AERAS  [to 24 February 2018]
February 19, 2018
Results from Innovative Phase 2 Tuberculosis Vaccine Trial Offer Potential for New BCG Revaccination Strategies, Hope For Subunit Vaccines
Study is the First “Prevention of Infection” Trial Conducted for Tuberculosis, the World’s Leading Infectious Disease Killer
Results to Be Presented at the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines
NEW DELHI (February 19, 2018) –Aeras, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing vaccines against tuberculosis (TB), today announced results from an innovative clinical trial that provides encouraging new evidence that TB vaccines could prevent sustained infections in high-risk adolescents. In a prevention-of-infection Phase 2 trial conducted in South Africa, revaccination with the Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine significantly reduced sustained TB infections in adolescents.  An experimental vaccine candidate, H4:IC31, also reduced sustained infections, although not at statistically significant levels. However, the trend observed for H4:IC31 is the first time a subunit vaccine has shown any indication of ability to protect against TB infection or disease in humans.
TB infections that developed during the study were determined using a QuantiFERON®-TB Gold in Tube (QFT-GIT) test, a commercially available blood test that helps diagnose TB infections. In the trial, individuals who tested negative for QFT-GIT were considered to not have a TB infection. The trial measured the rate by which individuals converted to QFT-GIT positive, implying evidence of TB infection.  Those individuals who tested QFT-GIT positive consecutively over 6 months were considered to have a sustained infection.,,

Aeras Highlights Commitment to Eradicating the World’s Leading Infectious Disease Killer at the 5th Global Forum on Tuberculosis
Aeras will highlight the progress being made in TB vaccine research at the 5th Global Forum on TB Vaccines in New Delhi, India, February 20-23, 2018. Presentations will include new data from Aeras’s advancing portfolio of TB vaccines, including data from four clinical-stage candidates. Keep reading for all presentation details.

European Medicines Agency  [to 24 February 2018]
Meeting highlights from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) 19-22 February 2018
Five medicines recommended for approval, including two orphans
22 February 2018
Financial engineering for global development
New IFFIm Board Chair Cyrus Ardalan reflects on IFFIm’s pioneering role in the growth of socially responsible investing.
…Q. IFFIm has been frequently singled out as an example of a successful socially responsible investment. Indeed, the landmark Third International Conference on Financing for Development, in 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, stated that IFFIm should “be replicated to address broader development needs.” What can others in the global development sector learn from IFFIm’s example that they might adopt for their own financing needs?
CA: First, IFFIm Vaccine Bonds are as pure an example of socially responsible financing as you can get.
They have a clear social benefit, the results are measurable, and we can readily see the impact these funds are having. That’s a model that many others can emulate readily, though it may need to be adapted to different development needs.
Second, others might want to look at the institutional structure underpinning IFFIm, not just the bonds it issues. It’s a unique and, we think, replicable form of financial engineering. It enables us to accelerate for the short-term value that donor governments provide over the long run. It also gives Gavi much more flexibility to provide solutions when the need is greatest. That’s why IFFIm-generated funding initially made up more than 50% percent of Gavi’s expenditures.
On a less formal basis, we’re also offering advice and information to leaders in other development sectors who are exploring ways to improve the volume and flow of financing. We’ve done so, for example, with The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, which is contemplating an International Financing Facility for Education, or IFFEd.    Their goal is to mobilise by 2020 an additional $10 billion annually for investment into education in developing countries.

  1. Can you describe potential new strategic initiatives IFFIm is currently exploring?

CA: Over the past couple of years we’ve looked at ways IFFIm can expand its role to help Gavi where there are emerging needs. That would include, first of all, doing more with what IFFIm has traditionally done through Vaccine Bond issuances.
Second, IFFIm could also be called on to more directly support Gavi’s impact on reducing the cost and increasing the availability of vaccines through its market shaping role. Market shaping is really one of Gavi’s core functions and achievements, and it has dramatically increased the supply of vaccines that low income countries can afford.
IFFIm has contributed to market shaping activities in the past by frontloading more than 90% of initial vaccines for Gavi’s pentavalent programme.  Pentavalent vaccine is effective in eradicating five diseases: diphtheria, tetantus, pertussis, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b.  This investment encouraged manufacturers to increase vaccine production and decrease the price.  Gavi is now able to procure pentavalent vaccine for as low as $1.68 a dose – a price reduction of more than 50% since 2006.
Additionally, Gavi supported the introduction of pentavalent vaccine in 73 countries., By leveraging IFFIm’s unused capacity, it could play a greater role in supporting Gavi’s market shaping activities.
Third, IFFIm might provide additional financing to help countries install modern cold chain equipment that enables vaccines to be delivered unspoiled to the children whose lives depend on them – especially in remote areas. The goal is to increase access to more children and allow for the wider use of energy efficient, solar-powered equipment, especially in places that don’t have access to electricity.
Finally, we’re also looking into ways in which IFFIm can help with a new mechanism that will allow for the rapid deployment of financing in the event of infectious disease outbreaks, should Gavi decide to play an active role in this area.

IVAC  [to 24 February 2018]
IVAC Executive Director Dr. Kate O’Brien is featured in the Spring 2018 issue of the Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health magazine
Read the latest VIEW-hub report (December 2017)
MSF/Médecins Sans Frontières  [to 24 February 2018]
Press release
Syria: Mass Casualties in Eastern Ghouta as 13 Medical Facilities are Hit and Lifesaving Supplies are Blocked by Siege
February 21, 2018
BRUSSELS/NEW YORK—Thirteen hospitals and clinics that receive support from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have been damaged or destroyed over the past three days amid an extraordinary increase in bombing and shelling over the Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta, MSF said today. Meanwhile, lifesaving medical supplies urgently needed to treat mass casualties are being restricted by the ongoing siege on the area.

NIH  [to 24 February 2018]
February 23, 2018
U.S. hospitals testing experimental therapies to prevent two common bacterial infections
February 23, 2018 — NIH-funded sites join large, international clinical trials.

NIH program to accelerate therapies for arthritis, lupus releases first datasets
February 21, 2018 — Collaborative effort provides important clues about potential research targets.

UNAIDS [to 24 February 2018]
23 February 2018
UNAIDS’ Deputy Executive Director, Programme, not to seek renewal of his position
GENEVA, 23 February 2018—UNAIDS’ Deputy Executive Director, Programme, Luiz Loures, has communicated his wish to the UNAIDS Executive Director not to seek the renewal of his position as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS. Dr Loures will end his term as Deputy Executive Director at the end of March 2018.
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, has accepted the decision and conveyed the decision to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr Sidibé also thanked Dr Loures for his 22 years of dedicated service to UNAIDS…

UNICEF  [to 24 February 2018]
23 February 2018
Cyclone season and threat of violence loom over 720,000 Rohingya children in Myanmar and Bangladesh – UNICEF
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 23 February 2018 – Urgent efforts are needed to help more than 720,000 Rohingya children who are threatened either by the approaching cyclone season in Bangladesh or by ongoing violence and denial of their basic rights in Myanmar, UNICEF said today.

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore gives remarks at the #EveryChildALIVE launch
NEW YORK, 20 February 2018 – “Thank you for joining us as we launch “Every Child Alive” — our new campaign to end the tragedy of preventable child deaths. Thanks to many of the people in this room, more children are surviving to their fifth birthdays than at any time in history. But as we celebrate the progress achieved for the young citizens of the world, we must do more for the youngest of all: newborns.”

The war on children in Syria: Reports of mass casualties among children in Eastern Ghouta and Damascus
AMMAN, 20 February 2018- “No words will do justice to the children killed, their mothers, their fathers and their loved ones”[1].

World is failing newborn babies, says UNICEF
NEW YORK, 20 February 2018 – Global deaths of newborn babies remain alarmingly high, particularly among the world’s poorest countries, UNICEF said today in a new report on newborn mortality. Babies born in Japan, Iceland and Singapore have the best chance at survival, while newborns in Pakistan, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan face the worst odds.
[See Reports/Research below for more detail]

Wellcome Trust  [to 24 February 2018]
News / Published: 21 February 2018
Bolster European Research Area to boost science post-Brexit
The European Research Area (ERA) should be strengthened and broadened to increase scientific collaboration between member states and associated countries including the UK, according to a new report from Wellcome.
The Future Partnership Project report, Building a Strong Future for European Science: Brexit and Beyond [PDF 641KB], based on consultations with more than 200 UK and European scientists and policy makers, makes recommendations about how greater scientific collaboration could be achieved after Brexit.

4 projects reveal history of health experiences in LGBTQI+ community
Published: 19 February 2018
To mark this year’s LGBT History Month, Charli Colegate from our Humanities and Social Science team highlights four grants that are exploring the health-related histories of LGBTQI+ people.

The Wistar Institute   [to 24 February 2018]
Press Release 
Variant of the p53 Gene Increased Tumor Cell Metabolism
PHILADELPHIA — (Feb. 22, 2018) — Scientists at The Wistar Institute have found a novel mechanism through which mutant p53 enhances metastasis by controlling tumor metabolism.


Industry Watch   [to 24 February 2018]
:: GSK presents new efficacy data for FLUARIX® QUADRIVALENT (Influenza Vaccine) in children 6 months through 35 months of age
PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — GSK presented today at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting that FLUARIX® QUADRIVALENT demonstrated 63.2% efficacy against moderate to severe influenza and 49.8% efficacy against influenza of any severity in children 6 months through 35 months of age.
These results are based on a randomized, observer-blind, non-influenza vaccine-controlled trial that enrolled 12,018 children in five independent cohorts in 13 countries in Asia, Europe, and Central America from 2011 through the end of 2014.
“Children 6 months through 35 months of age are particularly vulnerable to the flu, and the efficacy results from this trial are promising,” said Dr. Leonard Friedland, Vice President, Scientific Affairs and Public Health, GSK Vaccines, who presented the data to the ACIP.    “FLUARIX® QUADRIVALENT can help ensure health care provider and parents have the ability to help protect young children against the flu.”…