Lab Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/16/2018

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization is associated with increased risk of subsequent infection during and after hospitalization, according to a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases of Department of Veterans Affairs data for 985,626 hospital admissions. "Hospitalized patients who are colonized with MRSA, regardless of whether they were colonized on admission or acquired it during their inpatient stay, are at high risk for MRSA infection," VA epidemiology researcher Richard Nelson said.

8/15/2018

Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo reported five new confirmed cases of Ebola virus infection among four health care workers and a former patient at a center in Mangina. World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said cases have been confirmed in a total of seven health care workers.

8/14/2018

Mustang Bio and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will work together to develop an ex vivo lentiviral gene therapy for severe combined immunodeficiency, or "bubble boy" disease. The collaboration will focus on completing their Phase I/II clinical trials, one of which involves patients under the age of 2, with promising responses from eight patients who already received the treatment.

8/14/2018

EKF Diagnostics Holdings and McKesson Medical-Surgical have entered a US distribution agreement for EKF's DiaSpect Tm reagent-free hemoglobin analyzer. The device will be offered under the McKesson Consult Hb brand.

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8/14/2018

Clinical laboratories could provide help in different models of home-based health care programs, such as performing laboratory testing, advising on pre-analytical factors, certifying operators, choosing and validating the appropriate devices, guiding integration of results into the electronic medical record, managing IT connectivity, maintaining appropriate quality control and quality assurance procedures, and performing regular reviews of standard operating procedures.

8/13/2018

An RNA and DNA sequencing platform developed by investigators from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York helps determine the best drug therapies for patients with late-stage and drug-resistant multiple myeloma. Details of the methodology were published in the journal JCO Precision Oncology.

8/13/2018

A multi-site Phase Ib clinical trial has been initiated by biotech firm OncoPep to assess the safety and tolerability of its experimental vaccine candidate PVX-410 to treat smoldering multiple myeloma. Two different combinations will be tested in about 20 patients, with the first consisting of PVX-410 plus Celgene's investigational histone deacetylase inhibitor citarinostat and the second a combination of PVX-410, citarinostat and lenalidomide.

8/10/2018

CDC researchers found that the rate of US pregnant women with opioid use disorder rose from 1.5 per 1,000 deliveries in 1999 to 6.5 in 2014. The findings in the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report also showed that OUD among pregnant women was most prevalent in Vermont and least prevalent in the District of Columbia.

8/10/2018

Researchers in Greece analyzed genomes of more than 1,400 samples of the hepatitis B virus to learn about its development and geographic spread over time, according to a report in the journal eLife. Data indicated that the HBV-D strain originated in North Africa or the Middle East, while HBV-A may have originated in the Middle East or Central Asia, then followed two separate paths to different regions of Africa.

8/8/2018

Merck said it plans to drop the price of its hepatitis C medication Zepatier by 60%, and Express Scripts said the drug will be a preferred product in the pharmacy benefit manager's list of covered medications in 2019. The development is expected to boost sales, and it may also provide marketing opportunities for, and access to, a new patient population.

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