NIH [to 24 June 2017]
June 19, 2017
Study to examine effects of Zika infection in Guatemalan infants and children
— NIH-funded study will characterize outcomes of infection acquired after birth.
A large natural history study examining the neurologic, neurodevelopmental and other clinical outcomes of Zika virus infection in infants and young children has begun in rural Guatemala. It will focus on those infected with Zika virus after birth rather than those infected congenitally. The study is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, in partnership with FUNSALUD (Fundacion para la Salud Integral de los Guatemaltecos) Center for Human Development in Coatepeque, Guatemala, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving the health and human development of families and communities in the southwest region of Guatemala. Researchers in Guatemala and the United States, including NIAID scientists, designed the study; NIAID is funding the research….
European Medicines Agency [to 24 June 2017]
Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 19-22 June 2017
Eight medicines recommended for approval, including two medicines for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommended eight new medicines for approval at its June meeting.
The CHMP recommended granting marketing authorisations for Maviret (glecaprevir / pibrentasvir) and Vosevi (sofosbuvir / velpatasvir / voxilaprevir) for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Both medicines were reviewed under the EU’s accelerated assessment mechanism…
EDCTP [to 24 June 2017]
The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) aims to accelerate the development of new or improved drugs, vaccines, microbicides and diagnostics against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as well as other poverty-related and neglected infectious diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on phase II and III clinical trials
19 June 2017
Professor Alimuddin Zumla honoured for services to public health
Professor Alimuddin Zumla, Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health at University College London was honoured in the United Kingdom for services to public health and protection from infectious disease with a Knighthood (KBE) in Her Majesty The Queen’s 2017 Birthday Honours List…
19 June 2017
Mundo Sano joins forces with EDCTP to fund research on neglected infectious diseases
On 16 June 2017, the Mundo Sano Foundation and the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) created a partnership to leverage research funding for neglected infectious diseases (NIDs). They agreed that Mundo Sano would contribute to clinical and product-focused implementation research in neglected diseases and soil-transmitted helminthiases.
UNAIDS [to 24 June 2017]
Selected Press Releases & Updates
Feature story – 22 June 2017
New survey finds high levels of HIV discrimination in Republic of Korea
…A new survey conducted by the Korean Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (KNP+) finds that Mr Cho’s experience is far too common for people living with HIV in the Republic of Korea. The Korean People Living with HIV Stigma Index, which is the first peer-led survey in the country to detect and measure how HIV-positive people experience stigma and discrimination, was released on 22 June. Its development was supported by the Global Network of People Living with HIV, the International Community of Women Living with HIV and UNAIDS.
The survey, which was conducted from March to June 2016, found that 62% of people questioned reported that they were tested for HIV without their knowledge. This is high compared to other countries in Asia that have conducted similar peer-led surveys. In Viet Nam, 13% of people living with HIV reported similar experiences and in Nepal the figure was 9%. In addition, 17% of people surveyed in the Republic of Korea said their status was disclosed by medical staff to others without their consent.
“For too long, the voices of people living with HIV have been absent in policy-making,” said Son Mun Soo of KNP+. “This study documents their experiences and shows that the government, employers, health-care workers and communities must do much more to guarantee the rights of people living with HIV. A comprehensive anti-discrimination law must be enacted to protect their rights.”
UNAIDS and the World Health Organization strongly recommend that HIV testing only be undertaken with a person’s informed consent…
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières [to 24 June 2017]
Addition of Snakebite to WHO’s Neglected Tropical Diseases List Could Spur New, More Effective Treatments
June 23, 2017
The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) welcomed the addition of snakebite to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) list. Despite the fact that snakebite is estimated to kill over 100,000 people every year—more than any other disease on the list— there are hardly any resources to prevent and treat it and very few lifesaving anti-venoms available.
Wellcome Trust [to 24 June 2017]
Opinion / Published: 20 June 2017
Director’s update: our priorities for the Brexit negotiations
As the formal negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union begin in Brussels, Wellcome’s Director Jeremy Farrar outlines what science needs to thrive post-Brexit.
In an article in today’s Times, he sets out three key things that the government should prioritise during the negotiations to sustain Britain’s status as a world-leading centre for science:
:: harmonised regulation between the UK and the EU on issues such as medicines and data protection, to create the right conditions for innovative industries to thrive
:: continued access to EU research funding schemes for UK scientists
: an immigration policy that is welcoming to foreign researchers, technicians, innovators and their families, at every stage of their career, and to students.
News / Published: 19 June 2017
Awards for the Wellcome community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours
Several members of the Wellcome community have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. The list, which was announced over the weekend, includes over 1,000 people who are recognised for their achievements and contributions to society…
:: Pfizer Begins Phase 1 Clinical Trial to Evaluate Investigational Group B Streptococcus Vaccine
An estimated 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women carry the GBS bacteria;1 the vaccine candidate is being studied to help protect newborns from infection via maternal immunization
June 19, 2017
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) today announced that it has started a Phase 1 trial in healthy volunteers of PF-06760805, an investigational vaccine designed to help protect against Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection. In newborns, GBS manifests as sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis,2 with potentially fatal outcomes for some, and long-lasting neurological damage in 46 to 50 percent of those infected.3
“Because their immune systems are still immature, GBS can have potentially devastating effects on newborns,” said Carol J. Baker, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics-Infectious Disease at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. “The global health community would welcome a vaccine that could help reduce the impact of GBS everywhere, particularly in areas where the routine administration of antibiotics is not common practice.”
Women who are carriers of the GBS bacteria may pass it on to their newborns during labor and birth. The U.S. and certain developed countries have established recommendations for women to be screened for GBS during their third trimester of pregnancy, and administered prophylactic antibiotics during labor to prevent transmission to their newborns at delivery.4,5 However, this requires a robust health delivery infrastructure that is not widely available globally.
“Pfizer is proud to take this important first step to support our efforts to ultimately develop a GBS vaccine with the potential to immunize a mother to help protect her infant against a devastating disease,” said Kathrin Jansen, Ph.D., senior vice president and head of Vaccine Research and Development for Pfizer Inc. …