Researchers have discovered how the dengue virus replicates itself in an infected person while not setting off the body's defense mechanisms, according to findings published in the Journal of Virology. The investigators found that "the virus takes over the machinery and makes a ton of itself, but so slowly and inefficiently that it doesn't set off any of the sensors the host cell uses to detect when something is awry," said senior study investigator Christopher Nicchitta of Duke University School of Medicine.
The Ugandan government said tests have confirmed a case of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in a 9-year-old boy. The child is hospitalized and the virus has cleared, according to health officials.
Robust quality controls are essential when using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry in clinical microbiology labs, a recent document from the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute says. "As more laboratories abandon traditional methods in favor of MALDI-TOF MS, those that make the switch absolutely need to follow best practices for quality control by adhering to recommendations given by instrument manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and other guidelines," notes Lori Bourassa, assistant director of the clinical microbiology division at the University of Washington Medical Center.
A bill that would eliminate the medical device tax was unveiled by Sens. Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren, both D-Mass. The No Taxation on Device Innovation Act would end oil company tax breaks projected to be worth $29 billion over the next 10 years to offset the cost of the device tax repeal.
A pair of collaborations was launched by Stanford University spinout Forty Seven to evaluate its drug candidate Hu5F9-G4 in combination with Merck's Bavencio, or avelumab, in patients with ovarian cancer, and Genentech's Tecentriq, or atezolizumab, in patients with acute myeloid leukemia and with urothelial cancer. Values of both deals were not disclosed.
Los Angeles County has reported a case of sexually transmitted Zika infection in a woman whose partner had visited Mexico, according to the CDC. A study in the journal PLOS Pathogens found that a lack of surveillance data makes estimating the risk of sexual transmission difficult for Zika.
CEO Matthew Kapusta of uniQure said his firm plans to sponsor a pivotal study of its hemophilia B gene therapy candidate AMT-061 this year. The study is scheduled to begin in the third quarter.
A Phase I study found that Ziopharm Oncology's therapy candidate Ad-RTS-hIL-12 and veledimex was safe to use in treating recurrent glioblastoma. Ziopharm is also collaborating with Intrexon for the development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies and conducting a Phase I study at MD Anderson Cancer Center of a CD33-specific CAR T-cell therapy candidate for acute myeloid leukemia.
A deal to acquire Fast Track Diagnostics for undisclosed terms was completed by Siemens Healthineers. Fast Track, which makes syndromic panels and infectious disease detection tests with sites in Malta, India and Luxembourg, will be integrated into the Siemens Healthineers business and will maintain its brand name.