Wednesday, July 15, 2015
To further strengthen the nation’s infectious disease response capability, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has selected nine health departments and associated partner hospitals to become special regional treatment centers for patients with Ebola or other severe, highly infectious diseases.
Juniper Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics that address unmet medical needs in women’s health, has created a scientific advisory board (SAB) comprised of international physicians and scientists whose mission will be to provide scientific and clinical advice on the identification and advancement of product candidates for Juniper’s women’s health portfolio.
The ALS Association, Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Neurological Clinical Research Institute are collaborating with GlaxoSmithKline on a clinical trial to evaluate the potential of an anti-epileptic drug in ALS patients. In parallel testing, brain cells will be made from each patient’s stem cells to see if they can predict which patients might respond to the medicine.
A newly created team of experts in precision medicine and large clinical research studies will seek public input from the large and diverse stakeholder community interested in the development of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative and articulate the vision for building the national participant group for the Initiative. They will help define what can be learned from a study of this scale and scope, what issues will need to be addressed and considered as part of the study design and what success would look like five and 10 years out.
The NIH has selected three new proof-of-concept hubs to help speed the translation of basic biomedical discoveries into commercial products, such as new drugs, devices and diagnostics, to improve patient care and enhance health. The hubs are part of the NIH-supported Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) program and will be funded $9 million over three years.
Apple has taken a key step this month toward helping to improve patient recruitment for medical studies with ResearchKit, a new iPhone-based medical software platform researchers can use to design and administer app-based observational studies. ResearchKit will help both doctors and researchers gather patient data frequently and more accurately track disease signs using sensors that are on the iPhone.
The Medicines Company has completed its acquisition of all of the outstanding equity of Annovation Biopharma, a company focused on creating more effective, safer therapies for anesthesia and critical care. Based on technology licensed from Massachusetts General Hospital, Annovation is developing ABP-700, a novel intravenous anesthetic which in phase I clinical studies has demonstrated potent and rapidly reversible anesthetic effects.
Infraredx, a Burlington, Mass.-based cardiovascular imaging company, is collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and coronary imaging researcher Gary Tearney, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School, Mike and Sue Hazard Family MGH Research Scholar and founder of the Tearney Lab at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at MGH. The multi-year collaboration will focus on research and development of new and combination technologies that aim to provide enhanced information about coronary disease in patients.
The ALS Association, a national nonprofit organization based in Wash. D.C., has awarded $326,662 in research funds to expand ongoing natural history studies in order to further understand the most common genetic cause of ALS, in preparation for clinical trials in those whose disease is affected by this gene.