Announcements

Fondation Merieux  [to 27 May 2017]
http://www.fondation-merieux.org/news
Mission: Contribute to global health by strengthening local capacities of developing countries to reduce the impact of infectious diseases on vulnerable populations.
22 May 2017, Bamako (Mali)
Mali: Phase 2 Launch of the LABOMEDCAMP Country Medical Laboratory Project
The official ceremony to launch phase 2 of the LABOMEDCAMP project took place at the Charles Mérieux Center for Infectious Disease on April 5, 2017.
 
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IAVI – International AIDS Vaccine Initiative   [to 27 May 2017]
https://www.iavi.org/
May 25, 2017
IAVI Statement on the US Administration’s Proposed Full Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) expresses deep concern over drastic cuts to HIV/AIDS biomedical research and development proposed in the U.S. President’s FY 18 budget.
This budget is built on the unfortunate fallacy that the AIDS epidemic can be sustainably controlled using current tools. The proposed 18 percent cut to PEPFAR limits capacity to maintain treatment programs at present levels only, and fails to accommodate treatment for millions of people who will require it. Steadily increased investment in PEPFAR is what has saved millions of lives and given 11.5 million people access to treatment.

To truly end AIDS, we must look to the horizon of new prevention technologies, including an AIDS vaccine. This budget eliminates USAID funding for IAVI, preventing our researchers from moving 10 promising vaccine candidates into the clinic and from understanding the biological basis of HIV infection that has already helped devise approaches to fighting other infectious diseases.

We call on Congress to fully fund the PEPFAR program, including critical support provided by USAID for HIV prevention R&D. This support promotes economic growth at home and abroad, illuminates the value of American innovation, and helps maintain political stability and global security.

The end of AIDS is within our grasp. This budget will keep us from ever realizing a world without AIDS.
 
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NIH  [to 27 May 2017]
http://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases
May 24, 2017
Zika virus spread undetected for many months, NIH-supported study finds
May 24, 2017 — Virus quickly spread in the Americas, then diverged into distinct genetic groups.

Modified experimental vaccine protects monkeys from deadly malaria
Scientists modified an existing vaccine to more closely mimics the protein complex used by the parasite.
May 22, 2017 — Researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, modified an experimental malaria vaccine and showed that it completely protected four of eight monkeys who received it against challenge with the virulent Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite. In three of the remaining four monkeys, the vaccine delayed when parasites first appeared in the blood by more than 25 days…

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FDA [to 27 May 2017]
http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/default.htm
FDA News Release
FDA approves first cancer treatment for any solid tumor with a specific genetic feature
May 23, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted accelerated approval to a treatment for patients whose cancers have a specific genetic feature (biomarker). This is the first time the agency has approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker rather than the location in the body where the tumor originated.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic solid tumors that have been identified as having a biomarker referred to as microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR). This indication covers patients with solid tumors that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options and patients with colorectal cancer that has progressed following treatment with certain chemotherapy drugs.

“This is an important first for the cancer community,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence. “Until now, the FDA has approved cancer treatments based on where in the body the cancer started—for example, lung or breast cancers. We have now approved a drug based on a tumor’s biomarker without regard to the tumor’s original location.”…
 
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European Medicines Agency  [to 27 May 2017]
http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/
23/05/2017
East African Community looks to EMA as model for future regional agency
EMA and East African regulators met on 18-19 May 2017
As part of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) ongoing collaboration with African regulators, a delegation from the East African Community (EAC) visited the Agency on 18-19 May 2017. The goal of the two-day meeting was to gather information and experience to support the potential creation of a networking medicines agency for the EAC.
The delegation included the heads of national agencies from the EAC Partner States, together with representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank Group. The EAC has six Partner States: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda…