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Best Hormone Doctor Near Me – The Menopause Center

Hormones are chemical messengers that signal cells throughout the body and coordinate vital functions.

Over time, hormone levels can fluctuate, which disrupts balance and leads to undesirable symptoms like hot flashes, mood changes, and decreased libido.

If you are experiencing hormonal imbalance symptoms, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may be right for you.

However, before starting this course of treatment, youll likely have a number of questions, including: What are bioidentical hormones? How does bioidentical hormone therapy work? How can I find the best hormone doctor near me?

Heres what patients need to know about BHRT, and what they can expect should they decide to undergo this procedure.

Bioidentical hormones are compounded hormones that are molecularly-similar to the hormones that naturally-occur in the body.

Derived of natural plant sources, bioidentical hormones are inserted under the skin in a simple in office-procedure. Once implanted, they are able to replicate the bodys natural hormone levels.

Individuals who are experiencing symptoms related to hormonal-imbalance, including hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, low libido, and weight gain, should consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.

To start this process, patients may research the procedure online and attempt to locate the best hormone doctor near me.

At an in-person consultation, their provider will evaluate their symptoms and overall health and determine if BHRT can help restore hormonal balance, alleviate symptoms, and offer disease prevention.

During a BHRT procedure, bioidentical hormone pellets, which are smaller than a grain of rice, are inserted in fatty tissue under the skin.

They are then able to consistently release small physiologic doses of hormones into the bloodstream.

A key advantage of BHRT is that it achieves sustained hormone levels throughout the day and avoids fluctuations and undesirable effects. Patients can enjoy BHRT benefits for a period of three-to-five months.

If you are considering BHRT and looking for the best hormone doctor near me, call our office today to schedule a consultation with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Melinda Hall.

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Best Hormone Doctor Near Me - The Menopause Center

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Are your thyroid symptoms a sign you need treatment for Hashimoto’s disease? Functional medicine may help – St George News

Stock image, St. George News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT Do you take thyroid hormone medication for your thyroid problems but still suffer from fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, constipation, depression, cold hands and feet or other symptoms? Has your doctor told you your lab tests are normal and there isnt anything more to do?

If so, you may respond well to functional medicine for low thyroid problems.

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid function, affects millions of Americans, most of them women. Its common for people with thyroid problems to go undiagnosed for years. Those who are diagnosed still experience low thyroid symptoms and a gradual worsening of their symptoms despite taking medication. This is because they are not getting the autoimmune disease treatment they need.

Approximately90%of hypothyroidism cases in the United States are caused by Hashimotos, an autoimmune disease that attacks and destroys the thyroid gland. If you have hypothyroidism symptoms, its likely you have autoimmune Hashimotos.

While you still may need thyroid medications in order to function, these meds will not address the underlying autoimmune condition damaging your thyroid gland.This is why its important to seek out Hashimotos disease treatment from a physician trained in functional medicine.

For starters, its not sufficient to only run a blood test for TSH, as most clinics do. Instead, you need to test for TPO and TGB antibodies. If either of these is positive this means you need Hashimotos thyroiditis help.

At the RedRiver Health and Wellness Center, our functional medicine wellness team willhelp you restore balance to your immune system so it stops attacking the thyroid gland.

This is a customized approach that takes into consideration each persons unique triggers for Hashimotos hypothyroidism symptoms. There are numerous approaches to treatment.

Going on a gluten-free diet

Numerous studies show a strong link between Hashimotos hypothyroidism and gluten, the protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and other wheat-like grains. Whats more, studies also show that people who are gluten-intolerant are more prone to Hashimotos. Gluten also cross-reacts with the thyroid gland.

This means that if you are gluten-intolerant and have Hashimotos, your immune system mistakes portions of your thyroid as gluten and attacks it whenever you eat gluten.

The AIP diet for Hashimotos

For some people, going gluten-free works great and improves their thyroid problems. For many others, its not enough and they require spending some time on the autoimmune Paleo or AIP diet. This is an anti-inflammatory diet that eliminates common inflammatory foods, such as dairy, eggs, soy and grains.

After a period of time on the diet, you then introduce foods you eliminated one at a time every three days to monitor for symptoms. Its important to eat a diverse array of plenty of vegetables while on the AIP diet for Hashimotos so you dont risk developing more food sensitivities due to loss of oral tolerance.

Address a leaky gut

A common Hashimotos disease treatment is to address a leaky gut, or intestinal permeability. Its common for leaky gut to play a role in autoimmune diseases such as Hashimotos thyroid problems. Leaky gut happens when the small intestine becomes inflamed and damaged, allowing undigested foods, bacteria and other foreign invaders into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, these pathogens trigger inflammation and autoimmunity in other places in the body.

Balance blood sugar

Balancing blood sugar is an important autoimmune disease management strategy. Many people do not realize how unstable their blood sugar is it is either chronically too low or too high. This is because the normal American diet is typically too high in sugars and processed carbohydrates, such as breads, pastas, pastries and desserts.

Blood sugar imbalances trigger inflammation and hormonal imbalances that make it difficult to effectively manage an autoimmune condition such as Hashimotos hypothyroidism. Blood sugar imbalances also cause unpleasant symptoms such as energy crashes, fatigue, excess belly fat, premenstrual syndrome and other hormone problems, mood swings and sleep issues.

These are just a few of the basics of autoimmune disease treatment for conditions such as Hashimotos hypothyroidism. Its important to manage your autoimmune condition to lower your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases, such as pernicious anemia, rheumatoid arthritis, vitiligo or Type I diabetes.

To learn more about Hashimotos and other factors that can cause hypothyroidism, read my book The Truth About Low Thyroidorcontact one of our functional medicine wellness centers for more information.

If you do not already have a functional medicine provider, call RedRiver Health and Wellness Center St. George at 435-767-9355or emailRedRiverSG@redriverhealthandwellness.com.

Written by JOSH REDD, RedRiver Health and Wellness Center.

S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T

About RedRiver Health and Wellness Center

One of the main goals at RedRiver Health and Wellness Center is to work with patients to improve their health, well-being and quality of life. The RedRiver Health and Wellness Center team is passionate about helping ailing patients achieve optimal health, and we truly care about the success of each and every patient.

RedRiver chiropractic physicians are great advocates for prescribing physicians and endocrinologists. In fact, many of our patients see their prescribing physicians more frequently while under our care than they would otherwise. Our goal is not to replace our patients primary care physicians and specialists but to complement their care by providing patients with nutrition, diet, lifestyle and educational support and strategies.

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Sponsored content may be submitted to or developed by St. George News for publication on behalf of the sponsor and in the sponsor's interest. It may include promotional pieces, features, announcements, news releases and advertisements. Opinions expressed in sponsored content are those of the sponsor and not representative of St. George News. Sponsors have no influence over St. George News reporting and product apart from their own sponsored content.

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What to watch in tonight’s debate – Politico

Editor's Note: POLITICO Pulse is a free version of POLITICO Pro Health Care's morning newsletter, which is delivered to our subscribers each morning at 6 a.m. The POLITICO Pro platform combines the news you need with tools you can use to take action on the day's biggest stories. Act on the news with POLITICO Pro .

Democrats debate tonight in Las Vegas as they jockey for position in Saturdays Nevada caucuses.

President Donald Trumps health IT plan could gift Silicon Valley with troves of sensitive medical data.

Voters' top priorities remain reducing health care costs and prescription drug costs, regardless of party, according to a new POLITICO-Harvard survey.

A message from Genentech:

We have come a long way in developing breakthrough solutions for many therapeutic areas including oncology, neurology, immunology and more, but there are still thousands of molecules in our bodies that influence disease and are considered undruggable. Learn about how Genentech is identifying new approaches to expedite drug discovery.

WELCOME TO WEDNESDAY PULSE Where Joe Grogan may be in line for hazard pay after the White House domestic policy chief tweeted last night from the "occupied territory" of California. (The remark provoked frustration from watchdogs and even friendly fire from a certain Fox News host, but controversy sells: Grogan has gained nearly 10 percent more Twitter followers since yesterday.)

PULSE's tipline is open in every state: Find us at acancryn@politico.com or ddiamond@politico.com.

WHAT TO WATCH IN THE DEMOCRATIC DEBATE TONIGHT The 9 p.m. ET debate gives members of the dwindling Democratic field a primetime spotlight to make their case ahead of Saturdays election day.

Slated to be on stage: Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar; former Vice President Joe Biden; and former Mayors Pete Buttigieg and Mike Bloomberg.

While Bloombergs surged into the race, buoyed by historic ad spending, tonight would be the first time that hes debated in an election since he ran for New York City mayor in 2009. The transition from well-heeled campaign rooms and soft-pitch TV commercials to a crowded debate stage could lead to a bumpy evening for the billionaire candidate, NYTs Matt Flegenheimer writes.

Expect BLOOMBERG to be pressed on his health care remarks. Sanders campaign has called attention to Bloombergs years-old statements about the need for entitlement reform, seemingly at odds with a Democratic primary thats focused on coverage expansion.

No program to reduce the deficit makes any sense whatsoever unless you address the issue of entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest payment on the debt, which you can't touch, and defense spending, Bloomberg said on Face the Nation in 2013. Everything else is tiny compared to that.

Both conservatives and progressives also have circulated a 2011 video clip that shows Bloomberg appearing to say that some elderly cancer patients should be turned away from care, given the cost.

SANDERS could be challenged on the prospects of "Medicare for All." Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the senators highest-profile surrogates, told HuffPost last week that a worst-case scenario with Sanders in the White House is a compromise on health care that ends up adding a public option. Some Sanders allies have acknowledged the long odds of getting his signature proposal through Congress, particularly given the likelihood that Republicans will retain control of the Senate in 2021.

But Sanders broke with Ocasio-Cortez on CNN last night, saying that his policy proposal is already a compromise and he doesnt plan to back off it.

SANDERS also reiterated: Hes not sharing any more medical records. I don't think we will, no, the 78-year-old candidate said on CNN last night. Sanders had promised to release comprehensive records after having a heart attack last year, and the apparent reversal could be a topic of conversation tonight.

Anti-Medicare expansion industry group tees up new ad buy. The Partnership for Americas Health Care Future will air a new ad during the debate criticizing Democratic candidates various universal coverage plans, the group told PULSE. The spot which will run on MSNBC and related digital properties groups Medicare for All with more incremental Medicare buy-in and public option plans, arguing that theyd all take choice and control away from patients and lead to higher taxes.

HOW TRUMP COULD HAND SILICON VALLEY YOUR HEALTH DATA A Trump administration bid to give patients more control over their health records could gift Silicon Valley with troves of sensitive medical data, POLITICOs Darius Tahir and Adam Cancryn report.

The long-germinating policy changes would let patients download health records onto their smartphones and direct it to apps of their choice. But they could also give rise to a new tech boom built on vacuuming up and reselling that personal data with few limits.

The issue has pitted GOOGLE and APPLE against EPIC, the health IT incumbent thats lobbied hard against the changes that could threaten its current market dominance. Yet lost in the clash of industry giants are privacy concerns that some consumer advocates argue the administration hasnt fully thought through. The health data is going to give them insights into many other aspects of your life, Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said of a tech industry already facing scrutiny over its use and protection of consumer data.

Silicon Valleys influential ally: JARED KUSHNER. The presidents son-in-law has played a crucial role in pushing the overhaul, alongside ONC Director Don Rucker and HHS Secretary Alex Azar, who see a chance to jump-start a slew of new health IT business models.

The chief financial officer at the now-shuttered Shelby Regional Medical Center admitted to a federal judge that he made false statements to CMS when he said in November 2012 the hospital was a meaningful user of EHRs that year. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO

TRUMP COMMUTES SENTENCE OF MEDICARE FRAUDSTER Judith Negron was convicted in 2011 over a $205 million fraud case that was, at the time, the biggest mental health billing scheme. Negron, who was the only defendant in the case to refuse a plea deal and go to trial, was subsequently sentenced to 35 years. See Negrons clemency petition. The Miami Herald has more.

Trump also pardoned MICHAEL MILKEN, the junk-bond king of the 1980s who was convicted of insider trading and later reinvented himself as a philanthropist and health care thought leader. The Los Angeles Times has more.

POLITICO-HARVARD POLL: ITS THE COSTS, STUPID Americans across the political spectrum primarily want one thing ahead of the 2020 election: Lower health care costs.

A new POLITICO-Harvard T.H. Chan survey finds reducing health care and prescription drug costs rank as voters top priorities regardless of party far outpacing the need for major overhauls like Medicare for All or addressing climate change. That suggests Americans are focused on immediate issues affecting their families, rather than the big policy debates that have consumed the Democratic presidential primary.

Eighty percent ranked lower health care costs as "extremely" or "very" important, and more than 7 in 10 similarly prioritized reducing drug prices. There was far less urgency for ideas like a Medicare buy-in or Medicare for All and the poll suggests even GOP voters are losing interest in the partys yearslong goal of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Just 37 percent of Republicans thought it crucial to take another run at gutting the health law.

MEANWHILE: UNIONS SPLIT OVER MEDICARE FOR ALL Organized labor is divided over the prospects for single-payer health care, with some unions worried that theyll lose health benefits that they spent years fighting to achieve, POLITICOs Ian Kullgren and Alice Miranda Ollstein report.

The feuding reached a fever pitch last week when the 60,000-member Culinary Workers Union declined to endorse any Democrat in Nevada, after slamming Sanders health proposal as a threat to the hard-won private health plans they negotiated at the bargaining table.

Its an extremely divisive issue within the labor movement, said Steve Rosenthal, a former political director for the AFL-CIO. Nobodys opinions will be changed during the presidential nominating fight, and unions may well be divided over Democratic candidates until the end.

FIRST IN PULSE: PROTECT OUR CARE TO HOLD 10 DAYS OF ACTION TIED TO OBAMACARE ANNIVERSARY The pro-ACA group is kicking off a bus tour and holding other events next month to celebrate 10 years since the health law was passed.

The bus tour begins March 15 in Minnesota and will stop in battleground states like Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The bus will also stop in Washington, D.C., on March 23 the anniversary of the ACAs passage.

NEW SEVEN-FIGURE SURPRISE BILL AD BUY A coalition of largely insurer and employer groups is launching a new ad campaign slamming the policy fix doctors and hospitals support as one that raises costs for everyone.

The Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing will run ads in the Washington area during prominent TV slots like the Democratic debates to oppose letting an independent mediator resolve payment disputes between providers and insurers.

The ads arent new for Beltway viewers, who often have seen the ads paired with a competing message from Doctor Patient Unity, funded largely by two private-equity backed physician staffing companies arguing for the policy insurers and employers hate.

But the new ad buy comes at a crucial time for surprise billing. Two House committees approved their own legislation last week, leaving four congressional panels to hammer out a fix before a May deadline to pass funding for key health care programs.

FIRST IN PULSE: SHARPTON RAILS AGAINST SURPRISE BILL PLAN The Rev. Al Sharpton is taking aim at major legislation to eliminate surprise medical bills in a letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, blasting a proposal backed by Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander and the House Energy and Commerce Committee as a bailout at the expense of Black patients.

Sharptons position puts him in line with hospitals and private equity-backed physician groups that have spent tens of millions of dollars opposing the plan, which would use a federal benchmark payment to settle most disputes between insurers and providers.

But Sharptons objections are misleading. The civil rights activist who says hes been very focused on surprise billing suggested the HELP and E&C bill would let insurers dodge paying for care and stick patients with big medical expenses.

Thats false: The legislation would establish a new system for determining how much insurers must pay providers for out-of-network costs patients couldn't have avoided, such as emergency care. And patients would enjoy new protections insulating them against huge out-of-network charges a feature of all the competing surprise bill proposals.

PAULSEN CHAIRING NEW GENE THERAPY LOBBY Former Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen is chairing a new lobbying group in town this one aimed at ensuring coverage for a slew of pricey new gene therapies.

The Institute for Gene Therapies isnt backing specific legislation or regulatory actions yet. But Paulsen, a Republican congressman for a decade before losing his seat in the 2018 Democratic wave, told POLITICOs Sarah Owermohle that the group is focused on steps the administration and Congress can take to accelerate insurer coverage of new treatments.

The Institute is funded by drug manufacturers. Its corporate advisory council includes multiple companies working on gene therapies including Spark Therapeutics, which sells an $850,000 treatment for a rare form of blindness. Johnson & Johnson, PTC Therapeutics and Sarepta Therapeutics are also among those on the council.

A message from Genentech:

Of the estimated 4,000 disease-related targets known to us today, only a quarter have a medicine that can reach and act on them. While some may find these elusive targets to be undruggable, our scientists are taking on this challenge along with our collaborators to pursue new treatment approaches, like T-cell therapy or individualized cancer vaccines. Learn about how were tackling challenges in drug discovery to drive scientific breakthroughs and bring new medicines to patients in our mission to drug the "undruggable."

If health economists ran the U.S. health system, there would be no Medicaid work requirements but people who engage in unhealthy behaviors could be charged more money, Austin Frakt writes in the New York Times, drawing on recent polling.

Missouri lawmakers confirmed that as many as 60,000 children were wrongfully removed from the state's Medicaid program, Joe Gamm writes for the Jefferson City News Tribune.

Meanwhile, a plan to expand Medicaid in Kansas which has the blessing of the state's GOP Senate leader is being held up by another GOP official who says she's worried about abortion spending, Leslie Aguilar reports for KCTV5.

One of the world's largest tobacco companies is struggling after failing to diversify into cannabis and vaping, WSJ's Alexander Gladstone reports.

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What to watch in tonight's debate - Politico

Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Mum of baby with rare incurable illness wants to raise awareness – Metro.co.uk

Jeremiah started showing worrying symptoms at just five months old (Picture: Aneesa)

Jeremiah was a playful, lovable baby but when he was just five months old, mum Aneesa realised something was quite seriously wrong.

Jeremiah started to become floppy and weak, he was unable to lift his head, lie on his tummy to play, or hold his arms and legs like he used to.

He would sleep all the time and simply had no energy not even to play peek-a-boo, which is his favourite thing to do, Aneesa tells Metro.co.uk.

After many weeks of being dismissed by doctors, Aneese persevered because she just knew that something was wrong with Jeremiah. She spent all her time with him and noticed the subtle changes in his behaviour that doctors didnt see.

After finally seeing a skilled therapist, Aneesa was advised to get emergency referrals to a neurologist and a geneticist, but with the waiting times being so long, she turned to Greenwood Genetics and was seen the next day via a video consultation with a doctor.

She did a thorough exam of his body, they collected paternal and maternal data and ordered blood samples, explains Aneesa. They also tried to assist us with the other referrals to see a neurologist and of course I switched paediatricians. In our case, the swift response of Greenwoods team saved my babys life.

Katie Clarkson, MD and GGC clinical geneticist, considered several tests, but with a long list of possible diagnoses, she suggested whole-exome sequencing, a diagnostic test looking for mutations in the coding regions of all 20,000 genes.

Because of Jeremiahs rapid regression, the test that typically takes 10 weeks for a result was fast-tracked by GGCs Diagnostic Laboratory, and an answer came in fewer than three weeks. The doctors identified two changes in the TK2 gene.

This gene is known to cause mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, type 2 also called TK2 deficiency.

TK2 deficiency is an incurable disease that progresses quickly, causing muscle weakness, problems with chewing, swallowing, and breathing, loss of motor skills, and slowed mental development.

Aneesa was devastated to receive such a complex and life-altering diagnosis for her son.

I wanted an answer similar to the one the doctor prescribes for the cold take this pill, get some rest or maybe just a physical therapy routine, she says. Instead, I was told that there is no treatment, no cure and that your son has a rare progressive disorder.

It was overwhelming, but due to the time-sensitivity, I was grateful that we had an answer to what dreaded monster we were truly facing. I typed the name of it into Google and cried for days.

Jeremiahs illness has affected his mobility, his nutrition and his other bodily functions. He is connected to oxygen at night to make sure he is breathing, and Aneesa has to keep a suction machine close by in case he produces too much saliva.

He has been rushed to hospital for pain and new symptoms many times since his diagnosis, and sadly, the early the onset of the disease, the more severe it is likely to be, But Aneesa is just happy to have some answers.

I am thankful that Jeremiahs diagnosis was early so that he does not miss running around or doing other activities, she explains. To him, its just a lot of work to get to certain milestones regarding growth and development.

Children are resilient so the impact is cushioned as they adapt easier than we do.

Aneesas family life has changed drastically to cater to Jeremiahs needs, but Aneesa remains hopeful about their future.

We stay indoors most of the time to avoid germs as Jeremiahs immune system is not the strongest, says Aneesa. I no longer work, and I cant attend late-night football or basketball games with my other boys.

They only visit on weekends and now live with their dad. Im positive they would love to see their brother run and play with them, and we hold on to hope that one day he will.

Aneesa says that social media and online support groups have been a lifeline. As has identifying the correct treatments and seeing little improvements in Jeremiahs condition he can now move his arms and legs again, he has less reflux and less need for oxygen.

The medication has seemed to slow the monster of the disease down, says Aneesa.

She says that coping varies depending on different definitions and circumstances, but she believes she is coping.

Coping, to me, is making sure he gets all of his physical, occupation and speech therapy as well as keeping up with his medical specialists on rotations, she says.

Jeremiah sees his pediatrician, an early interventionist, his therapists, a cardiologist, a pulmonologist, a gastroenterologist, a pediatric surgeon, an orthopedic team, neurologists and of course his research team.

His resilience gives me the strength to cope for him and with him.

Ive given up my life so that I can provide the best care but also become an advocate for him and the disease. I post daily on his Facebook page Jeremiah Gracen TK2D Warrior, giving a very personal look into our new life in the hope to inspire others.

Jeremiahs medical diagnosis is a result of a collaboration between Emedgene and Greenwoods Genetic Center, the facility where Jeremiahs life-saving diagnosis was given, and where Emedgenes AI powered solution is integrated.

On average, a patient will see eight doctors before getting the correct diagnosis of TK2d. And time is of the essence. Jeremiahs disease is highly aggressive and is still regularly misdiagnosed, or even undiagnosed, for long periods of time. Experts say using AI is the key to ensuring timely diagnosis for the children who desperately need it.

I truly believe that diseases are only rare because many people are living either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, says Aneesa.

To get a diagnosis of a rare disease is tough, to say the least, but being able to connect with others sharing similar situations helps tremendously.

Rare diseases give way to new advancements in technology, research and medicine. Rare diseases fuel parents with a sense of supernatural hope where we become medical experts learning about our tiny superheroes.

Rare diseases give room for God to perform miracles, so for us we simply hold on to hope and a firm belief that God makes no mistakes, and regardless of how clich that can sound it helps us to cope.

Just because an illness is rare doesnt mean that we will ever give up on it.

MORE: Elite Irish dancer diagnosed with agonising incurable illness battles to complete final competition

MORE: Police stage fake arrest to make dream come true for seven-year-old boy who beat cancer

MORE: Fashion school apologises for clearly racist runway show with models wearing giant lips

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Mum of baby with rare incurable illness wants to raise awareness - Metro.co.uk

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34 Years With A New Heart And Counting | 90.1 FM WABE – WABE 90.1 FM

Whenever Harry Wuest has a doctors appointment in northern Atlantas hospital cluster dubbed Pill Hill, he makes sure to stop by the office of Dr. Douglas Doug Murphy for a quick chat.

And Murphy, unless hes tied up in the operating room, always takes a few minutes to say hello to his former patient. Remember when . . . ? is how the conversation typically starts, and its always tinged with laughter, often joyful, sometimes bittersweet.

Its a reunion of two men who shaped a piece of Georgias medical history.

Almost 35 years ago, Murphy opened the chest of Wuest and sewed in a new heart, giving him a second shot at life. Wuest was the third heart transplant patient at Emory University Hospital.

Tall, lanky, with short curly hair and a quiet demeanor, Wuest is the longest-surviving heart transplant recipient in Georgia and one of the longest-surviving in the world. The 75-year-old accountant still plays golf twice a week and only recently went from working full-time to part-time.

My heart is doing just fine, he says.

Murphy is now the chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Emory Saint Josephs Hospital and still in the operating room almost every day. He has moved on to become the worlds leading expert in robotically assisted heart surgery.

***

Harry Wuest is originally from Long Island, N.Y. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he moved to Florida to work and go to school. He wanted to become a physical education teacher. Then, in 1973, he fell ill. It started with some pain on his left side. He didnt think much of it, but when he got increasingly winded and fatigued, he went to see a doctor.

Several months and numerous specialists later, he received the diagnosis: Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that can make the heart become enlarged, thick and rigid, preventing it from pumping enough blood through the body.

They didnt know how I got it, says Wuest, sitting back in a brown leather armchair in the dark, wood-paneled living room of his Stone Mountain home. Maybe it was a virus. And back then, there wasnt much they could do to treat it, except bed rest.

For the next 12 years, Wuest lived life as best as he could. He got a degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and worked for a real estate developer. There were good days, but there were more bad days. He was often too weak to do anything, and his heart was getting bigger and bigger.

***

The first successful human-to-human heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1967 a medical breakthrough that catapulted the surgeon, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, onto the cover of Life magazine and to overnight celebrity status.

This highly publicized event was followed by a brief surge in the procedure around the world, but overall, heart transplants had a rocky start. Most patients died shortly after the surgery, mainly due to organ rejection. Back then, immunosuppressive drugs, which can counteract rejection, were still in their infancy. Many hospitals stopped doing heart transplants in the 1970s.

That changed with the discovery of a highly effective immunosuppressive agent. Cyclosporine got FDA approval in 1983 and altered the world of organ transplants.

It was shortly thereafter when Emory University Hospital decided to launch a heart transplant program, but none of the senior surgeons wanted to do it. Even with the new drug, it was a risky surgery, and mortality was still high.

Its an all-or-nothing operation, Murphy says, as he sits down in his small office overlooking the greyish hospital compound. Hes wearing light blue scrubs from an early morning surgery. At 70, he still has boyish looks, with a lean build and an air of laid-back confidence. If you have a number of bad outcomes initially, it can be detrimental to your career as a surgeon, he says.

But Murphy didnt really have a choice. He remembers that during a meeting of Emorys cardiac surgeons in 1984, he was paged to check on a patient. When he returned, the physicians congratulated him on being appointed the head of the new heart transplant program. He was the youngest in the group and had been recruited from Harvards Massachusetts General Hospital just three years before.

Yeah, thats how I became Emorys first transplant surgeon, says Murphy.

He flew to California to shadow his colleagues at Stanford University Hospital, where most heart transplants were performed at the time. Back home at Emory, he put together a team and rigorously rehearsed the operation. The first transplant patient arrived in April 1985. The surgery was successful, as was the second operation less than a month later.

Around the same time, Harry Wuest wound up in a hospital in Orlando. He needed a transplant, but none of the medical centers in Florida offered the procedure. One of his doctors recommended Emory, and Wuest agreed. I knew I was dying. I could feel it. He was flown to Atlanta by air ambulance and spent several weeks in Emorys cardiac care unit until the evening of May 23, when Murphy walked into his room and said, Weve got a heart.

***

The heart, as the patient later learned, came from a 19-year-old sophomore at Georgia Tech who had been killed in a car crash.

Organ transplants are a meticulously choreographed endeavor, where timing, coordination and logistics are key. While Murphy and his eight-member team were preparing for the surgery, Wuest was getting ready to say farewell to his family his wife and three teenage sons and to thank the staff in the cardiac ward.

I was afraid, he recalls, especially of the anesthesia. It scared the heck out of me. He pauses during the reminiscence, choking briefly. I didnt know if I was going to wake up again.

The surgery took six hours. Transplants usually happen at night because the procurement team, the surgeons who retrieve different organs from the donor, only start working when regularly scheduled patients are out of the operating room.

Despite the cultural mystique surrounding the heart as the seat of life, Murphy says that during a transplant surgery, its not like the big spirit comes down to the operating room. Its very technical. As the team follows a precise routine, emotions are kept outside the door. We dont have time for that. Emotions come later.

After waking up from the anesthesia, Wuests first coherent memory was of Murphy entering the room and saying to a nurse, Lets turn on the TV, so Harry can watch some sports.

Wuest spent the next nine days in the ICU and three more weeks in the hospital ward. In the beginning, he could barely stand up or walk, because he had been bedridden weeks before the surgery and had lost a lot of muscle. But his strength came back quickly. I could finally breathe again, he says. Before the surgery, he felt like he was sucking in air through a tiny straw. I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling that was to suddenly breathe so easily.

Joane Goodroe was the head nurse at Emorys cardiovascular post-op floor back then. When she first met Wuest before the surgery, she recalls him lying in bed and being very, very sick. When she and the other nurses finally saw him stand up and move around, he was a whole different person.

In the early days of Emorys heart transplant program, physicians, nurses and patients were a particularly close-knit group, remembers Goodroe, whos been a nurse for 42 years and now runs a health care consulting firm. There were a lot of firsts for all of us, and we all learned from each other, she said.

Wuest developed friendships with four other early transplant patients at Emory, and he has outlived them all.

When he left the hospital, equipped with a new heart and a fresh hunger for life, Wuest made some radical changes. He decided not to return to Florida but stay in Atlanta. Thats where he felt he got the best care, and where he had found a personal support network. And he got a divorce. Four months after the operation, he went back to working full-time: first in temporary jobs and eventually for a property management company.

After having been sick for 12 years, I was just so excited to be able to work for eight hours a day, he recalls. That was a big, big deal for me.

At 50, he went back to school to get his CPA license. He also found new love.

Martha was a head nurse in the open-heart unit and later ran the cardiac registry at Saint Josephs Hospital. Thats where Wuest received his follow-up care and where they met in 1987. Wuest says for him it was love at first sight, but it took another five years until she finally agreed to go out with him. Six months later, they were married.

Having worked in the transplant office, I saw the good and the bad, Martha Wuest says. A petite woman with short, perfectly groomed silver hair, she sits up very straight on the couch, her small hands folded in her lap.Not every transplant patient did as well as Harry. And I had a lot of fear in the beginning. Now he may well outlive her, she says with a smile and a wink.

Wuests surgeon, meanwhile, went on to fight his own battles. Two and a half years into the program, Murphy was still the only transplant surgeon at Emory and on call to operate whenever a heart became available. Frustrated and exhausted, he quit his position at Emory and signed up with Saint Josephs (which at the time was not part of the Emory system) and started a heart transplant program there.

At St. Joes, Murphy continued transplanting hearts until 2005. In total, he did more than 200 such surgeries.

Being a heart transplant surgeon is a grueling profession, he says, and very much a younger surgeons subspecialty.

He then shifted his focus and became a pioneer in robotically assisted heart surgery.He has done more than 3,000 operations with the robot, mostly mitral valve repairs and replacements more than any other cardiac surgeon in the world.

***

Since Murphy sewed a new heart into Wuest, 35 years ago, there has been major progress in the field of heart transplants,but it has been uneven.

Medications to suppress the immune system have improved, says Dr. Jeffrey Miller, a transplant surgeon and heart failure specialist at Emory. As a result, we are seeing fewer cases of rejections of the donor heart.

Also, there are new methods of preserving and transporting donor hearts.

Yet patients requiring late-stage heart failure therapy, including transplantation, still exceed the number of donor hearts available. In 2019, 3,551 hearts were transplanted in the United States, according to the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. But 700,000 people suffer from advanced heart failure, says the American Heart Association.

New technologies and continued research are providing hope to many of these patients. There has been significant progress in the development of partial artificial hearts, known as Left Ventricular Assist Devices, or LVADs, says Miller.

These are implantable mechanical pumps that assist the failing heart. Patients are back out in society living normal lives while theyre waiting for their donor hearts, he explains.

LVADs are used not only as bridge devices but as destination therapy as well, maintaining certain patients for the remainder of their lives.

Also, total artificial hearts have come a long way since the first artificial pump was implanted in a patient in 1969.

Long-term research continues into xenotransplantation, which involves transplanting animal cells, tissues and organs into human recipients.

Regenerative stem cell therapy is an experimental concept where stem cell injections stimulate the heart to replace the rigid scar tissue with tissue that resumes contraction, allowing for the damaged heart to heal itself after a heart attack or other cardiac disease.

Certain stem cell therapies have shown toreverse the damage to the heart by 30 to 50 percent, says Dr. Joshua Hare, a heart transplant surgeon and the director of the Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute at the University of Miamis Miller School of Medicine.

All of these ideas have potential, says Miller. But they have a lot of work before were ready to use them as alternatives to heart transplantation. I dont think were talking about the next few years.

Besides Emory, other health care systems in Georgia that currently have a heart transplant program are Piedmont Healthcare, Childrens Healthcare of Atlanta and Augusta University Health.

Organ rejection remains a major issue, and long-term survival rates have not improved dramatically over the past 35 years. The 10-year survival is currently around 55 percent of patients, which makes long-term-survivors like Harry Wuest rare in the world of heart transplants.

The United Network of Organ Sharing, or UNOS, which allocates donor hearts in the United States, doesnt have comprehensive data prior to 1987. An informal survey of the 20 highest-volume hospitals for heart transplants in the 1980s found only a scattering of long-term survivors.

***

Being one of the longest-living heart transplant recipients is something that Wuest sees as a responsibility to other transplant patients, but also to the donors family, which hes never met. If you as a transplant recipient reject that heart, thats like a second loss for that family.

Part of this responsibility is living a full and active life. Both he and Martha have three children from their previous marriages, and combined they have 15 grandchildren. Most of their families live in Florida, so they travel back and forth frequently. Wuest still works as a CPA during tax season, and he does advocacy for the Georgia Transplant Foundation. In addition to golf, he enjoys lifting weights and riding his bike.

Hes had some health scares over the years. In 2013, he was diagnosed with stage 1 kidney cancer, which is in remission. Also, he crossed paths with his former surgeon, and not just socially. In 2014, Murphy replaced a damaged tricuspid valve in Wuests new heart. That operation went well, too.

Murphy says there are several reasons why Wuest has survived so long. Obviously, his new heart was a very good match. But a patient can have the best heart and the best care and the best medicines and still die a few months or years after the transplantation, the surgeon says. Attitude plays a key role.

Wuest was psychologically stable and never suffered from depression or anxiety, Murphy says. Hes a numbers guy. He knew the transplant was his only chance, and he was set to pursue it.

Wuest attributes his longevity to a good strong heart from his donor; good genetics; great doctors and nurses; and a life that he loves. Im just happy to be here, he says.

Quoting his former surgeon and friend, he adds: Doug always said, Having a transplant is like running a marathon. And Im in for the long haul.

Katja Ridderbusch is an Atlanta-based journalist who reports for news organizations in the U.S. and her native Germany. Her stories have appeared in Kaiser Health News, U.S. News & World Report and several NPR affiliates.

This is a slightly modified version of the article 34 Years with a New Heart, published by Georgia Health News on February 18, 2020.

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34 Years With A New Heart And Counting | 90.1 FM WABE - WABE 90.1 FM

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How low oxygen levels in the heart can cause arrhythmias – Futurity: Research News

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New research reveals the underlying mechanism for a dangerous heart disorder in which low oxygen levels in the heart produce life-threatening arrhythmias.

The discovery, made with human heart muscle cells derived from pluripotent stem cells, offers new targets for therapies aimed at preventing sudden death from heart attack.

Our research shows that within seconds, at low levels of oxygen (hypoxia), a protein called small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is linked to the inside of the sodium channels which are responsible for starting each heartbeat, says Steve A. N. Goldstein, vice chancellor for health affairs at the University of California, Irvine and professor in the School of Medicine departments of pediatrics and physiology and biophysics.

And, while SUMOylated channels open as they should to start the heartbeat, they re-open when they should be closed. The result is abnormal sodium currents that predispose to dangerous cardiac rhythms.

Every heartbeat begins when sodium channels open and ions to rush into heart cellsthis starts the action potential that causes the heart muscle to contract. When functioning normally, the sodium channels close quickly after opening and stay closed. After that, potassium channels open, ions leave the heart cells, and the action potential ends in a timely fashion, so the muscle can relax in preparation for the next beat.

If sodium channels re-open and produce late sodium currents, as observed in this study with low oxygen levels, the action potential is prolonged and new electrical activity can begin before the heart has recovered risking dangerous, disorganized rhythms.

Fifteen years ago, the Goldstein group reported SUMO regulation of ion channels at the surface of cells. It was an unexpected finding because the SUMO pathway had been thought to operate solely to control gene expression in the nucleus.

This new research shows how rapid SUMOylation of cell surface cardiac sodium channels causes late sodium current in response to hypoxia, a challenge that confronts many people with heart disease, says Goldstein. Previously, the danger of late sodium current was recognized in patients with rare, inherited mutations of sodium channels that cause cardiac Long QT syndrome, and to result from a common polymorphism in the channel we identified in a subset of babies with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The information gained through the current study offers new targets for therapeutics to prevent late current and arrhythmia associated with heart attacks, chronic heart failure, and other life-threatening low oxygen cardiac conditions.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study, which appears in Cell Reports.

Source: UC Irvine

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Could this patch help mend a broken heart? – Medical Design & Outsourcing

(Image from Trinity College Dublin)

Researchers in Ireland have developed a prototype patch that they say does the same job as crucial aspects of heart tissue.

The patch was designed to withstand the mechanical demands of heart tissue and mimic the electrical signaling properties that allow the heart to pump blood throughout the body. The researchers believe it brings medtech one step closer to a functional design that could mend a broken heart.

Cardiac patches lined with heart cells can be applied surgically to restore heart tissue in patients who have had damaged tissue removed after a heart attack and to repair congenital heart defects in infants and children. Ultimately, though, the goal is to create cell-free patches that can restore the synchronous beating of the heart cells, without impairing the heart muscle movement. The bioengineers report their work in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.

Researchers are continuously looking to develop new treatments which can include stem cell treatments, biomaterial gel injections and assistive devices, said senior author Michael Monaghan, an assistant professor at Trinity College Dublin, in a news release. Ours is one of few studies that looks at a traditional material, and through effective design allows us to mimic the direction-dependent mechanical movement of the heart, which can be sustained repeatably. This was achieved through a novel method called melt electrowriting and through close collaboration with the suppliers located nationally we were able to customize the process to fit our design needs.

This work was performed in the Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, based in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute in collaboration with Spraybase, a subsidiary of Avectas Ltd.

The mechanical demands of heart muscle cannot be met using polyester-based thermoplastic polymers, which are predominantly the approved options for biomedical applications, according to the researchers. However, the functionality of thermoplastic polymers could be leveraged by its structural geometry. They made a patch that could control the expansion of a material in multiple directions and tune this using an engineering design approach.

The patches were manufactured via melt electrowriting, a core technology of Spraybase, which the company says is reproducible, accurate and scalable. The patches were also coated with the polymer polypyrrole to provide electrical conductivity while maintaining cell compatibility. The patch withstood repeated stretching, which is a dominant concern for cardiac biomaterials, and showed good elasticity, to accurately mimic that key property of heart muscle.

Essentially, our material addresses a lot of requirements, Monaghan said. The bulk material is currently approved for medical device use, the design accommodates the movement of the pumping heart, and has been functionalized to accommodate signaling between isolated contractile tissues. This study currently reports the development of our method and design, but we are now looking forward to furthering the next generation of designs and materials with the eventual aim of applying this patch as a therapy for a heart attack.

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Could this patch help mend a broken heart? - Medical Design & Outsourcing

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Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market 2020-2025 Booming || Leadinf Players Fibrocell, Genesis Biopharma, Georgia Health…

TheGlobalAutologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Marketis expected to reach USD113.04 billion by 2025, from USD 87.59 billion in 2017 growing at a CAGR of 3.7% during the forecast period of 2018 to 2025. The upcoming market report contains data for historic years 2015 & 2016, the base year of calculation is 2017 and the forecast period is 2018 to 2025.

For In depth Information Get Sample Copy of this Report @https://www.databridgemarketresearch.com/request-a-sample/?dbmr=global-autologous-stem-cell-and-non-stem-cell-based-therapies-market&raksh

Some of the major players operating in the global autologous stem cell and non-stem cell based therapies market areAntria (Cro), Bioheart, Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics, Cytori, Dendreon Corporation, Fibrocell, Genesis Biopharma, Georgia Health Sciences University, Neostem, Opexa Therapeutics, Orgenesis, Regenexx, Regeneus, Tengion, Tigenix, Virxsys and many more.

The data and information included in this Global Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies business report helps businesses take sound decisions and plan about the advertising and sales promotion strategy more successfully. This Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies market research report is generated by taking into account a range of objectives of market research that are vital for the clients success. This report also includes strategic profiling of key players in the market, systematic analysis of their core competencies, and draws a competitive landscape for the Healthcare industry. The Global Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies business report includes market shares for global, Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and South America.

Market Definition:Global Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market

In autologous stem-cell transplantation persons own undifferentiated cells or stem cells are collected and transplanted back to the person after intensive therapy. These therapies are performed by means of hematopoietic stem cells, in some of the cases cardiac cells are used to fix the damages caused due to heart attacks. The autologous stem cell and non-stem cell based therapies are used in the treatment of various diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases, infectious disease.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), cardiovascular disease (CVD) causes more than half of all deaths across the European Region. The disease leads to death or frequently it is caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined in Europe. With the prevalence of cancer and diabetes in all age groups globally the need of steam cell based therapies is increasing, according to article published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, it was reported that around 382 million people had diabetes in 2013 and the number is growing at alarming rate which has increased the need to improve treatment and therapies regarding the diseases.

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Market Segmentation:Global Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market

Competitive Analysis:Global Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market

The global autologous stem cell and non-stem cell based therapies market is highly fragmented and the major players have used various strategies such as new product launches, expansions, agreements, joint ventures, partnerships, acquisitions, and others to increase their footprints in this market. The report includes market shares of autologous stem cell and non-stem cell based therapies market for global, Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and South America.

Major Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market Drivers and Restraints:

Introduction of novel autologous stem cell based therapies in regenerative medicine

Reduction in transplant associated risks

Prevalence of cancer and diabetes in all age groups

High cost of autologous cellular therapies

Lack of skilled professionals

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This Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market report will enable both of the sides in market be an established firm or a relative new entrant. It helps the established firms to know about the moves which are being performed by their competitors and also helps the new entrants by educating them about the market situations and the industry trends. This Autologous Stem Cell And Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market report is quite fruitful in helping to understand the market definition and all the aspects of the market including the CAGR value and key profiles.

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MicroCures Announces Material Transfer Agreement with Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to Support Preclinical…

U.S. Department of Defense Researchers to Study Ability of siFi2 to Drive Axon Regeneration and Functional Recovery following Spinal Cord Injury

NEW YORK, Feb. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MicroCures, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics that harness the bodys innate regenerative mechanisms to accelerate tissue repair, today announced that it has entered into a material transfer agreement (MTA) with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (HJF) for the Advancement of Military Medicine. Under terms of the agreement, United States Department of Defense researchers will conduct a preclinical study of siFi2, MicroCures lead product candidate, in animal models of spinal cord injury. siFi2, a small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutic that can be applied topically, is designed to enhance recovery after trauma.

Researchers, led by Kimberly Byrnes, Ph.D. of Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, will evaluate the potential of siFi2 treatment to drive axon regeneration and functional recovery in a rat model of spinal cord injury. As part of this study, multiple siFi2 formulations will be evaluated in order to assist in the identification of a lead formulation to be advanced into clinical development.

MicroCures technology is based on foundational scientific research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine regarding the fundamental role that cell movement plays as a driver of the bodys innate capacity to repair tissue, nerves, and organs. The company has shown that complex and dynamic networks of microtubules within cells crucially control cell migration, and that this cell movement can be reliably modulated to achieve a range of therapeutic benefits. Based on these findings, the company has established a first-of-its-kind proprietary platform to create siRNA-based therapeutics capable of precisely controlling the speed and direction of cell movement by selectively silencing microtubule regulatory proteins (MRPs).

Story continues

The company has developed a broad pipeline of therapeutic programs with an initial focus in the area of tissue, nerve and organ repair. Unlike regenerative medicine approaches that rely upon engineered materials or systemic growth factor/stem cell therapeutics, MicroCures technology directs and enhances the bodys inherent healing processes through local, temporary modulation of cell motility. siFi2 is a topical siRNA-based treatment designed to silence the activity of Fidgetin-Like 2 (FL2), a fundamental MRP, within an area of wounded tissue or nerve. In doing so, the therapy temporarily triggers accelerated movement of cells essential for repair into an injury area. Importantly, based on its topical administration, siFi2 can be applied early in the treatment process as a supplement to current standard of care.

The U.S. Department of Defense continues to be a valued and trusted partner for MicroCures as we work to advance research of siFi2 with the goal of ultimately delivering transformative treatments to patients with significant unmet medical needs, said David Sharp, Ph.D., co-founder and chief science officer of MicroCures. With a focus in the area of spinal cord injury, this MTA further demonstrates the broad applicability of our technology platform to a range of therapeutic indications. We look forward to collaborating with Dr. Byrnes and her team at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to continue the advancement of this promising program.

Previously conducted research in a rat model of spinal cord injury has demonstrated that treatment with siFi2 allowed axon growth to occur through the inhibitory barriers that typically appear and prevent healing at the site of injury. Conversely, study results failed to demonstrate similar axon growth through these inhibitory barriers for animals administered a siRNA control treatment. Additional preclinical findings have demonstrated functional improvement in rats with spinal cord injury following treatment with siFi2. This was evidenced by significantly improved hind limb locomotor function in siFi2-treated animals as compared to control subjects at Day 5 (p < 0.05) and Day 7 (p < 0.01).

About MicroCures

MicroCures develops biopharmaceuticals that harness innate cellular mechanisms within the body to precisely control the rate and direction of cell migration, offering the potential to deliver powerful therapeutic benefits for a variety of large and underserved medical applications.

MicroCures has developed a broad pipeline of novel therapeutic programs with an initial focus in the area of tissue, nerve and organ repair. The companys lead therapeutic candidate, siFi2, targets excisional wound healing, a multi-billion dollar market inadequately served by current treatments. Additional applications for the companys cell migration accelerator technology include dermal burn repair, corneal burn repair, cavernous nerve repair/regeneration, spinal cord repair/regeneration, and cardiac tissue repair. Cell migration decelerator applications include combatting cancer metastases and fibrosis. The company protects its unique platform and proprietary therapeutic programs with a robust intellectual property portfolio including eight issued or allowed patents, as well as eight pending patent applications.

For more information please visit: http://www.microcures.com

Contact:

Vida Strategic Partners (On behalf of MicroCures)

Stephanie Diaz (investors)415-675-7401sdiaz@vidasp.com

Tim Brons (media)415-675-7402tbrons@vidasp.com

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In Vitro Fertilization Market will Reach USD 36.39 Billion by 2026: Increasing Cases of Infertility Among Men to Positively Influence Growth, says…

Key Companies Covered in the IVF Market Research Report are Monash IVF, Ovation Fertility, Bloom IVF Centre, Shady Grove Fertility, Bangkok IVF center, Boston IVF, Pelargos IVF, RSMC, Group Ambroise Par Clinic and other key market players.

Pune, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The global In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Market size is prophesized to reach USD 36.39 billion by 2026, with a CAGR 10.1% by 2026. This is attributable to the increasing cases of infertility among people worldwide. This is more common in males than female partners. The market value was USD 16.89 billion in 2018. IVF is a fertilization process wherein sperm and eggs are retrieved as a sample and are combined manually in laboratories. Various studies show that almost half a million babies are born by this process or other assistant reproductive processes. Such factors are responsible for the in vitro fertilization market growth.

Fortune Business Insights latest report, titled, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Conventional IVF, and IVF with ICSI), By Procedure (Fresh Non-donor, Frozen Non-donor, Fresh Donor, and Frozen Donor), By End User (Hospitals, and Fertility Clinics) and Regional Forecasts, 2019-2026 provides a 360-degree overview of the market and its parameters. These include growth drivers, restraints, challenges, and opportunities. The report also provides detailed segmentation of the market with market figures such as base and forecast figure and the compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) as well. Besides this, the report provides interesting insights into the market, key industry developments, and other IVF market trends. The report is available for sale on the company website.

Nowadays, people are more inclined towards career goals rather than family planning, and therefore often tend to opt for late pregnancies. The increasing number of such cases is a major in vitro fertilizer market driver, as mentioned earlier, since complicated cases are often resolved by opting for IVF treatment. This is more common in nations such as the UK, Japan, and the U.S. Besides this, the rise in the number of male infertility is anticipated to increase the adoption of IVF treatment and thus accelerate the in vitro fertilization market size in the coming years. Besides this, government-supported reimbursement policies and awareness programs are aiding the overall in vitro fertilization market growth of the region.

Analysts at Fortune Business Insights said high expenses and risks related to the in vitro fertilization process (IVF) and Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may cause hindrance to the overall in vitro fertilization market revenue. Nevertheless, factors such as increasing obesity cases among people, infertility among men, the practice of sedentary lifestyle, and others are likely to create lucrative IVF market growth opportunities in the coming years.

Europe holds a dominant in vitro fertilization market share with a revenue of USD 7.57 billion generated in the year 2018. This is attributable to the rise in the prevalence of infertility and the increasing popularity of IVF treatment in the region. On the other side, the market in North America will witness steady growth on account of the high cost associated with ICSI and IVF treatment. As per the FertilityIQ data, 2017, in the U.S., the average expenditure of a patient undergoing a single IVF cycle is USD 22,000. Thus, patients in the U.S are travelling to other countries for IVF treatment citing lower costs.

Companies are Investing in Construction of New Fertility Centers for Revenue Generation

Boston IVF, Pelargos IVF, and Monash IVF are currently dominating the market. In vitro fertilization market manufacturers are developing new centers with efficient and high-quality treatment in remote locations for speeding their own revenue generation and making their mark in the market competition. This will ultimately accelerate the overall IVF market size.

Significant Industry Developments in In Vitro Fertilization Market:

May 2019 A new embryo screening test was developed by scientists at Monash IVF for reducing the risk of miscarriage at the time of IVF treatment.

July 2019 The opening of a new full-service IVF center at the Westshore office at Tampa, Florida, was announced by Shady Grove Fertility. The main objective behind the opening of this center is to offer affordable and high-quality fertility treatment options to the regional people.

List of key Companies Operating in the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Market include:

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In Vitro Fertilization Market will Reach USD 36.39 Billion by 2026: Increasing Cases of Infertility Among Men to Positively Influence Growth, says...

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Breakthrough in Stem Cell Research: First Image of Niche Environment | Newsroom – UC Merced University News

By Lorena Anderson, UC Merced

Professor Joel Spencer and his lab have made a huge breakthrough in stem cell research.

Professor Joel Spencer was a rising star in college soccer and now he is an emerging scientist in the world of biomedical engineering, capturing for the first time an image of a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) within the bone marrow of a living organism.

Everyone knew black holes existed, but it took until last year to directly capture an image of one due to the complexity of their environment, Spencer said. Its analogous with stem cells in the bone marrow. Until now, our understanding of HSCs has been limited by the inability to directly visualize them in their native environment.

This work brings an advancement that will open doors to understanding how these cells work which may lead to better therapeutics for hematologic disorders including cancer.

Understanding how HSCs interact within their local environments might help researchers understand how cancers use this same environment in the bone marrow to evade treatment.

Spencer studied biological sciences at UC Irvine where he was the captain of the mens Division 1 soccer team. He initially planned to pursue a career in professional soccer until faculty mentors opened doors for research and introduced Spencer to biophotonics the science that deals with the interactions of light with biological matter.

UC faculty were a big part of my research experience; they became mentors and friends, Spencer said. My first foray into research was as a lab tech, and that is where I met people who were doing biomedical imaging, and it just caught my wonder.

An image of a stem cell in its natural niche

Spencer left his native California to earn his Ph.D. in bioengineering at Tufts University in Boston and took a postdoctoral research position in the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In Boston, he learned about live-animal imaging and his wonder became a passion.

Now his emphasis is on biomedical optics: building new microscopes and new imaging techniques to visualize and study biological molecules, cells and tissue in their natural niches in living, fully intact small animals.

I work at the interface of engineering and biology. My lab is seeking to answer biological questions that were impossible until the advancements in technology we have seen in the past couple decades, he said. You need to be able to peer inside an organ inside a live animal and see whats happening as it happens.

Based on work conducted at UC Merced and in Boston, he and his collaborators including his grad student Negar Tehrani visualized stem cells inside the bone marrow of live, intact mice.

He and his collaborators have a new paper published in the journal Nature detailing the work they conducted to study HSCs in their native environment in the bone marrow.

We can see how the cells behave in their native niches and how they respond to injuries or stresses which seems to be connected to the constant process of bone remodeling, Tehrani said. Researchers have been trying to answer questions that have gone unanswered for lack of technology, and they have turned to engineering to solve those puzzles.

Its important for researchers to understand the mechanics of stem cells because of the cells potential to regenerate and repair damaged tissue.

Spencer, left, and students from his lab

Spencer returned to California three years ago, joining the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering at UC Merced. Hes also an affiliate of the Health Sciences Research Institute and the NSF CREST Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Machines . This is his third paper in Nature, but the first stemming from work conducted in his current lab.

He didnt come to UC Merced just because he loves biology Spencer also joined the campus because of the students.

Now Im back in the UC system Im a homegrown UC student whos now faculty, Spencer said. As a student within the system I was able to participate in myriad opportunities, including mentorships that advanced my career. Now I try to encourage graduate and undergrad students to follow their dreams. I love being able to give them opportunities its something I really want to do for the next generation.

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Breakthrough in Stem Cell Research: First Image of Niche Environment | Newsroom - UC Merced University News

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Data On Enlivex’s Allocetra-OTS Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Solid Tumors and for Prevention of GvHD Selected for Presentation at the Transplantation…

Nes-Ziona, Israel, Feb. 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Enlivex Therapeutics Ltd. (Nasdaq: ENLV), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced that the company wasselected, for a scientific presentation of two posters: (i) Allocetra-OTS: Early Apoptotic Cells for Immune Homeostasis in Human Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and for the Prevention of Graft Versus Host Disease (GvHD), and (ii) Apoptotic Cells Reprogram Resident Macrophages to Support Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy Against Peritoneal Solid Tumor, at the Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings Conference of the ASTCT and CIBMTR (TCT), held on February 19-23, 2020, in Orlando, Florida.

Allocetra-OTS: Early Apoptotic Cells for Immune Homeostasis in Human Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) and for the Prevention of Graft Versus Host Disease (GvHD)

Results from preclinical and clinical studiesy suggested that a single infusion of donor early apoptotic cells (Allocetra) as prophylaxis for GvHD in myeloablative HSCT is safe and potentially effective and led to 0% (0/6) of acute high grade II-IV GvHD in the two higher dosages compared to 52% in matched historical control. Enlivex is planning to initiate a Phase 2/3 multi-center, open-label, 2-arm study (ENX-CL-01-002), in Israel and Germany, that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of Allocetra-OTS (140x106cells/kg) with or without anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) for the prevention of GvHD in subjects undergoing HLA-matched HSCT from an unrelated donor.

Apoptotic Cells Reprogram Resident Macrophages to Support Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T Cell Therapy Against Peritoneal Solid Tumor

Preclinical studies showed significantly increased duration of survival and overall survival for study subjects who were treated with the combination therapy, as compared to stand-alone solid tumor CAR-T therapy. The results of these preclinical studies showed that the mechanism of action significantly increased the anti-tumor macrophage population surrounding the human solid tumor microenvironment in the subjects who were treated with the combination therapy.

ALLOCETRATMby Enlivex was designed toprovide a novel immunotherapy mechanism of actionthat targets life-threatening clinical indications that are defined as unmet medical needs, includingprevention or treatment of complications associated with bone marrow transplantations (BMT) and/or hematopoietic stem cell transplantations (HSCT); organ dysfunction and acute multiple organ failure associated with sepsis; and enablement of an effective treatment of solid tumors via immune checkpoint rebalancing.

ABOUT ENLIVEXEnlivex is a clinical stage immunotherapy company, developing an allogeneic drug pipeline for immune system rebalancing. Immune system rebalancing is critical for the treatment of life-threatening immune and inflammatory conditions which involve an out of control immune system (e.g. Cytokine Release Syndrome) and for which there are no approved treatments (unmet medical needs), as well as solid tumors immune-checkpoint rebalancing. For more information, visit http://www.enlivex.com.

ABOUT EUROPEAN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY ORGANIZATIONThe TCT | Transplantation & Cellular Therapy Meetings of ASTCT and CIBMTR (TCT Meetings) are the combined annual meetings of the American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy (ASTCT) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR).

Safe Harbor Statement: This press release contains forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words such as expects, plans, projects, will, may, anticipates, believes, should, would, intends, estimates, suggests, has the potential to and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding expected cash balances, market opportunitiesfor the results of current clinical studies and preclinical experiments, the effectiveness of, and market opportunitiesfor, ALLOCETRATMprograms, which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may affect Enlivexs business and prospects, including the risks that Enlivex may not succeed in generating any revenues or developing any commercial products; that the products in development may fail, may not achieve the expected results or effectiveness and/or may not generate data that would support the approval or marketing of these products for the indications being studied or for other indications; that ongoing studies may not continue to show substantial or any activity; and other risks and uncertainties that may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. The results of clinical trials in humans may produce results that differ significantly from the results of clinical and other trials in animals. The results of early-stage trials may differ significantly from the results of more developed, later-stage trials. The development of any products using the ALLOCETRATMproduct line could also be affected by a number of other factors, including unexpected safety, efficacy or manufacturing issues, additional time requirements for data analyses and decision making, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation, the impact of competitive products and pricing and the impact of patents and other proprietary rights held by competitors and other third parties. In addition to the risk factors described above, investors should consider the economic, competitive, governmental, technological and other factors discussed in Enlivexs filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including under the heading Risk Factors contained in Enlivexs most recently filed Annual Report on Form 20-F. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements, except as required under applicable law.

ENLIVEX CONTACT: Shachar Shlosberger, CFO Enlivex Therapeutics, Ltd.shachar@enlivex-pharm.com

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Data On Enlivex's Allocetra-OTS Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Solid Tumors and for Prevention of GvHD Selected for Presentation at the Transplantation...

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Global Autologous Stem Cell and Non-Stem Cell Based Therapies Market Latest Research By Business Expansion Plans, Industry Demand Status &…

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BrainStorm Announces Operational Highlights and Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 – Yahoo Finance

Conference Call and Webcast @ 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time Today

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, today announces financial results for fiscal year ended December 31, 2019.

2019 was a tremendous year for BrainStorm, with significant progress and achievements across all clinical and operational fronts, stated Chaim Lebovits, President and Chief Executive Officer of BrainStorm. Most importantly, we fully enrolled our pivotal, double blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial of NurOwn for the treatment of ALS. We announced the trial conducted at six major U.S. medical centers of excellence for ALS, was fully enrolled on October 11, 2019, and on October 28, 2019 the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), completed the second planned interim safety analysis for the first 106 patients who received repeat dosing of NurOwn in the Phase 3 trial. The DSMB concluded the trial should continue as planned without any clinical protocol changes. He added, In addition, one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals, Neurology, published NurOwn Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial in ALS: Safety, Clinical and BioMarker Results, bringing news of our investigational therapy to the global scientific community. And, just last week, we were happy to announce that the Company recently held a high level meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss potential NurOwn regulatory pathways for approval in ALS.

Ralph Kern, MD, MHSc, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Medical Officer of BrainStorm added, 2019 was also a very significant year for those who suffer from progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In February 2019, we announced Cleveland Clinic would serve as our first contracted site for a Phase 2 open-label, multicenter study of repeated intrathecal administration of NurOwn (autologous MSC-NTF cells) in participants with progressive MS (NCT03799718). We enrolled our first patient in March. We contracted with The Stanford University School of Medicine, The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, and the Mount Sinai Medical Center to further enroll patients. Dr. Kern added, The importance of our research in progressive MS was acknowledged by a $495,000 grant award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through its Fast Forward Program, and mid-December, the Data Safety Monitoring Board completed the first, pre-specified interim analysis, of safety outcomes for 9 participants and after careful review of all available clinical trial data, the DSMB unanimously concluded that the study should continue as planned without any protocol modification. As of December 31, 2019 we have enrolled 10 patients in the study (50% enrollment completed).

Fourth Quarter Corporate Highlights:

Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 and Recent Updates

For further details on BrainStorms financials, including financial results for the year ended December 31, 2019, refer to the Form 10-K filed with the SEC today.

Conference Call on Tuesday, February 18th @ 8:00 am Eastern Time

The investment community may participate in the conference call by dialing the following numbers:

Those interested in listening to the conference call live via the internet may do so by visiting the Investors & Media page of BrainStorms website at http://www.ir.brainstorm-cell.com and clicking on the conference call link.

A webcast replay of the conference call will be available for 30 days on the Investors & Media page of BrainStorms website:

About NurOwnNurOwn (autologous MSC-NTF cells) represent a promising investigational approach to targeting disease pathways important in neurodegenerative disorders. MSC-NTF cells are produced from autologous, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that have been expanded and differentiated ex vivo. MSCs are converted into MSC-NTF cells by growing them under patented conditions that induce the cells to secrete high levels of neurotrophic factors. Autologous MSC-NTF cells can effectively deliver multiple NTFs and immunomodulatory cytokines directly to the site of damage to elicit a desired biological effect and ultimately slow or stabilize disease progression. NurOwn is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 ALS randomized placebo-controlled trial and in a Phase 2 open-label multicenter trial in Progressive MS.

Story continues

About BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.is a leading developer of innovative autologous adult stem cell therapeutics for debilitating neurodegenerative diseases. The Company holds the rights to clinical development and commercialization of the NurOwnCellular Therapeutic Technology Platform used to produce autologous MSC-NTF cells through an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement as well as through its own patents, patent applications and proprietary know-how. Autologous MSC-NTF cells have received Orphan Drug status designation from theU.S. Food and Drug Administration(U.S.FDA) and theEuropean Medicines Agency(EMA) in ALS. Brainstorm has fully enrolled the Phase 3 pivotal trial in ALS (NCT03280056), investigating repeat-administration of autologous MSC-NTF cells at six sites in the U.S., supported by a grant from theCalifornia Institute for Regenerative Medicine(CIRM CLIN2-0989). The pivotal study is intended to support a BLA filing for U.S.FDAapproval of autologous MSC-NTF cells in ALS. Brainstorm received U.S.FDAclearance to initiate a Phase 2 open-label multi-center trial of repeat intrathecal dosing of MSC-NTF cells in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (NCT03799718) inDecember 2018and has been enrolling clinical trial participants sinceMarch 2019. For more information, visit the company'swebsite.

Safe-Harbor StatementStatements in this announcement other than historical data and information, including statements regarding future clinical trial enrollment and data, constitute "forward-looking statements" and involve risks and uncertainties that could causeBrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.'sactual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. Terms and phrases such as "may", "should", "would", "could", "will", "expect", "likely", "believe", "plan", "estimate", "predict", "potential", and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, BrainStorms need to raise additional capital, BrainStorms ability to continue as a going concern, regulatory approval of BrainStorms NurOwn treatment candidate, the success of BrainStorms product development programs and research, regulatory and personnel issues, development of a global market for our services, the ability to secure and maintain research institutions to conduct our clinical trials, the ability to generate significant revenue, the ability of BrainStorms NurOwn treatment candidate to achieve broad acceptance as a treatment option for ALS or other neurodegenerative diseases, BrainStorms ability to manufacture and commercialize the NurOwn treatment candidate, obtaining patents that provide meaningful protection, competition and market developments, BrainStorms ability to protect our intellectual property from infringement by third parties, heath reform legislation, demand for our services, currency exchange rates and product liability claims and litigation,; and other factors detailed in BrainStorm's annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q available athttp://www.sec.gov. These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BrainStorm's forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on the beliefs, expectations and opinions of management as of the date of this press release. We do not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results or assumptions if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change, unless otherwise required by law. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.

CONTACTS

Corporate:Uri YablonkaChief Business OfficerBrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.Phone: 646-666-3188uri@brainstorm-cell.com

Investor Relations:Preetam Shah, MBA, PhDChief Financial OfficerBrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.Phone: 862-397-8160pshah@brainstorm-cell.com

Media:Sean LeousWestwicke/ICR PRPhone: +1.646.677.1839sean.leous@icrinc.com

BRAINSTORM CELL THERAPEUTICS INC.

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETSU.S. dollars in thousands(Except share data)

BRAINSTORM CELL THERAPEUTICS INC.

CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE LOSSU.S. dollars in thousands(Except share data)

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BrainStorm Announces Operational Highlights and Financial Results for the Year Ended December 31, 2019 - Yahoo Finance

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The Harvard Club hosts the 2020 Bostons Most Influential Women Gala – The Boston Globe

The Harvard Club of Boston honored seven women at its 2020 Bostons Most Influential Women Gala on Feb. 12, selecting each of the powerhouse recipients for outstanding achievement, influence, and leadership in their field.

The gala honored Drew Faust, president emerita and Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor at Harvard; Annapurna Poduri, director of the epilepsy genetics program and Poduri Lab at Boston Childrens Hospital and associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School; Laurie H. Glimcher, president and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, director of Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, and Richard and Susan Smith Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; Elizabeth L. Hailer, executive director of The Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit that promotes the advancement of female business leaders; Geri Denterlein, founder and CEO of public relations firm Denterlein; and Katey Stone, head coach of the Harvard womens ice hockey team.

In addition, the Harvard Club honored Sheena Collier with the Rising Star Award. Collier is the founder and CEO of The Collier Connection, which focuses on networking and resource building with the citys Black community. In addition, Collier works as a senior economic opportunity adviser for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

The gala also featured a musical guest, 17-year-old Lynn native Amanda Mena, who performed on Americas Got Talent in 2018.

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The Harvard Club hosts the 2020 Bostons Most Influential Women Gala - The Boston Globe

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Renowned scientist remembered for his way with people and animals – Northern Virginia Daily

David E. Wildts contributions to global conservation efforts will be felt for generations, his colleagues said in the wake of his passing.

Wildt, who died from cancer on Jan. 15 at the age of 69, was director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institutes Center for Species Survival in Front Royal before retiring in December 2018.

He was not only a brilliant man and a diplomat, he was one of those special people who makes other people feel special, said Kelley Snodgrass, executive director of the Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Texas.

Heck of a guy, Snodgrass said of Wildt in a Thursday phone interview. He could go from speaking about single nucleotide polymorphisms to tractors and his favorite chainsaw.

Wildts ability to get results from a diverse group of people is one of the things Snodgrass said hell remember most about his colleague.

Those are rare qualities that are so desperately needed, said Snodgrass. He was kind of the complete package.

Wildt was a seminal leader in conservation biology, [and] his prolific breakthroughs in reproductive biology and population genetics benefitted wildlife enormously, the Smithsonian wrote in a news release published at its website, nationalzoo.si.edu/conservation.

Wildt established genome resource banks and developed ground-breaking assisted reproductive technologies for giant pandas to name just one of more than 50 endangered species, the Smithsonian release states. His scientific legacy includes more than 300 scientific papers and mentorship and training of hundreds of graduate and post-doctoral students, and colleagues around the world.

One of his most groundbreaking discoveries happened when he realized that the survival plan for one species could not automatically be applied to another species, said his wife Dr. Susie Ellis, executive director of the International Rhino Foundation, which is based in Strasburg.

[H]e started out with using domestic animals as a model for wildlife, Ellis said.

However, he realized that scientists need to work within the parameters of each species needs when they develop research protocols.

Every single animal is completely different, she said. That was a huge breakthrough for him.

Another of his proudest accomplishments was his work with black-footed ferrets, which have been endangered for more than 30 years.

Only 17 of the animals remained in the wild when Wildt started working with them, she said. His team worked diligently to create artificial insemination methods, and now, she said, there are a couple thousand.

Wildt is survived by a daughter, Chelsea Taft; her husband, Beau; grandsons Noah and Jackson; stepsons, Zachary Joseph (wife Cassie), and Maxwell Joseph (wife Stephanie); and granddaughter, Everett; as well as numerous students, the Smithsonian release states.

He also is survived by his mother Louise Wildt; brother, Alan Wildt (wife Margaret) of Virginia, Illinois, and their three children.

Wildt and Ellis are canine parents to Ivy La Fleur (IVF), a female from the first litter of dogs birthed in 2015 via in vitro fertilization, the release states. Wildts SCBI team partnered with researchers at Cornell University to successfully use in-vitro fertilization (IVF) to produce live, healthy domestic puppies from cryopreserved (frozen) embryos.

For all of his professional accomplishments and successes in helping save wildlife, those closest to him remember him as a giving friend, colleague and teacher.

He was a down-home person, a brilliant scientist, Ellis said. He always had time for his students. I think thats his true legacy.

Wildts love for animals began in his childhood growing up on a rural farm in Illinois, his wife said.

His first trip to Africa really resonated with him, Ellis said. He realized then that he wanted to work with wildlife.

Wildt worked with wildlife at various zoos, in particular Omahas Henry Doorly Zoo and the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

He did a lot of work to get to where he was, Ellis said.

In 2017, Wildt received the Smithsonian Institutions Distinguished Scholar Award in the Sciences. He received scientific achievement awards from Illinois State University, the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

His early pioneering work with cheetahs led to the creation of the New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences (NOAHS Center) in 1988, the release states, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration among the National Zoo, the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute to promote the health, genetic diversity and reproduction of endangered species in zoo and wild populations.

In 2005, he was one of the founding visionaries to establish the Conservation Centers for Species Survival, now based in Texas, the release states. This unique consortium was born out of an urgent need for science-driven programs and greater collaboration between facilities managing critically endangered species and private landowners.

Theres no one that comes even close to the impact that he has, said Dr. Nucharin Songsasen, acting head of the Center for Species Survival.

Calling him a pioneer in his field of population sustainability studying big herd concepts and genome population management she said the field benefited from his training of the next generation of wildlife scientists.

Thats a huge impact, she said. I just cant imagine anyone who would measure at that level.

Being a woman in a traditionally man-driven field, she said she has appreciated Wildts encouragement and leadership.

A lot of labs and offices have a culture that excludes women, she said, but Wildt wasnt like that.

I think the one thing that I really appreciate is he [was] a very good boss, Songsasen said. I would not trade him for any other boss.

Because he led by example, she said shes adopted his leadership habits in how she responds to students training under her in particular, returning emails and following up on conversations.

He set an example for all of us, she said. Its a good example that we should all follow.

The Smithsonian has set up a fund to honor Wildts work. Donations made in his memory will support his legacy and passion for educating students by bringing renowned science leaders and eminent researchers to SCBI to inspire the next generation of conservation leaders.

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Crispr gene-editing technology: what is it and why you need to know about it – The Irish Times

If youve never heard of Crispr then get ready, because this is a technology youre likely to be hearing a lot more about in future. From genetically modified Chinese babies to foods that deliver man-made health benefits, the potential of Crispr is enormous but its implications have some deep thinkers concerned.

Announced in 2012, Crispr stand for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats a scientific name that doesnt do much to tell the average person what it does. However the technology represents an astonishing breakthrough, allowing scientists to essentially edit genes and change aspects of DNA in ways previously thought impossible.

Late last year, gene editing was voted to be the innovation of the last decade by readers of The Irish Times, beating out social media, the cloud and even smartphones.

So just what is it and how can something so low-key be so significant?

Crispr (pronounced crisper) allows users to edit genomes and alter DNA sequences to modify gene function. It can be used to correct genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops. While gene editing was possible before Crispr, it cost an enormous amount of money and was relatively imprecise.

The comparison has been made that old-style gene editing could be likened to a blunt mallet while Crispr is more like a laser beam, capable of surgical accuracy at the level of DNA. The science behind this is predictably complicated, but, in essence, Crispr allows scientists to find a specific bit of DNA inside a cell and then alter that piece of DNA.

It can be used to turn genes on or off without altering their sequence and it means that scientists can alter the DNA of plants, animals and potentially human beings to do any number of things. The most significant include altering the DNA of living people to turn off genes that have resulted in them suffering from genetic disorders, or making changes to an individual persons genome so that they dont pass on any genetic defect.

In Ireland in 2018, scientists from Trinity College discovered a therapy for one of the most common soft tissue cancers using Crispr. Synovial sarcoma affects teenagers and young adults and has survival rates of less than 50 per cent.

Pre-clinical trials in mice have showed that drugs developed using information gained through Crispr were able to target cancerous cells, crucially leaving normal cells alone.

Crispr is a two or three component system that allows you to use specific targeting RNA molecules to direct an enzyme that will cut and edit DNA and in theory you can change the DNA any which way you might want to, said Dr Gerard Brien, senior research fellow researching childhood cancers in the genetics department at Trinity College.

In theory, if a disease is caused by a specific mutation, then you could fix that mutation, he said.

But its still early days. In theory, all sorts of things are possible but the practicalities of how to do these things in a way that is effective and safe were not anywhere near a point of understanding how to do that.

The problem, according to Dr Brien, is that of unwanted off target effects.

Were not yet at the point where we can make one clear and specific change and not unintentionally create other changes at the same time. Its these other unwanted changes that are the problem and that will be the stumbling block in using Crispr ethically in humans for the next twenty years, if not more, he said.

In 2020 though, Crispr has applications outside of medicine. Its already being used to alter the DNA of plants and animals to create new kinds of super-foods, genetically modified (GM) to be healthier and offer advantages to the consumer.

To date, some GM foods have been treated with suspicion by the public because their modifications have mostly been for the benefit of the farmers or retailers tomatoes that last longer on the shelf, for example but instead of this, think of coeliac-friendly GM wheat, rapeseed oil high in beneficial omega-3s and even GM potatoes that dont produce harmful cancer-causing acrylamides when fried.

Crispr is a complicated beast, however.

The problem with making changes to the DNA of a plant, animal or person is that its often quite hard to predict the full range of consequences. Tweak something here, and something over there can be affected without you realising.

Its for this reason that experiments on human beings are considered hugely unethical. But that hasnt stopped everyone from tinkering with the technology. In late 2019 Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui was jailed for three years and fined 3 million yuan (about 393,000) when he was convicted of violating a government ban on experimenting on human embryos.

He claimed to have edited the genes of a set of human twins, known by the pseudonyms Lulu and Nana, to give them protection against HIV, but was globally condemned when news of his actions broke. The Chinese court accused the man of having essentially gone on a glory run, saying the people involved in the experiment had acted in the pursuit of personal fame and gain. Theyve crossed the bottom line of ethics in scientific research and medical ethics.

The consequences of Hes actions are still unknown, but the effects will be permanent. If the twins he experimented on grow up and have children of their own, they will inherit his genetic modifications and potentially introduce a permanent change to the human genome.

One of the issues with the Chinese-born twins is that the germline was edited so they will pass their edits on to future generations and we dont know what the long-term effects of that will be, it could be that these changes to their genes could initiate cancer down the line. We just dont know, said Dr Oliver Feeney, a bioethicist and lecturer in University College Cork.

There is this thing called the precautionary principle which states that you shouldnt do something unless you have all the down-side risks guarded against and you know exactly whats going to happen. The problem is we dont do that in any other context. We generally just bulldoze through life and see what happens.

The question here is should we shape humans and the way they develop in future? Is that ethical? Most people would agree that Crispr-enabled treatments for diseases would be a good thing if theyre effective and safe, but what about enhancements? Were only at the start of the regulatory landscape that will be required to manage this.

Dr Feeney suggests that the concept of gene editing is inherently scary to some people and that can colour the way in which it is viewed.

There is a possibility that we could be too concerned about Crispr and any issues that might arise. Thats not to minimise the risks or anything, but there is a certain level of hype around this technology and perhaps also excessive fear about what it can do, he said.

Some people have gone as far as to suggest that engaging in gene editing opens the door to eugenics and a world of genetic haves and have-nots. Its ironic to consider that this is the same scenario presented in the movie Gattaca and here we are having the conversation for real 20 years later.

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Crispr: The gene-editing technology you will be hearing a lot about – The Irish Times

Crispr: The gene-editing technology you will be hearing a lot about  The Irish Times

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CRISPR technology opens door to vertical farming of dozens of crops, from strawberries and cucumbers to mango and almond trees – Genetic Literacy…

Do you want it locally grown, water-saving and pesticide-free? Urban agriculture might suit you, with a little help from gene editing. Zachary Lippmans team has already succeeded with Solanaceae fruit crops, optimizing tomatoes and ground-cherries for indoor production (see their paper in Nature Biotechnology).

By targeting three genes (SlER, SPG5, and SP), they made the plants display compact growth habit and early yield. The tomatoes produced were slightly smaller than the wild type, but each plant bore more fruit, and they tasted good.

Commenting the paper in the news and views section, Cathryn O Sullivan and colleagues foresee a whole CRISPR menu coming from urban agriculture in the future. It is unlikely that wheat or rice will ever be grown indoors, but urban farms will be interested in producing any plant that has high value and is eaten fresh.

First of all fruits and vegetables that grow on bushes or vines, such as tomato, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, cucumber, capsicum, grapes, kiwifruit. Specialist crops such as hops, vanilla, saffron, coffee, and also medicinal or cosmetic crops may come next.

They think that one day even small trees (chocolate, mango, almonds) may be grown indoors. However, for indoor farming to be broadly adopted, the capital and operating costs of climate-controlled farms must be reduced, or they will benefit only the wealthiest communities.

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Caribou Biosciences and ProMab Biotechnologies Announce Sale and Assignment Agreement for Humanized scFv Targeting BCMA | More News | News Channels -…

DetailsCategory: More NewsPublished on Thursday, 20 February 2020 13:06Hits: 157

BERKELEY, CA & RICHMOND, CA, USA I February 19, 2020 I Caribou Biosciences, Inc., a leading CRISPR genome editing company, and ProMab Biotechnologies, Inc., a biotechnology CRO/CDMO specializing in antibody engineering and CAR-T development, today announced a sale and assignment agreement under which Caribou gains access to a ProMab humanized single-chain variable fragment (scFv) targeting the B Cell Maturation Antigen (BCMA) for use in allogeneic engineered cell therapies. Caribou intends to utilize this scFv in the development of its CB-011 program, an allogeneic CAR-T therapy targeting BCMA-positive tumors including multiple myeloma.

We are excited for the opportunity to have access to this highly advanced, humanized molecule and believe it will significantly advance our promising CB-011 CAR-T program, said Steven Kanner, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Caribou.

We anticipate that our humanized BCMA scFv will aid greatly in Caribous efforts to further its allogeneic CAR-T program, and hope our technology continues to improve the field of preclinical and clinical stage immunotherapy research by providing broad choices of validated antibodies, said John Wu, MD, Chief Executive Officer of ProMab.

Under the terms of the agreement, ProMab received an upfront payment and is eligible for royalties on net sales of licensed products containing the BCMA scFv.

About Caribou Biosciences, Inc. Caribou is a leading company in CRISPR genome editing founded by pioneers of CRISPR-Cas9 biology. The company is developing an internal pipeline of off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapies, other gene-edited cell therapies, and engineered gut microbes. Additionally, Caribou offers licenses to its CRISPR-Cas9 foundational IP in multiple fields including research tools, internal research use, diagnostics, and industrial biotechnology. Interested companies may contact Caribou at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about Caribou, visit http://www.cariboubio.com and follow the Company @CaribouBio. Caribou Biosciences and the Caribou logo are registered trademarks of Caribou Biosciences, Inc.

About ProMab Biotechnologies, Inc. ProMab Biotechnologies focuses on developing and commercializing mouse, rabbit, and human monoclonal antibodies as well as chimeric antigen receptor-T Cell (CAR-T) products. ProMabs CAR-T platform covers both hematological and solid cancers with intensive in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical validation designed for safer and better treatment. As a CRO in the immunology field for 19 years, ProMab offers standard laboratory procedures and animal studies for antibody discovery through the integration of the newest techniques in antibody library construction, next generation sequencing, unique humanization modeling, high-throughput screening, and artificial intelligence analysis systems. ProMab aims to out-license antibodies validated in CAR-T therapy in the preclinical stage or to bring CAR-T technologies to the early stage market of clinical study. ProMab has partnered with top biotechnology startups, medical institutions, and pharmaceutical companies to advance the development of cell therapies as well as bispecific antibodies targeting multiple cancers. For more information, visit http://www.promab.com.

SOURCE: Caribou Biosciences

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A Huge Discovery in the World of Viruses – The Atlantic

Though common, these big phages would have been completely missed by traditional lab techniques. It used to be that scientists could only discover viruses by first growing themand they often filtered out anything above a certain size. In science, you tend to find what you look for. The huge phages dont fit the standard conception of what a virus should be, so no one went looking for them. But Banfield used a different method, which she pioneered in the 1990s: Her team took environmental samplesscoops of soil or drops of waterand simply analyzed all the DNA within to see what popped out. And once Banfield realized that the huge phages existed, it wasnt hard to find more.

Read: Beware the Medusavirus

Her team, including researchers Basem Al-Shayeb and Rohan Sachdeva, identified huge phages in French lakes, in Tibetan springs, and on the Japanese seafloor. They found the viruses in geysers in Utah, salt from Chiles Atacama Desert, stomach samples from Alaskan moose, a neonatal intensive-care unit in Pittsburgh, and spit samples from Californian women. All of these phages have at least 200,000 DNA letters in their genome, and the largest of them has 735,000.

The team included researchers from nine countries, and so named the new viruses using words for huge in their respective languages. Hence: Mahaphage (Sanskrit), Kaempephage (Danish), Kyodaiphage (Japanese), and Jabbarphage (Arabic), but also Whopperphage (American English).

These huge phages have other strange characteristics. With so much DNA, the viruses are probably physically bigger than typical phages, which means that they likely reproduce in unusual ways. When phages infect bacteria, they normally make hundreds of copies of themselves before exploding outwards. But Banfield says that an average bacterium doesnt have enough room to host hundreds of huge phages. The giant viruses can probably only make a few copies of themselves at a timea strategy more akin to that of humans or elephants, which only raise a few young at a time, than to the reproduction of rodents or most insects, which produce large numbers of offspring.

Giant phages also seem to exert more control over their bacterial hosts than a typical virus. All viruses co-opt their hosts resources to build more copies of themselves, but the huge phages seem to carry out a much more thorough and directed takeover, Banfield says. Their target is the ribosomea manufacturing plant found in all living cells, which reads the information encoded in genes and uses that to build proteins. The huge phages seem equipped to fully commandeer the ribosome so that it ignores the hosts genes, and instead devotes itself to building viral proteins.

This takeover involves an unorthodox use of CRISPR. Long before humans discovered CRISPR and used it to edit DNA, bacteria invented it as a way of defending themselves against viruses. The bacteria store genetic snippets of phages that have previously attacked them, and use these to send destructive scissorlike enzymes after new waves of assailants. But Banfields team found that some huge phages have their own versions of CRISPR, which they use in two ways. First, they direct their own scissors at bacterial genes, which partly explains why they can so thoroughly take over the ribosomes of their hosts. Second, they seem to redirect the bacterial scissors into attacking other phages. They actually boost their hosts immune system to take out the competition.

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Audentes to Build $109 Million Gene Therapy Factory in North Carolina – BioSpace

Audentes Therapeutics, an Astellas company, announced it is building a gene therapy manufacturing plant in Sanford, North Carolina.

The company is investing $109 million in a new 135,000-square-feet facility, with the initial phase to take place over about 18 months. It is planned to go into operation in 2021. It is expected to create more than 200 new jobs in Lee County, North Carolina. Hiring is expected to start this year.

Our investment in large-scale manufacturing has always been a cornerstone of our strategy to develop and ultimately deliver our important genetic medicines to patients as rapidly as possible, said Natalie Holles, president and chief executive officer of Audentes. This new facility in Sanford will support the next phase of our growth as we establish a robust, global supply chain and expand our therapeutic and geographic scope as a part of the Astellas group of companies. We are excited to join the vibrant biopharmaceutical research and manufacturing community that the state of North Carolina has established.

Audentes is headquartered in San Francisco and focuses on gene therapy. It was acquired by Tokyo-based Astellas Pharma in January.

No specifics were given about what the site will manufacture. In October 2019, Audentes announced positive data from ASPIRO, the clinical trial of AT132 in patients with X-Linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM). AT132 is an AAV8 vector that contains a functional copy of the MTM1 gene. XLMTM is a serious, life-threatening, rare neuromuscular disease marked by extreme muscle weakness, respiratory failure and early death.

The company indicates it hopes to submit a Biologics License Application (BLA) for AT132 to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year.

An announcement ceremony was held in the industrial shell building the company is buying in the Central Carolina Enterprise Park. It is about 45 miles southwest of Raleigh.

Gov. Roy Cooper stated, With our powerhouse research centers and highly skilled workforce, biotech pioneers recognize North Carolinas role as a leader in the life sciences. Lee County is a perfect fit for Audentes as they seek to become a global leader in genetic medicines.

The employees at the new factory are expected to earn an average salary of $83,900, which is a little over twice the Lee County average of $41,800. If Audentes hits hiring milestones, it will qualify for a state Job Development Investment Grant worth up to $3.7 million.

The county and the city of Sanford are also offering $5.7 million incentives, which includes almost $400,000 in training support from the North Carolina Community College System.

Audentes chose the location over California, Massachusetts and Colorado.

In every interaction, I was impressed with Audentes patient-centric approach to developing their AAV-based gene therapy to transform the lives of affected patients and families, said Laura Rowley, NCBiotechs director of life science economic development. She led the Centers outreach activity with Audentes. Their decision to grow in North Carolina reflects the Research Triangle regions specialized training capabilities and strengths in gene therapy and biomanufacturing. The passion and focus of the Audentes team makes me confident that they will be an outstanding addition to North Carolinas gene therapy community.

Audentes is acting as the Center of Excellence for Astellas newly founded Genetic Regulation Primary Focus.

Audentes Therapeutics is joining one of the nations top life science clusters, said Anthony M. Copeland, North Carolinas Commerce Secretary. North Carolina has the largest biomanufacturing workforce in the nation and a growing concentration of gene therapy scientists, researchers and workers.

The site of the new plant is quite close to Pfizers new gene therapy campus, which is under construction. That $600 million research and manufacturing facility has a 230-acre campus in Sanford and will employ 340 people.

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Gene therapy to halt rare form of sight loss – BBC News

Image caption Matthew Wood hopes the gene therapy will help him keep his remaining vision

A new gene therapy has been used to treat patients with a rare inherited eye disorder which causes blindness.

It's hoped the NHS treatment will halt sight loss and even improve vision.

Matthew Wood, 48, one of the first patients to receive the injection, told the BBC: "I value the remaining sight I have so if I can hold on to that it would be a big thing for me."

The treatment costs around 600,000 but NHS England has agreed a discounted price with the manufacturer Novartis.

Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec), has been approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), which estimates that just under 90 people in England will be eligible for the treatment.

The gene therapy is for patients who have retinal dystrophy as a result of inheriting a faulty copy of the RPE65 gene from both parents. The gene is important for providing the pigment that light sensitive cells need to absorb light. Initially this affects night vision but eventually, as the cells die, it can lead to complete blindness.

An injection is made into the back of the eye - this delivers working copies of the RPE65 gene. These are contained inside a harmless virus, which enables them to penetrate the retinal cells. Once inside the nucleus, the gene provides the instructions to make the RPE65 protein, which is essential for healthy vision.

Matthew Wood started losing his sight as a child, and is now registered blind. However, he does have some peripheral vision and can detect large objects and bright lights. He told the BBC: "Since I was a child I was continually told there was no treatment for this condition, so it's amazing to receive this gene therapy."

Mr Wood, from London, had his right eye treated during an hour-long operation at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

His left eye will be injected in a few weeks. The surgery was carried out by Prof Robert MacLaren, who has pioneered research into gene therapies for preventing blindness.

He told the BBC: "This is very exciting - this is the first approved NHS gene therapy for an eye disease, but there are opportunities to use gene therapy to treat other diseases in future, not only in the eye."

The treatment is only suitable for patients who have some remaining vision. It should bring the biggest benefits to children with RPE65 retinal dystrophy, as it could halt sight loss before permanent damage is done.

It is not known how long the benefits of the treatment will last, but it's thought it could be several decades.

Jake Ternent, 23, from Durham, had his gene therapy at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

Like Matthew Wood, he is registered blind, but has some limited sight. He told the BBC: "I hope the treatment could improve my night vision, and possibly even my day vision, which would be incredible. I feel lucky and privileged to get this on the NHS."

Prof James Bainbridge - from Moorfields Eye Hospital - who treated Jake, told the BBC: "To be at the point now where we are able to offer this treatment on the NHS, is truly remarkable. This is the first example of what's anticipated to be a whole new generation of treatments."

It will take a month or two before Matthew and Jake know what changes the gene therapy has made to their vision. But even if it simply prevents further sight loss, both say they will be delighted.

Professor Stephen Powis, NHS medical director, said: "Loss of vision can have a devastating effect, particularly for children and young people, but this truly life-changing treatment offers hope to people with this rare and distressing condition."

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New Institute Launched to Ensure the US Healthcare System Is Ready for Gene Therapies – BioSpace

Industry leaders, patient advocates, researchers unite to maximize the incredible potential of transformative gene therapies

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Institute for Gene Therapies (IGT) launched today with a focus on advocating for a modernize the U.S. regulatory and reimbursement framework so that gene therapies can deliver their significant potential to patients. IGT will educate stakeholders across the healthcare community about the transformational nature of gene therapies and advocate for policies that help ensure patients who need them can benefit from them.

Gene therapy is poised to change human health as we know it. By altering non-functioning genes or replacing absent ones, gene therapies have the potential to reshape the way thousands of diseases are treated with long-lasting effects for patients. The first of these transformative therapies have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and hundreds more are currently being studied in clinical trials for rare and common diseases, including many types of cancer, neuromuscular diseases, blood disorders and infectious diseases, among others.

Many crippling conditions like Charcot-Marie-Tooth, which I was diagnosed with before the age of two take hold at a very young age, cut lives far too short or cause ongoing daily suffering, said Susan Ruediger, CEO of the CMT Research Foundation (CMTRF) and member of the IGT Patient Advocacy Advisory Council. Like so many diseases, CMT currently has no cure. I am proud to stand with other leading patient advocates, members of the research community and companies that are developing gene therapies to help ensure patients can fully realize the benefits of these giant leaps toward treatments and cures.

Gene therapies are fundamentally different from traditional pharmaceutical and biologic medicines in that they target the cause of the disease at the DNA level to create a change in the body. Further, some gene therapies are designed to be one-time treatments that offer life-long benefits. Today, the vast majority of medicines help manage the symptoms of disease over time rather than address or halt diseases at their root. The U.S. healthcare system from the drug approval process to the way treatments are paid for reflects this reality. The existing regulatory and reimbursement structures, which were established and adjusted over time to accommodate pharmaceutical and biologic medicines, need revisiting in light of gene therapies and their significant potential.

The incredible scientific advancements in this space present unique opportunities to directly improve and save the lives of patients suffering from debilitating diseases, said IGT Chairman, and former Congressman Erik Paulsen. This is not some far-off future patients are already benefiting from the first FDA-approved gene therapies. But we need policy to move faster toward this new reality where we can treat the causes of many diseases. The Institute for Gene Therapies and our members believe unique regulatory and reimbursement structures need to be established, novel development pathways need to be embraced and new value-based arrangements need to be tested.

As part of IGTs effort, experts from across the healthcare system will work together to ensure health policies reflect the latest medical advances, remove barriers that hinder patient access to gene therapies and advocate for sustainable, long-term solutions. IGT will work to ensure a greater understanding about the value gene therapies bring to patients, families, the healthcare system and our society so that gene therapies can achieve their full potential.

About the Institute for Gene Therapies

The Institute for Gene Therapies (IGT) works with stakeholders across the healthcare system to advocate for a modernized regulatory and reimbursement framework that encourages the development of transformative gene therapies and promotes patient access. Members of our advisory councils include Johnson & Johnson, PTC Therapeutics, Sarepta Therapeutics, Spark Therapeutics, Patient Advocate Foundation, Cure SMA, CMT Research Foundation, American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA), Khrystal Davis, Founder of Texas Rare Alliance, Jenn McNary, Founder of One Rare, Seth Rotberg, Co-Founder and Head of Strategy & Engagement of Our Odyssey, Rolf Benirschke, Patient Advocate for Crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, colorectal and bladder cancer, Friedreichs Ataxia Research Alliance, and Foundation Fighting Blindness. For more information, visit gene-therapies.org and follow us on Twitter @gene_therapies

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Mice display improvements in vision following gene therapy – AOP

Scientists have explored the effectiveness of replacing mutated genes in mice with congenital blindness.

Describing their findings in Nature Communications, researchers highlighted that replacing a mutated sequence in blind mice resulted in approximately 10% of photoreceptors being rescued.

Following the procedure, the light sensitivity and visual acuity of the mice improved.

The new approach is an alternative strategy to gene supplementation, which has limitations when treating patients with defects in larger genes.

Koji Nishiguchi, from Tohoku Universitys department of advanced ophthalmic medicine, explained that the new technique enables the replacement of a mutated sequence with its healthy counterpart.

The platform paves the way for treating patients with mutations in larger genes, which comprise the vast majority of those with inherited retinal degeneration. Furthermore, a similar approach can be applied to treat almost any ocular and non-ocular inherited conditions, he shared.

The research team are developing the genome editing platform for application in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. A clinical trial could be undertaken by 2025.

Image credit: Pixabay/Arek Socha

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