NIH's Role In Sustaining the U.S. Economy 2021 Update Now Available here
UMR Urges House and Senate Leaders to Include NIH Funding in COVID Relief Package read here
UMR releases new fact sheets on COVID-19 and biomedical research. Read here
See how UMR members are aiding in the fight against the coronavirus here
A new episode of the Amazing Things Podcast is now available! Check it out here.

A participant in the NIH 2019-2020 Medical Research Scholars Program.

Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health

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UMR MEMBERS DEPLOY BIOMEDICAL INNOVATION TO FIGHT COVID-19

UMR members, representing leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry, are engaging on all fronts in the effort to keep people safe and detect, treat and prevent COVID-19.

The information here is a small sampling of the efforts underway by UMR members.

Highlights


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New COVID-19 antigen testing method offers highly accurate results in under 3 minutes

New variants to the COVID-19 virus have challenged the capacity of existing testing methods to deliver fast and consistently accurate test results, as PCR tests must be sent to labs and can take days to be returned. Furthermore, rapid antigen alternatives struggle to match up to the gold standard. But to effectively slow the rate of infection, spaces like schools and hospitals need ways to accurately identify infected individuals within their first days of infection as they’re walking in the door. Now, a novel antigen-based COVID-19 detection method developed in a Northwestern University laboratory demonstrated 100% accuracy in a blind test in five or fewer minutes from swab to signal.    
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches SpeciMAX Stabilized Saliva Collection Kit

As global SARS-CoV-2 research efforts continue, labs are increasingly conducting scientific studies using banked saliva samples, taking advantage of a sample type which is easy to access and non-invasive. To this end, Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched the Thermo Scientific SpeciMAX Stabilized Saliva Collection Kit*, which is designed to safely collect saliva for research.
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Understanding Long COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines long COVID as health problems lasting four or more weeks after first getting infected with the novel coronavirus, impacting as many as one out of every four patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19. The aftermath of symptoms for self-described “long haulers” is unfortunately all too real: one patient shared that even after a full 12 months since he “recovered” from his COVID-19 infection, he is still dealing with symptoms like trouble breathing, coughing, shortness of breath and having to rely on an oxygen tank because of severely damaged lungs.
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Stress of COVID-19 pandemic caused irregular menstrual cycles

Women and people who menstruate experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle because of increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Northwestern Medicine study has found. This is the first U.S. study to evaluate the impact of stress on peoples’ periods. The study surveyed more than 200 women and people who menstruate in the United States between July and August 2020 in order to better understand how stress during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their menstrual cycles.
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MedTech POV Podcast | BD’s Tom Polen on Lessons Learned During COVID-19: “It Normally Takes Us Three Years … How About 90 Days?”

In a wide-ranging discussion on everything from his upbringing in rural Maryland to his elevation to CEO of Becton Dickinson (BD) just as the COVID-19 pandemic was taking shape, Tom Polen walks host Scott Whitaker and listeners through the company’s work throughout the pandemic, offering leadership and management lessons, as well as insight into decision-making in times of crisis.
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Medtech POV Podcast | Hologic’s Steve MacMillan Previews Unveiling of “Global Women’s Health Index,” Recounts Company’s Mobilization to Combat COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Medtech POV Podcast’s most recent episode, Hologic President and CEO Steve MacMillan led host Scott Whitaker, President and CEO of AdvaMed, through a retrospective on the company’s more than tripling of total molecular diagnostic manufacturing capacity in order to meet the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and help save lives.  
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New Data Finds Medical Technology Industry Continues to Create High-Paying Jobs at Small Businesses Throughout COVID-19 Pandemic

New data released today by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) found that the medical technology (medtech) industry created more, better-paying jobs than the manufacturing sector overall. AdvaMed commissioned the new economic research report by Macro Policy Advisors to study the industry’s jobs footprint and economic impact on states, and the results were overwhelmingly positive for Americans.
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MedTech POV Podcast with Scott Whitaker | FDA’s Dr. Jeff Shuren Says Agency Should “Re-envision” Medical Device Regulatory Framework

Dr. Jeff Shuren, the head of FDA’s medical device division, told a medtech audience on a podcast released this week that the agency should “re-envision” the medical device regulatory framework. Dr. Shuren recently appeared on the newly launched MedTech POV podcast hosted by AdvaMed President and CEO Scott Whitaker.
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Research suggests global dementia cases could triple by 2050, and also that COVID-19 accelerates Alzheimer’s

Research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2021 suggests COVID-19 is associated with long-term cognitive dysfunction and acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and symptoms. These studies were among several pieces of groundbreaking research featured at AAIC 2021.  
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The Impact of COVID-19 and the Global Pandemic on Alzheimer’s Research, Long-Term Care and the Brain

COVID-19 and the global pandemic have caused significant disruption to all aspects of life including Alzheimer’s clinical research worldwide. The impact of COVID, quarantine, and the resulting fear and isolation are causing problems, but also driving unprecedented innovation. Yet the urgency to make scientific advances in Alzheimer’s and other dementia is so high that we must look at how we can safely resume, continue and even accelerate clinical research. The environment we are in is allowing us to establish creative and innovative ways to safely move some studies forward.
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Five key findings emerge from Alzheimer’s Association Conference

Research presented at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2021 suggests COVID-19 is associated with long-term cognitive dysfunction and acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and symptoms. These studies were among several pieces of groundbreaking research featured at AAIC. Nearly 12,000 attendees, both in-person and virtual, joined the conference – the world’s largest and most influential international meeting dedicated to advancing dementia science.
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COVID-19 Associated with Long-Term Cognitive Dysfunction, Acceleration of Alzheimer’s Symptoms

Much has been learned about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the novel coronavirus, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, questions remain about the long-term impact of the virus on our bodies and brains. New research reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2021, held virtually and in Denver found associations between COVID-19 and persistent cognitive deficits, including the acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and symptoms.
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Some COVID-19 Survivors May Be Better Protected From Variants Than Others

Vaccinated individuals and those who recovered from severe COVID-19 may be at lower risk for subsequent severe infections with SARS-CoV-2 variants than people who had milder cases, according to a new study in the September 3 issue of Science Advances. The analysis, which included blood serum samples from 69 COVID-19 patients and 50 fully vaccinated healthcare workers in the Netherlands, found that serum from all study subjects showed a reduced response to the alpha, beta, and gamma variants compared to the original strain.
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The overlooked superpower of mRNA vaccines

Individuals facing the threat of COVID-19 may care most about a vaccine’s ability to forestall grave disease that could lead to a hospital bed or worse. And a number of vaccines perform that vital task well, including those from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which are based on genetically engineered cold viruses, as well as the not-yet-authorized protein vaccine from Novavax. But for public health experts trying to halt a global pandemic, shutting down even the mildest infections is also crucial, especially as the highly infectious Delta variant surges in scores of countries.
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Will COVID-19 change science? Past pandemics offer clues

Sixteen pandemic months have felt disorienting and arduous—but along the arc of human history, COVID-19 marks just another inflection point. Epidemics have punctuated humanity’s timeline for centuries, sowing panic and killing millions, whether the culprit was plague, smallpox, or influenza. And when infections abate, their imprints on society can remain, some short-lived and some enduring. In a series of news articles over the coming months, Science will consider how a new normal is emerging in the scientific world. Of course, COVID-19 is still with us, especially outside the minority of countries now enjoying the fruits of widespread vaccination. Still, as the pandemic enters a different phase, we ask how research may be changing, how scientists are navigating these waters, and in what directions they are choosing to sail.
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‘This gives hope’: A third COVID-19 vaccine dose can boost protection for organ transplant recipients

Despite poor protection after two shots, an extra dose helps some according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
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Survey: Cancer Patients and Survivors Continue to Face Pandemic-Related Health Care Delays 1 Year Later

According to a new Survivor Views survey from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), 1 in 3 (35%) cancer patients and survivors report that the pandemic has affected their ability to access care. Even during the last few months, as the overall spread of the virus has begun to decline due to vaccinations, roughly 1 in 6 (16%) patients report a delay or interruption in their cancer screening schedule, including 1 in 10 (11%) who experienced a screening delay for a cancer with which they’d previously been diagnosed. These delays were driven mostly by logistical issues such as staffing shortages or a lack of available appointments (26%), followed by patients’ concerns about the risks of contracting the virus (22%).
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Volunteers Meet Virtually with Lawmakers to Support Legislation Allowing Pharmacists to Administer All CDC Recommended Vaccines

Volunteers from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) along with supporters of organizations including NAACP New York State Conference, New York State Association of County Health Organizations, New York Public Health Association and more than 20 others are gathering virtually today to urge lawmakers in Albany to pass legislation this session that will enable pharmacists in the state to administer all vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to anyone over the age of 18.
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Cancer Research Groups Push Emergency Funding to Restart Clinical Trials in Infrastructure Package

A group of more than fifty cancer research-focused organizations are urging Congress to include $10 billion in emergency funding to restart cancer research and clinical trials at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) stalled by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Documentary Film Highlights Early Days of COVID-19 Pandemic and Ongoing Impact on Black, Rural Communities in Alabama

A film by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) features the stories of those disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and stresses the importance of health insurance coverage for lower income individuals in Alabama. The film‘s urgent message continues to be at the forefront of conversations on public policy change that could significantly address the longstanding health and cancer disparities, exacerbated by the pandemic and provide lower income Alabamians access to comprehensive, affordable health insurance coverage.
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Heart disease likely to remain #1 killer in U.S. indefinitely due to long-term COVID-19 impact

Heart disease and stroke continue to kill more people in the U.S. than any other cause, despite, and likely even due to, the impact of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic last year, according to new provisional data released today from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That trend is likely to continue for years to come as the long-term impact of the novel coronavirus will directly affect cardiovascular health, according to the American Heart Association, the leading global volunteer organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke for all. COVID-19 has taken a huge toll worldwide and is now officially ranked as the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in today’s report. Heart disease remains at the top spot and stroke remains at #5. However, the influence of COVID-19 will directly and indirectly impact rates of cardiovascular disease prevalence and deaths for years to come, according to Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, president of the American Heart Association
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Statins may reduce death from, severity of COVID-19 among those with heart disease or high blood pressure

Research published today in The Public Library of Science ONE, PLOS ONE, examined the relationship between use of medications to control cholesterol or blood pressure levels, and the risk of death among people who were hospitalized due to COVID-19.
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Undetected early heart damage raises risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients with impaired first-phase ejection fraction were nearly 5 times more likely to die compared to patients with healthier measures of this early, often undetected sign of heart failure, according to new research published today in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal. First-phase ejection fraction is a measure of the left ventricular ejection fraction until the time of maximal ventricular contraction. Cardiovascular risk factors and/or disease have been recognized as COVID-19 risk factors that have a high negative impact on patient outcomes, since early in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Researchers hypothesized that predisposition to heart failure would be associated with more severe cases of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.
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Small study shows heart damage after COVID-19 uncommon in college athletes

In a small study, researchers found college athletes who contracted COVID-19 rarely had cardiac complications. Most had mild COVID symptoms that did not require treatment, and in a small percentage of those with abnormal cardiac testing, there was no evidence of heart damage on special imaging tests. All athletes returned to sports without any health concerns, according to new research published today in the American Heart Association’s flagship journal Circulation.
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AAU, Associations Issue Joint Statement Regarding Dangerous State Restrictions on COVID-19 Public Health Measures

AAU joined ACHA, ACE, and 26 other higher education associations in issuing a joint statement about state restrictions that have prevented colleges from deploying evidence-based public health measures to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on campus. Several states in the past year have implemented legislation or executive actions forbidding inquiries about vaccinations, banning vaccination requirements, blocking surveillance testing, and curbing the use of masking and other mitigation strategies; these restrictions undermine the ability of colleges and universities to operate safely and fully. In many instances, they directly contradict CDC guidance. As the statement noted, these restrictions “ultimately threaten the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and neighboring communities.”  
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For future medical breakthroughs, we must rebuild research lost to COVID

Perhaps even more than past breakthroughs, the novel COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have inspired immediate and widespread relief and optimism. Biomedical scientists labored for decades to develop the expertise and proof of feasibility that led to the vaccines; this innovative work has saved countless lives and promises an end to a pandemic that has killed millions of people and disrupted normal life around the world for more than a year.
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Friends of IES Requests At Least $700B for IES in FY22

The Friends of IES, of which AAU is a member, sent a letter to House and Senate Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee leaders requesting at least $700 million for the Institute of Education Sciences in FY22. The letter says that this funding would “bolster the research and statistical infrastructure needed to develop and scale up evidence-based interventions to support learning recovery, understand and address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across all levels of education, and ensure the continuation of research and data collection in the field.”
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AAU Urges Lawmakers to Develop Bipartisan Recovery and Competitiveness Measures

AAU sent a letter to President Joe Biden and congressional leaders thanking them for pandemic relief measures and highlighting actions federal policymakers should pursue, in a bipartisan fashion, to bolster the government-university partnership, support our nation‘s recovery, and strengthen our global competitiveness. The letter urges lawmakers to: double the maximum Pell Grant award to $13,000; provide research recovery funding consistent with the bipartisan H.R. 869/S. 289, the “Research Investment to Spark the Economy (RISE) Act;” invest in scientific research infrastructure; and ramp up research and STEM education investments, setting a path for sustained funding growth thereafter.
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APLU Urges Congress to Restore Research Investment in Infrastructure Negotiations

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) President Peter McPherson sent a letter to congressional leadership on May 26 urging lawmakers to include research investment in infrastructure negotiations: “APLU was disheartened to see that the White House offered to recede their initial proposal to invest in research and development (R&D) as a component of infrastructure package discussions. The Administration′s initial proposal to invest $40 billion to upgrade research infrastructure in laboratories across the country, including brick-and-mortar facilities and computing capabilities and networks is worthy of pursuit and much needed. Similarly, the Administration‘s plan outlined worthwhile investments to support infrastructure across a broad spectrum of institutions, including Minority Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities...”
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CDC, NIFA, and Cooperative Extension Partner to Address Health Disparities in Underserved Communities

The Extension Foundation, in cooperation with APLU’s Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP), with funding from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is funding a nearly $10 million grant opportunity to address health disparities among rural and other underserved communities. This effort, called the Extension Collaborative on Immunization Teaching and Engagement (EXCITE) project, is providing two opportunities for land-grant universities to promote vaccine confidence.
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How Public Universities Distributed Emergency Financial Aid During the Pandemic

As part of a March virtual convening on affordability, APLU invited campus leaders and a representative from APLU’s Office of Governmental Affairs to reflect on the 2020 CARES Act, which enabled distribution of federally funded emergency aid, and implications for the future. The panelists reflected on the effectiveness of distributing federally funded Student Emergency Grants Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), established and funded through multiple rounds of federal coronavirus relief legislation. Learn more about the HEERF funds. Watch the full session here.
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APLU Joins as Founding Member of COVID-19 Community Corps

APLU joined as a founding member of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‘ COVID-19 Community Corps to increase public confidence in the safety and efficacy of vaccines. Through a nationwide network of trusted messengers and consistent, fact-based public health messaging, the campaign helps the public make informed decisions about their health and COVID-19, including steps to protect themselves and their communities. The campaign has produced a host of resources for educating various communities about COVID-19 and their health.
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BD and CerTest Biotec Announce CE Mark for Molecular Test to Detect, Identify Certain SARS-CoV-2 Variants

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, and CerTest Biotec, today announced the CE mark for a molecular test that can detect and distinguish between the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) SARS-CoV-2 variants. VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 Variant Real Time PCR Detection Kit for BD MAX™ can be used as a combined test with VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 (N1+N2) Real Time PCR Detection Kit for BD MAX™, or as a reflex test to run variant identification on a SARS-CoV-2 positive sample.
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BD On Location [VIDEO]

BD On Location is a video series about our enduring spirit throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us as we showcase business leaders as they navigate reopening safely. Highlighting personal stories from medical experts, business executives, and other diverse voices, you’ll see what it takes to get back to business.
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BD Receives Emergency Use Authorization for First At-Home COVID-19 Test to Use Smartphone to Interpret, Deliver Results

BD, a leading global medical technology company, announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the BD Veritor™ At-Home COVID-19 Test — the first at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen test to use computer vision technology in a smartphone to interpret and provide a digital display of testing results. The test does not require a prescription, a laboratory or a long wait for results. BD developed this new rapid, digitally read, lateral flow antigen self-test to make COVID-19 testing faster and easier for people to complete in the privacy and safety of their own homes. The test will initially be made available to businesses, schools and governments looking to provide a self-testing option for employees or students.
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BD and CerTest Biotec Announce CE Mark for Molecular Test to Detect, Identify Certain SARS-CoV-2 Variants

ZARAGOZA, SPAIN and FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. (Aug. 6, 2021) – BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), a leading global medical technology company, and CerTest Biotec, today announced the CE mark for a molecular test that can detect and distinguish between the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Gamma (P.1) SARS-CoV-2 variants. VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 Variant Real Time PCR Detection Kit for BD MAX™ can be used as a combined test with VIASURE SARS-CoV-2 (N1+N2) Real Time PCR Detection Kit for BD MAX™, or as a reflex test to run variant identification on a SARS-CoV-2 positive sample.
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“I Am BIO” Podcast: Biotech Changed COVID. But Did COVID Change Biotech?

Science—particularly biotechnology—helped change the course of COVID with the development of effective vaccines and therapeutics. However, it is also true that COVID has changed biotechnology. This episode looks at the way biotech addressed the crisis and explores how the crisis, in turn, changed the biotech industry—its reputation, its exposure to a broader audience and its willingness to adopt lessons learned from the pandemic.
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I AM BIO Podcast: Uncut with Dr. Richard Hatchett

This is the I am BIO Uncut Series where we bring you a full interview from Monday′s podcast complete and unfiltered. In this episode, we′re joined by Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations or CEPI, a global vaccine procurement initiative.
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I AM BIO Podcast: We Can and Must SHARE Vaccines with the Globe

As the good news about the decline of COVID infections in the US continues to reverberate, the threat of the pandemic still looms globally. “Nobody is safe until everybody is safe.” Sharing life-saving vaccines around the world as quickly as possible defies a simple solution. This episode explores the recommendations and best solutions to address global distribution challenges and questions a simplistic proposal offered by some countries to the WHO: waiving Intellectual Property rights for the vaccines. Will the waiver of these protections threaten to undermine the very system that produced life-saving science in the first place?
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BIO Cheers Biden Announcement to Share 20 Million Doses of Vaccines with Developing Nations

\"The White House’s decision to send Covid-19 vaccines to countries in need is an important step to ensuring people around the globe have access to lifesaving shots and ending this global pandemic. “As part of BIO’s recently-proposed Global “SHARE” program, we’ve made clear the urgent need to strengthen and support healthcare systems in low-and middle-income countries in addressing COVID. The president’s decision to relinquish millions of doses is an important part of achieving this goal.
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Researchers at Harvard, BU to study possible links between coronavirus vaccines and changes in menstruation

Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Public Health are among a group of institutions awarded funding to study potential links between coronavirus vaccinations and changes in menstruation. Researchers at five institutions were awarded a total of $1.67 million by the National Institutes of Heath (NIH) to look into the question after anecdotal reports from women earlier this year that after they were vaccinated, they saw changes, including earlier, heavier, and more painful periods. Laura Payne, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and a psychologist who directs the affiliated McLean Hospital’s Clinical and Translational Pain Research Laboratory, said she would be studying a group of 80 adolescent girls “to find out whether there is a relationship between the administration of the COVID vaccination and changes in the menstrual cycle.”
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Do COVID Vaccines Affect Menstruation?

Some women across the United States have anecdotally reported that after receiving their coronavirus vaccines, they experienced heavier, earlier, and more painful periods. Now a Boston University researcher is leading one of five teams awarded a total of $1.67 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate whether COVID-19 vaccines have an impact on menstruation.
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Do COVID Vaccines Affect Menstruation?

Some women across the United States have anecdotally reported that after receiving their coronavirus vaccines, they experienced heavier, earlier, and more painful periods. Now a Boston University researcher is leading one of five teams awarded a total of $1.67 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate whether COVID-19 vaccines have an impact on menstruation.  
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Everything You Need to Know about COVID Booster Shots

BU epidemiologist Cassandra Pierre explains why coronavirus vaccine boosters are necessary, whether they’ll protect against the Delta variant and more. Pierre, a Boston Medical Center associate hospital epidemiologist and medical director of public health programs, also a BU School of Medicine assistant professor of medicine and chairs the school’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
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Stevanato Group and Corning Incorporated sign licensing agreement to offer Corning Valor® Glass vials in presterilized SG EZ-fill® packaging configuration

The partnership offers the industry an enhanced product with improved chemical durability and world-class ready-to-use expertise, serving early stage drug development through marketed drug manufacturing.
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Corning Valor® Glass Positioned to Accelerate COVID-19 Vaccine Preparation

A recent invention by Corning – a radical new kind of glass composition for vaccine vials – might typically attract little attention outside the pharmaceutical industry. But now it stands to play a significant role in getting more vaccines to more people as quickly as possible.
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Corning Announces Expansion of Contract with U.S. Departments of Defense, Health & Human Services

Company to receive an additional $57 million in funding to address growing demand for domestic glass tubing and vial manufacturing capacity as part of the U.S. COVID response to accelerate vaccinations.
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Supporting the Covid-19 vaccine rollout with extra-strength glass

Some people are actually able to bottle their success, and Mark Kurz SM ’95 is one of the lucky few. Kurz is at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 as a manufacturing supply chain leader at Corning, the New York-based pioneer in glass science and manufacturing technology. Corning produces Valor Glass vials, a primary mode of delivery for vaccines as part of the U.S. government′s Operation Warp Speed. In his role as director of Corning′s Pharmaceutical Technologies manufacturing and operations, Kurz oversaw a four-fold acceleration of production capacity for vials. Production is slated to increase 10-fold by the end of this year.  
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Diet may affect risk and severity of COVID-19

Although metabolic conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes have been linked to an increased risk of COVID-19, as well as an increased risk of experiencing serious symptoms once infected, the impact of diet on these risks is unknown. In a recent study led by researchers at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and published in Gut, people whose diets were based on healthy plant-based foods had lower risks on both counts. The beneficial effects of diet on COVID-19 risk seemed especially relevant in individuals living in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation.
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Researchers at Harvard, BU to study possible links between coronavirus vaccines and changes in menstruation

Harvard Medical School and the Boston University School of Public Health are among a group of institutions awarded funding to study potential links between coronavirus vaccinations and changes in menstruation. Researchers at five institutions were awarded a total of $1.67 million by the National Institutes of Heath (NIH) to look into the question after anecdotal reports from women earlier this year that after they were vaccinated, they saw changes, including earlier, heavier, and more painful periods. Laura Payne, an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and a psychologist who directs the affiliated McLean Hospital’s Clinical and Translational Pain Research Laboratory, said she would be studying a group of 80 adolescent girls “to find out whether there is a relationship between the administration of the COVID vaccination and changes in the menstrual cycle.”
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Wildfire Smoke Linked to Covid-19 Cases and Deaths in the West

Thousands of COVID-19 cases and deaths in California, Oregon, and Washington between March and December 2020 may be attributable to increases in fine particulate air pollution (PM2.5) from wildfire smoke, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study is the first to quantify the degree to which increases in PM2.5 pollution during the wildfires contributed to excess COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. It will be published online Friday in Science Advances.
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Prognosis: Grim

As delta surges, what can we expect if vaccination and mask-wearing rates don’t change? According to investigators who previously developed the COVID-19 Simulator — which models the trajectory of the illness in the U.S. at the state and national levels — the combination of variant’s high transmissibility, low vaccination coverage in several regions, and more relaxed attitudes toward social distancing will likely lead to a surge in COVID-19–related deaths in at least 40 states.
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Better Protection for Transplant Recipients

That question—whether the vaccine would protect transplant patients like Keefer and others with compromised immune systems—set Dorry Segev, director of the Epidemiology Research Group in Organ Transplantation at Johns Hopkins, onto a path of scientific inquiry that has produced more than three dozen papers since February on COVID-19 vaccination in immunocompromised people and resulted in a $40 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of giving kidney transplant recipients a third vaccine dose. The first part of the COVID-19 Protection After Transplant study also aims to learn which transplant patients can benefit from a third dose and which ones may need to take a different approach, such as temporarily reducing their transplant medication dosage before vaccination.  
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New demographic data tools tell the story of COVID-19’s impact in the U.S.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center today released demographic data and new tools to show the impact COVID-19 has had across the United States as measured by age, race and ethnicity, and gender and sex. The 7,700 data points collected and processed each month from 55 U.S. states and jurisdictions provide one of the most detailed demographic portraits for cases, deaths, tests, and vaccinations. The new visualizations offer the ability to dissect how COVID-19 has hit various populations and to see the disparate impact inflicted upon minority populations.
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New global dashboard sheds light on reasons behind COVID vaccine hesitancy, refusal

Interactive tool created with survey data collected from more than 12 million people from 115 countries and analyzed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
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Research suggests global dementia cases could triple by 2050, and also that COVID-19 accelerates Alzheimer’s

It was popular to assume that feeling lousy was a good thing, a sign that your body was working overtime to develop its defenses against COVID. But researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine say that the mRNA vaccines yield a robust antibody response even when people don\'t develop significant symptoms following vaccination.  
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Johnson & Johnson Announces Real-World Evidence and Phase 3 Data Confirming Strong and Long-Lasting Protection of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S.

Additional data show a booster increases protection 94 percent protection in the U.S. with booster given at two months. Four-fold increase in antibodies when given at two months. 12-fold increase in antibodies when booster given at six months.
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Johnson & Johnson Announces Data to Support Boosting its Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine

Johnson & Johnson today announced data supporting the use of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot for people previously vaccinated with the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine... The Company is engaging with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other health authorities regarding boosting with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson continues to diligently generate and evaluate data from ongoing trials as well as emerging real-world evidence.
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Johnson & Johnson Statement on U.S. FDA Approval of Shelf Life Extension for Company’s COVID-19 Vaccine

We are pleased to confirm the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has extended the shelf life for the Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to six months. The decision is based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies, which have demonstrated the vaccine is stable at six months when refrigerated at temperatures of 36 – 46 degrees Fahrenheit (2 – 8 degrees Celsius). Expiration dates will be updated on www.vaxcheck.jnj, where vaccine providers can confirm the latest expiration dates of our vaccine.
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Positive New Data for Johnson & Johnson Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine on Activity Against Delta Variant and Long-lasting Durability of Response

Johnson & Johnson today announced data that demonstrated its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine generated strong, persistent activity against the rapidly spreading Delta variant and other highly prevalent SARS-CoV-2 viral variants. In addition, the data showed that the durability of the immune response lasted through at least eight months, the length of time evaluated to date. The two preprint study summaries have been submitted today to bioRxiv.
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Deep learning helps predict new drug combinations to fight Covid-19

The existential threat of Covid-19 has highlighted an acute need to develop working therapeutics against emerging health concerns. One of the luxuries deep learning has afforded us is the ability to modify the landscape as it unfolds — so long as we can keep up with the viral threat, and access the right data. As with all new medical maladies, oftentimes the data need time to catch up, and the virus takes no time to slow down, posing a difficult challenge as it can quickly mutate and become resistant to existing drugs. This led scientists from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and the Jameel Clinic for Machine Learning in Health to ask: How can we identify the right synergistic drug combinations for the rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2?  
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MIT study provides suggestions for keeping classroom air fresh

MIT team looks at classroom configurations and offers modifications to enhance safety during Covid-19 pandemic. Open windows and a good heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are starting points for keeping classrooms safe during the Covid-19 pandemic. But they are not the last word, according to a new study from researchers at MIT. The study shows how specific classroom configurations may affect air quality and necessitate additional measures, beyond HVAC use or open windows, to reduce the spread of aerosols — those tiny, potentially Covid-carrying particles that can stay suspended in the air for hours.
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Study: Ending an eviction moratorium increases Covid-19 hazard

Ending an eviction moratorium for renters makes people in a community significantly more likely to contract Covid-19, according to a new study co-authored by MIT researchers. The study uses the variable timing of state-level moratoriums, issued and terminated at different points during the Covid-19 pandemic, to quantify their effect. It is the first study to identify the individual-level risk for people in different social circumstances, due to eviction moratoriums ending. The increased risk runs throughout communities, the research shows, meaning that ending eviction moratoriums does not just affect those who lose their housing.
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New CRISPR Device Diagnoses COVID in an Hour, Detects Variants

A team of engineers from MIT and Harvard University has developed a COVID diagnostic device with a tiny footprint but huge potential. The tabletop instrument costs around $15 to manufacture and is powered by CRISPR technology. It provides COVID results from spit samples in an hour. In their new study published in Science Advances, the researchers report that the device is incredibly accurate, matching performance levels of the current gold standard, the PCR test. Moreover, the technology can be adapted to identify SARS-CoV-2 variants, making it easy to track the circulation of these mutants without the need for genetic sequencing facilities.
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Shortage Of Giant Sterile Liners Threatens Global Vaccines Rollout

In addition to the demand for COVID-19 shots outstripping supply, vaccine manufacturers are struggling to secure supplies of giant plastic bags used in bioreactors that mix pharmaceutical ingredients, thus creating a bottleneck, resulting in more delays of vaccine rollout, the Financial Times reports... MilliporeSigma, a division of Germany’s Merck & Co., said that it had been working on expanding facilities and added that it was also reliant on a web of smaller suppliers who were scaling-up at speed. Thermo Fisher Scientific, which also makes the single-use liners, said it had increased production capacity by 50% in 2020 with further expansion by another 50% this year.
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The Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice received a donation of over 10,000 masks from MilliporeSigma

The Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice received a donation of over 10,000 masks from MilliporeSigma last month. Said Dawn Weidemann, site training coordinator for MilliporeSigma: “As part of MilliporeSigma’s COVID-19 efforts in our community, we were able to donate FDA-certified medical-grade masks. Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice is a local health care organization that is providing COVID-19 relief efforts and...”
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MilliporeSigma Acquires AmpTec to Expand mRNA Capabilities for Vaccines, Treatments and Diagnostics

MilliporeSigma today announced the acquisition of AmpTec, a leading Hamburg, Germany-based, mRNA contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The deal strengthens MilliporeSigma’s capabilities to develop and manufacture mRNA for its customers for use in vaccines, treatments and diagnostics applicable in Covid-19 and many other diseases.
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The Pandemic Response CoLab

The Pandemic Response CoLab is a joint project by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), MIT Media Lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, and founding member MilliporeSigma. The project is an open, online collaboration platform that invites anyone, from individuals to groups, from communities to businesses, to develop actionable solutions for challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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New COVID-19 antigen testing method offers highly accurate results in under 3 minutes

New variants to the COVID-19 virus have challenged the capacity of existing testing methods to deliver fast and consistently accurate test results, as PCR tests must be sent to labs and can take days to be returned. Furthermore, rapid antigen alternatives struggle to match up to the gold standard. But to effectively slow the rate of infection, spaces like schools and hospitals need ways to accurately identify infected individuals within their first days of infection as they’re walking in the door. Now, a novel antigen-based COVID-19 detection method developed in a Northwestern University laboratory demonstrated 100% accuracy in a blind test in five or fewer minutes from swab to signal.    
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Stress of COVID-19 pandemic caused irregular menstrual cycles

Women and people who menstruate experienced irregularities in their menstrual cycle because of increased stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new Northwestern Medicine study has found. This is the first U.S. study to evaluate the impact of stress on peoples’ periods. The study surveyed more than 200 women and people who menstruate in the United States between July and August 2020 in order to better understand how stress during the COVID-19 pandemic influenced their menstrual cycles.
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Researchers find Illinois child care fared well with state support amid COVID-19 chaos

Northwestern University researchers assessing the response to COVID-19 for child care programs in Illinois have found the state’s efforts to bolster child care access to first responders while stabilizing the market were equitable and largely successful. Their new report, published Sept. 1, came after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s move to make permanent a pandemic policy that lowered the cost of child care to $1 per month for families living in poverty.
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Delta’s impact on the vaccinated: ‘Likely the most uncertain time we’ve faced’

Confluence of school starting, mixed messages on vaccine efficacy, more Can parents trust schools to keep their children safe from delta spread in the classroom? Is masking back up enough to keep vaccinated folks from spreading COVID-19 to peers in restaurants, at sports games or in the office? Northwestern University experts provide guidance on how vaccinated individuals can protect themselves from delta, the impact of mixed messages and the role booster shots will play in coming months.
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Understanding Long COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines long COVID as health problems lasting four or more weeks after first getting infected with the novel coronavirus, impacting as many as one out of every four patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19. The aftermath of symptoms for self-described “long haulers” is unfortunately all too real: one patient shared that even after a full 12 months since he “recovered” from his COVID-19 infection, he is still dealing with symptoms like trouble breathing, coughing, shortness of breath and having to rely on an oxygen tank because of severely damaged lungs.
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Ensuring global vaccine equity requires eliminating trade and regulatory barriers

Since the emergency use authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, health experts have underscored that in order to combat the pandemic, vaccines must be widely available, accessible and reach people worldwide. To help make this a reality, the biopharmaceutical industry, governments and other stakeholders have been working tirelessly to scale up manufacturing and production and establish mechanisms for vaccine dose sharing to support equitable access globally. Today, COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across 180 countries, and production is expected to climb to 11 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.
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PhRMA CEO Steve Ubl and Sage Therapeutics CEO Barry Greene: Coming Together to Fight COVID-19

This year, the biopharmaceutical research industry has been working around the clock to combat the COVID-19 virus, including developing effective therapeutics to treat COVID-19 and vaccines to prevent future infections. A key piece of that has been the impact the pandemic has had on mental health. PhRMA CEO Steve Ubl recently had the opportunity to connect with Barry Greene, CEO of Sage Therapeutics, about the company’s efforts to address COVID-19’s impact.
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Coming together to fight COVID-19: A conversation with Barry Greene, CEO of Sage Therapeutics

This year, our industry has been working around the clock to combat the COVID-19 virus, including developing effective therapeutics to treat COVID-19 and vaccines to prevent future infections. A key piece of that has been the impact the pandemic has had on mental health. I had the opportunity to connect with Barry Greene, CEO of Sage Therapeutics, about the company’s efforts to address COVID-19’s impact.
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Allergies to mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines rare, generally mild, Stanford-led study finds

Allergic reactions to the new mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are rare, typically mild and treatable, and they should not deter people from becoming vaccinated, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The findings were published online Sept. 17 in JAMA Network Open.
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Study links severe COVID-19 to increase in self-attacking antibodies

Hospitalized COVID-19 patients are substantially more likely to harbor autoantibodies - antibodies directed at their own tissues or at substances their immune cells secrete into the blood - than people without COVID-19, according to a new study.
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Stanford pediatrician answers COVID-19 vaccine questions [VIDEO]

In a series of short FAQ videos, Stanford Medicine pediatric infectious disease expert Yvonne Maldonado, MD, and two other pediatricians discuss the vaccines\' safety and efficacy, the need for everyone 12 years and older to be vaccinated and the status of ongoing clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines for younger children. The videos are part of a campaign called The Conversation / La Conversacion, presented by a Kaiser Family Foundation public information initiative called Greater than COVID, which shares facts about the pandemic, especially with people in medically underserved populations.
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Study finds convalescent plasma therapy ineffective for COVID-19

In February, the National Institutes of Health terminated an ambitious clinical trial to study the effectiveness of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in treating patients with mild to moderate disease. The therapy, the NIH determined, showed little benefit in an interim analysis. In a new paper published on Aug. 18 in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from Stanford Medicine and a dozen other health care organizations detail how a treatment once considered promising did not prove effective.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches SpeciMAX Stabilized Saliva Collection Kit

As global SARS-CoV-2 research efforts continue, labs are increasingly conducting scientific studies using banked saliva samples, taking advantage of a sample type which is easy to access and non-invasive. To this end, Thermo Fisher Scientific has launched the Thermo Scientific SpeciMAX Stabilized Saliva Collection Kit*, which is designed to safely collect saliva for research.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Awarded $192.5 Million U.S. Government Contract to Expand Domestic Pipette Tip Manufacturing

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO), the world leader in serving science, today announced a $192.5 million contract award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to ensure reliable domestic production of pipette tips, which are used within research and diagnostic labs to dispense precise amounts of liquid. In mid-2020, the company announced its own investments to increase pipette tip production capacity to support COVID-19 testing. With the DoD award, issued on behalf of and in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Thermo Fisher will co-invest with the U.S. government in building a new, state-of-the-art, energy efficient manufacturing facility for pipette tips, which are used in vital disease research and in high volumes for processing of diagnostic tests nationally, including COVID-19, during the pandemic.
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FDA Grants Emergency Use Authorization for Two Next-Generation COVID-19 Assays from Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted emergency use authorization (EUA) for the TaqPath COVID-19 Fast PCR Combo Kit 2.0 and the TaqPath COVID-19 RNase P Combo Kit 2.0, both highly accurate assays designed with increased target redundancy to compensate for current mutations and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Both PCR-based kits leverage an updated design from the original TaqPath assays, targeting eight different genes across three regions of the virus that causes COVID-19. This built-in redundancy helps ensure accuracy of results in situations where gene expression in the virus vary as new mutations emerge.
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Thermo Fisher Scientific Updates Customizable TaqMan SARS-CoV-2 Mutation Panel to Detect Delta and Lambda Variants

Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, today announced it has updated its Applied Biosystems TaqMan SARS-CoV-2 Mutation Panel to detect the Delta and Lambda strains. First launched in March 2021, the research panel features a customizable menu of verified real-time PCR assays for identification of SARS-CoV-2 mutations. The panel enables laboratories to track known mutations by selecting from a menu of over 50 assays designed to screen for different variants. The TaqMan SARS-CoV-2 Mutation Panel is highly scalable, allowing up to hundreds of samples to be run to identify one or multiple mutations so labs can scale their surveillance operations based on testing need.
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At-Home COVID-19 Results with the Click of a Smartphone: Penn Researchers Develop Highly-Sensitive Rapid Test

With the return of in-person schooling and the Biden administration’s recently-announced vaccine and testing mandate, fast and reliable COVID-19 testing remains a critical component to controlling the pandemic. At-home antigen tests, which can give results within 15 minutes, are now an attractive and convenient option for the public to quickly find out their COVID-19 status. That said, there is a major risk involved — the tests’ results can often be inaccurate. “Antigen tests are hugely insensitive to early infections when your viral load is low,” said Ping Wang, PhD, a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “You may test negative and think you’re safe to return to work or school, when in reality, you’re infected and infectious to others.”  
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Penn scientists win $3 million Breakthrough Prize for RNA research that enabled COVID-19 vaccines

Sixteen years after their research at the University of Pennsylvania paved the way for billions to be vaccinated against COVID-19, two scientists have been honored with a $3 million Breakthrough Prize. The award for Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, one of five such honors announced Thursday for achievements in science and math, recognizes their success in modifying the genetic molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) so it can instruct human cells to make customized proteins.
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COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine that Uses Fundamental Penn Technology Receives FDA Approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the first full approval to a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, which uses modified mRNA technology invented and developed by scientists in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, whose years of research in mRNA science laid a critical piece of the foundation for the largest global vaccination campaign in history. A research partnership between Drew Weissman, MD, PhD, the Roberts Family Professor in Vaccine Research, and Katalin Karikó, PhD, an adjunct professor of Neurosurgery at Penn and a senior vice president at BioNTech, dating back two decades led to the development of modified mRNA technology that has been licensed as a key foundational component of the highly effective Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine being deployed worldwide.
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Penn study details robust T-cell response to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines

Messenger-RNA (mRNA) vaccines against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 provoke a swift and strong response by the immune system’s T cells—the heavy armor of the immune system—according to a study from researchers in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Although recent studies of vaccines tend to focus on the antibody response, the T-cell response is also an important and potentially more durable source of protection—yet little has been reported so far on the T-cell response to COVID-19 vaccines.
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“Ultra-potent” antibody against COVID-19 variants isolated at VUMC

A technology developed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has led to the discovery of an “ultra-potent” monoclonal antibody against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, including the delta variant. The antibody has rare characteristics that make it a valuable addition to the limited set of broadly reactive antibody therapeutic candidates, researchers reported Sept. 15 in the journal Cell Reports.  
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“Vanderbilt Health DNA: Discoveries in Action” Podcast

The first episode of the second season of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s original podcast series, Vanderbilt Health DNA: Discoveries in Action, tackles bold questions and issues pushed to the surface by COVID-19. This season, the award-winning 10-episode series delves into a host of topics, including the role of clinical trials in advancing medicine, equity and representation, what makes a society pandemic-ready, evolving ICU care, and the permanent imprint of the pandemic on how medical institutions connect to their communities.
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Rheumatoid arthritis drug combined with standard of care may help reduce mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who received the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib, in combination with the standard of care including corticosteroids, died less often than those receiving only the standard of care, according to a study released this week in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study, led by principal investigators E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, Grant Liddle Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Vince Marconi, MD, of Emory University, included 1,525 hospitalized patients on supplemental oxygen from 101 centers across 12 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
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Memphis teens lead surge in Tennessee COVID vaccinations

Memphis teens have been leading Tennessee’s surge of recent COVID-19 vaccinations, The Commercial Appeal reported. The 15-19 age group in the Memphis region showed the greatest growth of any age group across the state’s eight regions from late July through last week, according to a new study by researchers at the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Vaccinations among residents aged 12-14 years also grew, according to the study.
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“Ultra-potent” antibody against COVID-19 variants isolated at VUMC

A technology developed at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has led to the discovery of an “ultra-potent” monoclonal antibody against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, including the delta variant. The antibody has rare characteristics that make it a valuable addition to the limited set of broadly reactive antibody therapeutic candidates, researchers reported Sept. 15 in the journal Cell Reports.  
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“Vanderbilt Health DNA: Discoveries in Action” Podcast

The first episode of the second season of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s original podcast series, Vanderbilt Health DNA: Discoveries in Action, tackles bold questions and issues pushed to the surface by COVID-19. This season, the award-winning 10-episode series delves into a host of topics, including the role of clinical trials in advancing medicine, equity and representation, what makes a society pandemic-ready, evolving ICU care, and the permanent imprint of the pandemic on how medical institutions connect to their communities.
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Rheumatoid arthritis drug combined with standard of care may help reduce mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who received the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib, in combination with the standard of care including corticosteroids, died less often than those receiving only the standard of care, according to a study released this week in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study, led by principal investigators E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, Grant Liddle Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Vince Marconi, MD, of Emory University, included 1,525 hospitalized patients on supplemental oxygen from 101 centers across 12 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
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Rheumatoid arthritis drug combined with standard of care may help reduce mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 who received the rheumatoid arthritis drug baricitinib, in combination with the standard of care including corticosteroids, died less often than those receiving only the standard of care, according to a study released this week in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. The study, led by principal investigators E. Wesley Ely, MD, MPH, Grant Liddle Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Vince Marconi, MD, of Emory University, included 1,525 hospitalized patients on supplemental oxygen from 101 centers across 12 countries in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
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COVID-19 long-haulers at risk of developing kidney damage, disease

Research continues to mount indicating that many people who’ve had COVID-19 go on to suffer a range of adverse conditions months after their initial infections. A deep dive into federal health data adds to those concerns, pointing to a significant decline in kidney function among those dubbed COVID-19 long-haulers — and even among those who had mild infections of the virus. The data, plumbed by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System, show that those infected with SARS-CoV-2 are at an increased likelihood of developing kidney damage as well as chronic and end-stage kidney diseases.
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COVID-19 vaccine elicits antibodies in 90% taking immunosuppressants

COVID-19 vaccination elicited antibody responses in nearly nine out of 10 people with weakened immune systems, although their responses were only about one-third as strong as those mounted by healthy people, according to a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  
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“Show Me The Science” Podcast: New threats from highly contagious delta variant

Thousands of people in Missouri and around the country are coming down with new COVID-19 infections as the delta variant of the virus rages. In this episode of \"Show Me the Science,\" an infectious diseases specialist and a data scientist from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis talk about the need to get more people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and to enforce other public health measures while waiting for those vaccines to provide more immunity to more people.
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Antibody protects against broad range of COVID-19 virus variants

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an antibody that is highly protective at low doses against a wide range of viral variants. Moreover, the antibody attaches to a part of the virus that differs little across the variants, meaning that it is unlikely for resistance to arise at this spot. The findings, available online in the journal Immunity, could be a step toward developing new antibody-based therapies that are less likely to lose their potency as the virus mutates.
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Coronavirus Vaccines and People with Cancer: A Q&A with Dr. Steven Pergam

Many people being treated for cancer are asking whether they should get one of the COVID-19 vaccines. Steven Pergam, M.D., of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, was a co-leader of a committee formed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) that recently released recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination in cancer patients. In this Q&A, Dr. Pergam discusses some of the questions people with cancer and cancer survivors have about these vaccines.
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An Unprecedented Impact Part 2: The Threat to the Research Pipeline

Not until the COVID-19 pandemic has something caused such a massive disruption to ongoing research in all fields, delaying and jeopardizing important work, stalling life-saving clinical trials and upending the career paths of many graduate students and early career scientists.
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An Unprecedented Impact Part 1: The Effort to Combat COVID-19

From a laser-like focus by researchers, medical professionals and life sciences and biopharmaceutical companies on understanding, mitigating, treating and eradicating the pandemic, to massive disruptions to ongoing research in all fields that is jeopardizing important work, stalling life-saving clinical trials and upending the career paths of many graduate students and early career scientists, COVID-19 is touching all aspects of biomedical research. Part 1 in this series of fact sheets focuses on the effort to combat COVID-19.

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