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4 May 2020 - The Medical Research Council (MRC) and independent medical research charity LifeArc are making £16m available to establish a network of centres that will offer clinical grade viral vectors, and translational and regulatory guidance to support academic-led patient trials of new gene therapies. Operating as centrally coordinated facilities, these “Gene Therapy Innovation Hubs” aim to address challenges faced by academics as they seek to progress novel gene therapy research into early stage clinical trials. These challenges include a shortage of viral vector production capacity and a complex and evolving translational pathway for gene therapies. LifeArc and the MRC will create the network by providing UK-based research organisations with grants for up to 5 years. The grants are d…
Glasgow, Scotland, 30th April 2020: A UK-based biotechnology firm has announced the discovery of two separate novel treatments for Covid-19 patients before they are put on ventilators.  They are now urgently seeking funding of £4m to accelerate safety studies and clinical trials. ILC Therapeutics has patented a new Interferon-Alpha subtype, called Interferon Alpha 14, which can be administered to patients through injection or inhalation. This natural human molecule treatment could prevent Covid-19 induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), which would mean that a considerable number of patients may no longer need to be on a ventilator. Interferon Alpha 14 is the most potent antiviral interferon that exists and requires very small doses for treatment. It could also treat Covid-19 b…
University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain. Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. Now, the team are looking for people with bone, joint and muscle pain to take part in a 12-week online survey to see how they are coping at this difficult time of coronavirus self-isolation. The study is being led by Dr Toby Smith, from UEA’s School of Health Sciences, and Prof Alex MacGregor, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School. Dr Smith said: “Bone, joint and muscle pain is a major cause of disability for pe…
-       Novel Carbohydrate Binding Modules (mCBMs) block entry into airway cells for a range of viruses causing respiratory tract infections -       Results show Pneumagen’s mCBMs demonstrate activity against coronaviruses   28th April 2020 – St Andrews, Scotland – Pneumagen Ltd, a University of St Andrews spinout, focused on treating infectious disease and oncology by targeting the human glycome, today announced results from three separate in vitro studies into preventing coronavirus infections including SARS-CoV-2 infection the cause of COVID-19 using Neumifil™ and other first-in-class multivalent Carbohydrate Binding Modules (mCBMs), generated using its proprietary GlycoTarge™ platform. Working closely with Public Health England’s Porton facility, and separately the University of Glasgo…
Construction of the UK’s New Vaccines Centre by Glencar Construction Starts Well Ahead of Schedule as Timelines are Fast Tracked Due to Covid-19 Harwell, Oxfordshire: Work has begun ahead of schedule to build the highly specialist facility that will house the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC). VMIC, a not for profit organisation, will provide the country’s first bespoke strategic vaccine development and manufacturing capability. A rapidly accelerated programme will aim to see the 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft - footprint) state-of-the-art facility opening its doors in 2021, ahead of the original scheduled date in 2022. VMIC was established by University of Oxford, Imperial College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with support from industrial partners, Merck Sha…
Cambridge and Israeli scientists create a revolutionary air filter to capture and destroy coronavirus particles. A team of scientists and engineers from Cambridge, UK and Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Israel, have developed a revolutionary new carbon-based material that captures and destroys an animal coronavirus, a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The Active Virus Filter in the form of a thin carbon nanotube mat (TorStranTM) has the filtration and air permeability properties which allow it to capture free virus molecules and those contained in airborne aerosolised droplets. Both filtration and virus disruption take place at the same time allowing the filter to reduce the risk of infection by removing contamination from the air. We envisage it being particularly useful in c…
Responding to the government’s promise of more tests in the care sector, Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:“The offer of more tests for social care staff is desperately needed as this sector has been suffering in silence during this pandemic. But it comes as health leaders across primary, community and mental health services are continuing to experience difficulties with getting their staff the tests they need to get back to work despite similar promises being made by Government.“Things are improving but the country’s testing capacity is far from where it needs to be to meet the ambition of 100,000 a day in just over two weeks – that’s over 85,000 more tests a day than what is happening now.“We need absolute…
London, 14 April 2020 - Atos, a global leader in digital transformation, today reveals that one of the most advanced supercomputers in the world, the powerful BullSequana X1000 installed at The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre, is providing supercomputing power to assist in global computational drug discovery efforts to help combat COVID-19. The Hartree Centre team is working closely with Washington University School of Medicine who lead the Folding@home project, which allows a global community of contributors to lend unused background capacity on their personal computers to power simulations of target drug interactions. While there is plenty of compute power[1] available to run these simulations, creating the drug structures to be simulated uses complex and…
Responding to yesterday's Downing Street press briefing, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents organisations across the healthcare sector, said:"This is so important because frontline charities play a crucial role in supporting the NHS.“Hospices in particular are on the front line – lifeline support for them is a such a relief as they are a vital part of our healthcare system. “However, we are still worried about the fragile state of social care on which a lot of this NHS effort depends.“Extra funding for local government on top of what has already been announced, as well as extra help for private social care providers, may not sound like a priority for the NHS but health leaders tell us that it is. Every penny spent on social care and on community healt…
Researchers at the University of East Anglia are launching a new project to track the health of the nation during lockdown, and they are looking for volunteers to take part. They will monitor and track how lifestyle behaviours change as a result of the lockdown and how this affects our physical and mental health. This will be investigated against the backdrop of social and policy changes - including the lifting or tightening of lockdown measures, as the pandemic unfolds. The research will take the form of an online survey – with questions on a range of lifestyle behaviours including physical activity, diet, sleep, smoking, drinking, and drug use. The research team plan to publish their findings in a rapid response format to inform current decision making, as well as future pandemic respons…
MENLO PARK, CA (April 7, 2020) - The precision diagnostics company BillionToOne today announced a significant development in the struggle against the COVID-19 pandemic. BillionToOne has developed a highly accurate and cost-effective novel COVID-19 test protocol, unlocking the capacity to perform 1+ million tests per day in the United States alone. Test reagents will be available in 2 weeks, pending the manufacture of the kits and an EUA being awarded by the FDA. "We've all seen the impact this pandemic has had on every aspect of our daily lives," Dr Oguzhan Atay, the CEO of BillionToOne, said. "From the loss of lives and the damage to the economy to the strain on the healthcare system, this coronavirus has delivered a crippling blow to the country. We're honoured to be on the front line of…
PARIS and TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – March 30, 2020 – The first patient outside of the U.S. has been treated as part of a global clinical program evaluating Kevzara® (sarilumab) in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. The global clinical program has now been initiated in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Russia and the United States – all countries that have been impacted by COVID-19. This is the second multi-center, double-blind, Phase 2/3 trial as part of the Kevzara COVID-19 program, and the companies are continuing to work with health authorities around the world to secure initiation at additional sites. This follows Sanofi and Regeneron’s announcement earlier this month of the initiation of the first trial, which is U.S.-based. “Sanofi and Regeneron are relentlessly working to rapi…
A new Phone App has been designed by doctors and scientists at UK's King's College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals in partnership with health data science company ZOE, to help track COVID-19 symptoms in the UK. Using a 1-minute survey, the Covid Symptom Tracker App will help experts understand who is most at risk of disease, and in what areas, who is at risk and potentially how fast it is spreading. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or the Apple App store. A US version is promised from 26th March
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have launched a project to 3D print ventilator parts, masks and other critical equipment to battle the Covid-19 virus. They are working with the tech community to access 3D printers, as well people with the necessary skills to work at pace to design and make equipment. They are also collaborating with healthcare providers to understand their needs, and hope to mobilise similar projects at other universities nationally and globally. Project lead Dr Aram Saeed, from UEA’s School of Pharmacy, said: “It is absolutely vital that universities join forces with healthcare providers and businesses to find creative solutions to fight Covid-19. “We need shortcuts to speed up the process of designing and developing key ventilator parts, and we hope to conne…
PharmiWeb Ltd, owners of Europe's largest Pharma Job Board, are pleased to announce that they have launched their latest job board for Pharma and Life Science Jobs in Australasia. The new job board will focus on the Pharma, Life Sciences & Medical Devices sector in Australasia and will give the region's job seekers a new dedicated website for their job hunting.    The site is built upon on the well-established Madgex job board platform already used by many major organisations globally, and ensures it will be continually updated with new technological advances such as AI and machine learning and new features that will help candidates find the best jobs and recruiters find the best candidates. For life science candidates, it provides the perfect platform to help them with their career de…
London, United Kingdom, Tuesday 10 March - George Health, a profit-for-purpose company, today announces £27 million / $35 million of new financing to accelerate the commercialisation of affordable drug treatments and technologies for some of the world’s biggest killers. This funding round was led by Bupa Australia, Federation Asset Management and the Australian Government-backed Medical Research Commercialisation Fund Biomedical Translation Fund (MRCF BTF), managed by Brandon Capital Partners. The investments are set to fast-track the growth of George Health Enterprises, the commercial arm of the world-leading George Institute for Global Health, and George Medicines, its late-stage drug development company. George Health Enterprises will receive almost £17 million from Federation Asset Man…
– Gilead Gains Forty Seven’s Investigational Immuno-Oncology Therapy in Multiple Clinical Studies for Diseases Including Myelodysplastic Syndrome, Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma – – Transaction Supports Gilead’s Strategic Focus in Oncology and Gives Access to Potential New First-in-Class Program and Innovative Pipeline – FOSTER CITY, Calif. & MENLO PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Forty Seven, Inc. (Nasdaq: FTSV) announced today that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire Forty Seven for $95.50 per share in cash. The transaction, which values Forty Seven at approximately $4.9 billion, was unanimously approved by both the Gilead and Forty Seven Boards of Directors and…
CROMSOURCE announced today the achievement of a significant milestone in the digital management of clinical research projects for their clients. In February 2020 CROMSOURCE initiated the 1000th trial to be managed within the advanced TheClinical digital environment. TheClinical, developed by Techorizon, consists of customisable, integrated modules dedicated to the efficient digital management of every aspect of clinical research and development projects. ‘Digitalisation is a key foundation of our working philosophy, and has been a significant source of our investment for many years’, commented CROMSOURCE CEO, Dr. Oriana Zerbini. ‘Our adoption and development of digital technologies provides our clients with benefits in efficiency, quality and visibility on their projects.’ ‘Our clients typ…
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization’s (CSIRO) Melbourne-based factory has begun production of a test dose for a potential novel vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19). This comes at a pressing time, as there have been more than 82,000 diagnosed cases and more than 2,700 deaths reported worldwide due to COVID-19**, according to GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Technology.  Kajal Jaddoo, Healthcare Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Researchers from the University of Queensland developed this test vaccine in six weeks using world-first molecular clamp technology. Animal testing of the vaccine is set to begin. “While the development of vaccines is time consuming, this first test dose is in production, which shows incredible progress by the researchers. Using a DNA blueprint…
Developing drugs to treat rare diseases is fraught with challenges; these range from trying to recruit from tiny patient populations to fill much-need clinical trials to the complex reimbursement landscape for these innovative, and often bespoke, therapies. GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Technology writer Allie Nawrat looks at three case studies of companies on the verge of having treatments for largely ignored rare diseases approved. Restoring DNA repair functionality to cells: Rocket’s Fanconi gene therapy Nawrat Says: “Fanconi anaemia (FA) is a rare paediatric inherited disease caused by a mutation in the FANC genes. Patients with Fanconi experience bone marrow failure as they are unable to create new blood cells. “Rocket wants to change this situation with its lentiviral vector gene the…