News Article | April 26, 2017
Novel compound is active across the entire parasite lifecycle and holds great promise as a single dose cure A new paper published today in the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine describes the discovery and biological profiling of an exciting new anti-malarial clinical drug candidate, MMV390048, effective against resistant strains of the malaria parasite, and across the entire parasite lifecycle, with the potential to cure and protect in a single dose. The research was conducted by the University of Cape Town (UCT)'s Drug Discovery and Development Centre, H3D, and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), in collaboration with a team of international researchers. The paper is the first full disclosure of data demonstrating the antimalarial promise of MMV390048 (also known as MMV048), a compound discovered by an international team led by Professor Kelly Chibale at UCT and MMV. "The ability of MMV048 to block all life cycle stages of the malaria parasite, offer protection against infection as well as potentially block transmission of the parasite from person to person suggests that this compound could contribute to the eradication of malaria, a disease that claims the lives of several hundred thousand people every year," said Professor Chibale, Founder and Director of H3D, founding Director of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) Drug Discovery Research Unit at UCT, and senior author of the paper. In 2014, MMV048 became the first new antimalarial medicine to enter phase I human studies in Africa. Today, preparations are being made to begin phase IIa human trials on this promising compound as a single-dose cure. "This compound has enormous potential," said Dr David Reddy, MMV's CEO. "In addition to the exciting characteristics noted, it has the potential to be administered as a single dose, which could revolutionize the treatment of malaria. At MMV, we look forward to continuing our work in partnership with Professor Chibale and colleagues at UCT to pursue the development of this and future next-generation antimalarials." The project has benefited from sustained funding from MMV, the South African Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and Strategic Health Innovation Partnerships (SHIP) unit of the SAMRC. MMV's support has also been critical in helping H3D build and reinforce their scientific networks of drug discoverers and understand the compound's role in blocking the transmission of the malaria parasite. Despite the positive impact of medication, indoor spraying with insecticides and the use of insecticide bed-nets, around 429,000 people died from malaria in 2015, mostly in Africa, according to the World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report. The paper said resistance to treatment regimens still posed a threat and highlighted the importance of developing treatments containing new chemical classes with different modes of action. Contacts: Professor Kelly Chibale, Drug Discovery and Development Centre (H3D), University of Cape Town via Saroja Naicker - email@example.com +27 21 6501433 (office) or Kim Cloete firstname.lastname@example.org +27 82 4150736 (mobile) H3D is Africa's first integrated drug discovery and development centre. H3D was founded at the University of Cape Town in April 2011 and pioneers world-class drug discovery in Africa. The vision of H3D is to be the leading organisation for integrated drug discovery and development on the African continent. H3D strives to discover and develop innovative, life saving medicines through excellence in interdisciplinary, translational science. According to the World Health Organisation's World Malaria Report, there were 212 million new cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, with 90% of cases occurring in the WHO Africa region. In 2015, there were an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths worldwide, with 92% of these deaths occurring in Africa. Children under five are particularly susceptible to malaria illness, infection and death. In 2015, malaria killed an estimated 303,000 under-fives globally, including 292,000 children in the African region. Issued by Kim Cloete on behalf of H3D, University of Cape Town. +27 82 4150736; email@example.com
News Article | May 3, 2017
Migratory mule deer in Wyoming closely time their movements to track the spring green-up, providing evidence of an underappreciated foraging benefit of migration, according to a new study from a team of researchers led by University of Wyoming and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Biologists have long understood that migration corridors are important for enabling animals to move between winter and summer ranges, but corridors themselves were not actually understood as habitat. However, this new research has documented that these economically and ecologically important game animals are not just moving from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range. Rather, the daily movements of migratory mule deer are closely timed to track spring green-up, known as "surfing the green wave." The new results indicate deer's surfing includes stopping over at various points along the way, prolonging the animals' exposure to high-quality forage along the entire migration route. The findings are reported in a paper released to the public last week. The paper will be published in the June issue of the scientific journal Ecology Letters. "When we looked at the deer movement data and aligned it with the timing of spring green-up at each location, we were amazed," says Matt Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, UW professor and USGS researcher at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "These deer have an almost uncanny ability to keep pace with the spring timing of the greening. And that allows them to get the highest quality forage, when plants are first greening up. Their movements fit the predictions of the green wave hypothesis almost perfectly." The researchers gathered movement data from 99 adult female mule deer -- ranging from 2-12 years of age -- which migrate north in spring along the Wyoming Range, a productive mountain range in western Wyoming that is the southern extent of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The deer were fitted with GPS tracking collars that logged their locations every 1-5 hours. For three years, daily movements of deer during the spring migration were matched with dynamic maps (from remote sensing imagery) to determine how closely each deer's movements overlapped with the timing of early spring green-up, when the nutritional value of vegetation peaks. All deer showed evidence of green-wave surfing, and roughly one third of them perfectly matched their movements to the timing of green-up. Little is known about what makes one deer surf well and another surf poorly. The study found that the degree to which mule deer surfed the green wave along their migratory routes was unrelated to their age or body condition. Instead, how well deer surfed depended on the manner in which the spring green-up spread across the landscape. Mule deer surfed better when their migration routes had a longer green-up period, a more rapid rate of green-up, and when the timing of green-up progressed consecutively from winter to summer range. The researchers have dubbed this characterization of the green-up pattern the "greenscape." A route's greenscape was the primary factor determining how well individual deer surfed the green wave. "Viewing migration as a movement strategy driven by these resource waves challenges traditional concepts of migration," says Ellen Aikens, lead author and doctoral researcher in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "This research shows that management and future studies must consider how habitat along the migratory corridor influences movement and foraging as mule deer migrate." "The sophisticated analysis used here sets a new standard for work on migration of large herbivores. It is a very impressive coupling of extensive movement data with satellite data," says Atle Mysterud, professor at the University of Oslo. "It allows a new level of detail in separating out the behavioral and the landscape part of green-wave surfing." The study was conducted in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, which is charged with managing Wyoming's big game migration corridors. The work is part of ongoing research that seeks to identify and map Wyoming's big-game migrations and understand the influence of development and climate change on this important behavior. It is funded, in part, by the USGS through the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative and the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The research was also supported by several sportsmen's groups in Wyoming and other state and federal agencies in the region. You can follow Wyoming's big-game herds during their spring migration. Check out the Wyoming Migration Initiative's Facebook page for weekly maps and updates.
News Article | May 3, 2017
Biologists have long understood that migration corridors are important for enabling animals to move between winter and summer ranges, but corridors themselves were not actually understood as habitat. However, this new research has documented that these economically and ecologically important game animals are not just moving from low-elevation winter range to high-elevation summer range. Rather, the daily movements of migratory mule deer are closely timed to track spring green-up, known as "surfing the green wave." The new results indicate deer's surfing includes stopping over at various points along the way, prolonging the animals' exposure to high-quality forage along the entire migration route. The findings are reported in a paper released to the public last week. The paper will be published in the June issue of the scientific journal Ecology Letters. "When we looked at the deer movement data and aligned it with the timing of spring green-up at each location, we were amazed," says Matt Kauffman, director of the Wyoming Migration Initiative, UW professor and USGS researcher at the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "These deer have an almost uncanny ability to keep pace with the spring timing of the greening. And that allows them to get the highest quality forage, when plants are first greening up. Their movements fit the predictions of the green wave hypothesis almost perfectly." The researchers gathered movement data from 99 adult female mule deer—ranging from 2-12 years of age—which migrate north in spring along the Wyoming Range, a productive mountain range in western Wyoming that is the southern extent of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. The deer were fitted with GPS tracking collars that logged their locations every 1-5 hours. For three years, daily movements of deer during the spring migration were matched with dynamic maps (from remote sensing imagery) to determine how closely each deer's movements overlapped with the timing of early spring green-up, when the nutritional value of vegetation peaks. All deer showed evidence of green-wave surfing, and roughly one third of them perfectly matched their movements to the timing of green-up. Little is known about what makes one deer surf well and another surf poorly. The study found that the degree to which mule deer surfed the green wave along their migratory routes was unrelated to their age or body condition. Instead, how well deer surfed depended on the manner in which the spring green-up spread across the landscape. Mule deer surfed better when their migration routes had a longer green-up period, a more rapid rate of green-up, and when the timing of green-up progressed consecutively from winter to summer range. The researchers have dubbed this characterization of the green-up pattern the "greenscape." A route's greenscape was the primary factor determining how well individual deer surfed the green wave. "Viewing migration as a movement strategy driven by these resource waves challenges traditional concepts of migration," says Ellen Aikens, lead author and doctoral researcher in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. "This research shows that management and future studies must consider how habitat along the migratory corridor influences movement and foraging as mule deer migrate." "The sophisticated analysis used here sets a new standard for work on migration of large herbivores. It is a very impressive coupling of extensive movement data with satellite data," says Atle Mysterud, professor at the University of Oslo. "It allows a new level of detail in separating out the behavioral and the landscape part of green-wave surfing." Explore further: New research details how big game follow spring green-up More information: Ellen O. Aikens et al, The greenscape shapes surfing of resource waves in a large migratory herbivore, Ecology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1111/ele.12772
News Article | February 16, 2017
The Helmholtz Zentrum München has published results of the largest genome-wide association study on proteomics to date. An international team of scientists reports 539 associations between protein levels and genetic variants in 'Nature Communications'. These associations overlap with risk genes for 42 complex diseases. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide an opportunity to associate concentration changes in certain proteins or metabolic products with gene loci. Knowledge of these genes makes it possible to establish connections to complex diseases. Scientists utilize the fact that to date, hundreds of associations between genetic variants and complex diseases have been demonstrated. These associations are immensely important because they do help uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms. "In the world's largest proteomics GWAS to date, we worked with colleagues* to examine blood samples from 1,000 participants in the KORA study**," reports Dr. Gabi Kastenmüller. She is acting director and head of the Metabolomics Group at the Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (IBIS) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München. The team quantified a total of 1,100 proteins. Dr. Christian Gieger, head of the Molecular Epidemiology Research Unit (AME) at the Helmholtz Zentrum München, adds: "We found 539 independent associations between protein levels and genetic variants." These overlap with genetic risk variants for 42 complex conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases and Alzheimer's disease. "Our results provide new insights into the biological processes that are influenced by a very wide range of complex diseases and that can be used as a basis for the development of new strategies to predict and prevent these diseases," Gieger states. The team is now planning to investigate the exact mechanisms behind the new gene-protein associations. * Participants from the Helmholtz Zentrum München were: The Molecular Epidemiology Research Unit (AME), the Institute of Epidemiology 2 (EPI2), the Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (IBIS), and the Institute of Genetic Epidemiology (IGE). External partners were the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), the German Center for Cardiovascular Disease (DZHK), and Weill Cornell Medicine, Qatar and Doha, Qatar. ** KORA study: The "Kooperative Gesundheitsforschung in der Region Augsburg" (Cooperative Health Research in the Augsburg Region) study has been investigating the health of thousands of people living in the Greater Augsburg area for 30 years. The objective is to understand the effects of environmental factors, lifestyle and genes. Key topics of the KORA studies are issues involving the genesis and progress of chronic diseases, particularly cardiac infarction and diabetes mellitus. Risk factors from the area of health-related behaviour (such as smoking, nutrition, and physical activity), environmental factors (including air and noise pollution), and genetics are explored for this purpose. Issues regarding the utilization and costs of healthcare are examined from the point of view of healthcare research. http://www. Original publication: Karsten Suhre et al. (2017): Connecting genetic risk to disease endpoints through the human blood plasma proteome, Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14357. The Helmholtz Zentrum München, as the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the objective of developing personalized medicine for the diagnosis, therapy, and prevention of widespread diseases such as diabetes mellitus and lung diseases. To this end, it investigates the interactions of genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle. The Zentrum's headquarters is located in Neuherberg in the north of Munich. The Helmholtz Zentrum München employs around 2,300 people and is a member of the Helmholtz Association, which has 18 scientific-technical and biological-medical research centres with around 37,000 employees. http://www. The Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (IBIS) concentrates on the analysis and interpretation of large, high-dimensional biological data sets in order to extract from them information on the molecular basis of complex diseases. In this framework, the institute systematically examines genetic variants, expression patterns, and protein and metabolite profiles and their associations. IBIS develops new bioinformatic and systems biology methods and resources that make it possible to model and visualize high throughput data and the results gained from them. http://www. The Molecular Epidemiology Research Unit (AME) analyses population-based cohorts and case studies for certain diseases with the help of genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and functional analyses. The objective is to explain the molecular mechanisms in complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The unit runs the epidemiology biosample bank and handles sample administration and storage for national and international projects. http://www.
News Article | March 2, 2017
This year ten researchers - including four women and six men - will receive the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. The recipients were chosen by a selection committee in Bonn appointed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The prizewinners will each be presented with the €20,000 prize on 3 May in Berlin. This will be followed by a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize has been awarded annually to outstanding early career researchers since 1977 - as both recognition and an incentive to continue pursuing a path of academic excellence. Since 1980 it has been named after the atomic physicist and former DFG President Heinz Maier-Leibnitz, during whose period in office (1973-1979) it was first awarded. The Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize is regarded not just as the most important award for early career researchers in Germany. In a survey carried out by "bild der wissenschaft" magazine, the major research organisations voted the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize the third most important research prize in Germany - after the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, presented by the DFG, and the Deutscher Zukunftspreis, awarded by the German President. A total of 154 researchers representing all research areas were nominated for this year's prize; 14 of the nominees were then shortlisted. "We were delighted at the sheer number of nominations received in the prize's anniversary year," said the chair of the selection committee, mathematician and DFG Vice President Prof. Dr. Marlis Hochbruck. "The ten recipients are an outstanding example of the high standard of academic quality and qualification of many young researchers in Germany." In his research, Andreas Geiger deals with the broad field of computer vision, in which he has already achieved international renown. His work combines machine vision and robotics. Geiger's main aim is to understand the basic principles of autonomous intelligent systems, especially in the area of autonomous driving. His work is therefore highly relevant not only socially, but also economically. Many of the algorithms he has developed are now being used by research teams and companies throughout the world and his scientific papers have already won multiple awards. Since 2016 Geiger has led the independent Max Planck research group 'Autonomous Machine Vision'. In the same year he was offered an interim professorship at ETH Zurich, in one of the world's biggest and most renowned labs for computer vision. As a postdoctoral researcher Christian Gross was involved in the pioneering development of microscopes for the observation of single atoms in optical grids. This enabled him to model a wide range of quantum systems experimentally and answer questions at the boundary of statistical physics and quantum mechanics. Gross achieved important results relating to phase transitions, magnetic correlations and non-equilibrium systems. Another key area of his work is the physics of Rydberg superatoms, with which he has generated new types of quantum crystals, for example. In 2015 Gross received an ERC Starting Grant for his project 'Rydberg-dressed Quantum Many-Body Systems' in order to advance research with his team that could pave the way for the design of quantum magnets. How do our attitudes influence our choices and ability to make moral judgements? When do personal experiences turn into prejudices? Mandy Hütter seeks answers to questions like these. She demonstrates that not all attitudes are the result of conscious learning processes and that moral judgements are also dependent on 'situational cues'. Hütter has published her results in internationally respected journals. In clinical practice they have proved useful in interventional approaches for phobias and are also creating new insights in the area of social prejudices, the study of democratic processes and the 'wisdom of the many'. Hütter, who also regularly presents her work to the general public, is a junior professor and the leader of the Social and Organisational Psychology group at the University of Tübingen. She also leads an Emmy Noether independent junior research group. Difficulty dealing with emotions and regulating them through changed evaluation is not limited to people with a range of psychological disorders: the same applies to healthy people who have an increased risk of developing such disorders. This is one finding from the work of psychologist Philipp Kanske, who studies the influence of emotions on the way we think and perceive things. He combines basic research with clinical studies, which enables him to adopt an original perspective on the topic at various psychological levels. With approximately 50 publications to date, Kanske has already had a notable impact on clinical-psychological neuroscience. In 2015 he was appointed to the Junge Akademie of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. At the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig he leads the Research Unit 'Psychopathology of the Social Brain'. Since 2013 Kirchlechner has led the working group 'Nano-/Micromechanics of Materials' at the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research in Düsseldorf, where he and his team study the deformation and failure of materials in mesoscopic dimensions. The team's combination of micromechanical experiments and innovative methods for the characterisation of structures - including the so-called micro-Laue method - is unique. One measurement method co-developed by Kirchlechner makes it possible to investigate the influence of atomic defects on specific material properties. It therefore provides answers to key questions in materials science and engineering, specifically the mechanisms of fine grain hardening and the formation of dislocation structures during fatigue processes. Kirchlechner is already considered an internationally recognised expert in micromechanical experiments on synchrotrons. Olivier Namur collected a number of awards while still a student in Belgium and now publishes in his specialist field - the study of volcanic systems and magmatic processes on Earth, the Moon and Mercury - with remarkable impact in international bodies. Namur has developed thermodynamic models not only of the crystallization of magmas, but also of their physical properties. His research has also resulted in new experimental high-pressure, high-temperature methods. Another focus of Namur's research is the investigation and modelling of the textures of minerals in igneous rock, which contain information about the transport of materials and temporal processes in the Earth's deep crust. In recent years this has included crystal mushes, magmas with a very high crystalline content, which reach the surface as fragments due to eruptions and could provide clues as to the structure of the Earth's lower crust. Ute Scholl's field is the study of hypertonia, especially (pre)disposition to this condition due to genetic defects in ion channels and ion transporters. After writing her doctoral thesis on CIC-K chloride channels, which produced a number of highly regarded publications, in her postdoctoral phase she became the first researcher to describe a new syndrome and its genetic basis, which is associated with epilepsy, inner ear hearing loss, ataxia and renal salt loss. Scholl's research has made a significant contribution to the understanding of the hormonal degeneration processes that lead to secondary hypertonia with consequences such as cardiac circulatory disorders or stroke. Since 2014 Scholl has been a junior professor in Experimental Nephrology and Hypertensiology at the University of Düsseldorf. In 2016 she served as deputy spokesperson of the Junges Kolleg of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts. Her work has won numerous awards, including the Walter Clawiter Prize and the Ingrid zu Solms Research Prize. With his dissertation 'Verisimilitudo. Die epistemologischen Voraussetzungen der Gotteslehre Abaelards' and his habilitation thesis 'Theologie aus anthropologischer Ansicht. Der Entwurf Franz Oberthürs (1745-1831)', within a few years Michael Seewald established himself as an expert in dogmatics and ecumenical theology. The former won the Cardinal Wetter Prize of the Catholic Academy in Bavaria, while the latter was awarded the Karl Rahner Prize presented by the University of Innsbruck. Through his habilitation thesis, in particular, Seewald presented a fundamental work on the reception of the European Enlightenment in the environment of Catholic dogmatics, which, through an individual person, also sheds new light on the general relationship between the Catholic Church and modernity. This fills an important gap in research. Since January 2016, Seewald has taught as a private lecturer in dogmatics and ecumenical theology at LMU Munich. Marion Silies began to study the motion perception of Drosophila as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. Since 2014 she has led the Emmy Noether independent junior research group 'The Cellular and Molecular Basis of Motion Perception' at the University of Göttingen. In this group she investigates the outstanding question of how neural networks perform critical calculation operations and how sensory systems use these calculations to extract information from the environment and control behaviour. Among the tools Silies uses is a genetic 'toolbox', established by her and now used by countless laboratories worldwide. With this toolbox researchers can manipulate neural function in specific cells and thus identify the neural networks of motion perception. Silies has won multiple awards for her work. In 2016 she received an ERC Starting Grant for her project 'MicroCyFly'. Within comparative literature, Evi Zemanek's fields of research range from antiquity to the present day. In the field of cultural ecology and 'ecocriticism', which investigates literary texts in the context of ecological aspects, she is considered a pioneer in German-language literature studies. In 2012 she established the DFG early career researcher network 'Ethics and Aesthetics of Literary Representations of Ecological Transformations', on behalf of which she organised six groundbreaking conferences. Since her dissertation 'Das Gesicht im Gedicht' (2010), intermediality research, especially the relationship of literature to painting, photography and architecture, has been another key aspect of her scholarly work. Zemanek is a junior professor of Modern German Literature and Intermediality at the University of Freiburg. In the winter semester 2016/2017 she will serve as an interim professor in the Institute of Media and Cultural Studies. The 2017 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize award ceremony, followed by a celebratory event, will be held on 3 May at 6 pm at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Markgrafenstraße 38, 10117 Berlin. Representatives from the media are cordially invited to attend the award ceremony. Please register in advance with the DFG Press and Public Relations Office, tel. +49 228 885-2109, firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the prize and previous winners is available at: http://www.
News Article | February 20, 2017
TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Enigma Biomedical Group today announced a clinical research agreement with McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging in Montreal to support multiple projects over the next several years. These research projects are for studies of an early stage imaging agent (MK-6240) to be used in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans for assessing the status and progression of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. NFTs made up of aggregated tau protein are a hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. As part of the agreement, Enigma will provide funding for various research projects, and through its US entity Cerveau Technologies, Inc., will supply the MK-6240 precursor needed for the initiatives. Lee Anne Gibbs, President of Enigma Biomedical Group said, “We are proud to partner with McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging, one of the premier institutions in the world. This is another important step in our ongoing and long-term relationship with McGill.” Dr. Pedro Rosa-Neto, Director of McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging said, “These research projects will provide valuable insight into the status and progression of NFTs in healthy subjects, subjects with mild cognitive impairment and confirmed Alzheimer’s Disease. We appreciate the support of Enigma Biomedical Group and value our ongoing relationship.” Dr. Serge Gauthier, Director of the AD & Related Disorders Research Unit of the McGill University Research Center for Studies in Aging said: “The ability to visualize and quantify tau in the brain will facilitate therapeutic research in the field of Alzheimer's disease.” “At Cerveau, we are focused on providing information and technologies to researchers and clinicians to improve brain health,” said Rick Hiatt, President of Cerveau Technologies, Inc., and CEO of Enigma Biomedical Group. “We are excited by the opportunity to work with McGill and the pharmaceutical industry in providing access to this novel imaging agent to the broader scientific community." Toronto based Enigma Biomedical Group (EBG) enhances access to key technologies with a focus on molecular imaging and medicine. EBG offers a suite of services to the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research community to accelerate drug development and global access. EBG partners with academic institutions and universities to foster and broaden access to novel research. More information can be found at http://www.enigmabiomedicalgroup.com/. Cerveau Technologies, Inc. is a partnership between Enigma Biomedical Group, Inc. and Sinotau Pharmaceutical Group. Cerveau's vision is to globally develop diagnostics and technology that positively impact patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease.
News Article | February 17, 2017
The researchers from Imperial College London analysed 20 pharmacies that were available for UK citizens to access online. This is one of the few studies to have examined the online availability of antibiotics and to have explored the potential effects on public health. The research is published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Antibiotics are classed as prescription only medicines in the UK, meaning they cannot legally be sold to consumers without a valid prescription. In the study, the researchers found that although online versions of UK high street pharmacies were compliant with prescription regulations, 80 per cent of the online pharmacies surveyed let customers choose their dosages, the duration and choice of antibiotic treatments. This can lead to serious side effects in patients and increases the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is one the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).The study was carried out by academics from Imperial College London's NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. The team carried out their research by entering the search term 'buy antibiotics online' into Google and Yahoo. The team recognise that the study is a 'snapshot' of the online pharmacy industry, but it does provide insights into how it operates. The 20 pharmacies at the top of the search were analysed by the team. Dr Sara Boyd, a co-author and NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Imperial, said: "These findings are a real concern, and raise several important issues regarding antibiotic resistance and patient safety with online pharmacies." All online medicine vendors selling to UK consumers must by law register with both the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland). However, the researchers found that 75 per cent of online pharmacies included in the study lacked evidence of the appropriate registration status required by law. In other findings, the researchers discovered that 45 per cent of the online pharmacies analysed did not require a prescription from the patient. Only 30 per cent of websites in the survey asked consumers to complete a health questionnaire prior to purchase. Seventy per cent of the websites provided information on the safe usage of prescription medications, including potential side effects or adverse reactions when combined with other drugs. Professor Alison Holmes, of Imperial's Department of Medicine, added: "Improper use of antibiotics can mean that infections are not being treated appropriately, or that people are being unnecessarily exposed to antibiotics. This allows bacteria to become resistant to drugs that once killed them. As a result, it is essential that antibiotics are prescribed only when they are needed." Although a small study, the authors say that the research offers insight into the increasing use of the internet for a variety of purposes, including buying antibiotics. Dr Boyd said: "The way patients interact with healthcare is constantly evolving, and shifts in consumer behaviour mean more people are purchasing their goods online. Our study paves the way for larger, more thorough research into this worrying new trend so that we can ensure patient safety and promote the responsible use of antibiotics in all areas of healthcare provision." Martin Astbury, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said: "Unnecessary antibiotic use can result in serious side effects in individuals and has a major impact on wider public health by increasing antibiotic resistance. We cannot support access to antibiotics through a web form until the standards for prescribing by private providers reflect the standard of face to face consultations in the NHS. Those involved in supplying medicines online should ensure their processes are as robust as possible." All online pharmacies identified as illegally selling antibiotics to patients within the UK were reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who promptly responded. The researchers are working together with numerous stakeholders to improve patient safety and antibiotic stewardship in this area. Anyone with a concern concerns about an online pharmacy should contact the MHRA directly. The study was partially funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London, in partnership with Public Health England and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
News Article | February 21, 2017
LIVERPOOL, 21-Feb-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that the annual number of estimated number of norovirus cases annually in the UK is approximately 800,000 greater than previously estimated. Norovirus is the commonest cause of gastrointestinal disease across all age groups worldwide. The majority of cases experience a mild, self-limiting illness and few cases tend to consult primary healthcare. Those that do might not be sampled, leading to huge under-diagnosis and under-reporting. The low infectious dose of norovirus means that people not exhibiting symptoms (asymptomatic) can potentially contribute to ongoing transmission. The Second Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease in the community (IID2 study) in the UK estimated the community incidence of norovirus to be 47/1000 population, which equates to around three million cases a year, at a cost to cases and the health service of up to £106million. The IID2 study estimated the number of cases who were symptomatic. Using a modified measure of estimating positivity for norovirus, researchers from the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Gastrointestinal Infections at the University of Liverpool increases the estimation of the population burden of norovirus infection by around 26%, equating to 3.7 million norovirus infections annually. The results of this study, which have been published in the journal Vaccine, also suggests that around 6% of the population and around 18% of children aged less than five years are affected by norovirus each year. Dr John Harris, said: “With possible vaccines on the horizon for norovirus, having a good estimate of the total burden of norovirus infection, as well as symptomatic disease will be useful in helping to guide vaccination policy when candidate vaccines become available.” The research was funded by the NIHR HPRU in Gastrointestinal Infections at the University of Liverpool in partnership with Public Health England; University of East Anglia; University of Oxford and the Institute of Food Research. The full study, entitled ‘Re-assessing the total burden of norovirus circulating in the United Kingdom population’, can be found here.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Children whose mothers have taken anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy, do not visit the doctor more often than children who have not been exposed to this medicine in utero -- this is the result of a new study from Aarhus Children whose mothers have taken anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy, do not visit the doctor more often than children who have not been exposed to this medicine in utero. This is the result of a new study from Aarhus. Previous studies have shown that anti-epilepsy medicine may lead to congenital malformations in the foetus and that the use of anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy affects the development of the brain among the children. There is still a lack of knowledge in the area about the general health of children who are exposed to anti-epilepsy medicine in foetallife. But this new study is generally reassuring for women who need to take anti-epilepsy medicine during their pregnancy. Being born to a mother who has taken anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy appears not to harm the child's health. These are the findings of the first Danish study of the correlation between anti-epilepsy medicine and the general health of the child which has been carried out by the Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. The results have just been published in the international scientific journal BMJ Open. The researchers have looked into whether children who have been exposed to the mother's anti-epilepsy medicine have contact with their general practitioner (GP) more often than other children - and there are no significant differences. "Our results are generally reassuring for women who need to take anti-epilepsy medicine during their pregnancy, including women with epilepsy," says Anne Mette Lund Würtz, who is one of the researchers behind the project. The difference in the number of contacts to the general practitioner between exposed and non-exposed children is only three per cent. "The small difference we found in the number of contacts is primarily due to a difference in the number of telephone contacts and not to actual visits to the GP. At the same time, we cannot rule out that the difference in the number of contacts is caused by a small group of children who have more frequent contact with their GP because of illness," explains Anne Mette Lund Würtz. Of the 963,010 children born between 1997 and 2012, who were included in the survey, anti-epilepsy medicine was used in 4,478 of the pregnancies that were studied. Anti-epilepsy medicine is also used for the treatment of other diseases such as migraine and bipolar disorder. The study shows that there were no differences relating to whether the women who used anti-epilepsy medicine during pregnancy were diagnosed with epilepsy or not. Type of study: The population study was carried out using the Danish registers for the period 1997-2013. The analyses takes into account differences in the child's gender and date of birth, as well as the mother's age, family situation, income, level of education, as well as any mental illness, use of psychiatric medicine and insulin, and substance abuse. Partners: Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital and the Research Unit for General Medical Practice. Support: The Lundbeck Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation through the PROCRIN research programme. The article Prenatal exposure to antiepileptic drugs and use of primary healthcare during childhood: a population-based cohort study in Denmark. Jakob Christensen Aarhus University, Department of Clinical Medicine and Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Neurology Tel.: (+45) 60 86 58 99 email@example.com