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OSAKA, Japan, Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (TSE: 4502) along with the support of Marvel Custom Solutions today announces the launch of four new Super Hero characters and the first chapter of a new graphic comic book at the popular London Comic Con, 28th - 30th October 2016. This first-of-its-kind global initiative -- IBD Unmasked -- has been designed to highlight both the daily battles and the remarkable strength of the unsung Super Heroes of the global inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community. Takeda is the first pharmaceutical company to partner with Marvel Custom Solutions on a disease awareness campaign raising awareness of health conditions. The new team of Super Heroes -- The Unbeatables -- were created by Marvel Custom Solutions with input from a panel of IBD patients from around the globe. The Super Heroes will appear in a new opening chapter of the IBD Unmasked graphic novel series available online at, where visitors can also create and share their own Super Hero avatar, take part in quizzes and download tips to help them talk to their doctor, family or friends about their condition. Comic Con visitors can view a live painting demo by a Marvel illustrator and meet Samarium, the first of the IBD Super Heroes. You can track what's going on via the campaign hashtag #IBDUnmasked. "Patients told us about the physical and emotional battles they face every day from living with IBD and particularly highlighted the isolating nature of this disease. Through working with Marvel Custom Solutions and our global panel of patient advisors, we were able to creatively bring these insights to life and create parallels between the strength, perseverance and positivity of comic book Super Heroes and those living with IBD," explained Elissa Johnsen, Head, Global Product & Pipeline Communications, Takeda. "At Takeda we believe that IBD Unmasked will continue to celebrate the strength that real-life IBD Super Heroes exhibit every day and go on to spark powerful conversations, transform perceptions, and ultimately improve understanding of the impact of these diseases." There are more than 5 million people worldwide who live with IBD, which includes the two most common types -- ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). For these people, everyday activities like getting together with friends and family or going to the cinema may be challenging. The condition affects people of all ages and diagnosis is most common in early adulthood. In a large European study of people living with IBD, 48 percent of respondents reported that their lives are significantly or somewhat impacted by IBD symptoms even between flare-ups, IBD prevented 35 percent of people from pursuing an intimate relationship and 26 percent reported that IBD has gotten in the way of making and keeping friends. "IBD Unmasked uses the medium of fantasy and fiction in an attempt to highlight the hidden reality and daily battles that people with IBD have to fight every day," said Dr. James Lindsay, consultant in Gastroenterology at Barts Health NHS Trust. "Feeling comfortable about discussing symptoms and their impact on your life is a crucial part of every consultation. Therefore, I encourage people with IBD to use the online IBD Unmasked resources to enhance consultations with their healthcare team so they can map out the best management plan for them." "Marvel Custom Solutions is excited to be part of this unique partnership with Takeda, which has given us the opportunity to collaborate with such a courageous group of patient advisors to bring to life our new IBD Unmasked Super Hero squad, The Unbeatables," said Darren Sanchez, Editor and Project Manager, Marvel Custom Solutions. "We strongly hope that our characters Luminaria, Switchback, Rubblerouser, Datawave and the inaugural Samarium, inspire the very brave, real-life warriors with IBD across the globe, to speak out and celebrate their strength." IBD Unmasked patient panel member, Seb Tucknott, comments "It has been a wonderful experience to be on the patient panel working with Marvel and Takeda to bring IBD experiences to life. What makes IBD Unmasked unique is its power to inspire people actually living with the condition, and in an imaginative way. IBD can be scary, but this campaign replaces fear with inspiration, empathy and humor -- helping real-life IBD Super Heroes fight their own IBD battles every day." Follow the Super Heroes story and conversation on the Twitter handle, @IBDunmasked, and via #IBDunmasked. To learn more about IBD and the IBD Unmasked initiative, visit Note: the site will direct visitors to appropriate site and language, based on their location. Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) are marked by inflammation in the GI tract. UC impacts the large intestine only, which includes the colon and the rectum. The most common symptoms of UC include abdominal discomfort and blood or pus in diarrhea. CD can impact any part of the digestive tract and common symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss, and fever.  There is no known cause for UC or CD, although many researchers believe that the interaction between genes, the body's immune system, and environmental factors play a role. The aim of UC and CD treatments is to induce and maintain remission, or achieve extended periods of time when patients do not experience symptoms. Takeda is a global leader in gastroenterology. With expertise spanning more than 25 years, the company's dedication to innovation continues to evolve and have a lasting impact. Beginning in the 1990's Takeda pioneered gastroenterological breakthroughs in proton pump inhibitors. Since that time, Takeda's global capabilities have expanded into the specialty care market in gastroenterology and biologics with a focus on ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Takeda's expertise also remains focused on therapeutic agents that work to reduce the production of acid in the stomach, and options for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and opioid-induced constipation. Through specialized and strategic in-house development, external partnerships, in-licensing and acquisitions, Takeda currently has a number of promising early stage GI assets in development, and remains committed to delivering innovative, therapeutic options for patients with gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Located in Osaka, Japan, Takeda TSE: 4502 is a research-based global company with its main focus on pharmaceuticals. As the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan and one of the global leaders of the industry, Takeda is committed to strive towards better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine. Additional information about Takeda is available through its corporate website,

News Article | February 15, 2017

The UK is increasing its domestic cybersecurity stance. Tuesday marked the official launch of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which aims to uncover new tactics to prevent and mitigate attacks at both the government and national level. "Our main purpose is to reduce the cyber security risk to the UK by improving its cyber security and cyber resilience," according to a report released Tuesday. "We recognise that, despite all our efforts to reduce risks and enhance security, incidents will happen. When they do, the NCSC will provide effective incident response to minimise harm to the UK, help with recovery and learn lessons for the future." The report outlines various technological advances and UK security efforts starting from the 1830s and culminating with the NCSC, which was announced in October 2016. "With a vision to help make the UK the safest place to live and do business online, the NCSC was set up as a bridge between industry and government, providing a unified source of advice, guidance and support on cyber security, including the management of cyber security incidents," according to the report. The NCSC's launch comes after the UK government recently experienced a number of high-profile security breaches, as reported by ZDNet, including a a Trojan malware attack on the UK's largest hospital group, Barts Health NHS Trust, and a ransomware attack at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust. Earlier this month, the Public Accounts Committee called the government's approach to cybersecurity "inconsistent, dysfunctional and chaotic," ZDNet reported. SEE: Rise of the 'accidental' cybersecurity professional The new organization will bring together and replace three existing cybersecurity groups: The Center for Cyber Assessment (CCA), Computer Emergency Response Team UK (CERT UK), and GESG (GCHQ's information security group). It will also include the cyber-related jobs of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI). "The NCSC will work together with UK organisations, businesses and individuals to provide authoritative and coherent cyber security advice and cyber incident management," the report stated. "This is underpinned by world-class research and innovation." The NCSC aims to manage cyber incidents as well as help citizens protect their machines before a security breach occurs. The strategy is to "use government as a guinea pig for all the measures we want to see done at national scale," said NCSC technical director Ian Levy in the report. According to the report, the NCSC is currently working on the following projects: Emails are the most common vehicle for cyber attacks, especially phishing attacks, the report said. The NCSC is working with the Government Digital Service on an email security standard using antispoofing technologies for the government that the public can use as an example. The NSCS is developing a service to track and promote the adoption of a service called WebCheck, which allows government organizations to create simple reports about vulnerabilities on internet domains they own to help mitigate them. The group will use government services to trial new identity and authentication techniques, and to promote research and development on these new methods. This program will help public sector organizations adopt new technologies, and share the results with the wider public. The NCSC will build a Domain Name System (DNS) service for the public sector, to protect their networks from attack and gain data insights to better understand the needs of public sector IT. The public sector DNS will launch in April 2017, and following that, the NCSC will discuss doing something similar for residential customers of internet service providers. "Our intent is that, by default, the UK public will be protected from things that would do them harm without their knowledge - with an easy opt-out if they so desire," the report stated. If a user has out-of-date software and visits, the site warns that they are susceptible to attack. The NCSC wants to take a similar approach to other popular UK websites to encourage more citizens to update their software. Working with UK company Netcraft, the NCSC aims to counter common attacks hosted in the UK IP space. Since June 2016, a total of 54,456 attacks have been blocked. When incidents do occur, the group will provide response and help with recovery. The NCSC will offer support 24/7 for these attacks. The NCSC has established a number of research initiatives to enhance cybersecurity technology, including those in K-12 schools, universities, and other academic institutions. The report also described future areas to address, including increasing threats from other states, quantum technologies, automation, Internet of Things (IoT), and smart cities. "While predicting the future is impossible, the NCSC is absolutely committed to using our expertise to track and forecast upcoming changes in the cyber landscape so that we can continue to safeguard people's lives and work online," the report stated.

News Article | December 13, 2016

An exciting X-ray imaging technology has been successfully developed to the point where it is now ready for translation into all kinds of beneficial applications, including potentially life-saving uses in security and healthcare. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), a major five-year project led by UCL (University College London) has achieved this breakthrough. The work also involved dozens of industrial, academic and research partners in the UK and worldwide. Compared with conventional X-rays, the technology can, for example, identify tumours in living tissue earlier and spot smaller cracks and defects in materials. This is because it excels at determining different shapes and different types of matter - a capability that conventional X-rays could only match by using prohibitively high doses of radiation. The technique at the heart of the advance is called phase-contrast X-ray imaging. Instead of measuring the extent to which tissue or materials absorb radiation - as in conventional X-ray imaging - it measures the physical effect that passing through different types of tissue or material has on the speed of the X-ray itself. Professor Alessandro Olivo, who led the project team, says: "The technique has been around for decades but it's been limited to large-scale synchrotron facilities such as Oxfordshire's Diamond Light Source. We've now advanced this embryonic technology to make it viable for day-to-day use in medicine, security applications, industrial production lines, materials science, non-destructive testing, the archaeology and heritage sector, and a whole range of other fields." This vast potential is already beginning to be explored. For example: Professor Olivo says: "This has the potential to be incredibly versatile, game-changing technology. We're currently negotiating with a number of companies to explore how it could be put to practical use. There's really no limit to the benefits this technique could deliver." For media enquiries contact: Alessandro Olivo, Professor of Applied Physics, UCL, tel: 0207 679 2444, e-mail:; or the EPSRC Press Office, tel: 01793 444 404, e-mail: The 5-year project Transforming the Use of X-rays in Science and Society ran from November 2011 to October 2016 and received £1.05 million in EPSRC funding under the Challenging Engineering programme. The project created 28 new collaborations and produced around 75 journal papers. Partners and collaborators included: Academia: Imperial College London; Queen Mary University of London; University of Oxford; Ludwig-Maximillian University, Munich; University of Washington in St Louis, Missouri; Kyoto University; Heriot-Watt University; University of Bristol; University of Dundee; University of Glasgow; University of Strathclyde; University of Saskatchewan; University of Trieste; University of Pisa. Research Institutes/Facilities: Diamond Light Source; ELETTRA Sincrotrone Trieste ScpA; European Synchrotron Radiation Facility; Research Complex at Harwell; CNR Institute of Crystallography - Italy; EMPA Switzerland; Barts Health NHS Trust; INFN Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Pisa and Trieste Sections. Within UCL: Department of Mechanical Engineering; Department of Chemical Engineering; Department of Physics and Astronomy; London Centre for Nanotechnology (a joint UCL-Imperial College establishment); Institute of Child Health; Great Ormond Street Hospital. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, our vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate. By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, we are building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Our portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research we fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. We work collectively with our partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. http://www. UCL (University College London): UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world's top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 38,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,000 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion. Wellcome Trust: Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. We're a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

Armstrong M.J.,University of Birmingham | Adams L.A.,University of Western Australia | Canbay A.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Syn W.-K.,Institute of Hepatology | Syn W.-K.,Barts Health NHS Trust
Hepatology | Year: 2014

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a leading cause of chronic liver disease, and is strongly associated with the metabolic syndrome. In the last decade, it has become apparent that the clinical burden of NAFLD is not restricted to liver-related morbidity or mortality, and the majority of deaths in NAFLD patients are related to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. These findings have fuelled concerns that NAFLD may be a new, and added risk factor for extrahepatic diseases such as CVD, chronic kidney disease (CKD), colorectal cancer, endocrinopathies (including type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM] and thyroid dysfunction), and osteoporosis. In this review we critically appraise key studies on NAFLD-associated extrahepatic disease. There was marked heterogeneity between studies in study design (cross-sectional versus prospective; sample size; presence/absence of well-defined controls), population (ethnic diversity; community-based versus hospital-based cohorts), and method of NAFLD diagnosis (liver enzymes versus imaging versus biopsy). Taking this into account, the cumulative evidence to date suggests that individuals with NAFLD (specifically, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) harbor an increased and independent risk of developing CVD, T2DM, CKD, and colorectal neoplasms. We propose future studies are necessary to better understand these risks, and suggest an example of a screening strategy. (Hepatology 2014;59:1174-1197) © 2014 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Agency: GTR | Branch: MRC | Program: | Phase: Fellowship | Award Amount: 222.80K | Year: 2015

When breast tissue undergoes x-ray (i.e. a mammogram), the fatty component appears black whilst the areas containing the glandular tissue appear white. Mammograms with a large proportion of white are said to have high mammographic density (high MD). This is largely due to large amounts of supporting material in the breast called stroma. Over recent years it has become apparent that having high MD confers a significant increased risk for the development of breast cancer, although the mechanism which confers this increased risk is not understood. High MD is a common finding in the mammograms of women in the UK and globally. Therefore, interventions targeted towards reducing MD have the potential to benefit large numbers of women. Recently it has been shown that the anti-oestrogen drug tamoxifen can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer when given to women with a strong family history. This reduction in risk corresponds to a reduction in MD. In addition, those women who show no reduction in breast density with tamoxifen treatment show no associated reduction in breast cancer risk, suggesting that the protective effect of this drug is mediated through reduction of MD. This project aims to build on these key observations to investigate how MD can be modulated to establish markers that may help us predict which women will be protected or benefit from anti-oestrogen treatments. This project will look at the effect of tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors on human breast tissues. At Barts Cancer Institute we routinely consent patients undergoing surgery for donation of breast tissue not needed for diagnosis to be used in research. We will use these samples in our research to investigate the mechanisms by which anti-oestrogens exert their protective effect. Stromal cells will be treated with tamoxifen and an aromatase inhibitor and the effect on a series of molecules potentially involved will be assessed. We will also validate the results on samples taken prospectively. The importance of this project is that by understanding the pathways contributing to high MD we will better understand the factors leading to development of breast cancer and this will help devise new ways of preventing it. Therefore we anticipate the results of this research will particularly benefit women who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. The results from this research may also assist doctors in predicting which of these high risk women will respond well to treatments such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors, that are aimed at reducing MD, and critically, identify those women who will not respond. This will mean that they will only be prescribed to women who are likely to have a good response to the treatment. Those that are unlikely to respond well will be spared some of the treatment associated side effects.

Mccafferty K.,Barts Health NHS Trust | Mccafferty K.,University College London | Fan S.,Barts Health NHS Trust | Davenport A.,University College London
Kidney International | Year: 2014

Residual renal function is a major survival determinant for peritoneal dialysis patients. Hypovolemia can cause acute kidney injury and loss of residual renal function, and it has been suggested that patients receiving peritoneal dialysis should preferably be maintained hypervolemic to preserve residual renal function. Here we determined whether hydration status predicted long-term changes in residual renal function. Changes in residual renal function and extracellular water (ECW) to total body water (TBW) measured by multifrequency bioimpedance in 237 adult patients who had paired baseline and serial 12 monthly measurements were examined. Baseline hydration status (ECW/TBW) was not significantly associated with preservation of residual renal function, unlike baseline and follow-up mean arterial blood pressure. When the cohort was split into tertiles according to baseline hydration status, there was no significant correlation seen between change in hydration status and subsequent loss in residual renal function. Increased ECW/TBW in peritoneal dialysis patients was not associated with preservation of residual renal function. Similarly, increments and decrements in ECW/TBW were not associated with preservation or reduction in residual renal function. Thus, our study does not support the view that overhydration preserves residual renal function and such a policy risks the consequences of persistent hypervolemia © 2013 International Society of Nephrology.

News Article | October 7, 2016

A 4-year-old boy in England ended up in the emergency room after taking a slew of dietary supplements that led to health problems, according to a new report of the case. The boy's case shows that although many people view supplements and other complementary therapies as safe, it's possible for them to have harmful effects, the researchers said. "Many families view these therapies as safer 'natural' options; however, there is significant potential for adverse effects," the researchers, from the Barts Health NHS Trust, a health system in London, wrote in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal BMJ Case Reports. [Wishful Thinking: 6 'Magic Bullet' Cures That Don't Exist] The boy's family took him to the emergency room after he spent three weeks vomiting and losing weight, along with having other symptoms, such as constipation, loss of appetite, increased urine production and increased thirst. The boy had autism but had not had any previous health problems and wasn't taking any medications, the report said. Tests showed that the boy's calcium and vitamin D levels were very high — his blood calcium level was 4.08 mmol/L (the normal range is 2.20 to 2.60 mmol/L), and his vitamin D level was 2,130 nmol/L (the normal range is 50 to 150 nmol/L). The boy underwent several tests, including an ultrasound and MRI, to check for conditions that can cause high calcium levels, such as cancer and an increased production of certain hormones, but the tests came back negative. A few days later, his mother told the doctors that the boy had been taking 12 different dietary supplements. These included vitamin D, calcium magnesium citrate, cod liver oil, camel milk, silver, biocare lipozyme (marketed as a "fat digesting enzyme"), archturus bromelain (an enzyme in pineapple), zinc, trace minerals, epsom bath salts, AFP peptizyde (a mixture of enzymes marketed to help with digestion) and sodium chloride. His doctors determined that the supplements he was taking were the most likely cause of his condition, which they diagnosed as "vitamin D toxicity," which means having too much vitamin D. He was treated with extra fluids for rehydration, and medications to lower his calcium level. He recovered two weeks later, and was released from the hospital. The boy stopped taking the supplements, and had no further health problems. "His parents were devastated that something they had given to their son with good intent had made him so unwell," the researchers said in their report. His parents had started giving the boy the supplements because they had visited a naturopath, who recommended the 12 supplements. Naturopathy is a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) that uses purported "natural" therapies. Although many children use CAM therapies, these therapies can have risks, the researchers said. A study from Australia identified nearly 40 reports of harmful effects — including gastrointestinal problems, bleeding and seizures — from CAM therapies in children over a three-year period. In addition, dietary supplements are not regulated as tightly as prescription drugs, and they may contain substances that are not listed on the label, the researchers said. "Although families may report benefits with these treatments, there is no regulation of their use and, as our case demonstrates, there can be significant adverse effects," the researchers said. When doctors take a medical history of a patient, they should make sure to ask about any supplements the patient is taking, the researchers said.

Feakins R.M.,Barts Health NHS Trust
Histopathology | Year: 2014

The interpretation of colorectal biopsies taken for the initial diagnosis of chronic idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is challenging. Subclassification of IBD as ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease, which may be particularly difficult, is the subject of this review. Biopsies taken at first presentation are emphasised, partly because their features have not been modified by time or treatment. Aspects of longstanding disease and of resections are also mentioned. The first part of the review comprises background considerations and a summary of histological features that are discriminant, according to published evidence, between UC and Crohn's disease in initial biopsies. Pitfalls and problems associated with making the distinction between UC and Crohn's disease are then discussed. These include: mimics of IBD; inadequate clinical details; unreliable microscopic features; absence of histological changes in early IBD; discontinuity in UC; cryptolytic granulomas; differences between paediatric and adult UC; reliance on ileal and oesophagogastroduodenal histology; and atypical features in IBD resections. Avoidance by pathologists of known pitfalls should increase the likelihood of accurate and confident subclassification of IBD, which is important for optimum medical and surgical management. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Millar M.R.,Barts Health NHS Trust
Public Health Ethics | Year: 2015

Individuals are at risk of acquiring untreatable agents of infection when they travel to countries where antibioticresistant agents of infection are prevalent, and particularly when they travel for healthcare. Uncertainty with respect to the overall political and economic consequences seems to underlie the reluctance of public health authorities to issue relevant travel advisories. The conditions of choice, the act of choice and the consequences of choice can each be a primary focus of ethical appraisal of public health policy. The 'value of choice' account provided by Scanlon draws attention to the value of the choices that individuals are given, and the potential for reasonable rejection of policies that do not give adequate emphasis to the conditions of individual choice. There is both instrumental and symbolic value in informing people of the risk of acquisition of antibiotic-resistant microbes associated with health tourism. We cannot reasonably reject a principle of actively informing unless there are insurmountable countervailing reasons. These reasons should be explicit and subject to review. If health tourism is a concern then we might also consider how best to facilitate alternative choices. © The Author 2015.

Clark D.A.,Barts Health NHS Trust
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2016

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) comprises two separate viruses, HHV-6A and HHV-6B, although this distinction is not commonly made. HHV-6B is ubiquitous in the population with primary infection usually occurring in early childhood, and often resulting in febrile illness. HHV-6B is also recognized as a pathogen in the immunocompromised host, particularly in transplant recipients. HHV-6A is less well characterized and may have a more restricted prevalence. Both viruses are unique among the human herpesviruses in that the entire viral genome can be found integrated into the telomeric regions of host cell chromosomes. Approximately 1% of persons have inherited integrated viral sequences through the germline, and these individuals characteristically have very high viral loads in blood and other sample types. Emerging evidence suggests that HHV-6A and HHV-6B chromosomal integration may not just be an uncommon biological observation, but more likely a characteristic of the replication properties of these viruses. The integrated viral genome appears capable of excision from the chromosomal site and potentially allows viral replication. The clinical consequences of inherited chromosomally integrated HHV-6 have yet to be fully appreciated. © 2016 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

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