12a's bonds during R-loop formation are reversible. However, the findings in the journal Molecular Cell showed that Cas12a was blind to certain RNA and genomic target mispairings, said researcher Ilya Finkelstein.
The health ministry of the Democratic Republic of Congo said 13 cases of Ebola virus infection have been confirmed, including three deaths. The ministry is investigating an additional 33 possible cases and is following over 875 people who may have had contact with people with the illness.
Epizyme ended its development of tazemetostat as monotherapy and in combination with prednisolone in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma because of the drug's lack of efficacy. The FDA in April put a partial clinical hold on the drug after a pediatric patient developed secondary lymphoma.
Bristol-Myers Squibb received approval from the European Commission for its Opdivo, or nivolumab, as an adjuvant treatment for adult patients with BRAF mutant or wild-type melanoma involving the lymph nodes or metastatic disease after complete resection. An ongoing late-stage trial showed that the 18-month recurrence-free survival rate of patients was 66.4% for Opdivo compared to 52.7% for Yervoy.