COVID-19 - United For Medical Research
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
NIH's Role in Sustaining the U.S. Economy 2020 Update Now Available Here 
A new episode of the Amazing Things Podcast is now available! Check it out here.
UMR Thanks Appropriations, Congressional Leaders for Strong FY20 NIH Funding. View statement here

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

Photo Credit: National Institutes of Health

About This Photo

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


Logo

COVID-19 impact on pregnant women focus of NIH grant

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $791,317 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study factors that keep pregnant women from getting tested for COVID-19, to evaluate whether it is important to test women regularly during their pregnancies, and to determine whether pregnant women with COVID-19 need more specialized prenatal care.
Logo

Thermo Fisher Scientific Extends SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program to Support Research on New Virus Strains

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced an extension of its SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program to provide additional units of the Ion Torrent Genexus System and Ion GeneStudio S5 Series sequencers at a subsidized price to further support global COVID-19 research and surveillance.
Logo

How can people deal with Pandemic fatigue and mental health?

How can people deal with Pandemic fatigue and mental health? Maintaining mental health is extremely important during the coronavirus pandemic. Our infection prevention expert explains why.
Logo

Why “Bidirectional” Contact Tracing Could Drastically Curb Coronavirus Spread—Especially the B-117 Strain

New research from Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, and Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing suggests that “bidirectional” contact tracing—the practice of tracking positive COVID-19 cases to recently exposed individuals and back to their original source—can be twice as effective as current contact tracing methods, which only focus on identifying who the newly diagnosed individual may have infected, but not who infected them. The research team’s findings were recently published in Nature Communications.
Logo

AdvaMed Announces 200 Million Molecular COVID-19 Tests Shipped Nationwide

New data from AdvaMed′s COVID-19 Diagnostic Supply Registry reveals that total U.S. shipments of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests have reached 200 million. A breakdown of the data shows that innovative diagnostics companies are shipping, on average, over 1.4 million molecular tests each day.
Logo

AdvaMed proposes modernized CMS policies to improve patient access to digital health technologies

To help realize the potential of digital health technologies to improve patient care, today the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) issued a white paper detailing recommendations to modernize Medicare coverage and payment policies so that beneficiaries can have greater access to the latest digital health innovations.
Logo

Advamed: Diagnostic COVID-19 tests shipments hit 1m

U.S. shipments of COVID-19 molecular diagnostic tests reached 1 million per day for the week ending July 24, based on the latest data from AdvaMed’s national testing registry. The medtech trade group launched the registry July 21 to aid state and federal pandemic responses.
Logo

AdvaMed partners with diagnostic companies to create national COVID-19 supply registry

The Advanced Medical Technology Association announced Tuesday it has created a COVID-19 diagnostic supply registry for the U.S. in partnership with 13 commercial diagnostics manufacturers, including Abbott, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Beckman Coulter, Hologic and Roche Diagnostics. The registry is meant to help state and federal governments respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a standardized supply registry.
Logo

How COVID-19 Attacks The Brain And May Cause Lasting Damage

“We know that those are important in Alzheimer’s disease and we’re seeing them play a key role here in COVID-19,” says Heather Snyder, vice president of medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association. “And what that may mean in later life, we need to be asking that question now.” So the association and researchers from more than 30 countries have formed a consortium to study the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the brain. The effort will enroll people who were hospitalized or who are already participating in international research studies of COVID-19.
Logo

Scientists In Nearly 40 Nations Join Study On Covid Brain Abnormalities

The study, which will follow survivors over age 50 or in some places over age 60, will be funded initially by the Alzheimer’s Association.
Logo

They have masks and gloves, there’s more testing capacity: What nursing homes really need is more help, advocates say

Beth Kallmyer, vice president of Care and Support for the Alzheimer′s Association, a national advocacy group, said she\'s frustrated that 10 months into the pandemic, she′s having some of the same conversations she had at the start. “We know a whole lot more now than we did in March, but we′re still talking about” lack of adequate protection in nursing homes, Kallmyer said. “I find it really, really hard to understand why the senior and elderly population in this country can\'t be prioritized.”
Logo

COVID-19’s impact on dementia patients

Americans suffering from Alzheimer\'s disease and dementia are battling COVID-19 threats and the dangers of isolation.
Logo

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Crowe receives 2020 “Golden Goose” Award for COVID-19 research

James Crowe Jr., MD, a physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who has pioneered development of human monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for viral diseases, has won a 2020 “Golden Goose” Award. The ninth annual Golden Goose Award ceremony on Dec. 1 will recognize Crowe and two other federally funded research teams for their scientific responses to COVID-19. Led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Golden Goose Award committee includes a bipartisan group of Congressional supporters and several science and higher education organizations.
Logo

AAAS and Science Journals Provide Scientific Information on COVID-19 Worldwide

The American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Science family of journals are applying formidable resources to keep the scientific community and the public well informed on the coronavirus pandemic. Science, published by AAAS, has shared research findings and made data swiftly available over recent weeks to spur scientific advances, outline public health opportunities to slow the spread of COVID-19, and help protect the wellbeing of people across the globe. The journal has accelerated its publishing practices governing the release of research papers on coronavirus and urged scientists to post their submitted studies on preprint sites, all the while preserving the peer-review process to ensure the validity of the research published in the journals.
Logo

COVID-19 Resources

As the research community and decision-makers worldwide respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Science and AAAS are working tirelessly to provide credible, evidence-based information and bring you the latest research and commentary, along with extensive news coverage of the crisis. This critical work has been generously supported by the Pulitzer Center, Google News, and a growing list of individual donors through gifts to our Flexible Action Fund.
Logo

Experts highlight how science diplomacy combats pandemics

Scientists have long known that, sooner or later, a previously unknown pathogen would jump from animals to humans and threaten to induce a pandemic, said Julia MacKenzie, director of international relations at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and other epidemiology and science diplomacy experts during an online panel discussion last week.
Logo

Cancer deaths down for 2nd year in a row, but impact of COVID remains unknown

Cancer is one of the most important health challenges our nation faces and the second leading cause of death in the United States. Now, a new study from the American Cancer Society finds that the rate of cancer-related deaths has been steadily falling over the past two decades, with dramatic declines in the past two years. The American Cancer Society, however, warns that the future is uncertain. With many Americans hunkered down at home and missing their annual cancer screenings, it is unclear how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect this positive trend.
Logo

The Impact of ACS CAN’s Advocacy on COVID-19 Federal Relief Packages for Cancer Patients

ACS CAN is working to add critical patient provisions to the coronavirus stimulus packages being debated in Congress as well as working at the state and local levels to expand access to important health services and coverage.
Logo

JAMA Oncology: Nearly 1 in 5 Cancer Patients Less Likely to Enroll in Clinical Trials During Pandemic

A significant portion of cancer patients may be less likely to enroll in a clinical trial due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. According to an article published this week in JAMA Oncology, nearly 1 in 5 cancer patients surveyed said the pandemic would make them less likely to enroll in a trial. The top reason given for not enrolling is fear of COVID-19 exposure... The finding was based on a survey ACS CAN conducted of cancer patients and survivors between late May and mid-June.
Logo

Cancer Patients and Survivors Rally Legislators Virtually Due to COVID-19

The unpredictable and dynamic nature of COVID-19 is no match for the steadfast commitment of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers. The virus and the elevated risk for those with compromised immune systems became a roadblock for the annual Cancer Action Day, so cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state traveled virtually to the state capitol recently to meet with Michigan’s lawmakers. The ACS CAN volunteer advocates urged lawmakers to pass Oral Chemotherapy Fairness Legislation and to increase the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack with an equivalent increase in the state’s tax on other tobacco products including e-cigarettes.
Logo

What heart and stroke patients should know about COVID-19 vaccines

Experts have a simple answer for heart and stroke patients questioning whether they should get a COVID-19 vaccination. That answer: yes. The Food and Drug Administration-approved vaccines pose no special problems for such patients, said Dr. Mitchell Elkind, a professor of neurology and epidemiology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital ⁄ Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City, who also is president of the American Heart Association. The AHA issued a statement Friday encouraging people with cardiovascular risk factors, heart disease or a history of heart attack or stroke to get vaccinated “as soon as possible.”
Logo

COVID-19 patients of all ages with obesity face higher risk of complications, death

People with obesity – regardless of age – are more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and have higher risks for complications and death, according to new research. The study, presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association‘s virtual Scientific Sessions, sought to shed new light “on the intersection of a global pandemic and the national epidemic of obesity‚” said lead author Nicholas Hendren. The research was published simultaneously in the AHA journal Circulation.
Logo

AHA News: Black, Hispanic People Hospitalized for COVID-19 at Disproportionately High Rates

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2020 (American Heart Association News) -- Black and Hispanic people made up nearly 60% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in a new study, a disproportionate number that researchers attribute to societal structures reinforcing health disparities among racial and ethnic groups. The study looked at data from 7,868 people hospitalized for COVID-19 between Jan. 17 and July 22 at 88 U.S. hospitals taking part in the American Heart Association COVID-19 Cardiovascular Disease Registry. Hispanic and Black patients had a disproportionate risk of landing in the hospital: 33% were Hispanic, 25.5% were Black, 6.3% were Asian and 35.2% were white.
Logo

COVID CPR Safety Measures Don’t Lessen Survival: Study

The effectiveness of CPR isn’t compromised when EMS crews and others take recommended safety precautions against the new coronavirus, researchers say. Interim guidance issued by the American Heart Association and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says health care providers should take extra precautions during the pandemic. That includes using personal protective equipment and other protocols when administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to patients at risk of cardiac arrest.
Logo

BD Surpasses 1 Billion Injection Device Orders in Support of COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Around the World

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, today announced that it has received pandemic orders for needles and syringes totaling more than 1 billion injection devices to support global COVID-19 vaccination planning efforts. This milestone reflects commitments from governments across the world, including the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Kingdom, among several others, as well as non-governmental organizations supporting vaccine deployment for developing countries.
Logo

15-minute coronavirus test gets the green light in Europe

A test to detect Covid-19 that can be done at the point of care and gives results in 15 minutes has been given the greenlight in Europe, according to its maker, Becton Dickinson. The test should be commercially available in Europe by the end of October, the diagnostics specialist said Wednesday, as it announced its antigen test had been granted a “CE mark” in Europe, meaning it conforms with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the region.
Logo

Maryland to spend $7.5M on new type of rapid coronavirus test, first purchase in 10-state compact

Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that Maryland would be the first in a 10-state compact to buy large batches of a new kind of rapid coronavirus test for use in nursing homes, prisons and possibly college dorms and other places prone to outbreaks. The purchase of 250,000 rapid antigen tests, at $30 a test, would be paid for with a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention... The Becton, Dickinson test, the BD Veritor, has been touted as an improvement to other antigen tests, which have high rates of false negatives and positives.
Logo

BD to manufacture injection devices for Covid-19 vaccination in US

Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has formed a strategic partnership with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to establish new manufacturing lines for injection devices, providing the US Government with priority access to huge volumes of syringes and needles to support its ongoing and future pandemic vaccination efforts.
Logo

Will COVID-19 vaccines be safe when available?

President and CEO of Biotechnology Innovation Organization Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath weighs in on America‘s News HQ.
Logo

Biotech Leaders Outline Principles to Ensure the “Public’s Trust” in New Medical Products for Eradicating Covid-19

As America’s researchers race to develop the scientific solutions needed to eradicate Covid-19, leaders within the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released an open letter to their biopharmaceutical colleagues that articulates key principles to ensure the “integrity, transparency, and objective assessment” of Covid-19 clinical data and secure public trust in new medical products developed in response to the pandemic.
Logo

BIO COVID-19 Therapeutic Development Tracker

BIO’s Industry Analysis Team has reviewed and annotated pipeline data from BioCentury and Biomedtracker to create an interactive view of the Covid-19 pipeline. The team has investigated each drug as to original inventor (company/country), mechanism of action, and strategic approach, as well as de-duplicated programs for the same active ingredient (for example, hydroxychloroquine is counted only once). This data will be updated weekly on Monday mornings.
Logo

I AM BIO Podcast

This is the only podcast at the intersection of biotechnology, politics, patients and the planet. We spotlight next-generation breakthroughs, the people they help, the global problems they solve and politicians with the power to fast-track a better future or mess it all up. Hosted by former Congressman Jim Greenwood. Current episodes look at COVID-19 from a variety of different angles.
Logo

Why “Bidirectional” Contact Tracing Could Drastically Curb Coronavirus Spread—Especially the B-117 Strain

New research from Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, and Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing suggests that “bidirectional” contact tracing—the practice of tracking positive COVID-19 cases to recently exposed individuals and back to their original source—can be twice as effective as current contact tracing methods, which only focus on identifying who the newly diagnosed individual may have infected, but not who infected them. The research team’s findings were recently published in Nature Communications.
Logo

How Coronavirus Damages Lung Cells within Mere Hours

What if scientists knew exactly what impact the SARS-CoV-2 virus had inside our lung cells, within the first few hours of being infected? Could they use that information to find drugs that would disrupt the virus’ replication process before it ever gets fully underway? The discovery that several existing FDA-approved drugs—including some originally designed to fight cancer—can stop coronavirus in its tracks indicates the answer is a resounding yes. A team of Boston University researchers embarked on a months-long, collaborative and interdisciplinary quest, combining multiple areas of expertise in virology, stem cell–derived lung tissue engineering, and deep molecular sequencing to begin answering those questions.
Logo

Patients with COVID-19 and Obesity Have Poor Outcomes Not Driven by Inflammation

Obesity is associated with poor COVID-19 outcomes but a new study out of the Boston University School of Medicine suggests this is not due to increased inflammation, but instead may be driven by respiratory issues or other factors. Multiple studies suggest those who are overweight or have obesity are more likely to experience invasive mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit (ICU) admission or death. Population-level studies also suggest a higher COVID-19 mortality rate in countries with greater prevalence of obesity. What was not known before was whether patients with obesity had more inflammation, the so-called cytokine storm of COVID.
Logo

Covid-19’s effects include seizures and movement disorders — even in some moderate cases, study finds

Covid-19 can lead to neurological complications, including strokes, seizures and movement disorders, researchers have found. The complications, which go well beyond cognitive impairment, can occur even in moderate cases, according to a study published in the journal Neurology: Clinical Practice. “These particular complications of Covid, and neurological disorders more generally, are about your ability to interact meaningfully with the world,” said lead study author Dr. Pria Anand, an assistant professor of neurology at Boston University School of Medicine. “I think that’s one of the unique and devastating things about this (virus).”
Logo

Covid-19 Vaccines Could Depend on the Strength of This Vial

Near the back of a Corning Inc. glassmaking plant here, a robot picked up a cage packed with hundreds of tiny vials and plunged it into a salt bath bubbling at more than 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot soak for several hours is a key step in fortifying the glass vials from cracks, flakes and breaks that could thwart global efforts to stop the coronavirus. Drugmakers and health authorities are counting on Corning’s new medical glass container, named Valor, to protect Covid-19 vaccines better than conventional ones, especially during initial months when supplies will be limited and little can afford to be lost.
Logo

Covid-19 Vaccines to Be Stored Secretly Under Tight Security

Health authorities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are storing Covid-19 vaccines in secure, undisclosed locations and taking other steps to protect the shots against a looming threat: theft. As the leading vaccine candidates advance closer to use, vaccine makers such as Pfizer Inc. are deploying GPS software for tracking distribution and plotting fake shipments in dummy trucks to confuse criminals. Glassmaker Corning Inc. is equipping vials with black-light verification to curb counterfeiting. And some hospitals expected to be among the first vaccination sites are beefing up their pharmacies’ security systems.
Logo

How to Ship a Vaccine at –80°C, and Other Obstacles in the Covid Fight

Early this year, Corning, a 169-year-old glass maker in upstate New York, approached officials at the Department of Health and Human Services with a warning: There wouldn’t be enough cold-resistant glass vials to handle a frozen vaccine, said Brendan Mosher, Corning’s head of pharmaceutical technologies. Corning pitched a solution. It could make millions of vials with a new type of pharmaceutical-grade glass that can withstand the lowest temperatures.
Logo

SPECIAL REPORT: An Inside Look at Corning Inc. Valor Glass

As the nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, the heat is on to develop a vaccine to combat the virus. In preparation for the day the vaccine is found and ready to be distributed to the global community, Corning Incorporated has been mass-producing pharmaceutical-grade vials right in Big Flats New York. These vials are made of Valor Glass, the first glass of its kind to serve the pharmaceutical community.
Logo

Studies show heart disease a risk in COVID-19 survivors

Research has found a specific kind of heart disease in people who have recovered from COVID-19. Myocarditis can cause serious complications, including in athletes. Dr. Haider Warraich, a cardiologist and researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, joins CBSNews AM to talk more about the illness.
Logo

Public Health Videos Cut COVID-19 Knowledge Gap for Minorities

For Black and Latinx participants, watching public health video messages recorded by a diverse set of physicians reduces COVID-19 knowledge gaps, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Marcella Alsan, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial in the United States from May 13 to 26, 2020, involving 14,267 self-identified Black or Latinx adults (61.3 and 38.7 percent, respectively).
Logo

Coronavirus vaccines face trust gap in Black and Latino communities, study finds

A survey released November 23 found high levels of vaccine hesitancy among communities of color. Even though early data on experimental COVID-19 vaccines looks promising, “It’s not having a vaccine that saves lives, it’s people actually getting vaccinated‚” said Dean Michelle Williams, who co-founded the COVID Collaborative, the nonprofit that commissioned the study.
Logo

Airplane COVID-19 Risk ‘Very Low’ With Masks, Other Actions, Report Finds

Transmission risks of COVID-19 during airline flights are very low and below other routine activities during the pandemic such as grocery shopping or going out to dinner, when using face coverings and taking other steps, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health said Tuesday. The report found after airlines mandated masks, boosted cleaning procedures and revised boarding procedures, “and with millions of passenger hours flown, there has been little evidence to date of onboard disease transmission.”
Logo

J&J’s one-shot Covid vaccine is safe and generates promising immune response in early trial

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. J&J scientists randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 and those 65 and older to receive a high or low dose of its vaccine — called Ad26.COV2.S — or a placebo. Some participants in the 18-to-55 age group were also selected to receive a second dose of the vaccine.
Logo

Stanford COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Enters Phase Three

New video shows the first injection as Stanford doctors start phase three of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine trial. This phase three trial will be done at 180 sites around the world with 60,000 participants, 1,000 of them at Stanford. It’s a double-blind study, meaning some will get active vaccine while others will get a placebo. They’ll all be monitored.
Logo

Pfizer, J&J urge clarity from FDA on future of COVID-19 vaccine trials once a vaccine is available

Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson are seeking input from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on retaining and attracting volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials after a vaccine becomes available, if they know they might receive a placebo. Both U.S. companies are among a handful with pivotal, late-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials underway. The comments in letters ahead of the meeting of expert advisers on Thursday underscore dilemmas facing leading coronavirus vaccine developers and those whose large trials are just beginning or being planned.
Logo

NIH tests therapies to help cut hospital stays for COVID-19 patients

The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has started a late-stage trial to evaluate if immune-modulating therapies from three drugmakers can help reduce the need for ventilators for COVID-19 patients and shorten their hospital stay. The NIH said on Friday it has selected three agents for the study - Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research’s Remicade, Bristol Myers Squibb’s Orencia and Abbvie Inc’s experimental drug cenicriviroc.
Logo

Why “Bidirectional” Contact Tracing Could Drastically Curb Coronavirus Spread—Especially the B-117 Strain

New research from Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, and Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing suggests that “bidirectional” contact tracing—the practice of tracking positive COVID-19 cases to recently exposed individuals and back to their original source—can be twice as effective as current contact tracing methods, which only focus on identifying who the newly diagnosed individual may have infected, but not who infected them. The research team’s findings were recently published in Nature Communications.
Logo

MIT study: Covid-19 vaccines may be less effective for Asian Americans

This week, researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) showed that the vaccines’ effectiveness may vary depending on a person’s race, and said that the vaccines should be tested robustly across populations with diverse genetic backgrounds. Using advanced machine learning AI methods that examined a form of vaccine similar to Moderna and Pfizer’s, the team found that the number of people whose cellular immune system is not predicted to robustly respond to the vaccine ranged from less than half of one percent of white participants to nearly 10 percent of Asian participants. (Participants self-reported their race.)
Logo

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.
Logo

MIT researchers say their AI model can identify asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers

Researchers at MIT say they′ve developed an algorithm that can diagnose COVID-19 by the sound of someone′s cough, even if that person is asymptomatic. In a paper published in the IEEE Journal of Engineering in Medicine and Biology, the team reports that their approach distinguishes between infected and healthy individuals through “forced-cough” recordings contributed via smartphones, laptops, and other mobile devices.
Logo

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.
Logo

MilliporeSigma adding 160 jobs in Covid-fueled expansion

MilliporeSigma is in the process of adding 160 jobs at its Jaffrey facility as the global life sciences company ramps up production of components used to develop potential Covid-19 treatments and vaccines. The Jaffrey facility primarily makes filtration devices that are used to produce biopharmaceuticals, such as immunotherapies for cancer treatment. These sorts of products are also part of the standard process for making vaccines, said David Poggi, the plant’s director of operations.. The company’s customers are mainly pharmaceutical corporations, and MiliporeSigma is currently supplying more than 45 companies that are working to develop a Covid-19 vaccine.
Logo

NH medical manufacturers adapt to changing conditions during pandemic

For companies like MilliporeSigma in Jaffrey and Microspec Corp. in Peterborough, whose products are manufactured for different sectors of the medical field, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic has greatly shifted the ways of doing business. Karen Tiano, company spokesperson for MilliporeSigma, said the company has seen an increased demand for products that are used to produce vaccine candidates and therapeutic drugs related to Covid-19.
Logo

Pandemic Response CoLab: New initiative to solve COVID-19 challenges launched by the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, MIT Community Biotechnology Initiative and MilliporeSigma

MIT\'s new Pandemic Response CoLab—a joint project of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI), the MIT Community Biotechnology Initiative (CBI) at the MIT Media Lab, and MilliporeSigma, as a founding member — has launched today with the goal of bringing together innovators from across the globe to work on solving problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging an open online collaboration platform, CCI and CBI aim to mobilize individuals, businesses, communities and other groups to develop actionable solutions to pandemic-related problems.
Logo

Why COVID-19 Pneumonia Lasts Longer, Causes More Damage

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, Northwestern Medicine investigators have shown how COVID-19 pneumonia is different.
Logo

What You Need to Know About the New Variant of COVID-19

For Americans who are worried about the new coronavirus variant that is circulating in Britain, experts in the United States urge everyone to stay calm. So far, the new variant only seems to spread more easily, with no evidence of higher virulence (ability to cause harm), researchers at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago explained.
Logo

New Drug Connects Dots That Cause Clots in COVID-19 Patients

A gene mutation discovered in a small Amish community in Indiana has inspired the use of a new experimental drug for COVID-19 that reduces blood clotting, which is a primary driver of morbidity and organ damage in the disease. The first clinical trial of the drug in COVID-19 patients has just been launched at Northwestern Medicine.
Logo

Food insecurity in U.S. doubled in 1st few months of COVID-19

Researchers from Northwestern University estimate food insecurity in America doubled in the first few months after the coronavirus arrived, and a recent CBS News poll shows more than one third of Americans are at least somewhat concerned they won‘t have enough money for groceries in the next year.
Logo

PhRMA Statement on Biopharmaceutical Companies’ Pledge on COVID-19 Vaccines

On September 8, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl made the following statement: \"The biopharmaceutical industry is confident we can beat COVID-19 because science guides every aspect of our work. Our industry is committed to ensuring the highest of standards of research, clinical testing and manufacturing are upheld throughout the vaccine research and development process...\"
Logo

How the Biopharmaceutical Industry is Working to Defeat a Common Threat: COVID–19

As the fight to research and develop innovative treatments and vaccines advances, three biopharmaceutical scientists share what they have in common: combatting COVID-19.
Logo

PhRMA Report Shows More than 400 Medicines and Vaccines in Development to Tackle Infectious Diseases, Including COVID-19

The biopharmaceutical industry is committed to the discovery and the development of treatments and development of vaccines for infectious diseases, despite their complicated nature. A new report finds that there are 421 medicines and vaccines in clinical development to treat or prevent bacterial and viral infections that cause infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
Logo

PhRMA’s COVID-19 Response: Supporting the Front-line

In these unprecedented times, America’s biopharmaceutical companies are coming together to achieve one shared goal: to combat COVID-19, a disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus. Our companies are working around the clock to research and develop new vaccines and treatments, as well as testing existing medicines to help those infected with the virus. In addition, our companies are committed to supporting health care workers who are on the frontlines and communities around the world affected by COVID-19. Here is a closer look at ways our companies are contributing beyond testing, research and development.
Logo

Lab life at Stanford during the COVID-19 pandemic

After a devastating and demanding several months, research at Stanford remains limited but could offer glimpses into how lab life might operate in the future.
Logo

Stanford single-dose nanoparticle vaccine for COVID-19

Before the pandemic, the lab of Stanford University biochemist Peter S. Kim focused on developing vaccines for HIV, Ebola and pandemic influenza. But, within days of closing their campus lab space as part of COVID-19 precautions, they turned their attention to a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Although the coronavirus was outside the lab’s specific area of expertise, they and their collaborators have managed to construct and test a promising vaccine candidate. “Our goal is to make a single-shot vaccine that does not require a cold-chain for storage or transport. If we’re successful at doing it well, it should be cheap too,” said Kim, who is the Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry. “The target population for our vaccine is low- and middle-income countries.”
Logo

Podcast: Should Coronavirus Vaccine Trials Be Unblinded?

NPR‘s Ari Shapiro talks with Dr. Steven Goodman of the Stanford School of Medicine about the ethical question of whether COVID-19 vaccine trials should be unblinded.
Logo

Stanford researchers create model to predict COVID-19 spread

A study of how 98 million Americans move around each day suggests that most infections occur at “superspreader” sites that put people in contact for long periods, and details how mobility patterns help drive higher infection rates among minority and low-income populations.
Logo

Thermo Fisher Scientific Extends SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program to Support Research on New Virus Strains

Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced an extension of its SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program to provide additional units of the Ion Torrent Genexus System and Ion GeneStudio S5 Series sequencers at a subsidized price to further support global COVID-19 research and surveillance.
Logo

Podcast: Facilitating the Safe Reopening of HBCUs

Social and economic inequality has made minority communities more prone to contracting SARS-COV-2; the virus that causes COVID-19. One of those severely affected is the black community in the United States. On this episode of Science With a Twist, Fred Lowery, Senior Vice President and President of Life Sciences Solutions and Laboratory Products at Thermo Fisher Scientific, interviews Dr. James Hildreth, American immunologist and academic administrator. Fred and James discuss the “Just Project”‚ a multipronged effort to help address the coronavirus crisis, which has disproportionately impacted communities of color.
Logo

Cold storage demand up amid coronavirus vaccine news

FOX Business’ Edward Lawrence provided details to on how Thermo Fisher Scientific is building cold-storage freezers to store the future coronavirus vaccine at various points of the supply chain at their site in Asheville, N.C.
Logo

Thermo Fisher Scientific unveils saliva PCR test for Covid-19

Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced a new direct-from-saliva PCR test for Covid-19 to support extensive, high-frequency surveillance testing. Using raw saliva samples, the Applied Biosystems TaqCheck SARS-CoV-2 Fast PCR Assay streamlines lab workflows, using tools available worldwide to provide reliable data rapidly. In addition to the test, Thermo Fisher Scientific has unveiled the Safe Campus Reopening Program to subsidise the test cost for colleges, universities, and post-secondary institutions in the US.
Logo

One step closer to an at-home, rapid COVID-19 test

The lab of UPenn′s César de la Fuente sits at the interface of machines and biology, with much of its work focused on innovative treatments for infectious disease. When COVID-19 appeared, de la Fuente and his colleagues turned their attention to building a paper-based biosensor that could quickly determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2 particles from saliva and from samples from the nose and back of the throat. The initial iteration, called DETECT 1.0, provides results in four minutes with nearly 100% accuracy. Clinical trials for the diagnostic began Jan. 5, with the goal of collecting 400 samples—200 positive for COVID-19, 200 negative—from volunteers who also receive a RT-PCR or “reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction” test.
Logo

University of Pennsylvania scientists testing vaccines against variants of COVID-19

Scientists expected there could be new versions of COVID-19, known as variants. But what scientists at the University of Pennsylvania want to know is: will the two vaccines work against them as well?
Logo

Community spread of COVID-19 tied to patient survival rates at area hospitals

High rates of COVID-19 in the county where a hospital is located appears to reduce survival rates among hospitalized patients with the virus, according to a new study from researchers in the [University of Pennsylvania] Perelman School of Medicine and at UnitedHealth Group. These findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. “We have known that individual risk factors like age and gender, comorbidities such as obesity, and whether someone is a nursing home resident, are all part of what determines whether patients have a good or bad outcome. But our research shows it also matters where a patient is admitted,” says lead investigator David Asch, director of the Center for Health Care Innovation and a professor of medicine at Penn.
Logo

Repurposing a proven gene therapy approach to treat, prevent COVID-19

In a Q&A, Penn Medicine′s James M. Wilson discusses using adeno-associated viral vectors to transport a lab-made antibody cocktail into the body. This method, delivered via nasal spray or mist, has the potential to act as a ‘bioshield’ against SARS-CoV-2.
Logo

Vanderbilt researchers take leadership role in COVID-19 vaccine development

As the United States and the rest of the world witness the rollout of new vaccines targeting COVID-19—as well as better treatment options to fight the virus among infected patients—Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have played leading roles in researching, developing and testing several of the most clinically developed medicines being used to combat the pandemic. Long before this latest virus emerged as a threat, Vanderbilt researchers had been working to understand pathogenic viruses and effective ways to prevent their spread. In addition, Vanderbilt researchers across fields ranging from science and engineering to public health policy and education are involved in a multitude of research projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Logo

Risk of Severe COVID-19 Up Among Those With Diabetes

Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes independently increase the adverse impacts of COVID-19, according to a study published online Dec. 2 in Diabetes Care. Justin M. Gregory‚ M.D.‚ from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and colleagues used data from a regional health care network to understand the risk for COVID-19-related hospitalization and illness severity in patients with type 1 diabetes.
Logo

Tennessee areas without mask requirements have higher death toll per capita

Tennessee areas where mask requirements were instituted over the summer have substantially lower death rates due to COVID-19 as compared to areas without mask requirements, according to a new analysis by Vanderbilt Department of Health Policy researchers. The analysis, led by John Graves, PhD, associate professor of Health Policy and director of the Vanderbilt Center for Health Economic Modeling, finds that deaths per 100,000 population in the 67 counties that never required masks rose to a rate more than double the 28 counties that began requiring masks at some point between July 1 and the first week of August.
Logo

Vanderbilt Analysis: Lack of mask requirements leads to larger increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations

Vanderbilt University released an updated analysis of a previous report on COVID-19 in Tennessee. Tuesday‘s report shows areas without mask requirements have a larger increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Logo

Large study finds higher burden of acute brain dysfunction for COVID-19 ICU patients

COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care in the early months of the pandemic were subject to a significantly higher burden of delirium and coma than is typically found in patients with acute respiratory failure. Choice of sedative medications and curbs on family visitation played a role in increasing acute brain dysfunction for these patients. That′s according to an international study published Jan. 8 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, led by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in coordination with researchers in Spain.
Logo

Vanderbilt researchers take leadership role in COVID-19 vaccine development

As the United States and the rest of the world witness the rollout of new vaccines targeting COVID-19—as well as better treatment options to fight the virus among infected patients—Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have played leading roles in researching, developing and testing several of the most clinically developed medicines being used to combat the pandemic. Long before this latest virus emerged as a threat, Vanderbilt researchers had been working to understand pathogenic viruses and effective ways to prevent their spread. In addition, Vanderbilt researchers across fields ranging from science and engineering to public health policy and education are involved in a multitude of research projects related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Logo

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Crowe receives 2020 “Golden Goose” Award for COVID-19 research

James Crowe Jr., MD, a physician-scientist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center who has pioneered development of human monoclonal antibodies as potential treatments for viral diseases, has won a 2020 “Golden Goose” Award. The ninth annual Golden Goose Award ceremony on Dec. 1 will recognize Crowe and two other federally funded research teams for their scientific responses to COVID-19. Led by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Golden Goose Award committee includes a bipartisan group of Congressional supporters and several science and higher education organizations.
Logo

Researchers urge priority vaccination for individuals with diabetes due to increased COVID-19 impact

Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers have discovered individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes infected with COVID-19 are three times more likely to have a severe illness or require hospitalization compared with people without diabetes. Because of this amplified impact, they are urging policymakers to prioritize these individuals for COVID-19 vaccination. Their findings were published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association.
Logo

COVID-19 impact on pregnant women focus of NIH grant

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $791,317 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study factors that keep pregnant women from getting tested for COVID-19, to evaluate whether it is important to test women regularly during their pregnancies, and to determine whether pregnant women with COVID-19 need more specialized prenatal care.
Logo

For some, GI tract may be vulnerable to COVID-19 infection

No evidence so far indicates that food or drinks can transmit the virus that causes COVID-19, but new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that people with problems in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract may be vulnerable to infection after swallowing the virus. Studying tissue from patients with a common disorder called Barrett’s esophagus, the researchers found that although cells in a healthy esophagus cannot bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, esophageal cells from patients with Barrett’s have receptors for the virus, and those cells can bind to and become infected by the virus that causes COVID-19.
Logo

Podcast: Vaccines have arrived but COVID-19 treatments progressing much more slowly

This episode of Show Me the Science contrasts the rapid development of effective vaccines with the lack of progress toward effective therapies.
Logo

Studies will evaluate COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness among health-care personnel

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to evaluate the effectiveness of vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus among health-care personnel on the WashU Medical Campus and across BJC HealthCare. The study, which includes 16 sites across the country, will allow for the rapid evaluation of these vaccines in a real-world setting with high exposure to the virus.

Our Members

UMR is a coalition of leading research institutions, patient and health advocates and private industry seeking steady and sustainable increases in funding for the National Institutes of Health in order to save and improve lives, advance innovation and fuel the economy.