News Article | May 18, 2017
ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seventh Wave Laboratories, a consulting-based contract research organization that assesses the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical products and medical devices, has announced an exclusive collaboration with Yecuris Corporation, a global leader in the development and use of humanized models in drug development research. The partnership enables the most predictive approach available to study new human liver disease therapies. Seventh Wave will now be the exclusive provider of services related to hepatitis B virus and C virus pharmacology studies using the Yecuris liver humanized FRG® KO model. Seventh Wave also will offer toxicology, metabolism and other pharmacology services using Yecuris models. Yecuris’ models are highly repopulated with human liver cells, making them an ideal candidate for efficacy studies of human liver pathogens. “Hundreds of millions of people are infected with hepatitis, and nearly one million die each year; there is a real need for a better way to evaluate new therapies,” said John Sagartz, PhD, DVM, president, CEO and founder of Seventh Wave Laboratories. “Yecuris’ models are top-tier humanized models for specific pharmacology evaluations that will allow us to study new human liver disease therapies. We are excited about the possibilities.” The two companies have been validating viremic and gene expression models for more than a year. “This agreement allows Seventh Wave access to our technology, and provides our clients access to a lab where they can have high-quality studies performed using our models,” said John Bial, CEO of Yecuris Corporation. Both Sagartz and Bial are confident this partnership will help researchers garner specialty data and expedite compound testing, ultimately benefiting people suffering from liver disease. About Seventh Wave Laboratories Seventh Wave Laboratories is a consulting-based contract research laboratory located in Maryland Heights, Mo., that provides integrated services for discovery and preclinical drug development. By integrating PK/ADME, bioanalysis, toxicology and pathology, the company provides local, national and international clients a multidisciplinary environment that accelerates their program and goals with focused strategy and execution. For more information, visit www.7thwavelabs.com or call 314.628.1123. About Yecuris Corporation Yecuris Corporation is a biotechnology company based in Portland, Oregon, that develops xenograft technologies to support primary human cell and organ engraftment for use in drug discovery, toxicology, infectious disease and cell therapy applications. Visit Yecuris' website: www.yecuris.com.
News Article | May 17, 2017
ST. GEORGE'S, Grenada, May 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- St. George's University is proud to announce the appointment of Neil C. Olson, DVM, PhD, as the new Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Olson is currently Dean of the University of Missouri (MU) College of Veterinary Medicine...
News Article | May 15, 2017
LENEXA, KS--(Marketwired - May 15, 2017) - Digital Ally, Inc. ( : DGLY), which develops, manufactures and markets advanced video surveillance products for law enforcement, homeland security and commercial applications, today announced its operating results for the first quarter of 2017. An investor conference call is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. EDT on May 15, 2017 (see details below). "We are excited to report that first quarter revenues were up 19% from prior-year levels and 52% on a sequential basis," stated Stanton E. Ross, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Ally Inc. "We shipped more mirrors in first quarter 2017 than any quarter since 2010 and our service revenues were up 71% in the three months ended March 31, 2017 compared to year-earlier levels. Our strategy of expanding our recurring service-based revenue to help stabilize and grow our revenues on a quarterly basis is apparent in our first quarter 2017 results." "We are pursuing several new market channels that do not involve our traditional law enforcement and private security customers and utilize our core technology of mobile audio/video recording equipment together with our cloud storage and archiving services. These new market channels do not effectively utilize the power of audio/video recordings, which could represent very large untapped addressable markets for our products and services. If successful, we believe that these new market channels could yield increased recurring service revenues for us in 2017 and beyond," Mr. Ross continued. "We are promoting a new revenue model that bundles our product offerings, including the long-term lease of our body-worn and/or in-car audio/video hardware, together with a monthly subscription for our cloud storage, search and archiving services for the underlying audio and video material. We believe this revenue service model may appeal to our customers, in particular our commercial and other non-law enforcement customers because it reduces the capital outlay up front and eliminates repairs and maintenance in exchange for level monthly payments for the utilization of the equipment, data storage and management services." "We recently announced the launch of the DVM-800 HD in-car video system, which we believe will be disruptive in the market and will lead to an expansion of our overall market share in the law enforcement channel. The DVM-800 HD system provides full 1080P high definition video at a cost-effective price point, which we believe is a competitive market advantage for us." "Our international revenues decreased to $29,806 in first quarter 2017 compared to $313,729 during 2016. Our first quarter 2017 international revenues were disappointing after several positive quarters; however, the international sales cycle generally takes longer than domestic business and we have a number of bids outstanding to international customers." "We had approximately $6.8 million in net working capital available at March 31, 2017, including $3.4 million of accounts receivable and $9.7 million of inventory. We raised $4.0 million through the issuance of 8% Secured Convertible Debentures in December 2016. These mature in March 2018 unless converted by their holders at $5.00 per share before such date. The Debentures represent a current liability as of March 31, 2017. Our goal is to reduce inventory levels during 2017 to provide additional working capital and improve our operating results to generate the funds to retire the Debentures. We may also pursue the raise of additional capital if required," concluded Ross. For the three months ended March 31, 2017, our total revenue increased by 19% to approximately $5.2 million, compared with revenue of approximately $4.4 million for the three months March 31, 2016. This increase was primarily due to the large commercial order received in the first quarter 2017 from AMR for DVM-250 event recorders with FleetVU and asset tracking service. The AMR contract was for 1,550 DVM-250 systems as well as FleetVU manager cloud storage and system implementation, most of which were delivered in first quarter 2017 and had a positive impact on revenues. International revenue decreased to $29,806 during first quarter 2017, versus $313,729 during first quarter 2016. Gross profit increased 23% to $2,276,849 for the three months ended March 31, 2017, versus $1,853,619 in 2016. Our gross margin increase is commensurate with the 19% increase in revenues for the three months ended March 31, 2017 and the cost of sales as a percentage of revenues decreasing to 56% from 58% for the three months ended March 31, 2016. We expect that gross margins will continue to improve in 2017 because we believe we have corrected the quality control and other warranty related issues affecting our FirstVU HD product during recent quarters. Our goal is to improve our margins to 60% over the longer term based on the expected margins of our newer products, in particular the DVM-800, DVM-800 HD and FirstVU HD, as they continue to gain traction in the marketplace and we increase our commercial market penetration in 2017. In addition, as revenues from these products increase, we will seek to further improve our margins from them through economies of scale and more efficiently utilizing fixed manufacturing overhead components. We plan to continue our initiative on more efficient management of our supply chain through outsourcing production, quantity purchases and more effective purchasing practices. Selling, General and Administrative ("SG&A") expenses decreased approximately 3% to $4,079,062 in the three months ended March 31, 2017, versus $4,191,514 a year earlier. We reported an operating loss of ($1,802,213) for the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared with an operating loss of ($2,337,895) in the previous year. Interest income decreased to $5,061 in first quarter 2017, from $8,992 in 2016. Non-cash charges totaled ($155,252) in first quarter 2017 compared with non-cash income of $16,533 in the year-earlier quarter. Such non-cash income (charges) reflect changes in the fair value of the secured convertible debentures and warrant derivatives. We elected to record the $4.0 million secured convertible debentures issued in December 2016 on their fair value basis and recorded a loss of $155,857 due to the change in their fair value as of March 31, 2017. Warrants to purchase 12,200 common shares remain unexercised at March 31, 2017 and 2016, which are treated as derivative liabilities, and we recorded income of $605 due to the change in their fair value as of March 31, 2017. Interest expense totaled $80,551 in the three months ended March 31, 2017, compared to $755 in the three months ended March 31, 2016. We issued an aggregate of $4.0 million principal amount of secured convertible debentures on December 30, 2016 which bore interest at the rate of 8% per annum and remained outstanding at March 31, 2017. No similar interest bearing debt was outstanding during the 2016 period. We reported a net loss of ($2,032,955), or ($0.36) per share, in the first quarter of 2017, compared with a prior-year net loss of ($2,313,125), or ($0.44) per share. No income tax provision or benefit was recorded in the first quarter of either 2017 or 2016. We expect to continue to maintain a full valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets, including net operating loss carry forwards, until we determine that we can sustain a level of profitability that demonstrates our ability to realize such assets. During first quarter 2017, we increased our valuation reserve on deferred tax assets by approximately $715,000. As of March 31, 2017, we had approximately $41.7 million of net operating loss carryforwards and $2.0 million of research and development tax credit carryforwards available to offset future net taxable income. On a non-GAAP basis, we reported an adjusted net loss (before depreciation, amortization, net interest expense, change in derivative liabilities, change in the fair value of secured convertible notes, secured convertible debentures issuance expense, and stock-based compensation), of ($1,256,544), or ($0.22) per share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2017, versus a non-GAAP adjusted net loss of ($1,760,047), or ($0.34) per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016. (Non-GAAP adjusted net loss is described in greater detail in a table at the end of this press release). Digital Ally, Inc. has provided financial information in this release that has not been prepared in accordance with GAAP. This information includes non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA loss. Digital Ally uses such non-GAAP financial measures internally in analyzing its financial results and believes they are useful to investors, as a supplement to GAAP measures, in evaluating Digital Ally's ongoing operational performance. Digital Ally believes that the use of these non-GAAP financial measures provides an additional tool for investors to evaluate ongoing operating results and trends and in comparing its financial measures with other companies in Digital Ally's industry, many of which present similar non-GAAP financial measures to investors. As noted, the non-GAAP financial measures discussed above exclude certain non-cash and/or non-recurring expenses/income including: (1) depreciation and amortization expense, (2) net interest expense, (3) share-based compensation expense, (4) changes in fair value of secured convertible notes payable, (5) secured convertible debentures issuance expense, (6) and changes in warrant derivative valuations. Non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for, financial information prepared in accordance with GAAP. Investors are encouraged to review the reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measure as detailed above. As previously mentioned, a reconciliation of GAAP to the non-GAAP financial measures has been provided in the tables included as part of this press release. The Company will host an investor conference call at 11:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, May 15, 2017, to discuss its operating results for the first quarter 2017, along with other topics of interest. Shareholders and other interested parties may participate in the conference call by dialing 844-761-0863 and entering conference ID# 18527706 a few minutes before 11:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Monday, May 15, 2017. A replay of the conference call will be available two hours after its completion, from May 15, 2017 until 11:59 p.m. on August 15, 2017 by dialing 855-859-2056 and entering the conference ID# 18527706. Digital Ally, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets advanced technology products for law enforcement, homeland security and commercial applications. The Company's primary focus is digital video imaging and storage. The Company is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, and its shares are traded on The Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "DGLY." For additional news and information please visit www.digitalallyinc.com or follow us on Twitter @digitalallyinc and Facebook www.facebook.com/DigitalAllyInc This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations or forecasts of future events, can be affected by inaccurate assumptions, and are subject to various business risks and known and unknown uncertainties, a number of which are beyond the control of management. Therefore, actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. A wide variety of factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: whether the Company will be able to improve its revenue and operating results, including to the extent necessary to retire the Secured Convertible Debentures; whether it will be able to raise capital, and do so on terms favorable to the Company, to retire such Debentures, if required; whether it will be able to achieve improved production and other efficiencies to restore its gross and operating margins to targeted levels in 2017 and beyond; whether the Company will be able to continue to expand into non-law enforcement markets; whether the Company will be successful in increasing its recurring revenue; whether the Company has resolved its product quality issues; whether there will be commercial markets, domestically and internationally, for one or more of the Company's newer products, and the degree to which the interest shown in its newer products, including the FirstVU HD, DVM-800 HD, VuLink, VuVault.net and FleetVU, will continue to translate into sales in future periods; whether the Company's "auto-activation" technology is becoming a standard feature for agencies utilizing body-worn cameras; whether the Company will achieve positive outcomes in its litigation with various parties, including Axon Enterprise, Inc. (formerly Taser International), Utility Associates and WatchGuard; whether the USPTO rulings will curtail, eliminate or otherwise have an effect on the actions of Taser, Utility Associates and WatchGuard respecting the Company, its products and customers; whether the outstanding common stock purchase warrants will be exercised for cash; the Company's ability to deliver its newer product offerings, including the FirstVU HD and DVM-800 HD, as scheduled, obtain the required components and products on a timely basis, and have them perform as planned; its ability to maintain or expand its share of the markets in which it competes, including those outside the law enforcement industry; whether the Company will be able to adapt its technology to new and different uses, including being able to introduce new products; whether and the extent to which the new patents allowed by the USPTO will give the Company effective, enforceable protection of the intellectual property contained in its products in the marketplace; competition from larger, more established companies with far greater economic and human resources; its ability to attract and retain customers and quality employees; the effect of changing economic conditions; and changes in government regulations, tax rates and similar matters. These cautionary statements should not be construed as exhaustive or as any admission as to the adequacy of the Company's disclosures. The Company cannot predict or determine after the fact what factors would cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements or other statements. The reader should consider statements that include the words "believes", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "estimates", "plans", "projects", "should", or other expressions that are predictions of or indicate future events or trends, to be uncertain and forward-looking. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional information respecting factors that could materially affect the Company and its operations are contained in its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2017, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
News Article | May 15, 2017
MISSION, KS--(Marketwired - May 15, 2017) - (Family Features) Cute as kittens are, kitten season often emerges as one of the most challenging times of the year for animal welfare organizations. Some experts estimate as many as 20 million kittens are born in the spring. That number of kittens is twice the number of people living in New York City. As a result, the waiting rooms of veterinary clinics, animal welfare agencies, rescues and shelters are overrun with people arriving with boxes of unplanned litters of homeless kittens. "This time of year, the need for finding adoptive families for kittens and cats increases exponentially," said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., and president of PetSmart Charities. "While kittens tend to find homes very quickly, adult female cats, especially those that are about to or have just had a litter, are often abandoned and they're in need of forever homes, too." In fact, a recent survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities found that most people significantly underestimate the number of pets entering shelters each year. The majority (84 percent of American pet parents) believe that less than 1 million pets enter U.S. shelters annually, but the actual number is closer to 6.5 million, which is why people should consider adoption when looking to bring a new pet into their homes. If you're contemplating adopting a cat or kitten into your family, consider these little-known feline facts: 1. One female cat can have up to 100 kittens in her lifetime. Cats can become pregnant at just 5 months of age and can have up to three litters per year, with each litter ranging between one and eight kittens. That's why most adoption programs offer cats and kittens that are already spayed or neutered, as well as being veterinarian-checked and vaccinated for common diseases. 2. Cats are great communicators. Cats make more than 100 different sounds, but they only meow to communicate with humans. To communicate with another cat, they will most often purr, hiss or spit. 3. There may be healing benefits to purring. Most people think cats purr because they are happy, but cats also purr when they are nervous and sick, too. Veterinarians like Haworth believe cats use purring as a self-soothing method that may even help them heal. The frequency of the vibrations caused when a cat purrs is the same frequency that promotes increased bone density and muscle restoration. 4. Cats can be righties or lefties. Like humans, cats have a dominant paw. Most female cats prefer using the right paw, while male cats are more likely to be lefties. 5. Adoptive cats and kittens bring many rewards. When you adopt, you literally save a life. Plus a free adoption kit available through PetSmart gives tips to help integrate new pets into the family and has more than $475 in free items and discounts on pet essentials and services. The retailer is also donating a meal to a pet in need for every bag of dog or cat food purchased online or in stores through the end of the year through its Buy a Bag, Give a Meal program. The food is then distributed to shelters and food banks across the U.S. through partners Rescue Bank and Feeding America. To showcase adoptable pets and help connect them with more potential adopters, PetSmart offers free space in its stores to thousands of animal welfare organizations across the country. Contact your local store or visit PetSmart.com for more information on pets available for adoption or to learn about upcoming adoption events. About Family Features Editorial Syndicate Established in 1974, Family Features is a leading provider of free food and lifestyle content for print and online publications. Our articles, photos, videos and web content solutions save you time, money and help create advertising opportunities. Registration is fast and free - with absolutely no obligation. Visit editors.familyfeatures.com for more information.
News Article | May 16, 2017
The most common medical condition on the list was soft tissue injuries or sprains, which affected more than 24,000 Nationwide-insured dogs last year. Hypothermia or heat stroke, brought on by hot weather, accounted for the most expensive condition on the list, with an average cost of $704 per pet. "The dog park can be a great place for friendly dogs to socialize and exercise, but there are safety measures dog owners need to be aware of," said Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. "Many of the medical conditions on our dog park-related injury list can be avoided by taking necessary precautions, but some are out of the owner's control. If any of these issues occur, dog owners should head to their veterinarian or emergency animal hospital for treatment." Below are a few simple but important tips for helping to ensure a fun and safe trip to the dog park: With more than 600,000 insured pets, pet insurance from Nationwide, formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Since 1982, Nationwide has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers. Nationwide plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies offer Nationwide pet insurance as an employee benefit. Insurance plans are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2016). Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com. Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Nationwide and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2017 Nationwide. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dog-park-safety-tips-and-common-medical-mishaps-300457216.html
News Article | February 23, 2017
YONKERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a promising development for pet cancer patients in the Northeast, Animal Specialty Center (ASC) introduced its new TrueBeam™ Radiotherapy system to leading veterinary professionals with a formal ribbon cutting ceremony. The ribbon cutting for the TrueBeam system was part of a continuing education seminar that included a presentation entitled, “Combining Surgery and Radiation” by ASC’s Kendra Hearon, DVM, DACVS, Fellow in Surgical Oncology. “We are very excited to introduce this new technology to veterinary professionals because is it a real game-changer that will enable us to treat even the most challenging cases with unprecedented speed and pinpoint precision,” said Kari Rosen, DVM, DACVR RO at ASC. “With a broad spectrum of new capabilities, TrueBeam breaks the mold in just about every dimension, making it possible for us to offer faster, more targeted treatments to tumors even as they move and change over time.” “VCA is on the forefront of cancer treatment using the most sophisticated technology available to fight cancer,” said Karen Oberthaler, VMD, DACVIM Medical Oncology. “It’s vitally important for our profession to learn about new modalities and how they can be combined for maximum effectiveness, especially since there is very little in veterinary literature about this, despite its increasing frequency. This is a breakthrough that lets us bring a wider spectrum of advanced radiotherapy treatment options to many more patients.” More than 60 veterinarians and veterinary technicians were in attendance for the seminar, which was followed by a lively Q&A session. Among those participating in the ribbon cutting ceremony were Drs. Rosen, Hearon and Oberthaler from ASC, along with 40 industry colleagues. Located in Yonkers, New York, Animal Specialty Center is a full-service hospital staffed with leading board certified veterinary specialists, emergency doctors and a highly skilled support staff. The center offers 24/7 emergency care; critical care; internal medicine; neurology; medical oncology; radiation oncology; dentistry; cardiology; rehabilitation; and surgery and acupuncture. Our facility serves pet owners and their pets from Westchester and Rockland Counties, Connecticut, Manhattan and the Bronx. Clients from around the world have traveled to the hospital for consultations with highly skilled veterinary specialists, as well as our advanced, cutting edge diagnostic equipment and therapeutic procedures. The center provides an unparalleled level of comprehensive, specialized care with a team approach working closely with pet owners and family veterinarians from diagnosis through after care. VCA Animal Hospitals operates more than 650 small animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. The hospitals are staffed by more than 4,500 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians to give pets the very best in medical care, of which over 500 are board-certified specialists who are experts in areas such as Oncology, Cardiology, Emergency & Critical Care, and Surgery for animals. VCA Animal Hospitals provides a full range of general practice services to keep pets well and specialized treatments when pets are ill. For more information, please visit www.VCAhospitals.com or follow on Twitter @vcapethealth.
News Article | February 27, 2017
A combination of two cancer drugs inhibited both dengue and Ebola virus infections in mice in a study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers, despite the fact that these two viruses are vastly different from each other. In laboratory-dish experiments, the drug combination, which has previously shown efficacy against the hepatitis C virus, also was effective against West Nile and Zika viruses, both of which are relatives of the hepatitis C virus, and multiple other unrelated viruses. The multi-institution study, to be published online Feb. 27 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, also pinpointed the specific molecular mechanism by which these drugs derail a variety of RNA viruses, whose genetic material consists not of DNA but of its close relative, RNA. "We've shown that a single combination of drugs can be effective across a broad range of viruses -- even when those viruses hail from widely separated branches of the evolutionary tree," said the study's senior author, Shirit Einav, MD, assistant professor of infectious diseases and of microbiology and immunology. The study's lead authors are former Stanford postdoctoral scholars Elena Bekerman, PhD, now at Gilead Sciences Inc., and Gregory Neveu, PhD, now at the University of Lyon and French National Institute of Health and Medical Research. The reason the drugs used in the study are able to combat infections by such different viruses is that their disabling action is directed not at the virus but at proteins of the host cell it's trying to infect, Einav said. Einav and her team are investigating strategies for combatting RNA viruses, such as dengue and Ebola. These viruses have a faulty replication process that results in frequent errors as their genetic material is copied, rendering them especially prone to mutations. Consequently, they swiftly acquire resistance to a typical antiviral drug that targets a specific viral enzyme, Einav said. "The 'one drug, one bug' approach can be quite successful, as in the case of hepatitis C virus," for which a concerted effort has generated several approved antiviral treatments, she said. But it took more than 10 years of research, she noted, and drug development costs typically exceed $2 billion. Making matters worse, Einav added, is the impossibility of predicting what the next emerging viral threat will look like. "We're always getting blindsided," she said. The deadly Ebola epidemic of a few years ago has subsided but could return at any time. Dengue infects an estimated 390 million people annually in over 100 countries. Four distinct strains of the dengue virus exist, hampering the development of a vaccine and boosting the chances of a once-infected person's re-infection by a different strain against which that person hasn't achieved sufficient immunity. Secondary infections can become life-threatening. While an Ebola vaccine has shown promise, it's not yet approved. A recently approved dengue vaccine has only limited efficacy. No viable antiviral drugs are currently available for either virus. Viruses are cut-rate brigands: They produce nothing on their own, but rather hijack the machinery of our cells. Hepatitis C, dengue, Ebola and other viruses hop onto molecular "buses" that whisk cargo between cell compartments. These buses shuttle the viruses around inside of cells. The buses' routes and fares are regulated by numerous cellular enzymes. Two such enzymes, which go by the acronyms AAK1 and GAK, essentially lower the fares charged by the molecular buses by tweaking them so they bind more strongly to their cargo. The standard antiviral approach aims to disable a specific viral enzyme. Einav and her associates' alternative approach took advantage of viruses' total dependence on infected cells' molecular machinery. The two-drug drug combination Einav's team put to work against dengue and Ebola impedes AAK1's and GAK's activity, effectively pricing bus fares beyond the viral budget. Erlotinib and sunitinib, each approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than a decade ago, are prescribed for various cancer indications. Neither AAK1 nor GAK are the primary targets of these drugs in their cancer-fighting roles. But Einav's group discovered, by accessing publicly available databases, that the two drugs impair AAK1 and GAK activity, too. Einav and her colleagues previously demonstrated that erlotinib and sunitinib inhibit hepatitis C virus infection in cells. In the new study, the investigators conducted experiments in lab dishes to show that both drugs inhibit viral infection by impeding the activity of AAK1 and GAK. Next, they tested the combination in lab dishes against the dengue and Ebola viruses, and observed that viral activity was strongly inhibited in both. While the dengue virus is a relatively close cousin of hepatitis C, it is quite different from the Ebola virus. The same drug combination also showed efficacy against a variety of other RNA viruses related to hepatitis C, including the Zika and West Nile viruses, and even against several unrelated viruses. In a prevention experiment in mice, the investigators administered the erlotinib-sunitinib combination once daily starting on the day of dengue-virus infection, employing the two drugs for five days at doses comparable to those approved for use against cancer in humans. All the control mice died between days four and eight. But of those treated with the drug combination, 65 to 100 percent, depending on the individual experiment, survived and regained their pre-infection weight and mobility. Given individually, the drugs provided substantially less protection, Einav said. In another experiment designed to test the drugs as a therapy, the combination retained substantial antiviral efficacy as long as it was given less than 48 hours after infection. In a similar prevention experiment with the Ebola virus, the scientists administered the drug daily for 10 days starting at six hours before infection. Some 90 percent of the control mice died within a week or two. But half the mice receiving the drug combination survived. Again, the drugs were substantially less effective when given individually. Additional lab experiments showed that the combination profoundly inhibited the dengue virus's ability to develop drug resistance. There's no possible way for viral mutations to alter the proteins of the cells it infects, Einav said, and no easy way for the virus to mutate around its dependence on those proteins. Stanford's Office of Technology Licensing has filed for patents on intellectual property associated with the findings. Other Stanford study co-authors are Claude Nagamine, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of comparative medicine; and research scientist Robert Mateo, PhD. The study was carried out in collaboration with researchers from the University of Chicago, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of Leuven in Belgium. The study was funded by the National Institute of Health (grants IU19AI10966201 and U19A1083019); the American Cancer Society; the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; the Department of Defense; Stanford Bio-X; the Stanford Spark program; the Stanford Translational Research and Applied Medicine program; Spectrum, which administers Stanford's Clinical and Translational Science Award (grant UL1TR001085) from the NIH; the Stanford Child Health Research Institute; and the Taiwan Ministry of Science and Technology. Stanford's departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology also supported the work. The Stanford University School of Medicine consistently ranks among the nation's top medical schools, integrating research, medical education, patient care and community service. For more news about the school, please visit http://med. . The medical school is part of Stanford Medicine, which includes Stanford Health Care and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford. For information about all three, please visit http://med. .
News Article | February 20, 2017
A new analysis indicates that many cancer survivors change their prescription drug use (including skipping doses or requesting cheaper medications) for financial reasons. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study provides important information on the financial burden experienced by cancer survivors, suggesting non-elderly cancer survivors are particularly vulnerable to this phenomenon. Although research has shown that cancer drugs can represent considerable costs for cancer patients and their families, there is limited information about changes in prescription drug use for financial reasons among cancer survivors. To further investigate this, researchers from the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health used 2011-2014 data from the National Health Interview Survey, an annual household interview survey conducted by the CDC. This nationally representative survey included 8931 cancer survivors and 126,287 individuals without a cancer history. Among non-elderly adults, 31.6 percent of those who had been recently diagnosed and 27.9 percent of those who had been previously diagnosed (at least two years earlier) reported a change in prescription drug use for financial reasons, compared with 21.4 percent of adults without a history of cancer. "Specifically, non-elderly cancer survivors were more likely to skip medication, delay filling a prescription, ask their doctor for lower-cost medication, and use alternative therapies for financial reasons compared with non-elderly individuals without a cancer history," said the American Cancer Society's Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, a senior author of the paper. The study also showed that among privately insured non-elderly cancer survivors, one-third of survivors enrolled in high-deductible plans asked their doctor for lower-cost medications compared with less than one-fifth of survivors enrolled in low-deductible plans. Changes in prescription drug use for financial reasons were generally similar between elderly cancer survivors and elderly individuals without a cancer history. This is likely because of uniform healthcare coverage through Medicare. The findings may have significant policy implications. "Healthcare reforms addressing the financial burden of cancer among survivors, including the escalating cost of prescription drugs, should consider multiple comorbid conditions and high-deductible health plans, and the working poor," said Dr. Jemal. "Our findings also have implications for doctor and patient communication about the financial burden of cancer when making treatment decisions, especially on the use of certain drugs that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars but with very small benefit compared with alternative and more affordable drugs." In an accompanying editorial addressing the financial toxicity of cancer, Daniel Goldstein, MD, of the Rabin Medical Center in Israel and Emory University, stressed the need to avoid unnecessary testing and treatments. He added that "when two different treatments exist with equivalent efficacy and safety, the cheaper treatment should always be chosen." For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Dawn Peters (US) +1 781-388-8408 email@example.com Follow us on Twitter @WileyNews Full Citation: "Do cancer survivors change their prescription drug use for financial reasons? Findings from a nationally representative sample in the United States." Zhiyuan Zheng, Xuesong Han, Gery P. Guy Jr., Amy J. Davidoff, Chunyu Li, Matthew P. Banegas, Donatus U. Ekwueme, K. Robin Yabroff, and Ahmedin Jemal. CANCER; Published Online: February 20, 2017 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30560). Author Contact: David Sampson, director of medical and scientific communications for the American Cancer Society's national home office, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Editorial: "Financial Toxicity in Cancer Care--Edging Toward Solutions." Daniel Goldstein. CANCER; Published Online: February 20, 2017 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.30555). CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties. The objective of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among oncologic disciplines concerned with the etiology, course, and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be accessed online at http://wileyonlinelibrary. . Follow us on Twitter @JournalCancer and Facebook https:/ Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at http://www. .
News Article | February 22, 2017
TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Animal Clinic of North Topeka, P. A. today announced its support of National Pet Dental Health Month. This special month is sponsored by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association), a non-profit veterinary organization, and is meant to raise awareness of the need for dental care in companion animals. Animal Clinic of North Topeka recognizes that dental care is needed to prevent pain and debilitation in pets and offers a full array of services to keep the animals' mouths healthy and free of problems. Just as with humans, dogs and cats can develop a full array of dental problems if care is not taken to prevent them. These include cavities, cracking and breaking of teeth, periodontal disease, and more. Even so, many people still think that animals don't need dental care. National Pet Dental Health Month was created to help dispel this myth and improve care among the pet population. "It's a common misconception that dogs and cats have teeth that take care of themselves. Domestic pets are in very different conditions than their wild counterparts. This is good for the animals in most ways – it provides a steady food supply, protection from predators, and treatment for disease – but it does have a couple of drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is that commercial pet food does not adequately remove tartar from the teeth," explained Dr. Bryan Stancliffe, DVM. Several measures are recommended for preserving the health of the teeth of dogs and cats. The first is the same as for humans: brushing the teeth. Since pets can't brush their own, owners should attempt to do it for them. If started young, the majority of pets will learn to tolerate this on a daily basis. Older animals, however, may refuse to go along with the procedure. For them, special tartar-fighting treats are available. Though these aren't quite as effective as a toothbrush, they are better than providing nothing at all. The next step is the dental cleaning. In pets, this requires general anesthesia, so it is done on an as-needed basis. A veterinarian will let the pet owner know when this is recommended. Professional cleanings are essential for preventing periodontal disease. If larger problems have arisen, tooth extraction may be needed. This is typically done instead of root canal treatment. It is also required if a tooth has cracked, broken, or otherwise developed problems that would cause pain to the pet. Animal Clinic of North Topeka, P. A. offers teeth cleaning and extractions for pets. They also offer a full array of other veterinary services, parasite prevention, emergency appointments, boarding, and grooming. For more information on their services and hours, visit their website at http://animalclinicoftopeka.com/.
News Article | February 22, 2017
DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Foundation have partnered to sponsor a $1 million grant for Morris Animal Foundation to help fund the Foundation’s research initiative in osteosarcoma, the most common bone cancer in dogs. “Morris Animal Foundation continues to invest in groundbreaking osteosarcoma research, and we are deeply appreciative of the Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for their support of this important work,” said John Reddington, DVM, PhD, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “This grant will help in our efforts to develop interventions to improve quality of life and survival time for our canine companions with this devastating disease.” While safe and effective treatment options currently are available to treat the primary cancer, better treatments are needed to stop metastasis. The new grant will help fund innovative approaches to combat metastatic osteosarcoma. Recently funded studies at Morris Animal Foundation have zeroed in on ways to optimize chemotherapy selection, control pain, and find new therapeutic targets, all aimed at improving treatment outcomes. “The Petco Foundation, established in 1999, is focused on creating a better world for animals,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “Osteosarcoma research holds the promise of improving treatment for dogs with this disease, giving them healthier lives and more time with the families that love them.” The Blue Buffalo Foundation was established in 2003 with a specific focus on cancer research. “So many of us have lost beloved pets to this deadly disease, and we are committed to advancing science that will make a difference in the fight against pet cancer,” said David Petrie, President of the Blue Buffalo Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with Morris Animal Foundation to fund innovative studies that will not only help our companion animals survive cancer, but thrive and have good lives.” The Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation’s eighth annual Pet Cancer Awareness fundraising campaign takes place May 6 – May 28, 2017. Animal lovers and pet parents nationwide can help continue this important work by donating at any Petco store or at www.petco.com/pca. A portion of the funds will be donated to Morris Animal Foundation for ongoing research in osteosarcoma. Morris Animal Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific studies that advance the health of companion animals, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has invested over $113 million toward more than 2,500 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases to benefit animals worldwide. Learn more at Morris Animal Foundation. The Blue Buffalo Foundation (“Foundation”) was established in 2003 by the founders of Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. (“Blue Buffalo”) a manufacturer of natural dog and cat foods under the BLUE™ brand names. Helping to find a cure for pet cancer is a top priority for Blue Buffalo because its founders have had very personal experience with this disease. “Our dog Blue, a large breed Airedale and a great pal, had three bouts with cancer,” said Bill Bishop, Blue Buffalo’s founder. “After Blue’s battles, we wanted to do something meaningful to help find a cure for this devastating disease. So one of the first things we did after starting our pet food company was to establish the Foundation to raise money for pet cancer research, and raise awareness among pet parents of the early warning signs of this disease.” www.PetCancerAwareness.org. At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $175 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.