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From Inequality to Immortality – INSEAD Knowledge (blog)

A burgeoning industry promises to help the wealthy defeat the ultimate equaliser: Death.

In the year 42 I.E. (Inequality Era, post-Piketty), mankind built its first hibernation machine. This allowed some to jump to the future. A brighter future, a better future. More precisely, hibernation machines became an actualisation of a powerful idea that tomorrow is better than today. A tomorrow that has a cure for cancer and diabetes, where strokes, respiratory diseases and heart attacks are a hazy remembrance (much as we think of typhoid and tuberculosis today), where longevity spans centuries, and Ray Kurzweil’s Singularity, in which humans merge with A.I. to transcend biological limitations, is within reach. The end of Death and a future everlasting beckon.

But only a select few can afford hibernation machines and jump to the future: The rich and the powerful, the rentiers and the capitalists, the titans of industry and the masters of finance. Those who can afford it skip to a future paradise, while those who cannot remain in what they now perceive as a dark and depressing present, whilst building the paradise for the few.

This is a short chapter in Death’s End, the culmination of Liu Cixin’s stunning trilogy, Remembrance of Earth’s Past. Former U.S. President Barack Obama recommended it, in a bygone era when leaders used to read, reflect, and write, rather than rant in 140 characters. It is fascinating to think systematically about . Are we willing to tolerate inequality in income and wealth as long as our basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy are satisfied? Or will we have a revolution in our hands when inequality is literally a matter of life and death?1 Hollywood which gave us Elysium which certainly sees revolution as the most probable outcome.

This is not some abstract sci-fi scenario. Today, there are four major companies that provide cryogenic or cryonic services Alcor in Arizona, Cryonics Institute in Michigan, American Cryonics Society in California and KrioRus in Russia. Alcor seems the most developed and well-funded. Morbid as it sounds, this could be you in the future, vitrified and then stored in a thermos. Their pricing policy has a weird two-part tariff structure an annual membership fee of US$525 and then an additional US$200,000 for Whole Body Cryopreservation. There is a discount if you only cryogenically freeze your brain; and a US$10,000 premium if you live outside the United States and Canada which rises to US$50,000 if you live in China. A topic for another day is whether this is price discrimination or whether the price differences reflect cost differences.

Interestingly, only 5 percent of the U.S. population has an annual income exceeding the US$200,000 charged by Alcor. But since the amount can be paid out of retirement savings, slightly more than 10 percent of U.S. households theoretically could afford to freeze at least one person (see below). Ironically, most would be bankrupted in the process, meaning they would thaw out to penury. Theyd have to hope that the utopian future awaiting them would be free of the sort of inequality that enabled them to cheat death in the first place.

Meanwhile in Silicon Valley…

Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders of Google, are reading Homo Deus, by Yuval Harari. On page 28, the book predicts that they are going to die. Death, after all, is the ultimate equaliser. Steve Jobs was unable to beat pancreatic cancer. Harari is sceptical whether Googles Calico, short for the California Life Company and founded in 2013 with a billion dollars in funding, will solve death in time to make Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin immortal. This is immensely frustrating to the likes of Brin, Page, Jeff Bezos and Peter Thiel, all billionaires eager to stretch lives, or, at least their own, to forever in Thiel’s words.

Many believe that aging is encoded in our DNA and if anything is encoded it can be cracked. If something can be cracked, then it can be hacked. Cue applause! And cue billions of dollars for aging research with Bill Maris, the founder and CEO of Google Ventures, leading the way. In the fall of 2016, the life extension start-up Unity Biotechnology raised an enormous round of funding from Silicon Valley billionaires interested in the prospect of humans living much longer lives.

Others are bringing big data and machine learning tools to bear. BioAge Labs, whose tagline is faster drug discovery for aging, has been using machine learning and crunching genomics data to search for biomarkers that predict mortality.

Venture Vampire Capital

In 1615, a German doctor suggested that the hot and spirituous blood of a young man will pour into the old one as if it were from a fountain of youth. In 1924, the physician and Bolshevik Alexander Bogdanov performed young-blood transfusions on himself. He claimed that his eyesight improved, that he stopped balding and a fellow-revolutionary wrote that he seems to have become seven, no, ten years younger. Ironically, Bogdanov injected himself with blood from a student who had both malaria and tuberculosis, and subsequently died. Today, this procedure goes by the innocuous-sounding name parabiosis a surgical union of two organisms sharing the circulation of blood. And the search for the fountain of youth continues.

Of mice and men

Researchers at Stanford University showed in a 2014 study that infusions of blood from young mice reversed cognitive and neurological impairments seen in older mice. These reinvigorated mice performed like ones half their age in memory based tests. Immediately, emails flooded the inbox of the lead researcher, Tony Wyss-Coray. Numerous billionaires, some of whom were experiencing onset of Alzheimers, wanted infusions of young blood. Some had even arranged for what the HBO show Silicon Valley termed blood boys.

There is currently a clinical trial called Young Donor Plasma Transfusion and Age-Related Biomarkers looking for participants. The trial, run by a start-up called Ambrosia, injects young people’s blood into older people. Healthy participants aged 35 and older, pay US$8000 for a transfusion of blood plasma from donors under 25, and researchers monitor their blood over the next two years for indicators (biomarkers) of health and aging. Thiel (yes, him again) is looking seriously into parabiosis.

Today, most reporting on these advances takes one of two perspectives: weary scepticism or unadulterated wonder. In either case, my grim forecast is that a world where such miracles of longevity are confined to billionaires will see socio-political upheaval, the likes of which will make the current hand-wringing and brow-furrowing on the rise of inequality seem quaint in comparison. In the meantime, expect a lot of books and articles and blog posts, targeted at the thought-leader industrial complex, that will at the least, make for stimulating conversation.

Pushan Dutt is the Shell Fellow of Economic Transformation and a Professor of Economics and Political Science at INSEAD. Professor Dutt directs the Asian International Executive Programme.

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1Of course, with unequal access to health care in many countries, with direct consequences for differential mortality rates among the rich and the poor, we already live in such a world.

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From Inequality to Immortality – INSEAD Knowledge (blog)

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J&J drops stem cell partner Capricor – BioPharma Dive

Dive Brief:

While the loss of the deal has made a hole on the company’s value, Capricor is looking on the bright side.

“Over the last few years, and during the term of the Janssen option period, we believe that significant value for our CAP-1002 asset has been created through the demonstration of clinical proof-of-concept to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and also from the progress that has been made towards the development of a commercial-scale manufacturing process for the cells,” said Linda Marbn, Capricor’s president and CEO.

The company also suggested that a potential upside of the loss of the agreements is that it “resolves uncertainty concerning the scope of the license for CAP-1002 and provides Capricor the freedom to enter into new licensing and/or business development opportunities.”

Although, as most investors know, it’s generally a bad sign when your big pharma partner bails and, typically, hurts prospects for gaining another commercialization partner.

Capricor has faced some challenges in 2017. In February, it pulled out of an agreement with the Mayo Clinic, which included scrapping development of a Phase 2 heart failure drug, cenderitide, in order to focus on cell and exosome-based therapeutics. And then in May, it faced problems with CAP-1002 in the ALLSTAR Phase 1/2 trial. These topline results showed that CAP-1002 had only a small chance of meeting the primary endpoint of significantly reducing cardiac scarring in adults who had had a major heart attack. This resulted in a reduction in the scope of the company’s options, including its workforce size.

The focus for this product, which is manufactured from donated heart tissue, is now in young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy-associated cardiomyopathy, and the HOPE Phase 1/2 trial is ongoing. Six-month results were presented late last month at the 2017 Patient Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) Annual Connect Conference, showing improved cardiac systolic wall thickening, and improved performance of upper limb in treated patients.

“We discussed potential product registration strategies for this indication at our recent meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We expect to commence a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of repeat administrations of intravenous CAP-1002 in boys and young men with DMD in the second half of this year, subject to regulatory approval,” said Marbn.

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Male Hypogonadism Pipeline Report, H1 2017 – Therapeutics Review of 15 Companies & Drug Profiles – Research … – Business Wire (press release)

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Male Hypogonadism – Pipeline Review, H1 2017” report to their offering.

The latest Pharmaceutical and Healthcare latest pipeline guide Male Hypogonadism – Pipeline Review, H1 2017, provides comprehensive information on the therapeutics under development for Male Hypogonadism (Male Health), complete with analysis by stage of development, drug target, mechanism of action (MoA), route of administration (RoA) and molecule type. The guide covers the descriptive pharmacological action of the therapeutics, its complete research and development history and latest news and press releases.

The Male Hypogonadism (Male Health) pipeline guide also reviews of key players involved in therapeutic development for Male Hypogonadism and features dormant and discontinued projects. The guide covers therapeutics under Development by Companies /Universities /Institutes, the molecules developed by Companies in Pre-Registration, Filing rejected/Withdrawn, Phase III, Phase II, Phase I, IND/CTA Filed and Preclinical stages are 3, 1, 4, 7, 2, 1 and 5 respectively. Similarly, the Universities portfolio in Phase II stages comprises 1 molecules, respectively.

Male Hypogonadism (Male Health) pipeline guide helps in identifying and tracking emerging players in the market and their portfolios, enhances decision making capabilities and helps to create effective counter strategies to gain competitive advantage.

Key Topics Covered:

For more information about this report visit https://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/gxm3xp/male_hypogonadism

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First gene therapy ‘a true living drug’ on the cusp of FDA approval – Washington Post

PHILADELPHIA When doctors saw the report on Bill Ludwigs bone-marrow biopsy, they thought it was a mistake and ordered the test repeated. But the results came back the same: His lethal leukemia had been wiped out by an experimental treatment never used in humans.

We were hoping for a little improvement, remembers the 72-year-old retired New Jersey corrections officer, who had battled the disease for a decade. He and his oncologist both broke down when she delivered the good news in 2010. Nobody was hoping for zero cancer.

The pioneering therapy with Ludwig and a few other adults at the University of Pennsylvania hospital paved the way for clinical trials with children. Six-year-old Emily Whitehead, who was near death, became the first pediatric recipient in 2012. Like Ludwig, she remains cancer-free.

Such results are why the treatment is on track to become the first gene therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration. An FDA advisory committee will decide Wednesday whether to recommend approval of the approach, which uses patients own genetically altered immune cells to fight blood cancers.

If the panel gives the nod, the agency probably will follow suit by the end of September. That would open the latest chapter in immunotherapy a true living drug, says Penn scientist Carl June, who led its development.

The CAR T-cell treatment, manufactured by the drug company Novartis, initially would be available only for the small number of children and young adults whose leukemia doesnt respond to standard care. Those patients typically have a grim prognosis, but in the pivotal trial testing the therapy in almost a dozen countries, 83 percent of patients went into remission. A year later, two-thirds remained so.

And childhood leukemia is just the start for a field that has attracted intense interest in academia and industry. Kite Pharma of Santa Monica, Calif., has applied for FDA approval for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and a similar Novartis application is close behind. Researchers also are exploring CAR T-cell therapys use for multiple myeloma and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the disease that afflicted Ludwig. Theyre also tackling a far more difficult challenge using the therapy for solid tumors in the lungs or brain, for example.

The excitement among doctors and researchers is palpable. Were saving patients who three or four years ago we were at our wits end trying to keep alive, said Stephen Schuster, the Penn oncologist who is leading a Novartis lymphoma study. Both the study and a Kite trial have shown that the treatment can put about one-third of adults with advanced disease those who have exhausted all options into remission.

Yet along with the enthusiasm come pressing questions about safety, cost and the complexity of the procedure.

It involves extracting white blood cells called T cells the foot soldiers of the immune system from a patients blood, freezing and sending them to Novartiss sprawling manufacturing plant in Morris Plains, N.J. There, a crippled HIV fragment is used to genetically modify the T cells so they can find and attack the cancer. The cells then are refrozen and sent back to be infused into the patient.

Once inside the persons body, the T-cell army multiplies astronomically.

Novartis hasnt disclosed the price for its therapy, but analysts are predicting $300,000 to $600,000 for a one-time infusion. Brad Loncar, whose index fund focuses on cancer immunotherapy treatment, hopes the cost doesnt prompt a backlash. CAR-T is not the EpiPen, he said. This is truly pushing the envelope and at the cutting edge of science.

The biggest concerns, however, center on safety. The revved-up immune system becomes a potent cancer-fighting agent but also a dangerous threat to the patient. Serious side effects abound, raising concerns about broad use.

Treating patients safely is the heart of the rollout, said Stephan Grupp of the Childrens Hospital of Philadephia, who as director of its Cancer Immunotherapy Program led early pediatric studies as well as Novartiss global trial. The efficacy takes care of itself, but safety takes a lot of attention.

One of the most common side effects is called cytokine release syndrome, which causes high fever and flulike symptoms that in some cases can be so dangerous that the patient ends up in intensive care. The other major worry is neurotoxicity, which can result in temporary confusion or potentially fatal brain swelling. Juno Therapeutics, a biotech firm in Seattle, had to shut down one of its CAR T-cell programs because five patients died of brain swelling. Novartis has not seen brain swelling in its trials, company officials said.

To try to ensure patient safety, Novartis isnt planning a typical product rollout, with a drug pushed as widely and aggressively as possible. The company instead will designate 30to 35 medical centers to administer the treatment. Many of them took part in the clinical trial, and all have gotten extensive training by Grupp and others.

Grupp said he and his staff learned about the side effects of CAR T-cell therapy and what to do about them through terrifying experience that began five years ago with Emily Whitehead.

The young girl, who had relapsed twice on conventional treatments for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, was in grave condition. Grupp suggested to her parents that she become the first child to get the experimental therapy.

I said, Surely, this has been tried on kids somewhere else in the world, recalled her father, Thomas Whitehead of Philipsburg, Pa. But Steve said, Nope, some adults got it, but that was a different kind of leukemia.

After getting the therapy, Emilys fever soared, her blood pressure plummeted, and she ended up in a coma and on a ventilator for two weeks in the hospitals intensive care unit. Convinced his patient would not survive another day, a frantic Grupp got rushed lab results that suggested a surge of interleukin 6 was causing her immune system to relentlessly hammer her body. Doctors decided to give Emily an immunosuppressant drug called tocilizumab.

She was dramatically better within hours. She woke up the next day, her 7th birthday. Tests showed her cancer was gone.

The approval of CAR T-cell therapy would represent the second big immunotherapy advance in less than a decade. In 2011, the FDA cleared the first agent in a new class of drugs called checkpoint inhibitors. It has approved four more since then.

There are big differences between the two approaches. The checkpoint inhibitors are targeted at solid tumors, such as advanced melanoma, lung and bladder cancer, while CAR-T cell therapy has been aimed at blood disorders. And although checkpoint inhibitors are off the shelf, with every patient getting the same drug, the other is customized to an individual. Many immunotherapy experts think the greatest progress against cancer will occur when researchers figure out how to combine the approaches.

For the Penn team, the CAR T-cell story goes back decades, starting at the then-National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, where June and a postdoc fellow named Bruce Levine worked on new HIV treatments. In the process, they figured out a way to turbocharge T cells to make them more powerful and plentiful.

The pair moved to Philadelphia in 1999 and dove into cancer research. Two years later, Junes wife died of ovarian cancer, something he has credited as spurring him to work even harder in the field. In the years that followed, researchers across the country, including at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle racked up an array of tantalizing discoveries involving T cells.

Fast-forward to 2010, when Ludwig, who lives in Bridgeton, N.J. became Penns first patient to receive CAR T-cell therapy. Two other men got the treatment not long after. One is still in remission; the other relapsed and died.

But after those three patients, the Penn researchers ran out of money for more treatments. To try to raise interest and funding, they decided to publish the results of their work. The article that appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2011 created a firestorm, June said one that brought them new resources. David Porter, a Penn oncologist working with June, was on vacation in western Maryland and had to stop at a Kohls to buy a dress shirt for the immediate TV interviews.

The pediatric trial opened the following spring with Whitehead. Six months later, Penn licensed its technology to Novartis in exchange for financial support, which included a new cell-manufacturing facility on campus.

With FDA approval seeming imminent, the researchers who were so instrumental in the therapys development and testing are almost giddy. Grupp is especially pleased that the advance will be available first to children. Usually everything is developed first for adults, he noted recently, and children are an afterthought.

Read more:

This is not the end: Using immunotherapy and a genetic glitch to give cancer patients hope

This 8-year-old is free of cancer for now after a breakthrough treatment

For a 6-year-old with cancer, a future staked on medicines hottest field

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First gene therapy ‘a true living drug’ on the cusp of FDA approval – Washington Post

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Neon partners up with CRISPR Therapeutics for IO work – FierceBiotech

Its been a good week for Neon: After posting positive cancer vaccine data a few days ago, the Fierce 15 winner has signed a new R&D pact with gene-editing biotech CRISPR Therapeutics.

In a brief update, the pair said that the research collaboration [will] explore the combination of each companys proprietary technologies to develop novel T cell therapies.

CRISPR, which went public last year, is currently working on early-stage CRISPR/Cas9 technology that could change the way many diseases, from cancer to sickle cell disease are treated, while Neon is working on neoantigen vaccines a new form of personalized immunotherapy in which antigens that are found in diseased tissues but not normally in healthy patients are used to develop targeted vaccines.

Neon’s peptide-based vaccine (NEO-PV-01) is made from up to 20 antigens harvested from patients’ own tumor cells, and last week it posted data from a small study of six patients with melanoma who were given the vaccine at around the same time as they underwent surgery to remove the tumor in a bid to prevent recurrence.

More than 70% of the peptides successfully generated measurable immune responses, and after over two years of followup, four of the six patients were recurrence-free.

Cancer vaccines have largely failed to deliver on their early promise in the clinic, but these data, coupled with positive results also coming from an RNA-based vaccine developed by BioNTech last week, has boosted confidence in this research area.

RELATED: Fierce 15 winner Neon Therapeutics

Neon Therapeutics is committed to employ leading technologies, including CRISPR/Cas9, to improve the quality of our cell therapy approaches, said Richard Gaynor, M.D., president of research and development at Neon.

This collaboration will explore gene-based technologies from CRISPR Therapeutics with our expertise in neoantigen science and T cell biology.

Back in January, the company also said it raised a chunky $70 million in its series B round, and has also combined its candidate with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab); data from that early test should be out before the years end.

Samarth Kulkarni, president and chief business officer of CRISPR Therapeutics, added: We look forward to applying our proprietary CRISPR/Cas9 technologies in a variety of ways to generate potent T cell therapies directed against neoantigens. This collaboration with Neon Therapeutics supplements our internal efforts in immuno-oncology and broadens the spectrum of approaches we are able to explore.

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Broad Institute Joins CRISPR Patent Pool Talks | GEN – Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (blog)

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard said today they have joined discussions to create a nonexclusive CRISPR/Cas9 joint licensing pool being coordinated by MPEG LA, which operates patent pool licensing programs across institutions and countries.

The patent pool would facilitate the licensing of patents covering CRISPRwhich stands for clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeatsby creating a one-stop shop for commercial users without forcing licensees to pursue agreements with several entities, the Broad said.

The Broad disclosed today that it responded June 28, two days before the deadline set in April by MPEG LA, a provider of one-stop licenses for standards and other technology platforms. MPEG LA requested submissions by CRISPR/Cas9 patent holders to join in creating a global joint licensing platform related to the technology.

The Broad submitted for evaluation 22 patents13 U.S. patents and 10 European patentscontained within 10 patent families. That submission, the Broad said, was also being made on behalf of joint patent owners Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and The Rockefeller University.

We strongly support making CRISPR technology broadly available, Issi Rozen, CBO of the Broad Institute, said in a statement. We look forward to working with others to ensure the widest possible access to all key CRISPR intellectual property.

The Broad says it joins with MIT, Harvard, and Rockefeller to make CRISPR tools freely available to the academic and nonprofit communities and issue nonexclusive licenses for most types of commercial research, including agriculture. The exception is human therapeutics, where the Broad limits exclusivity through its Inclusive Innovation model, which offers one licensee exclusive use for a defined two-year period, followed by an open call for applications by other groups. The two-year exclusive period has already ended for CRISPR applications.

According to the Institute, the patents it submitted for discussion include not only those related to CRISPR/Cas9, but more broadly relevant CRISPR patents and application related to the technology.

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How new ‘molecular scissors’ may give crisper CRISPR – BioNews

Researchers have revealed the structure and action of a new type of ‘molecular scissors’ known as Cpf1, which may improve CRISPR genome editing.

Using X-ray crystallography, the team were able to view the three-dimensional structure of Cpf1, a bacterial protein from the CRISPR-Cas family of molecules. Like CRISPR/Cas9, the CRISPR-Cpf1 tool has potentially widespread applications in biotechnology.

They were also able to visualise exactly how Cpf1 unzips and cuts double-stranded DNA, saying that Cpf1 ‘acts like a GPS’ across the genome to recognise and cleave DNA (genetic) sequences with high precision.

The new CRISPR-Cpf1 technique has therapeutic potential fortreating cancers and genetic diseases, and could also ‘be used to modify microorganisms, with the aim of synthesising the metabolites required in the production of drugs and biofuels’, according to lead researcher, Professor Guillermo Montoya, from the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR) at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The researchers, who published their study in Nature, first created Cpf1 gene constructs and inserted these into Escherichia coli bacteria to trigger Cpf1 gene expression which they observed. ‘We radiated the crystals of the Cpf1 protein using X-rays to be able to observe its structure at atomic resolution, enabling us to see all its components. X-ray diffraction is one of the main biophysical techniques used to elucidate biomolecular structures,’ said Professor Montoya.

While cutting DNA using Cas9 results in blunt ended strands, the study showed that Cpf1 cleaves DNA in a staggered fashion leaving ‘sticky ends’, which makes insertion of a DNA sequence easier. Furthermore, in comparison to Cas9, thestructural component for DNA recognition and binding for CRISPR-Cpf1 (called the Protospacer Adjacent Motif or PAM) is located far from the DNA cleavage site. The resulting physical separation may prevent damage of PAM site and offer new possibilities for DNA cleavage.

Professor Montoya said: ‘The high precision of this protein recognising the DNA sequence on which it is going to act functions like a GPS, directing the Cpf1 system within the intricate map of the genome to identify its destination. In comparison with other proteins used for this purpose, it is also very versatile and easy to be reprogrammed.’

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How new ‘molecular scissors’ may give crisper CRISPR – BioNews

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Improving Genome Editing: CRISPR Cpf1 mechanism visualized – Technology Networks

Representation of the Cpf1 protein in complex with its target RNA and target DNA. The determination of its structure at high resolution has allowed to reveal the modus operandi of this genetic engineering tool. / University of Copenhagen

A scientific team from in the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (NNF-CPR), at the University of Copenhagen, has succeeded in visualizing and describing how a new system for genome editing, known as Cpf1, works. This protein belongs to the Cas family and enables the cleavage of double stranded DNA, thus allowing the initiation of the genome modification process. The results of the study have been published in the journal Nature.

Guillermo Montoya, a researcher in the fields of biochemistry and molecular biology who led the study, explains to SINC that the new molecular scissors will enable us to more safely modify and edit the instructions written in the genome, due to the utmost precision of the target DNA sequence recognition.

The CRISPR Cas9 system for cutting and paste genome sequences is already being used to modify animal and plant genomes. Also to treat illnesses, such as cancer and retinal diseases, in humans and its applications are growing very fast.

X-Ray Crystallography Technique

Researchers across the world are trying to perfect this genome editing technique with the aim of making it yet more precise and efficient. To achieve this, they have also focused on other proteins that specifically cut DNA, such as Cpf1, whose manipulation can direct them to specific locations in the genome. Montoyas team has achieved this using an X-ray Crystallography to decipher the molecular mechanisms controlling this process.

We radiated the crystals of the Cpf1 protein using X-rays to be able to observe its structure at atomic resolution, enabling us to see all its components, points out the co-author of this study. X-ray diffraction is one of the main biophysical techniques used to elucidate biomolecular structures, he continues.

In his opinion, the main advantage of Cpf1 lies in its high specificity and the cleaving mode of the DNA, since it is possible to create staggered ends with the new molecular scissors, instead of blunt-ended breaks as is the case with Cas9, which facilitates the insertion of a DNA sequence.

The high precision of this protein recognising the DNA sequence on which it is going to act functions like a GPS, directing the Cpf1 system within the intricate map of the genome to identify its destination. In comparison with other proteins used for this purpose, it is also very versatile and easy to be reprogrammed, Montoya adds.

Genetic diseases and tumours

These properties make this system particularly suitable for its use in the treatment of genetic diseases and tumours, he affirms.

The team has previously worked with the French biotechnology company Celletics on the use of meganucleases other proteins that can be redesigned to cut the genome in a specific location to treat certain types of leukemia.

The new technology can also be used to modify microorganisms, with the aim of synthesising the metabolites required in the production of drugs and biofuels, adds Montoya.

This researcher, from Getxo (Biscay, Spain), says that there are many companies interested in this new technology. They are mostly from the biotechnology sector in the field of microorganism manipulation, but cannot be named due to confidentiality agreements.

This article has been republished frommaterialsprovided by SINC. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Reference

Stella, S., Alcn, P., & Montoya, G. (2017). Structure of the Cpf1 endonuclease R-loop complex after target DNA cleavage. Nature.

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CRISPR: 5 ways it will save your life – Red Bull – Red Bull


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CRISPR: 5 ways it will save your life – Red Bull
Red Bull
How bioengineering is becoming a game of Ctrl-X, C and V, and saving countless lives along the way. Microsoft-founder Bill Gates told Wired magazine in 2010 …

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Ventolin proair – Rsv breathing treatments albuterol – Van Wert independent

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OHIO CITY The Ohio City Park Association and the Lambert Days Committee has finalized plans for the 2017 festival.

Lambert Days is always the third full weekend in July. This years dates are July 21-23. This is also the 50th anniversary of Ohio Citys celebration of the life of John W. Lambert and his invention of Americas first automobile.

This years edition of Lambert Days will feature a communitywide garage sale. For more information, contact Laura Morgan at 419.965.2515. There will also be food all weekend in the newly renovated Community Building on Ohio 118.

Friday, July 21

Festivities start off with a steak dinner (carryout is available), starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Ohio Citys American LegionHarvey Lewis Post 346 will have aflag-raising ceremony at 5 Friday evening, while kids games and inflatables will also open at 5. At 6 p.m., the Lambert Days Wiffleball Homerun Derby will take place. For more information, contactLorenzo Frye 419.771.7037.

There will also be entertainment at 6 p.m. featuring Cass Blue. At 7, there will be a adult Wiffleball tournament. For more information, contact Brian Bassett419.203.8203. A Texas Hold em Tournament will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, along with Monte Carlo Night, which begins at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Jeff Agler at 419.513.0580.

Entertainment for Friday night starts at 8 and will be the band Colt & Crew. There will also be a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Friday (Saturday night is the rain date).

Saturday, July 22

Saturday morning begins with a softball tournament at 8. For more information, contact Brian Bassettat 419.203.8203. There will also be a coed volleyball tournament that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Tim Matthews at 419.203.2976. The Lambert Days Kids Wiffleball Tournament starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Lorenzo Frye at 419.771.7037.

Kids games and Inflatables continue at 11 Saturday morning. Cornhole tournament registration and 3-on-3 basketball tournament registration start at noon, while both tournaments begin at 1 p.m. For more information on cornhole, contact Josh Agler at 567.259.9941 and for 3-on-3 basketball, contact Scott Bigham at 419.953.9511.

The Hog Roast Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Saturday and carryout is available. There will also be music under the tent by Jeff Unterbrink at 4. Bingo will start at 5 p.m., and the night ends with entertainment by Megan White and Cadillac Ranch.

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Ventolin proair – Rsv breathing treatments albuterol – Van Wert independent

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Checking the cost of a genetic test – Chicago Tribune – Chicago Tribune

In the spring, 23andMe, a DNA testing firm, was the first company to win approval from the Food and Drug Administration to sell directly to consumers, without a prescription, a genetic test that screens for several diseases, including late-onset Alzheimers, Parkinsons and some rare blood disorders.

Heres how it works: You pay $199 online for a Health and Ancestry kit. When it arrives, you spit into a tube and mail it back. Two months later, you can view your results in your online account.

Tests like this arent new, but in the past you could typically get one only if your doctor ordered it. And often it was to screen you for a specific condition, such as the BRCA genes, which put you at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

The results were then shared with a doctor, who interpreted them for you. By contrast, the 23andMe test puts the results in the hands of the consumer.

Should you get one? Before you do, consider your motive. What kind of information are you looking for and what are you going to do with it? After all, some of the diseases for which 23andMe has been authorized to provide genetic reports Alzheimers, for instance have no cure.

Also keep in mind that having the gene for a certain disease doesnt mean youll get the disease. In the case of Parkinsons, for example, direct-to-consumer genetic testing can help to identify who is at risk for developing Parkinsons but cannot predict who will be diagnosed, says John Lehr, CEO of the Parkinsons Foundation.

The same is true of Alzheimers. Thats one reason the Alzheimers Association discourages genetic testing, says Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach. Its not going to answer the question most people have: Will I get Alzheimers or not?

Nevertheless, some people are information seekers, says genetic counselor Susan Hahn. And information can be powerful. It could push some people to adopt healthier habits, a major factor in staying well.

If you choose to get a genetic test for health risks, seek counseling from a genetic specialist or a doctor, who can help you understand your test results. Genetic counseling is not included in 23andMes Health and Ancestry kit. But the firms website provides resources that help connect customers with counselors.

Nellie S. Huang is a senior associate editor at Kiplingers Personal Finance magazine.

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Checking the cost of a genetic test – Chicago Tribune – Chicago Tribune

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Couple and a new partner share love of Ahwatukee, better health – Ahwatukee Foothills News

Todd and Jen Winton have a clear vision of why Ahwatukee is the perfect place for their practice.

The husband-wife doctors he a naturopath and she a chiropractor consider it a community of people who are as committed to healthy living as they are to helping people achieve it.

Ahwatukee has a very friendly community, said Jen. People are genuinely interested in their health and are continuously looking for natural alternatives to drugs and surgery. They find many answers in our clinic to get healthy and stay active.

Jen Winton opened the practice, Active Lifestyle Clinic, at 16515 S. 40th St., Ahwatukee, not long before they married about six years ago, having met on the online dating site eharmony.com.

Now theyve added a partner, Dr. Keith Smith, who is returning to Ahwatukee eight years after he sold his 10-year-old Ahwatukee Life Center.

The Wintons take healthy living seriously even when theyre not at work.

Theyve marched in demonstrations against genetically modified food, and load their website, activelivingcenter.com, with tips and products aimed at helping people live a healthier life.

Smith shares that philosophy, even though he had never met the couple until he began working with them, motivated by a desire to get back into chiropracty.

He had sold his business to open a wellness practice that concentrated on nutrition and weight loss.

Many people are hungry for information on vitamins, nutrition and eating healthy but dont know where to start, he said. I am passionate about sharing this information and helping people get back to basics with food.

The Wintons, parents of two boys ages 3 and 5, have both been practicing for more than 15 years.

She graduated from Palmer West College of Chiropractic Smiths alma mater as well in 2003 and also holds a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Washington.

Her husband attended Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, graduating in 1999.

Jen Winton practices chiropractic with a focus on family care.

Her husband focuses on the most conservative treatments, specializing in male and female hormone balance using bio-identical hormones, natural pain relief using prolotherapy and ozone injections and weight loss.

The naturopathic aspect is very intriguing to most folks since male and female hormone imbalance is so rampant, she said, adding that her husbands natural pain injections and his other treatments are very effective at healing joints and preventing surgery.”

Before she had met her husband, Jen Winton had bought a small practice from Dr. Janelle Perkins in Ahwatukee at Ray Road and Ranch Circle, and soon found it grew exponentially to where she needed more space.

She relocated to the 40th Street location off Frye Road and by that time picked up her new partner in life as her partner in the practice.

Over time, they have found that one of their biggest challenges has involved the insurance industry.

We used to rely on insurance sending us patients through their network listings, she explained. Insurance in Arizona has changed so much in the world of chiropractic that most do not cover it anymore.

So theyve developed a program offering low rates such as $25 for an adjustment and $65 for naturopathic care to counter the effects of those changes.

Jen Winton and Smith also have teamed up with local restaurants, such as Pita Jungle, Hillside Spot and Pomegranate Caf, to offer health-related lunch workshops to businesses in Ahwatukee and the surrounding area.

Smith said hes glad hes hitched up with the Wintons because they share his commitment to helping people live healthier lives and because of their location.

We all have a very similar philosophy, care for patients and make care affordable, he said. Plus, I have practiced in Ahwaukee for years and really enjoy the community.

Information: 480-704-1050, ActiveLifestyleClinic.com

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Couple and a new partner share love of Ahwatukee, better health – Ahwatukee Foothills News

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Is clomid a hormone drug – Side effects of medicines are always the same for everyone – Van Wert independent

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OHIO CITY The Ohio City Park Association and the Lambert Days Committee has finalized plans for the 2017 festival.

Lambert Days is always the third full weekend in July. This years dates are July 21-23. This is also the 50th anniversary of Ohio Citys celebration of the life of John W. Lambert and his invention of Americas first automobile.

This years edition of Lambert Days will feature a communitywide garage sale. For more information, contact Laura Morgan at 419.965.2515. There will also be food all weekend in the newly renovated Community Building on Ohio 118.

Friday, July 21

Festivities start off with a steak dinner (carryout is available), starting at 4 p.m. Friday. Ohio Citys American LegionHarvey Lewis Post 346 will have aflag-raising ceremony at 5 Friday evening, while kids games and inflatables will also open at 5. At 6 p.m., the Lambert Days Wiffleball Homerun Derby will take place. For more information, contactLorenzo Frye 419.771.7037.

There will also be entertainment at 6 p.m. featuring Cass Blue. At 7, there will be a adult Wiffleball tournament. For more information, contact Brian Bassett419.203.8203. A Texas Hold em Tournament will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, along with Monte Carlo Night, which begins at 8 p.m. For more information, contact Jeff Agler at 419.513.0580.

Entertainment for Friday night starts at 8 and will be the band Colt & Crew. There will also be a fireworks display at 10:15 p.m. Friday (Saturday night is the rain date).

Saturday, July 22

Saturday morning begins with a softball tournament at 8. For more information, contact Brian Bassettat 419.203.8203. There will also be a coed volleyball tournament that starts at 9 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Tim Matthews at 419.203.2976. The Lambert Days Kids Wiffleball Tournament starts at 10 a.m. Saturday. For more information, contact Lorenzo Frye at 419.771.7037.

Kids games and Inflatables continue at 11 Saturday morning. Cornhole tournament registration and 3-on-3 basketball tournament registration start at noon, while both tournaments begin at 1 p.m. For more information on cornhole, contact Josh Agler at 567.259.9941 and for 3-on-3 basketball, contact Scott Bigham at 419.953.9511.

The Hog Roast Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Saturday and carryout is available. There will also be music under the tent by Jeff Unterbrink at 4. Bingo will start at 5 p.m., and the night ends with entertainment by Megan White and Cadillac Ranch.

(more)

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Is clomid a hormone drug – Side effects of medicines are always the same for everyone – Van Wert independent

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Stem cell-based therapy for targeting skin-to-brain cancer – Medical Xpress

July 10, 2017 Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have a potential solution for how to kill tumor cells that have metastasized to the brain. The team has developed cancer-killing viruses that can deliver stem cells via the carotid artery, and applied them to metastatic tumors in the brain of clinically relevant mouse models. The investigators report the elimination of metastatic skin cancer cells from the brain of these preclinical models, resulting in prolonged survival. The study, published online this week in the journal PNAS, also describes a strategy of combining this therapy with immune check point inhibitors.

“Metastatic brain tumors – often from lung, breast or skin cancers – are the most commonly observed tumors within the brain and account for about 40 percent of advanced melanoma metastases. Current therapeutic options for such patients are limited, particularly when there are many metastases,” says Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, director of the Center for Stem Cell Therapeutics and Imaging (CSTI) in the BWH Department of Neurosurgery, who led the study. “Our results are the first to provide insight into ways of targeting multiple brain metastatic deposits with stem-cell-loaded oncolytic viruses that specifically kill dividing tumor cells.”

In their search for novel, tumor-specific therapies that could target multiple brain metastases without damaging adjacent tissues, the research team first developed different BRAF wild type and mutant mouse models that more closely mimic what is seen in patients. They found that injecting patient-derived, brain-seeking melanoma cells into the carotid artery of these preclinical models resulted in the formation of many metastatic tumors throughout the brain, mimicking what is seen in advanced melanoma cancer patients. The injected cells express markers that allow them to enter the brain and are labelled with bioluminescent and fluorescent markers to enable tracking by imaging technologies.

To devise a potential new therapy, the investigators engineered a population of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells loaded with oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV), which specifically kills dividing cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Previous research by Shah and his colleagues shows that different stem cell types are naturally attracted toward tumors in the brain. After first verifying that stem cells injected to the brain would travel to multiple metastatic sites and not to tumor-free areas in their model, the team injected stem cells loaded with oHSV into the carotid artery of metastasis-bearing mice.. Injecting the stem cells loaded with oHSV into the carotid artery, a likely strategy for clinical application, led to significantly slower tumor growth and increased survival, compared with the models that received unaltered stem cells or control injections. The oHSV loaded stem cells are ultimately killed by oHSV mediated oncolysis, preventing the engineered cells from persisting within the brain, which is an important safety component in the therapeutic use of these stem cells.

Due to an increasing body of evidence which suggests that the host immune response may be critical to the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy, Shah and his colleagues also developed an immunocompetent melanoma mouse model and explored treating with both stem cell loaded oHSV and immune checkpoint blockers such as the ones that target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway. They found that PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade significantly improved the therapeutic efficacy of stem cell based oncolytic virotherapy in melanoma brain metastasis.

“We are currently developing similar animal models of brain metastasis from other cancer types as well as new oncolytic viruses that have the ability to specifically kill a wide variety of resistant tumor cells,” said Shah, who is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and a principal faculty member at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. “We are hopeful that our findings will overcome problems associated with current clinical procedures. This work will have direct implications for designing clinical trials using oncolytic viruses for metastatic tumors in the brain.”

Explore further: Stem-cell-based therapy promising for treatment of breast cancer metastases in the brain

More information: Wanlu Du el al., “In vivo imaging of the fate and therapeutic efficacy of stem cell-loaded oncolytic herpes simplex virus in advanced melanoma,” PNAS (2017). http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1700363114

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Stem cell-based therapy for targeting skin-to-brain cancer – Medical Xpress

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Peer-Reviewed Publication Validates RenovaCare Approach to Rapidly-Processing Stem Cells for Burns and Wounds – Business Wire (press release)

NEW YORK & PITTSBURGH–(BUSINESS WIRE)–RenovaCare, Inc., (OTCQB:RCAR), has announced that its approach to isolating a patients own stem cells for subsequent spray onto burns and wounds has been validated by researchers in Differentiation, a leading peer-reviewed scientific publication. According to their findings, the methodology, which has been adopted by RenovaCare, successfully isolates those specific cell populations with the greatest regenerative capacity to support the growth of fully-functioning skin.

Todays announcement follows recent highlights from an independent analysis of treatment results on a variety of wide-area and severe burn injuries published in Burns, the peer-reviewed Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries. The treatment method, adopted by RenovaCare, involved isolating and spraying the patients own skin stem cells on the burn wounds, and it is the technology underlying the companys patented CellMist and SkinGun.

(Click here to see before-after photos of severe second-degree burn patients who received skin stem cell spray grafting treatment; Journal Burns.)

RenovaCare harvests a patients stem cells from a small area of skin, as little as one-inch square. These cells are placed in a water-based suspension and delicately sprayed onto the wound using the RenovaCare SkinGun, where the cells begin growing new skin.

As in the case of state trooper Matt Uram, one of dozens of burn victims treated with autologous skin stem cell spray, patients are able to leave the hospital within only a few days rather than the many weeks required by alternative treatments such as in-vitro cultured epithelial grafts.

In contrast to the speed and effectiveness of the RenovaCare procedure — taking as little as 90-minutes — in-vitro cultured grafts require harvesting cells from a patient, which are then transported to a specialized external laboratory where they take weeks to form sheets of skin. These fragile sheets must then be sent back to the hospital for surgical stitching onto a patients wounds, a process that is complicated, time-consuming and expensive.

Its very exciting to have this scientific validation that our approach is ideal for rapid and natural skin regeneration, explained Mr. Thomas Bold, President and CEO of RenovaCare, Inc. Weve always had confidence that our methodology isolates the bodys most regenerative cell population before spray application with our ultra-gentle SkinGun.

In the 2015 article published in Differentiation, researchers identified the advantages of freshly-isolated cells and compared their regenerative properties against the concept of culturing skin cells, used to grow sheets of skin.

Findings demonstrate that, under the tested conditions, freshly-isolated skin cells have far greater regenerative capacity than cells which have been repeatedly cultured. Cultured cells lose specific cell populations which support skin regeneration, necessary to healing.

In the RenovaCare approach, adopted from the study, freshly isolated cells derived from the basal layer grow both in size and number and include rapid-cycling cells responsible for quick healing. The high presence of these cells assures entirely natural regeneration of the skin without the use of external chemical support, growth factors, and drugs — important advantages highlighted by RenovaCare.

According to authors of the Differentiation publication, the approach of applying freshly isolated stem cells to the wound is, A concept that is thought to preserve the proliferative and regenerative capabilities of basal layer derived cells for the patient’s wound healing in a more physiological way than applying the cells to the same wound only after several weeks of in vitro culture.

The paper further concludes that by directly applying these freshly-isolated cells onto the wound, the patients own body can provide the nutrients and vascular support needed in order to promote skin regeneration.

The article titled, In vitro keratinocyte expansion for cell transplantation therapy is associated with differentiation and loss of basal layer derived progenitor population, by: Roger Esteban-Vives, Matthew T. Young, Patrick Over, Eva Schmeltzer, Alain Corcos, Jenny Ziembicki, and Jrg Gerlach, was published in June 2015 by Elsevier in Differentiation. (doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2015.05.002.)

Copies of the article are available to credentialed journalists upon request; please contact Elseviers Newsroom at newsroom@elsevier.com or +31 20 485 2492.

Study authors, Dr. Roger Esteban-Vives and Dr. Jrg Gerlach currently have a financial interest in the SkinGun spray-grafting technology through payments from RenovaCare, Inc. Dr. Esteban-Vives, currently Director of Cell Sciences at RenovaCare, Inc., was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pittsburgh when this work was conducted and did not have such financial interest at that time.

*RenovaCare products are currently in development.They are not available for sale in theUnited States.There is no assurance that the companys planned or filed submissions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, if any, will be accepted or cleared by the FDA.

AboutBurns

Burnsaims to foster the exchange of information among all engaged in preventing and treating the effects of burns. The journal focuses on clinical, scientific, and social aspects of these injuries and covers the prevention of the injury, the epidemiology of such injuries, and all aspects of treatment including development of new techniques and technologies and verification of existing ones. Regular features include clinical and scientific papers, state of the art reviews, and descriptions of burn-care in practice.

About RenovaCare, Inc.

RenovaCare, Inc. is developing first-of-its-kind autologous (self-donated) stem cell therapies for the regeneration of human organs. Its initial product under development targets the bodys largest organ, the skin. The companys flagship technology, the CellMist System, uses its patented SkinGun to spray a liquid suspension of a patients stem cells the CellMist Solution onto wounds. RenovaCare is developing its CellMist System as a promising new alternative for patients suffering from burns, chronic and acute wounds, and scars. In the US alone, this $45 billion market is greater than the spending on high-blood pressure management, cholesterol treatments, and back pain therapeutics.

For additional information, please call Drew Danielson at: 888-398-0202 or visit: http://renovacareinc.com

To receive future press releases via email, please visit: https://renovacareinc.com/register/

Follow us on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Renovacareinc or follow us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/renovacarercar

For answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQs page: https://renovacareinc.com/faqs/

Social Media Disclaimer

Investors and others should note that we announce material financial information to our investors using SEC filings and press releases. We use our website and social media to communicate with our subscribers, shareholders, and the public about the company, RenovaCare, Inc. development, and other corporate matters that are in the public domain. At this time, the company will not post information on social media that could be deemed to be material information unless that information was distributed to public distribution channels first. We encourage investors, the media, and others interested in the company to review the information we post on the companys website and the social media channels listed below:

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* This list may be updated from time to time.

Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

No statement herein should be considered an offer or a solicitation of an offer for the purchase or sale of any securities. This release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events. Although RenovaCare, Inc. (the Company) believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements, which involve assumptions and describe our future plans, strategies, and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words may, will, should, could, expect, anticipate, estimate, believe, intend, or project or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous factors and uncertainties, including but not limited to: the timing and success of clinical and preclinical studies of product candidates, the potential timing and success of the Companys product programs through their individual product development and regulatory approval processes, adverse economic conditions, intense competition, lack of meaningful research results, entry of new competitors and products, inadequate capital, unexpected costs and operating deficits, increases in general and administrative costs, termination of contracts or agreements, obsolescence of the Company’s technologies, technical problems with the Company’s research, price increases for supplies and components, litigation and administrative proceedings involving the Company, the possible acquisition of new businesses or technologies that result in operating losses or that do not perform as anticipated, unanticipated losses, the possible fluctuation and volatility of the Company’s operating results, financial condition and stock price, losses incurred in litigating and settling cases, dilution in the Company’s ownership of its business, adverse publicity and news coverage, inability to carry out research, development and commercialization plans, loss or retirement of key executives and research scientists, and other risks. There can be no assurance that further research and development will validate and support the results of our preliminary research and studies. Further, there can be no assurance that the necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained or that the Company will be able to develop commercially viable products on the basis of its technologies. In addition, other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially are discussed in the Company’s most recent Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports and filings may be inspected and copied at the Public Reference Room maintained by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20549. You can obtain information about operation of the Public Reference Room by calling the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission at 1-800-SEC-0330. The U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission also maintains an Internet site that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission athttp://www.sec.gov. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect the events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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Peer-Reviewed Publication Validates RenovaCare Approach to Rapidly-Processing Stem Cells for Burns and Wounds – Business Wire (press release)

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Experts Call for Tighter Regulation of Stem Cell Therapies in Use at Clinics Worldwide – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

Advertising forstem cell therapies not supported by clinical researchoftenmadedirectly to patients and sometimes promoted as a cure for diseases like multiple sclerosis or Parkinsons is a growing problem that needs to be addressed and regulated, a team of leading experts say, calling suchstem cell tourism potentially unsafe.

Stem cell tourism is the unflattering name given to the practice of encouragingpatients totravel outside their home country to undergo suchtreatment, typicaly at a private clinic.

The article, titledMarketing of unproven stem cellbased interventions: A call to actionandrecently published inthe journal Science Translational Medicine, was co-authored by scientistswith universities and hospitals in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Belgium, Italy, Japan, and Australia. It focuses on the global problem of thecommercial promotion of stem cell therapies and ongoing resistance to regulatory efforts.

Its authors suggest that a coordinated approach, at national and international levels, be focused on engagement, harmonization, and enforcement in order to reduce risks associated with direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven stem cell treatments.

Treatments involving stem cell transplants are now being offered by hundreds of medical institutions worldwide, claiming efficacy in repairing tissue damaged by degenerative disorders like MS, even thoughthose claim often lack or are supported bylittle evidence .

They alsonoted that the continued availability of these treatments undermines the development of rigorously tested therapies, and potentially canendanger a patients life.

The researchers emphasizethat tighter regulations on stem cell therapy advertising are needed, especiallyregarding potential clinical benefits. They support the establishment ofinternational regulatory standards for the manufacture and testing of human cell and tissue-based therapies.

Many patients feel that potential cures are being held back by red tape and lengthy approval processes. Although this can be frustrating, these procedures are there to protect patients from undergoing needless treatments that could put their lives at risk, Sarah Chan, a University of Edinburgh Chancellors Fellow and report co-author, saidin anews release.

Chan and her colleagues are also calling for the World Health Organization to offer guidance on responsible clinical use of cells and tissues, as it does for medicines and medical devices.

Stem cell therapies hold a lot of promise, Chan said, but we need rigorous clinical trials and regulatory processes to determine whether a proposed treatment is safe, effective and better than existing treatments.

According to the release, the report and its recommendationsfollowed the death of two children at a German clinic in 2010. The clinichas since been shut down.

Certainstem cell therapies mostly involving blood and skin stem cells have undergone rigorous testing in clinical trials, the researchers noted. A number of theseresulted in aprovedtreatments for certain blood cancers, and to grow skin grafts for patients with severe burns.

Information about the current status of stem cell research andpotential uses of stem cell therapiesis availableon the websiteEuroStemCell.

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Experts Call for Tighter Regulation of Stem Cell Therapies in Use at Clinics Worldwide – Multiple Sclerosis News Today

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Cells may hold key to treating Parkinson’s disease – Hindustan Times

According to recent study, advancements in materials from this study could potentially help patients requiring stem cell therapies for spinal cord injuries, stroke, Parkinsons disease, Alzheimers disease, arthritic joints or any other condition requiring tissue regeneration. Earlier research revolved around the role of autoimmunity in terms of a treatment.

Its important in the context of cell therapies for people to cure these diseases or regenerate tissues that are no longer functional, shared Samuel I. Stupp, director of Northwesterns Simpson Querrey Institute for BioNanotechnology and Board of Trustees Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Medicine and Biomedical Engineering.

Cells in our bodies are constantly being signalled with many types of instructions coming from proteins and other molecules present in the matrices that surround them. For example, these can be cues for cells to express specific genes so they can proliferate or differentiate into several types of cells leading to growth or regeneration of tissues. One of the marvels of this signalling machinery is the built-in capacity in living organisms to make signals stop and restart as needed, or to switch off one signal and activate a different one to orchestrate very complex processes.

The new technology manipulates cells by converting the skin cells to cure a patient with Parkinsons disease. (Shutterstock)

Building artificial materials with this type of dynamic capacity for regenerative therapies has been virtually impossible so far. The new work published today reports the development of the first synthetic material that has the capability to trigger reversibly this type of dynamic signalling. The platform could not only lead to materials that manage stem cells for more effective regenerative therapies, but will also allow scientists to explore and discover in the laboratory new ways to control the fate of cells and their functions.

One of the findings is the possibility of using the synthetic material to signal neural stem cells to proliferate, then at a specific time selected by the operator, trigger their differentiation into neurons and then return the stem cells back to a proliferative state on demand. The paper also reports that spinal cord neural stem cells, initially grouped into structures known as neurospheres, can be driven to spread out and differentiate using a signal.

But when this signal is switched off, the cells spontaneously regroup themselves into colonies. This uncovers strong interactions among these cells that could be important in understanding developmental and regenerative cues. The potential use of the new technology to manipulate cells could help cure a patient with Parkinsons disease. The patients own skin cells could be converted to stem cells using existing techniques.

The new technology could help expand the newly converted stem cells in vitro in the lab and then drive their differentiation into dopamine-producing neurons before transplantation back to the patient. In the new technology, materials are chemically decorated with different strands of DNA, each designed to display a different signal to cells.

People would love to have cell therapies that utilize stem cells derived from their own bodies to regenerate tissue. In principle, this will eventually be possible, but one needs procedures that are effective at expanding and differentiating cells in order to do so. Our technology does that, noted Stupp. While this process is currently only done in vitro with the vision of then transplanting cells, Stupp said in the future it might be possible to perform this process in vivo.

The stem cells would be implanted in the clinic, encapsulated in the type of material described in the new work, via an injection and targeted to a particular spot. Then the soluble molecules would be given to the patient to manipulate proliferation and differentiation of transplanted cells. The study was published in journal Nature Communications.

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Cells may hold key to treating Parkinson’s disease – Hindustan Times

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Konica Minolta buys US genetic test maker in $1B deal – BioPharma Dive

Dive Brief:

KonicaMinolta, which formed in 2003 as a result of a merger between the photographic companies Konica and Minolta, has been working to bolster its healthcare business. The acquisition of Ambry is KonicaMinolta’s largest to date and is aimed at building a foundation in precision medicine.

Konicasees Ambry’s genetic testing chops as a complement to its own imaging technology. The deal will build on an immunostaining technology Konica developed in 2015 known as High-Sensitivity Tissue Testing (HSTT).

“The combination of these bioinformatics capabilities, alongside Konica Minoltas HSTT technology, will create new opportunities for drug discovery and clinical trials not currently available,”said Kiyotaka Fujii, president of Global Healthcare at Konica Minolta.

Konicaplans to first roll our Ambry’s offerings alongside its own in Japan and then will expand to Europe. In addition to aforementioned test for DNA mismatch repair mutations, Amby has a range of screens for both inherited and non-inherited diseases in oncology, cardiology, pulmonology and neurology. Ambryalso offers hereditary cancer panels and clinical exome sequencing.

The lofty goals of precision medicine, while often touted, remain unrealized. But recent progress in genetic screening, particularly in oncology, is bringing that vision closer to reality. The Food and Drug Administration’s recent green light for Keytruda in DNA mismatch repair mutated-tumors, for example, marked the first tissue-agnostic approval to date.

While Ambrysecured a major buyout, other diagnostic companies have had a tougher week.Massachusetts-based Interleukin Genetics, which has been struggling to generate revenue and pay off debts, saw an agreement to defer loan payments to its senior lender crumble. It’s now evaluating its strategy, including a sale, and has cut over half of its already small workforce.

Top image credit: Adobe Stock

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Konica Minolta buys US genetic test maker in $1B deal – BioPharma Dive

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Clomid cycle day 22 – Metformin and clomid success stories 2014 – Van Wert independent

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LIMA Employers in the greater West Central Ohio region will collect $33 million in rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation in checks that will be mailed beginning next week.

BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison, in Lima to present a ceremonial check to local business leaders, said employers are free to spend their rebates as they wish, but she hopes they will consider investing in workplace safety.

We work with employers all over Ohio to prevent injuries and illness in the workplace, and they will tell you that investing in safety is a wise business decision, said Morrison, speaking at a press conference at the Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce. Safe workplaces mean fewer injuries, fewer medical claims and a stable workforce, all of which leads to a healthy bottom line for a business.

Morrison was joined by chamber President/CEO Jed Metzger and Tony Daley of Limas Spallinger Millwright Services Inc. Metzger and Daley accepted the check on behalf of employers in the entire region, which includes Allen, Auglaize, Shelby, Hancock, Putnam, and Van Wert counties.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed the rebate in March. Its the third such rebate in the last four years, made possible by an improving safety climate, prudent fiscal management and strong investment returns. The plan to distribute rebates to more than 200,000 Ohio employers during the month of July was approved by BWCs Board of Directors in April. Visitbwc.ohio.govfor more details and eligibility requirements.

The plan also includes a $44 million investment innew health and safety initiativesto promote a healthy workforce and a culture of safety in every Ohio workplace. This includes a new wellness program for small employers, funding for programs to help firefighters and those who work with children and adults with disabilities, and an education campaign to address common injuries at work and in the home.

A healthy economy depends on a strong and healthy workforce, Morrison continued. And when the economy is healthy, we all benefit.

Rebate checks will be mailed in phases starting July 10.

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Clomid cycle day 22 – Metformin and clomid success stories 2014 – Van Wert independent

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Private clinics are peddling untested stem cell treatments it’s unethical and dangerous – Yahoo News UK

Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Stem cell science is an area of medical research that continues to offer great promise. But as this weeks paper in Science Translational Medicine highlights, a growing number of clinics around the globe, including in Australia, are exploiting regulatory gaps to sell so-called stem cell treatments without evidence that what they offer is effective or even safe.

Such unregulated direct-to-consumer advertising typically of cells obtained using liposuction-like methods not only places the health of individuals at risk, but could also undermine the legitimate development of stem cell-based therapies.

Many academic societies and professional medical organisations have raised concerns about these futile and often expensive cell therapies. Despite this, national regulators have typically been slow or ineffective in curtailing them.

As well as tighter regulations here, international regulators such as the World Health Organisation and the International Council on Harmonisation need to move on ensuring patients desperate for cures arent sold treatments with limited efficacy and unknown safety.

Hundreds of stem cell clinics post online claims that they have been able to treat patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. These include osteoarthritis, pain, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and infertility. The websites are high on rhetoric of science often using various accreditation, awards and other tokens to imply legitimacy but low on proof that they work.

osteoporosis strong bones workout old lady

Donna McWilliam/APRather than producing independently verified results, these clinics rely on patient testimonials or unsubstantiated claims of improvement. In so doing these shonky clinics understate the risks to patient health associated with these unproven stem cell-based interventions.

Properly administered informed consent is often overlooked or ignored, so patients can be misled about the likelihood of success. In addition to heavy financial burdens imposed on patients and their families, there is often an opportunity cost because the time wasted in receiving futile stem cells diverts patients away from proven medicines.

The many recent reports of adverse outcomes demonstrate the risks of receiving unproven cell therapies are not trivial. In the USA three women were blinded following experimental stem cell treatment for macular degeneration (a degenerative eye disease that can cause blindness). One man was rendered a quadriplegic following a stem cell intervention for stroke. And a woman whose family sought treatment for her dementia died in Australia.

Other notorious cases involving the deaths of patients include the German government shutting down the X-Cell Centre and the Italian government closing the Stamina Foundation it had previously supported.

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REUTERS/Juan Carlos UlateAt present, the only recognised stem cell treatments are those utilising blood stem cells isolated from bone marrow, peripheral blood (the cellular components of blood such as red and white blood cells and platelets) or umbilical cord blood.

Hundreds of thousand of lives have been saved over the last half-century in patients with cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma, as well as rare inherited immune and metabolic disorders.

A few types of cancer and autoimmune diseases may also benefit from blood stem cells in the context of chemotherapy. Different stem cells are also successfully used for corneal and skin grafting.

All other applications remain in the preclinical research phase or are just starting to be evaluated in clinical trials.

Often dismissed by for-profit clinics as red tape hampering progress, the rigour of clinical trials allows for the collection of impartial evidence. Such information is usually required before a new drug or medical device is released into the marketplace. Unfortunately, in the case of for-profit stem cell clinics, their marketing has gazumped the scientific evidence.

Action is required on many fronts. Regulators at both an international and national level need to tackle regulatory loopholes and challenge unfounded marketing claims of businesses selling unproven stem cell interventions.

Researchers need to more clearly communicate their findings and the necessary next steps to responsibly take their science from the laboratory to the clinic. And they should acknowledge that this will take time.

Patients and their loved ones must be encouraged to seek advice from a trained reputable health care professional, someone who knows their medical history. They should think twice if someone is offering a treatment outside standards of practice.

The stakes are too high not to have these difficult conversations. If a stem cell treatment sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

NOW WATCH: Watch Russias newest fighter jet in action the MiG-35

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Private clinics are peddling untested stem cell treatments it’s unethical and dangerous – Yahoo News UK

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A surgeon aiming to do the first human head transplant says ‘Frankenstein’ predicted a crucial part of the surgery – South China Morning Post

By Erin Brodwin

To Sergio Canavero, Frankenstein is scientific inspiration.

The Italian neurosurgeon told Business Insider that Mary Shelleys classic novel convinced him that he could complete the worlds first full-body transplant. Canavero claims hell complete the procedure on a human next fall in China.

Not only did the book reveal a missing piece in his plan to swap the heads of two humans, Canavero said, it also provided the justification for the dangerous procedure.

Just as the fictional Doctor Victor Frankenstein discovered how to give life to inanimate matter, Canavero aims to cheat death. The surgeon envisions a future in which healthy people could opt for full-body transplants as a way to live longer, eventually even putting their heads on clone bodies.

Im into life extension, he told Business Insider on a recent Skype call. Life extension and breaching the wall between life and death.

In fact, Canavero said that in doing the procedure he wants to create a near death experience actually a full death experience and see what comes next.

As Canavero explained it, the full-body transplant will involve going into the spinal cord of someone with a spinal injury and cutting out the injured segments of the cord. The donors cord would be cut to perfectly replace the missing portion in the injured person, and then the two healthy stumps would be fused together. Canavero plans to attach the cords using polyethylene glycol (PEG), a common laboratory tool used to encourage cells to fuse. Canavero simply refers to it as glue.

He said he will soon complete this transplant procedure with two humans a Chinese national who remains anonymous and a brain-dead organ donor. The head of the former will be attached to the body of the latter.

The full procedure is called HEAVEN, short for head anastomosis venture.

Canavero said that hed been studying the concept of this full-body transplant for more than a decade before he picked up Shelleys book. After reading it, he said he realised his planned procedure lacked a critical component: electricity.

The surgeon has not elaborated on the role electricity will play in the operation, however James FitzGerald, a consulting neurosurgeon at the University of Oxford, told Business Insider that PEG is can be paired with large pulses of electricity to coax fibers into merging. Still, FitzGerald maintains that Canaveros plans to use it to fuse two spinal cords are unrealistic.

Its just too much of a jump, FitzGerald said.

Canavero doesnt think so.

Electricity has the power to speed up regrowth, he said. Bing bang bong you have the solution to spinal cord fusion.

Canavero isnt pursuing this unprecedented medical feat to cure people with life-threatening injuries, despite the fact that spinal cord injuries affect 12,000 Americans every year. Instead, he wants the operation to serve as a way to explore his own ideas about life, death, and human consciousness (though he says it would be a waste not to help injured patients as well).

Im not religious but I dont believe consciousness can be created in the brain. The brain is a filter, he said, adding that the word anastomosis combines the Greek roots ana, meaning to place upon, and stoma, or mouth.

Like a kiss, he said.

Canaveros evidence that the procedure will work rests on a handful of animal experiments that many experts say were nowhere near satisfactory.

In the first of these experiments, Canavero claimed to have severed then reconnected the spinal cord of a dog. Less than a year later, he published a paper detailing how he created a series of two-headed rodents. In June 2017, the surgeon said he severed the spinal cords of a group of mice and then reattached them using polyethylene glycol.

Canavero says these trials are proof that he and his team figured out whats often considered the holy grail of spinal cord research: fusion.

We have so much data that confirms this in mice, rats, and soon you will see the dogs, he said.

However, many experts dont buy his claims, citing a lack of evidence. And its important to keep in mind that the fate of the Chinese man who will be involved in the first procedure hangs in the balance.

I simply dont think the reports of joining spinal cords together are credible, James FitzGerald, a consulting neurosurgeon at the University of Oxford, told Business Insider.

Robert Brownstone, a professor of neurosurgery and the Brain Research Trust Chair of Neurosurgery at the University College London, agreed.

Many great scientific ideas are born out of crazy ideas that turned out to be right so we cant completely turn a blind eye to this, but there has to be some mechanistic aspect to it, which Im not seeing, Brownstone said.

Others, including University of Cambridge neurosurgery professor John Pickard, suggested the journal in which Canaveros studies were published was also a red flag.

I just dont think hes done the science, Pickard said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/head-transplant-surgeon-frankenstein-2017-7

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A surgeon aiming to do the first human head transplant says ‘Frankenstein’ predicted a crucial part of the surgery – South China Morning Post

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Charlie Gard: Medical experts weigh in on case of terminally-ill baby – The Independent

Medical experts are seeking out as the case of ill baby Charlie Gard becomes an international incident.

The parents’ hope that their terminally-ill child can be saved through experimental treatment has led to a series of court cases, along with interventions from Donald Trump and the Pope. The case revolves around whether the parents should be allowed to take the child to the US using money they’ve raised a move they hope would offer a chance of treating his illness, but which experts believe could cause more suffering to Charlie and has very little to no chance of success.

But medical experts suggest that the case is far more complex than the often simplistic tabloid coverage and presidential tweets may suggest. The courts have proven there is very little hope of the young boy being saved, they say but there is still some, mostly insignificant, chance that he could be, and could have been in the past.

Poor Charlie has a very rare disease in which the organelle which provides energy source used in daily cell life, called the mitochondrion, has a gene defect. The reason mitochondrial diseases are rare is because they are usually fatal. They show up in babies or young children more often than in later life. If not fatal they are progressive and cause serious neurological illnesses which cannot be cured.

Charlie has one of those most severe of mitochondrial diseases and is untreatable. Medicine is advancing at a wonderful speed but some illnesses are still fatal.

Gene therapy is in its infancy and is a promising field of human endeavour. But there are 6000 inheritable recessive conditions in humans – the prospect of them being cured is some time off.

When a decision to withdraw life support is made for a baby this is not taken lightly and there are often tears in the medical and nursing staff looking after such a baby. But ultimately there is not a cure for many rare diseases. 40% of all rare diseases are in children under age 5 years, and of those most are fatal. The combined burden of such conditions in the UK is such that 1 in 300 people have a rare disease.

Scientists and medical technology companies are making strides to find cures or treatments for many conditions. But alas, in the case of poor little Charlie, there are simply limits to medicine as we know it.

Estimates as to the success of any potential treatment vary but from almost impossible to impossible. But experts agree that there is little help in discussing those chances, because Charlie is now so ill that any benefits from treatment have been undermined.

“The theoretical possibility of benefit from the nucleoside treatment had disappeared after Charlie suffered brain damage from seizures earlier this year,” said Penney Lewis, professor of law and co-director of the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics at King’s College London. “These findings were based on extensive evidence from all of those involved in caring for Charlie, and from a number of independent experts including one chosen by Charlies parents, and the doctor based in the US who is offering to treat Charlie.”

Many experts agree that Charlie Gard should perhaps have been sent to undergo the treatment earlier on his life, at a point when his illness had caused fewer problems. Doing that would at least have allowed for a clearer view of whether the treatment would succeed, and if there was value in prolonging his life.

Charlie Gard should have been allowed to go to the US for experimental treatment back in April (or better January when it was first considered), not because he would have been cured but just because we couldn’t then be confident his life would have been “intolerable”, or not worth living,” said Julian Savulescu, who is the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. “The rational strategy was to give a trial of treatment, say 3 months, and agree with the family to withdraw ventilation if there was no improvement. If this had been done we would now have some information on whether there is any prospect of improvement.

This is not a religious or right to life argument, or an argument based on compassion,” Professor Savulesco said. “It’s a secular ethical argument about the extreme complexity of judging someone’s life to be not worth living, or the prospects of having a life worth living not worth taking. The courts have deferred to one group of doctors who are experts in the facts but they are not experts in the ethics.

More than six months have passed since experimental therapy was first considered. We don’t know how bad Charlie’s brain damage is now. Whether experimental therapy is still warranted depends on whether there remains any prospect of any meaningful life. Perhaps the moment has passed.

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Charlie Gard: Medical experts weigh in on case of terminally-ill baby – The Independent

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Tumor gene testing urged to tell if drug targets your cancer – The … – The Mainichi

In this 2015 family photo, Catherine “Katie” Rosenbaum is seen at a cancer fundraiser by Swim Across America. The Richmond, Va., womans endometrial cancer was successfully treated in a research study that found the immunotherapy Keytruda can target certain tumors that share a particular genetic flaw. (Family photo provided by Katie Rosenbaum via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Colon cancer. Uterine cancer. Pancreatic cancer. Whatever the tumor, the more gene mutations lurking inside, the better chance your immune system has to fight back.

That’s the premise behind the recent approval of a landmark drug, the first cancer therapy ever cleared based on a tumor’s genetics instead of the body part it struck first. Now thousands of patients with worsening cancer despite standard treatment can try this immunotherapy — as long as genetic testing of the tumor shows they’re a candidate.

“It’s like having a lottery ticket,” said Johns Hopkins oncologist Dr. Dung Le, who helped prove the new use for the immunotherapy Keytruda. “We’ve got to figure out how to find these patients, because it’s such a great opportunity for them.”

Today, doctors diagnose tumors by where they originate — breast cancer in the breast, colon cancer in the colon — and use therapies specifically tested for that organ. In contrast, the Food and Drug Administration labeled Keytruda the first “tissue-agnostic” treatment, for adults and children.

The reason: Seemingly unrelated cancers occasionally carry a common genetic flaw called a mismatch repair defect. Despite small studies, FDA found the evidence convincing that for a subset of patients, that flaw can make solid tumors susceptible to immunotherapy doctors otherwise wouldn’t have tried.

“We thought these would be the hardest tumors to treat. But it’s like an Achilles heel,” said Hopkins cancer geneticist Bert Vogelstein.

And last month FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told a Senate subcommittee his agency will simplify drug development for diseases that “all have a similar genetic fingerprint even if they have a slightly different clinical expression.”

It’s too early to know if what’s being dubbed precision immunotherapy will have lasting benefits, but here’s a look at the science.

WHO’S A CANDIDATE?

Hopkins estimates about 4 percent of cancers are mismatch repair-deficient, potentially adding up to 60,000 patients a year. Widely available tests that cost $300 to $600 can tell who’s eligible. The FDA said the flaw is more common in colon, endometrial and gastrointestinal cancers but occasionally occurs in a list of others.

“Say, ‘have I been tested for this?'” is Le’s advice for patients.

MUTATIONS AND MORE MUTATIONS

Most tumors bear 50 or so mutations in various genes, Vogelstein said. Melanomas and lung cancers, spurred by sunlight and tobacco smoke, may have twice as many. But tumors with a mismatch repair defect can harbor 1,500 mutations.

Why? When DNA copies itself, sometimes the strands pair up wrong to leave a typo — a mismatch. Normally the body spell checks and repairs those typos. Without that proofreading, mutations build up, not necessarily the kind that trigger cancer but bystanders in a growing tumor.

THE PLOT THICKENS

Your immune system could be a potent cancer fighter except that too often, tumors shield themselves. Merck’s Keytruda and other so-called checkpoint inhibitors can block one of those shields, allowing immune cells to recognize a tumor as a foreign invader and attack. Until now, those immunotherapies were approved only for a few select cancers — Keytruda hit the market for melanoma in 2014 — and they work incredibly well for some patients but fail in many others. Learning who’s a good candidate is critical for drugs that can cost $150,000 a year and sometimes cause serious side effects.

In 2012, Hopkins doctors testing various immunotherapies found the approach failed in all but one of 20 colon cancer patients. When perplexed oncologists told Vogelstein, “a light bulb went off.”

Sure enough, the one patient who fared well had a mismatch repair defect and a “mind-boggling” number of tumor mutations. The more mutations, the greater the chance that at least one produces a foreign-looking protein that is a beacon for immune cells, Vogelstein explained.

It was time to see if other kinds of cancer might respond, too.

WHAT’S THE DATA?

The strongest study, published in the journal Science, tested 86 such patients with a dozen different cancers, including some who had entered hospice. Half had their tumors at least shrink significantly, and 18 saw their cancer become undetectable.

It’s not clear why the other half didn’t respond. Researchers found a hint, in three patients, that new mutations might form that could resist treatment.

But after two years of Keytruda infusions, 11 of the “complete responders” have stopped the drug and remain cancer-free for a median of eight months and counting.

Catherine “Katie” Rosenbaum, 67, is one of those successes. The retired teacher had her uterus removed when endometrial cancer first struck, but five years later tumors returned, scattered through her pelvis and colon. She tried treatment after treatment until in 2014, her doctor urged the Hopkins study.

Rosenbaum took a train from Richmond, Virginia, to Baltimore for infusions every two weeks and then, after some fatigue and diarrhea side effects, once a month. Then the side effects eased and her tumors started disappearing. A year into the study she was well enough to swim a mile for a Swim Across America cancer fundraiser.

“Nothing else had worked, so I guess we could say it was a last hope,” said Rosenbaum, who now wants other patients to know about the option.

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Tumor gene testing urged to tell if drug targets your cancer – The … – The Mainichi

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Hair loss in men: THIS shower habit could be why you’re going bald – Express.co.uk

The UK has the fifth highest number of bald men in the world.

Indeed, almost 40 per cent of men in this country are losing their hair.

It’s often hereditary – male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, which is related to genes and male sex hormones, accounts for 95 per cent of hair loss in men.

Other reasons for thinning hair include stress, anaemia, protein deficiency and low vitamin levels.

GETTY

GETTY

A recent study published in JAMA Dermatology found that there’s no relationship between hair loss and testosterone levels in men.

However, surprisingly, a recent study published in JAMA Dermatology found there’s no relationship between hair loss and testosterone levels in men.

If you want to maintain your head of hair for as long as possible, start to pay more attention to your daily grooming habits.

Jumping in and out of the shower as quickly as possible might mean more time in bed, but it could be speeding up you going bald.

That’s because taking the time to massage your head as you shampoo stimulates hair growth.

Getty Images

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GETTY

Ananbel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley, said: “Scalp massage can be beneficial for those experiencing a gradual reduction in hair volume or hair loss.”

It does this by improving blood flow directly to the area, and by removing dead skin cells which have been proven to cause or worsen hair loss.

She explained: “It should ideally be done for five to ten minutes once to twice a week. It should be gentle yet firm with consistent pressure.

“Using both hands, gently knead your scalp in circular movements starting at the front hairline and gradually working your way back down to the nape of your neck.

“Repeat three to four times, then, with a gentle sweeping action, smooth your hands over the top of your scalp.”

GETTY

Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that massaging your scalp also lowers hair loss-inducing stress levels.

However, Anabel added: “Scalp massage alone will not have a vast impact on hair growth. Its benefits are highly dependent on what is used during massage – try a stimulating scalp mask.

“Additionally, one of the most common causes of hair loss is the result of iron and ferritin – stored iron – deficiency.

“A healthy diet, eating adequate iron and proteins and taking care of your general health will help prevent both hair loss and hair thinning and will often improve the general appearance of the hair.”

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Hair loss in men: THIS shower habit could be why you’re going bald – Express.co.uk

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Santa Monica’s NASA Astronaut Randy Bresnik Live Interviews Before Space Station Mission – Santa monica Observed

Among the experiments: How microgravity affects stem cells and the factors that govern stem cell activity

Santa Monica’s NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, who is making final preparations for his launch to the International Space Station later this month, will be participating in live satellite interviews from 9 to 10 a.m. EDT Friday, July 14, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

The interviews will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website and will be preceded at 8:30 a.m. by a video feed of highlights from Bresnik’s mission training and previous spaceflight.

Bresnik will arrive at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Sunday, July 16, for final pre-launch training. He and his crewmates, cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency), will launch on the Russian Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft at 11:41 a.m. on July 28. They are scheduled to return to Earth in December.

Their flight plan calls for an arrival at the station about six hours after launch, where they will join Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer of NASA. The crew members will continue several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science currently underway and scheduled to take place aboard humanity’s only permanently occupied orbiting lab.

Among the experiments is Cardiac Stem Cells, which investigates how microgravity affects stem cells and the factors that govern stem cell activity, including physical and molecular changes. The Cosmic-Ray Energetics and Mass experiment is also scheduled to arrive at the station during the crew’s stay and will measure the charges of cosmic rays ranging from hydrogen up through iron nuclei, over a broad energy range.

Bresnik was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, but considers Santa Monica, California, to be his hometown.

He graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and was commissioned in the Marine Corps in May 1989. NASA selected him as an astronaut in May 2004. This will be his second trip to the International Space Station and his first long-duration mission. Previously he flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis to the station in 2009.

For details about his experiences in space, follow Bresnik on social media at:

https://www.facebook.com/AstroKomrade

https://www.instagram.com/astrokomrade

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Santa Monica’s NASA Astronaut Randy Bresnik Live Interviews Before Space Station Mission – Santa monica Observed

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