State Roundup Big NYC Hospital Merger Colo To Fight Exapnding Waistlines

first_imgState Roundup: Big NYC Hospital Merger; Colo. To Fight Exapnding Waistlines? A selection of health policy stories from Colorado, New York, Washington state, Massachusetts, Idaho and North Carolina.The New York Times: New York Hospitals Look To Combine, Forming A GiantTwo of New York City’s biggest hospital systems reached agreement on Wednesday to pursue a merger that would shake up the way medical care is delivered, especially in Manhattan, where hospitals compete to serve some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the world. The proposed merger would bring together NYU Langone Medical Center, a highly specialized academic medical center, and Continuum Health Partners, a network of several community-oriented hospitals, including Beth Israel and the two St. Luke’s-Roosevelt campuses (Hartocollis, 6/6).The Wall Street Journal: Aid For Supportive Housing BoostedSupportive housing provides additional support services, such as an on-site coordinator to help residents with special needs to get counseling, benefits and employment assistance. [New York] state has committed $75 million of funding for the first year to creating more supportive housing, which is expected to be paid for, in part, by Medicaid savings (Kusisto, 6/6).KQED’s State of Health blog: Court Upholds Decision On Anorexia Treatment, Mental Health Parity[T]he U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld its decision from August 2011 requiring Blue Shield to cover one woman’s treatment for anorexia under state law, even though it wasn’t spelled out in her policy (Dornhelm, 6/7).Boston Globe: Mass. House Passes Health Care Cost-Control BillThe Massachusetts House overwhelmingly approved its 278-page plan to curb the soaring cost of medical care on Tuesday night. …The final vote — 148 to 7 — sets up negotiations over the next two months between the House and the Senate, which approved its own cost-control legislation last month. Their plans contain key differences, particularly over how much the health care industry can be relied on to control costs on its own (Kowalczyk, 6/7).WBUR’s CommonHealth blog: Longtime Mass. Planned Parenthood Leader Stepping Down Dianne Luby, who has led the [Planned Parhenood] league for 13 years, has told the board that she’ll step down at the end of this year. … The Planned Parenthood press release says that Ms. Luby worked to “change the public conversations around sexual health” (Goldberg, 6/6).North Carolina Health News: Some Experts Restored To State PanelsIn a meeting on state boards and commissions slated for reduction or elimination, several boards that advise health care policy-makers were restored.  After more than 15 proposed amendments, several health-related boards that had been slated for elimination were restored (Hoban, 6/6).KING5-TV Seattle: Washington’s Suicide Prevention Law Is First Of Its KindA Washington law set to take effect on June 7 requires mental health professionals to receive additional training to help them detect and prevent suicides. … Washington is the first state in the country to enact such a requirement (Daniels, 6/5).Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Hickenlooper Endorses Bloomberg’s War Against SodaCalling U.S. health costs a massive drain on the economy, Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday endorsed bold moves to fight poor health like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s war on super-sized sugary drinks. … Hickenlooper didn’t elaborate … But, he did endorse ideas ranging from expanding school physical education and recess for children to promoting more bicycle commuting (Kerwin McCrimmon, 6/6).The Associated Press: Doc-Lawyer Will Intervene In Idaho Fetal Pain CaseIn a strategy legal experts say is unheard of, a southeastern Idaho lawyer who is also a physician will be allowed to intervene in a challenge to the state’s so-called fetal pain abortion law in a case that could set national precedent. Rick Hearn is representing a Pocatello woman accused of illegally taking abortion-inducing pills (Bonner, 6/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Detailing The Numbers Parsing The Latest HHS Tally Of New Enrollees

first_imgAccording to reports, 2.1 million people have signed up for new insurance coverage, and 3.9 million have been found eligible for Medicaid. Who are these people and what do the numbers mean? The Washington Post: Obamacare’s 2013 Tally: Six Million Signed Up For CoverageHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters that 2.1 million have signed up for coverage through Dec. 28. That includes the 1.1 million that the White House had announced this past Sunday, who had enrolled through Dec. 24 on HealthCare.gov. There are also 3.9 million people who have been found eligible for Medicaid (Kliff, 12/31/13).The Wall Street Journal: Health-Plan Enrollment Surpasses 2.1 MillionNationwide enrollment in private health plans under the Affordable Care Act has topped 2.1 million, the Obama administration said Tuesday as it prepared to tackle potential new problems when coverage takes effect New Year’s Day. The enrollment figure as of Dec. 28, announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, encompasses the federal health-insurance exchange serving 36 states and those who enrolled through exchanges in the 14 states that are running their own marketplaces. … Uninsured people have until March 31 to sign up for coverage or run the risk of being required to pay a 2014 penalty (Schatz, 12/31/13). Reuters: Over 2.1 Million Have Signed Up For Obamacare: OfficialsMore than 2.1 million people have enrolled in private health insurance plans through new federal and state websites since they were launched in October as part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, U.S. officials said on Tuesday. While short of the 3.3 million enrollees that the Obama administration was hoping for by now, the number signing up for insurance is a dramatic improvement from the early weeks of the program, when barely 150,000 got coverage because of a series of technical problems with the federal website HealthCare.gov (Cornwell, 12/31/13).Bloomberg: Obamacare Rallies From Botched Debut As 2 Million EnrollAbout 2.1 million people will have medical coverage today through Obamacare after a late surge in enrollment helped regain ground lost to the botched debut of insurance exchanges created by the U.S. health-care overhaul.  More than 1.6 million Americans signed up through state and federal exchanges in December alone, according to calculations from data released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Wayne, 1/1).ABC News: A Torturous Obamacare Odyssey Ends in VictoryFor Ted and Maxine Baumgartner of Ft. Wayne, Ind., their first day as owners of a 2014 Obamacare insurance policy  can be summed up in one word: relief. The couple’s months-long odyssey to buy coverage for Maxine through HealthCare.gov was a torturous experience that encapsulates everything that went wrong with the rollout. It also shows how persistence can ultimately pay off. Baumgartner, 62, is among an estimated 2 million Americans who’ve selected health plans through the Obamacare insurance exchanges since October and will start 2014 with protection from a potential medical and financial nightmare (Dwyer, 1/1).NBC  News: Insured, Finally: Families Put Obamacare To The Real TestFor the 2.1 million people who’ve signed up for health insurance under the new federal and state exchanges, Jan. 1 is when the rubber meets the road. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it “an exciting new day in health care” as latest enrollment figures were released Tuesday. But for people like the Schulz family of Phoenix, Ariz., Rita Rizzo and Lou Vincent of Akron, Ohio, and Joyce Moore of Zionsville, Pa., it’s the first test of whether Obamacare will really work. They all say they’re relieved and excited to finally have new access to health care, and they hope that the rocky rollout of the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act will actually give way to the smooth delivery of vital medical services (Aleccia, 1/2).Fox News: Sebelius: No More ObamaCare DelaysHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, on the eve of the ObamaCare launch, told Fox News she doesn’t anticipate any more delays for the health care law. The secretary voiced confidence in the law as her department announced what it claimed was a “surge” in enrollment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Tuesday that more than 2.1 million people have enrolled through the federal- and state-run marketplaces.  “I’m thrilled that we’re going to have millions of people for the first time that have health security, and it should be a great New Year for lots of families across America,” Sebelius told Fox News in an exclusive interview, as she left a downtown D.C. restaurant Tuesday afternoon (12/31).  Detailing The Numbers: Parsing The Latest HHS Tally Of New Enrollees This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Obamas Pick To Head HHS Draws Bipartisan Praise In Confirmation Hearing

first_imgObama’s Pick To Head HHS Draws Bipartisan Praise In Confirmation Hearing This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who has been nominated by the White House to become the next Health and Human Services secretary, also faced tough questions about the health law’s implementation and the trouble-plagued healthcare.gov. The New York Times: Pick To Replace Sebelius Draws Senators’ Praise At Confirmation HearingSylvia Mathews Burwell, President Obama’s nominee to replace Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of health and human services, charmed senators at a surprisingly cordial confirmation hearing on Thursday. And she even picked up a couple of Republican endorsements (Pear, 5/8).The Hill: McCain Makes Cameo Appearance To Praise Obama’s HHS Nominee Sen. John McCain made a cameo appearance at a hearing on Thursday to heap praise on President Obama’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Arizona Republican showed up at the confirmation hearing for Sylvia Matthews Burwell even though he isn’t a member of the Senate panel that is vetting her nomination (Al-Faruque, 5/8).Los Angeles Times: Obama’s Pick To Head Health And Human Services Draws GOP Support“Regardless of my objections to Obamacare, the Department of Health and Human Services needs competent leadership,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told the Senate health committee in introducing Sylvia Mathews Burwell. “I believe Ms. Burwell has the qualifications” (Levey, 5/8).The Washington Post: Fixing Healthcare.gov Would Be Top Priority, HHS Nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell SaysBut the wide-ranging hearing also touched on some of the more contentious aspects of the law that she would be mired in: the technical problems that continue to plague the federal health insurance Web site, the unfinished job of expanding Medicaid and the president’s broken promise that people who liked their old plans could keep them (Somashekhar, 5/8).The Associated Press: HHS Nominee Faces GOP Questions On Health LawBurwell defended the Affordable Care Act, asserting that it has improved the economy, held down the growth of health costs, reduced premiums and expanded coverage. … Republican senators disagreed. The top committee Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, warned her that Republicans hope to retake the Senate in November and scale back the law in numerous ways (Werner, 5/8).The Wall Street Journal: Sylvia Burwell, HHS Nominee, Answers Senators’ QuestionsMs. Burwell was asked about her plans to continue the Obama administration’s policies in implementing the health law, including whether she would further extend canceled policies or back other substantive changes to provisions in the law, such as the requirement that employers offer coverage to all workers clocking 30 hours a week or more, or pay a penalty. The nominee gave careful, noncommittal answers (Radnofsky and Hughes, 5/8).Politico: Burwell Gets Some GOP Boost For HHS PostHealth and Human Services nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell began her confirmation hearings Thursday with a defense of Obamacare — and with strong endorsement from a prominent Republican critic of the health law: John McCain. Burwell made no promises to change the Affordable Care Act as she testified in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Democrats widely praised her while Republicans blasted the health law that Burwell will have to operate and focused on state-specific health care issues (Haberkorn, 5/9).Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill: Bipartisan Praise For Nominee To Lead HHS In Senate HearingDespite the warm reception from members of the Senate HELP panel, Republican senators had tough questions for Sylvia Mathews Burwell about implementation of the health law. Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and CQ Roll Call’s Melissa Attias discuss what’s next for the nomination (5/8). Kaiser Health News: Capsules: During Confirmation Hearing, Burwell Pledges Support For CHIPAdvocates of the Children’s Health Insurance Program cheered Thursday when President Obama’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services said she supports continued funding for the program, which covers about 8 million low-income children whose families’ income exceeds Medicaid’s eligibility guidelines (Carey, 5/9). PBS NewsHour: Republicans Praise Reputation Of Obama’s HHS Secretary Choice, Take Aim At Affordable Care Act Democrats also touted benefits of the law, and Connecticut’s Chris Murphy zeroed in on Republican governors who’ve balked at embracing key provisions, such as expanding Medicaid (Sreenivasan, 5/8).NBC News: Hearing On New HHS Secretary Starts With Attack On ObamacareBurwell said she hoped to win more states over to the idea of expanding Medicaid. “Both the results and the willingness for conversation are the two ways that will make progress on that front,” she said (Fox, 5/9). last_img read more

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Nations Largest Digital Medical Records Company Wants To Correct Perceptions

first_img Electronic health records can save money and improve medical outcomes, but using them incorrectly can create significant liability problems for healthcare providers, defense attorneys say. In the overwhelming majority of cases, health records are the “single-most important piece of evidence” in medical malpractice lawsuits, said Craig R. Merkle, a partner at Goodell, Devries, Leech & Dann in Baltimore. (Greenwald, 10/28) Politico: Big Health Records Firm Epic Raises DC Profile Nation’s Largest Digital Medical Records Company Wants To ‘Correct’ Perceptions In addition, Modern Healthcare reports that, although electronic health records can lead to reduced costs and greater efficiency, if used incorrectly they become a liability issue for health care providers. Modern Healthcare: Malpractice Suits Often Tap Electronic Health Records center_img The U.S. government is spending $30 billion to encourage the health care system to go digital. Now, the founder and chief executive of the country’s largest vendor of digital medical records is fighting back against what she calls incorrect perceptions that her company is creating obstacles to creating a national system where health records can be shared.The sharing of health records is a critical but elusive goal, one that’s getting the attention of policymakers and K Street, as well as the health care industry. Some critics say industry giant Epic Systems is part of the problem. (Pittman and Allen, 10/28) This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Bernie Sanders Lambastes OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Over Health Provisions In Trumps

first_img Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Tuesday criticized a provision of President Trump’s budget request that he said bails out ObamaCare insurers. The White House budget calls for more than $800 million in mandatory appropriations to fully fund ObamaCare’s risk corridor program, which was created in 2014 to help cushion insurers from major losses during the early years of the federal insurance exchanges. (Weixel, 2/13) The Hill: Mulvaney Remarks On Trump Budget Plan Spark Confusion The Washington Post: Sanders Claims White House Budget Would Kill Thousands But Mulvaney Says That’s Not True Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s budget director, told lawmakers at a Senate budget hearing Tuesday that if he were still in Congress, he would not vote for the $4.4 trillion proposal he was presenting. (Clark, 2/13) The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said that Mick Mulvaney would vote for President Trump’s budget proposal if he were still in Congress after the OMB director suggested he would not during a Senate hearing on Tuesday. Mulvaney, who was on Capitol Hill to defend the proposal, said he “probably would have found enough shortcomings” in the document to vote against it if he were still a congressman. (Jagoda, 2/13) Bernie Sanders Lambastes OMB Director Mick Mulvaney Over Health Provisions In Trump’s Budget Plan “Director [Mick] Mulvaney, tell me about the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires, throws 32 million people off of the health insurance they have, resulting in the deaths of tens of thousands of fellow Americans,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Meanwhile, the Office of Management and Budget chief caused confusion when he hinted at the same hearing that he wouldn’t vote for President Donald Trump’s budget if he were in Congress. Sen. Bernie Sanders berated White House budget director Mick Mulvaney over President Trump’s budget proposal Tuesday, contending that thousands of people would die and others would freeze because of the administration’s proposed cuts. Sanders was referring specifically to the budget proposal’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act and cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. (Werner, 2/13) In other news — The Hill: Rubio Blasts Trump Budget For ObamaCare ‘Bailout’ Provision  NBC News: Mulvaney Tells Congress He Would Vote Against His Own Budget This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.last_img read more

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Uhoh US Treasury yield curve just inverted for the first time since

first_img Share this storyUh-oh, U.S. Treasury yield curve just inverted for the first time since 2007 Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn advertisement Bloomberg News Email Emily Barrett and Katherine Greifeld Join the conversation → Comment Uh-oh, U.S. Treasury yield curve just inverted for the first time since 2007 Inversion is widely considered a reliable harbinger of recession Reddit The gap between the 3-month and 10-year yields of U.S. Treasuries vanished on Friday as a surge of buying pushed long-end rates sharply lower.Getty Images Facebook Twitter Featured Stories A closely watched watched section of the Treasury yield curve on Friday turned negative for the first time since the crisis more than a decade ago, underscoring concern about a possible economic slump and the prospect that the Federal Reserve will have to cut interest rates.The gap between the 3-month and 10-year yields vanished on Friday as a surge of buying pushed long-end rates sharply lower. Inversion is widely considered a reliable harbinger of recession in the U.S. The 10-year slipped to as low as 2.439 per cent.U.S. central bank policy makers on Wednesday lowered both their growth projections and their interest rate outlook, with the majority of officials now envisaging no hikes this year. That’s down from a median call of two at their December meeting. Traders took that dovish shift as their cue to dig into positions for a Fed easing cycle, pricing in a cut by the end of 2020 and a one-in-two chance of a reduction as soon as this year. Rate cut seen on horizon as Canadian bonds due in more than a decade yield less than cash Explosion of global debt biggest risk to world’s financial system, Bank of Canada warns March is going to be a huge month for the world economy, and it may lead to a dreary spring “It looks like the global slowdown worries have been confirmed and the market is beginning to price in Fed easing, potential recession down the road,” said Kathy Jones, chief fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab & Co. “It’s clearly a sign that the market is worried about growth and moving into Treasuries from riskier asset classes.”A wave of buying drove the 10-year yield to fresh lows for the year. That yield has fallen as much as 17 basis points from the close on Tuesday, the day before the Fed decision. Weaker-than-expected European factory data that helped drive benchmark German yields back below zero on Friday also supported the move.Related Stories:POLL-Era of low sovereign yields to last at least two more yearsGroping for new tools, central banks look at Japan’s yield controlsYield curve flattest since May as market awaits Fed guidanceThe 3-month to 10-year curve is widely favoured as an indicator that the economy is within a couple of years of recession. But Friday’s move is an extension of the inversion at the front end of the curve that happened in December. The gap between the 2-year and 10-year yields has also narrowed, to around 10 basis points.With assistance from Elizabeth StantonBloomberg.com 13 Comments More What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation March 22, 201912:01 PM EDT Filed under News Economy Sponsored By: Recommended For YouHong Kong shares dip as investors await earnings, fret over tradeEuropean shares flat, weak oil majors offset gains in chipmaker ASMLLondon house prices fall in May at fastest rate in a decadeTwo Chinese ports halt customs clearances for coal imports – sourcesAmazon faces EU antitrust probe over use of merchant data – source ← Previous Next →last_img read more

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AbbVie falls after agreeing to buy Botox maker Allergan in 63billion deal

first_img More The under-the-radar Google company chasing immortality AbbVie Inc joins in health industry tax play with US$54.8-billion Shire takeover AbbVie Inc. has agreed to pay US$63 billion for rival drugmaker Allergan Plc, the latest merger in an industry where some of the biggest companies have been willing to pay a high price to resolve questions about their future growth.Allergan will get US$188.24 a share in cash and stock, according to a statement announcing the deal, a 45 per cent premium to its closing price on Monday. AbbVie declined as much as 15 per cent to US$65.56, the biggest intraday drop since 2015. Allergan shares climbed as much as 30 per cent.The proposed takeover offers a solution to long-standing challenges at both companies. AbbVie gets a set of products big enough to diversify its revenue from Humira, the rheumatoid arthritis injection that is the world’s biggest-selling drug worldwide, with about US$20 billion in sales last year. Allergan, which is heavily reliant on the wrinkle reducer Botox, will get a profitable exit for shareholders after a four-year slide. Bausch Health, formerly Valeant, predicts revenue growth as debt load lessens GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer deal brings Advil, Tums together in consumer health giant Bausch Health looks to make first acquisition in more than three years “This is a good alternative for Allergan versus the current share price,” said David Maris, an analyst with Wells Fargo.The expected cost savings from the deal will buy both companies more time but not solve their long-term issues. Both of their blockbuster drugs have begun to face pressure: AbbVie may be nearing the limits of how far it can boost Humira’s price as cheaper competitors come to market, a problem Allergan is already grappling with as more alternatives to Botox emerge.The companies have developed several potentially promising medicines for a range of diseases, though so far none have convinced investors that they can attract the vast pool of patients that take medications like Humira.The drop in North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie’s shares Tuesday is a sign that the takeover may not sail through without challenge. Earlier this year, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. faced opposition from some top investors to abandon its US$74 billion acquisition of Celgene Corp. The deal eventually won the backing of a majority of shareholders, but Bristol-Myers shares are still trading well below their pre-deal value.Size ScrutinyOn a conference call announcing the deal, AbbVie Chief Executive Officer Richard Gonzalez, who will lead the combined company, said the transaction should ease concerns about future competition to Humira, adding that the drug is lucrative enough to bankroll the purchase of its eventual successor.“This is a transformation transaction that provides important strategic benefits for both AbbVie and Allergan,” Gonzalez said. “This will have a profound impact on AbbVie’s overall growth story.”Gonzalez said on the call with investors that the transaction “isn’t highly dependent on pipeline.”The deal is evidence that even the world’s biggest drugmakers believe they can get bigger. Along with Bristol-Myers’s deal for Celgene, Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. earlier this year completed a US$62 billion takeover of Shire Plc. A combined AbbVie and Allergan will have sales of about US$48 billion, the companies said in a statement, making it one of the biggest in the industry.The combinations have also begun to attract the notice of antitrust authorities. On Monday, Bristol-Myers said that it had agreed to divest one of Celgene’s top products, the psoriasis pill Otezla, in order to appease regulators at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. While there are few major areas of overlap between Allergan and AbbVie, the deal is almost certain to get a careful look from regulators.One drug considered to be a contender to replace some of Humira’s sales over the long term is AbbVie’s Skyrizi, a new psoriasis treatment that many patients may find more convenient than Humira, as it needs to be injected less frequently.“Patients love Skyrizi, it’s a big contender,” said Mark Lebwohl, the Waldman Chair of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. “It’s four shots a year and appears to be incredibly effective. AbbVie already knows how to sell this drug.”Back to the U.S.The deal will return Allergan to the U.S., at least for tax purposes. While the company is run from New Jersey, it moved its domicile to Dublin in 2015 via another merger, partly to take advantage of lower corporate rates abroad. The 2017 U.S. tax overhaul cut corporate levies to 21 per cent from 35 per cent, which reduced incentives for companies to relocate overseas.AbbVie currently pays far less in tax than that, however, and has said it will have an effective rate of 9 per cent this year. It has projected its effective rate will rise to 13 per cent.Allergan CEO Brent Saunders had spent months turning over plans for the drugmaker’s future as its stock price dropped from a 2015 peak of almost US$340. Those options included selling off the company’s gastrointestinal drugs or women’s health unit, which would have left it more focused on its profitable medical aesthetics line that includes Botox.AbbVie said it expects at least US$2 billion in annual pretax synergies and other cost reductions in year three of the deal.Allergan holders will receive 0.8660 AbbVie shares and US$120.30 in cash for each share they hold. AbbVie will take on Allergan’s debt, which totalled about US$24 billion at the end of the first quarter.Two Allergan directors, including Saunders, will join AbbVie’s board after the purchase is completed, according to the statement. Gonzalez said on the call that he intends to stay with the company at least through Humira’s loss of exclusivity in the U.S.The deal is expected to close in early 2020, the companies said.Morgan Stanley & Co. acted as AbbVie’s financial adviser and Kirkland & Ellis LLP and McCann FitzGerald were legal advisers. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was AbbVie’s financial adviser, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Arthur Cox gave legal advice.–With assistance from Marthe Fourcade, Liana Baker and Cynthia Koons.Bloomberg.com Comment Featured Stories Facebook AbbVie falls after agreeing to buy Botox maker Allergan in $63-billion deal The takeover, at a value of US$188.24 a share, is a 45 per cent premium to Allergan’s closing price on Monday Share this storyAbbVie falls after agreeing to buy Botox maker Allergan in $63-billion deal Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation Twitter June 25, 201910:32 AM EDT Filed under News FP Street Sponsored By: Join the conversation → Bloomberg News Rebecca Spalding and Riley Ray Griffin ← Previous Next → Related Stories 0 Comments Email Reddit advertisement A clinical technician holds a tray of Allergan Botox boxes, produced by Allergan Inc.Jason Alden/Bloomberg last_img read more

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This Mercury Coupe Is The Electric Sleeper Of Our Dreams

first_imgStill crazy ’bout it.Amid myriad displays of chromed-out custom cars filling the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center where the 2018 edition of SEMA is currently taking place, sits a 1949 Mercury coupe that looks like it would be more at home sitting up on blocks in a scruffy neighborhood. No, it isn’t lost. It is, rather, a master class in automotive deception; a sleeper that would startle any and all comers at the traffic light Gran Prix; an electric vehicle that looks like anything but. Behold the latest and greatest entry into the Derelict collection produced by ICON and their electrification partners, Stealth EV.More ICON custom electric cars Beneath the exterior of the naturally oxidized patina of the antique bodywork hides a beast of high-voltage proportions. Lift that long hood, and instead of the expected V8, you’ll find a set of blindingly bright chromed controllers — one for each of the twinned AM Racing induction motors lurking low in the transmission tunnel — set up in the traditional V-shape of an eight-cylinder engine. Bolted to a custom Art Morrison frame, the drivetrain can summon 400 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque while supping, as it does, from an 85 kWh Tesla-sourced battery.To recharge, the car is equipped with a CHAdeMO connector hiding behind the front license plate. Under the gas cap, you’ll find a Tesla connector for what we assume is for AC charging. Once full of electrons, it is said to be able to get you 150 to 200 miles down the road.Faithful InsideEVs readers may remember this car from the time we featured it as it was being put together. Back then, just the raw potential made us crazy ’bout this Mercury. Now, with the finishing touches in place, we’re straitjacket nuts about it. The seats, though similar to period correct, are freshly upholstered in high-end material. Most, if not all of the handles, switches, bezels are custom pieces. If the devil is in the details, it’s like we died and went to hell: one warmed by the roasting of tires instead of brimstone.Official presser and photos follow.ICON DEBUTS “DERELICT” 1949 MERCURY COUPE  WITH PIONEERING EV CONVERSION AT SEMA 2018Jonathan Ward Continues To Infuse Vintage Styling With State-Of-The-Art TechnologyCHATSWORTH, CA – As with all ICON projects, the latest one is all about pushing the limits and challenging the status quo. When approaching a 1949 Mercury Coupe Derelict project, ICON co-founder/lead designer Jonathan Ward asked, “Why are all production EV vehicles devoid of heart and soul? Why is the aftermarket EV-conversion industry so slow to evolve and provide comprehensive systems and solutions? Why can’t you have the best of both worlds: the style and quality of a vintage vehicle with modern performance and functionality? We say you can have your cake and eat it too!”As background, the purpose behind ICON’s Derelict line is to celebrate and preserve the original patina and exterior trim on the car. This 1949 Mercury Coupe was sourced from the original owners, and it has been in Southern California since new. ICON forensically disassembled the body, replaced all rubber, added insulation and sound-deadening products everywhere, then reassembled it in a manner that tried to make it look like nothing had been touched. A robust 4-wheel-independent chassis was developed with Art Morrison Enterprises alongside Brembo brakes.The powertrain is all-modern and was a co-engineering exercise between ICON and Stealth EV. The dual electric motor, transmission-less design provides 470 lb-ft of freight-train torque and the equivalent of 400 horsepower, with no shifts all the way up to the Merc’s 120 MPH top speed. A full Tesla Performance 85kWh battery array is strategically fit throughout the vehicle for exceptional weight balance. It is capable of an estimated 150- to 200-mile range and has 1.5-hour full recharge capability. ICON positioned a CHAdeMO 125A fast-charger plug behind the tilting front license plate frame and also converted the original gas filler into a Tesla supercharger plug to expedite in-transit charging. A pioneering EV management system protects the batteries from overcharging and also provides thermal management and a host of capabilities and protections.ICON had a bit of fun with the engine bay. Since the electric motors fit where the old transmission once resided, Jonathan Ward thought it would be fun to reference vintage V-8 speed equipment. The custom aluminum “engine” actually houses the battery controllers and a few of the Tesla modules – designed in a traditional V-8 array with a polished and media-blasted finish for a decidedly vintage aesthetic. Then ICON had custom cloth-braided sheathing made for the wires under the hood, referencing the original wiring loom.In the interior, ICON wanted to keep the materials vintage-appropriate and light. Fabric from Knoll Textiles and hides from Moore & Giles and Relicate Leather realized the exact design that Jonathan Ward envisioned. Power windows operate via the original analog window cranks; tapping twice on the driver’s side drops or raises all windows at once. While all gauges are modern digital Andromeda, the design strongly references the original analog units, down to the typeface and background. Other significantly redesigned elements include in-dash A/C vents (not to mention electric A/C), and all custom switches and bezels are inspired by the originals but support modern components and functions.To ICON, the smallest details are never superfluous. The 1949 Mercury EV Derelict was commissioned by a longtime client, who gave ICON the go-ahead to push the boundaries of design and engineering. The result is what makes an ICON Derelict a piece of rolling sculpture. SEMA 2018 attendees can see the ICON 1949 Mercury EV Derelict in the Optima Battery booth #20323. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on October 30, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News This Electric Icon Derelict Will Make You Crazy ‘Bout A Mercury 35 photos Source: Electric Vehicle News ICON’s 1966 Fiat Giardinetta Derelict Is Electric Watch Zelectric VW Wild Thing Do Donuts + Walkaround Source: ICONlast_img read more

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Paris is rolling out the worlds largest ebike fleet with €40month rentals

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Paris is demonstrating a strong commitment to promoting commuting via electric bicycles. The city is set to rollout the world’s largest electric bicycle rental program, Veligo. The program will see up to 20,000 e-bikes rented out by the end of the month to local residents. more…The post Paris is rolling out the world’s largest e-bike fleet with €40/month rentals appeared first on Electrek.last_img

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Dear Mr President Chained CPI

first_imgby, Ronni Bennett, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 Shares[EDITORIAL NOTE: The first in an occasional series of letters from Crabby Old Lady to the president about issues of interest to elders.]Crabby Old Lady wonders if you have any idea how panicked she gets every time you mention chained CPI. Here’s what your spokesman, Jay Charney, said last Friday at the daily press briefing that made her knees buckle: [the emphasis is Crabby’s]:”[The president] has put forward a technical change as part of a big deal – and it’s on the table – that he put forward to the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House, by the way, walked away from that deal…“But as part of that deal, the technical change in the so-called CPI is possible in his own offer as part of a big deal.”Oh, Mr. President, this is no minor technical change. It takes money out of current Social Security beneficiaries’ pockets. Did you get that part? CURRENT beneficiaries’ – retired people no longer working who have no way to make up the difference.Not even Simpson/Bowles, Pete Peterson and Paul Ryan – people whose most fervid dream is to kill Social Security – have gone that far (and Crabby has no doubt they are happy to let you take the flak for it instead of them).Further, with House Speaker John Boehner so far rejecting your chained CPI offer, you, sir, have become the biggest threat to old people in America.Mr. President, is it possible you do not understand what chained CPI is or how it will affect elders for the rest of our lives?Crabby Old Lady suspects you may not because the alternative is for her to believe you think it’s a good idea for millions of old people who barely get by now to live on even less money in the future.Because it would panic Crabby even more than the phrase “chained cpi” does to think the second explanation is true, she has here for you a short video from Representative Keith Eliison showing, in language and graphics a fifth grader can understand, what chained CPI is:Does that make it more clear for you, Mr. President? Chained CPI means a lot of old people will skip meals and medication that they barely afford now.You and your man, Jay Carney, talk a lot about “shared sacrifice” but how much more can elders give? Let Crabby cite you some facts:ITEM: Social Security is a closed system. It is not possible for it to contribute to the deficit. Not one penny. You’re a smart guy; you must know that. Right? If so, how could you include Social Security in any kind of budget package? If not, I am ashamed of you.Oh, and by the way, Social security is not – as you keep calling it – an “entitlement.” Americans pay for it out of their paychecks every week of every year of every decade they are employed. It is not welfare. So please start calling Social Security what it is, an earned benefit.ITEM: Now. The average Social Security payment is $1230 a month. Do you know that? And don’t forget that $100 comes off the top of that benefit for Medicare Part B so it’s really only $1130 per month – not even $300 a week for rent/mortgage, utilities, food, medical expenses and everything else.And that’s average, that $1100. A lot of old people have less.ITEM: For one-quarter of elder beneficiaries (24 percent), Social Security is their sole source of income.ITEM: For 36 percent of elder beneficiaries, Social Security is more than 90 percent of their income.ITEM: Even higher percentages of minorites rely on Social Security for all or most of their income. Here is a chart about that from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:SSincomepercentageITEM: Many current Social Security beneficiaries were thrown out of work when the economy collapsed five years ago and have never worked again. That means they did not pay into Social Security during that time which has lowered their benefit. Forever.ITEM: For many of those layed-off, elder workers, their only way to survive was to take early Social Security as soon as they were eligible at age 62, another decrease in their benefit. Forever.ITEM: Like workers of all ages, most elder workers who managed to find jobs since the collapse are earning half and even less of their previous salaries. Again, less money into their SSA accounts and therefore, lower benefits. Forever.ITEM: The financial collapse decimated older workers’ and elders’ savings – there have been estimates of $2 trillion lost just for elders.Crabby Old Lady was one of them – 40 percent of her small nest egg gone never to be seen again because Crabby (and millions of other elders) don’t trust high-yield investments not to tank again. Safer savings alternatives no longer pay any interest at all.ITEM: Some of the people who want to cut Social Security tell old people to get a job. Any job. Huh? Pay attention, Mr. President: There’s this little problem people like to pretend doesn’t exist called age discrimination.Yes, it’s illegal in the workplace but no one enforces the law and anyone older than 50 knows that look on the face a hiring manager who, while being vaguely polite, has no intention of hiring an “old person.”ITEM: Further, there is no way to know how many old people lost their homes to those criminal banks your administration has not prosecuted. Maybe a 35-year-old will be able to buy a home again some day for their old age, but no old person can.So, Mr. share-the-burden President, elders are already drained dry. We have lost our jobs, our savings, our homes and our Social Security benefits have already been slashed by the recession.And now you want us to give even more via chained CPI? Oof – it feels like a sucker punch in the gut to 71-year-old Crabby every time she says the phrase.Mr. President, old folks have no more to give.If all this doesn’t convince you, maybe the fact that pretty much every person in America disagrees with you will.Here’s a chart of a poll from Pew taken just last month showing that 87 percent (!) of Americans believe Social Security should either be increased or stay the same. Only 10 percent want to reduce it.PewPoll2Mr. President, nobody ever got rich on Social Security but a whole lot of people who earned this benefit would be poorer with chained CPI. You need to withdraw this terrible idea and fight with all your executive power against any Social Security cut proposals from others. It’s the only right thing to do.Sincerely, Crabby Old LadyAt The Elder Storytelling Place today, Joyce Benedict: Who Could It Have Been? Related PostsSocial Security Survives – This TimeAfter an offer from President Obama to throw elders under the economic bus by changing the way Social Security cost-of-living adjustments are made from the current CPI-W to the chained CPI which would reduce increases, the fiscal cliff bill finally passed Tuesday night without that provision. But not without scaring…Grading Obama on Social SecurityBack in 2010, President Barack Obama agreed to a “temporary” 2 percent cut in the FICA payroll tax for 2011. That cut was renewed for this year and the loss to Social Security revenue is made up from the general…AARP’s Position on Social SecurityBelow is a letter sent to AARP CEO A. Barry Rand from TGB reader Jim Newman objecting to Rand’s support of “strengthening” Social Security by adopting the Chained-CPI method of calculating cost-of-living. As Jim explains, this calculation would dramatically reduce COLA increases to Social Security especially for those most in…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: ChangingAging politicslast_img read more

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Safety program successfully reduces SSIs in patients undergoing colorectal operations

first_imgMay 18 2018Surgical site infections (SSIs) in patients undergoing colorectal operations were reduced by 61 percent in less than two years in Hawaiian hospitals participating in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Safety Program for Surgery, according to new study findings published as an “article in press” on the website of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons ahead of print.Despite widespread efforts to rein in SSIs, this postoperative complication remains common, accounting for about 20 percent of hospital-acquired infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infection of the surgical site prolongs hospital stays, raises health care costs, and increases risk of serious illness and death.”It’s a major problem because half of the patients in our hospitals have an operation, putting them at risk for infection afterwards,” said study coauthor Julius Cuong Pham, MD, PhD, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and a patient safety officer at The Queens Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii. “And a colorectal operation is a procedure with one of the highest rates of surgical site infection.”To help address this issue, researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, Baltimore; University of Hawaii, Honolulu; and University of California, San Francisco evaluated the effectiveness of AHRQ’s Safety Program for Surgery in all hospitals across Hawaii, the first time the program has been implemented at a state level.This 15-hospital collaborative was part of a larger AHRQ-funded effort to improve surgical care nationwide. Between January 2013 and June 2015, health care teams in hospitals across Hawaii implemented AHRQ’s Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP), as well as their own customized interventions. CUSP is an innovative program that uses feedback from frontline providers to improve surgical teamwork and patient safety.The study’s aim was to reduce colorectal SSIs and improve hospital safety culture. Multiple clinical interventions were implemented, specifically chlorhexidine wash before procedures, proper use of appropriate antibiotics, and standardized post-surgical debriefing. Non-technical skills for improving the safety culture involved better communication, teamwork, and decision-making strategies.Two years after the start of the project, researchers found that the colorectal SSI rate for the collaborative decreased from 12.08 percent to 4.63 percent. The 61.7 percent reduction in colorectal SSIs seen is the greatest state-level reduction reported, the study authors noted.”With this collaborative, we created a platform that allowed diverse types of hospitals to come together and accelerate learning and change,” said lead study author Della M. Lin, MD, MS, an anesthesiologist in the department of surgery, University of Hawaii. “By not working in silos, we were able to accelerate the reduction in surgical site infections faster and perhaps more effectively than hospitals could do by themselves.”Related StoriesStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairApplication of machine learning methods to healthcare outcomes researchAt the same time, safety culture improved in 10 of 12 categories, as measured by the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture. Areas of improvement included teamwork across units, communication-openness, and overall perception of patient safety.Nationally, AHRQ’s survey tool showed (in 359 hospitals) the average change across these 12 patient safety culture domains was one percentage point between 2012 and 2014. In this collaborative, however, the average score across the 12 categories improved by more than five percentage points.This outcome is significant because changes in safety culture, especially using AHRQ’s survey tool, are not common, and especially in the perioperative area, according to Dr. Pham.The research is important for several reasons. This study highlights the fact that this program can be scaled up to a state level and likely to a health system level, according to Dr. Pham. “We already know that one or two hospitals can succeed at changing their safety culture. But it has never been done on a state level before.”Additionally, the results are durable. “Since the Hawaii collaborative has ended, the infection rates are continuing to stay at these low rates, so that gives us some satisfaction knowing that there is sustainability in these remarkable results,” Dr. Lin said.”Instead of working in isolation, we are creating a space for all hospitals within the state to leverage not just the national work but also each other for more powerful results,” Dr. Lin said. “This study is unique because it demonstrates how teams actually can get better ideas and results by synthesizing and harvesting the work together. The Hawaii collaborative continues as Hawaii Safer Care, applying what we’ve learned to future projects such as enhanced recovery after surgery protocols.”The American College of Surgeons, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Medicine Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, established the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Surgical Care and Recovery (ISCR) in 2017.”Collaboratives are a great opportunity for shared experiences and learning, and have been repeatedly shown to be effective in improving care and outcomes in the surgical realm,” said Clifford Y. Ko, MD, MHS, FACS, who is not a study author, but serves as the Director of Research and Optimal Patient Care at the American College of Surgeons. “In point of fact, the American College of Surgeons recently released the Optimal Resources for Surgical Quality and Safety, also known as the ‘Redbook,’ in which an entire chapter is devoted to the lessons learned from some of the leading collaboratives in surgery. The work done amongst these Hawaiian hospitals is another shining example of a successful collaborative,” he said. Source:https://www.facs.org/last_img read more

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New approach to study brown fat could aid in finding treatments for

first_imgMay 25 2018A new technique to study fat stores in the body could aid efforts to find treatments to tackle obesity.The approach focuses on energy-burning tissues found deep inside the body – called brown fat – that help to keep us warm when temperatures drop.Experts are aiming to find it this calorie-burning power can be harnessed to stop weight gain, but little is known about how the process works.Previous studies have mainly relied on a medical imaging technique called PET/CT to watch brown fat in action deep inside the body. But the method is unable to directly measure the chemical factors in the tissue.Related StoriesResearchers propose new avenue in the search for anti-obesity drugsUranium toxicity might have caused obesity and diabetes in Kuwait, finds new studySupervised fun, exercise both improve psychosocial health of children with obesityScientists at the University of Edinburgh developed a technique called microdialysis to measure how brown fat generates heat in people.The approach involves inserting a small tube into an area of brown fat in the body and flushing it with fluid to collect a snapshot of the tissues’ chemical make-up.The team tested the technique in six healthy volunteers, using PET/CT to guide the tube to the right location.They discovered that in cold conditions, brown fat uses its own energy stores and other substances to generate heat.Brown fat was active under warm conditions too, when the body does not need to generate its own heat, an outcome that had not been seen before.Researchers hope the technique will help them to analyse the specific chemicals involved, so that they can better understand how brown fat works.Most of the fat in our body is white fat, which is found under the skin and surrounding internal organs. It stores excess energy when we consume more calories than we burn.Brown fat is mainly found in babies and helps them to stay warm. Levels can decrease with age but adults can still have substantial amounts of it, mainly in the neck and upper back region. People who are lean tend to have more brown fat.The study, published in Cell Metabolism, was funded by the Medical Research Council and Wellcome.Lead researcher Dr Roland Stimson, of the British Heart Foundation Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Understanding how brown fat is activated could reveal potential targets for therapies that boost its energy-burning power, which could help with weight loss.” Source:https://www.ed.ac.uk/last_img read more

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Starting physical therapy earlier may benefit adolescents with concussion

first_imgJun 27 2018For adolescents with symptoms following a concussion, starting physical therapy (PT) earlier – within less than three weeks after the injury – provides outcomes similar to those of later PT, suggests a study in the July issue of The Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy (JNPT). The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.”Multimodal PT interventions administered by licensed physical therapists may be feasible and safe even within the first few weeks after injury to help facilitate prompt recovery and mitigate the onset of secondary effects from delayed treatment,” write Catherine Quatman-Yates, DPT, PhD, of The Ohio State University, Columbus, and colleagues. The study is part of a JNPT special issue on “Rehabilitation Management of Concussion,” highlighting research-driven changes geared toward promoting return to activity in young patients with concussion.Similar Outcomes for Teens with Concussion Undergoing Earlier or Later PTThe researchers looked how the timing of PT affected the course of concussion-related symptoms in 120 adolescents: 78 females and 42 males, median age 14 years. Physical therapy was classified as early (beginning 0 to 20 days after concussion) in 27.5 percent of patients, middle (21 to 41 days) in 32.5 percent, and late (42 days or after) in 40 percent.The PT program consisted of progressive exercise; vestibular/oculomotor training (targeting inner ear/balance and visual symptoms); and cervical spine manual therapy, stretching, and strengthening exercises. This multimodal treatment was delivered by licensed physical therapists with special training in concussion treatment.Whether started earlier or later, PT led to similar reductions in concussion-related symptoms. The number of sessions and duration of PT care were similar across groups. There was a low rate of adverse events, most of which were unrelated to PT.Symptoms worsened in a few patients, more commonly in the late PT group. Some of these patients may have had concussion-related impairments not directly addressed by PT, such as anxiety, depression, or sleep problems.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchRecent research has led to new insights into medical management of concussion in children and adolescents. Past guidelines recommended complete physical and cognitive (mental) rest after concussion, until symptoms resolved. But recent studies have suggested that resting for more than a day or two has limited benefits, and may even be linked to increased concussive symptoms.Today, concussion management is shifting toward a shorter period of rest, followed by gradual return to usual activities, guided by the patient’s symptoms. Physical therapy has been recommended for adolescents with persistent symptoms of concussion, generally after three weeks.The new study provides evidence that starting PT earlier is a safe and feasible approach for adolescents after concussion, with improved symptoms regardless of the timing of the intervention. “Introducing PT earlier in the recovery process may be beneficial in minimizing the potential burden of longer recovery trajectories,” Dr. Quatman-Yates and coauthors write. They emphasize the need for further research to determine PT’s role in the “optimal plan of care” for young patients with concussion.Other articles in the special issue include a neuroscience perspective on the role of rest versus physical activity in recovery for young people with concussion, along with new research on changes in vestibular/oculomotor function and the role of balance testing after concussion.Physical therapists can play a critical role in evaluating and choosing targeted interventions most likely to result in the best outcomes for patients with concussion, according to a Guest Editorial by Karen L. McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS, and Kathleen Gill-Body, PT, DPT, MS, NCS, FAPTA. They write, “We are in an ideal position to continue our process of returning people to activities and roles that they care about…because it is what we do.” Source:https://wolterskluwer.com/last_img read more

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Nanofiberbased wound dressings loaded with vitamin D spur production of antimicrobial peptide

first_imgJul 6 2018Nanofiber-based wound dressings loaded with vitamin D spur the production of an antimicrobial peptide, a key step forward in the battle against surgical site infections, or SSIs.The findings by Oregon State University researchers and other collaborators, published Wednesday in Nanomedicine, are important because SSIs are the most common healthcare-associated infection and result in widespread human suffering and economic loss.Each year in the U.S. alone, nearly 300,000 surgical patients develop an infection within 30 days of their operation – accounting for an estimated $10 billion in additional healthcare costs – and more than 13,000 of those people die.Researchers used electrospinning to prepare dressings containing the bioactive form of vitamin D: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, or 1,25(OH)2D3.”Electrospinning is a versatile, simple, cost-effective and reproducible technique for generating long fibers with nanoscale diameters,” said Adrian Gombart, co-corresponding author and professor of biochemistry and biophysics in OSU’s College of Science. “Electrospun nanofiber wound dressings offer significant advantages over hydrogels or sponges for local drug delivery. They provide several functional and structural advantages, including scar-free healing.”The dressings the researchers created proved capable of delivering vitamin D on a sustained basis over four weeks, and they significantly induced production of a peptide, hCAP18/LL37, that kills microbes by disrupting their membranes.”In past research with nanofiber-based sutures we used the inactive form of vitamin D – which is 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 – and a toll-like receptor ligand that was activating cells to convert 25D3 to the bioactive form, 1,25D3,” said the other co-corresponding author, Jingwei Xie, assistant professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Here we bypassed that and went straight to the active form. The dressing just released it and it started turning on the vitamin D target genes, one of which produces the LL37 peptide.”Related StoriesSpecific strains of Staphylococcus aureus linked to wounds that do not healA new approach to predict complications after surgery for patients with larynx cancerIU researchers develop electroceutical dressing to disrupt bacterial biofilmsBecause the dressings work by enhancing innate immune responses rather than by containing conventional, single-target antimicrobial compounds, they are less likely to contribute to drug resistance. The dressings were tested on human skin (collected from plastic surgery patients) in a culture dish, as well as in vitro with keratinocyte and monocyte cell lines, and in vivo in a mouse model.”This study was proof of principle,” said co-author Arup Indra, associate professor of pharmacy at OSU. “It looks like we can induce the genes in a model system and now we can start looking at healing and infection.”In addition to Indra, Xie and Gombart, a principal investigator at OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute, the collaboration also included OSU pharmacy research associate professor Gitali Indra and scientists from the University of California, San Diego, and the VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System.”Our study suggests that 1,25D3-induced expression of hCAP18 by these nanofiber dressings is a step forward to improving wound healing,” Gitali Indra said. Source:http://today.oregonstate.edu/news/nanofiber-based-wound-dressings-induce-production-antimicrobial-peptidelast_img read more

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Drug combination targets preleukemia stem cells

first_img Source:http://www.coloradocancerblogs.org/new-combination-treatment-targets-pre-leukemia-stem-cells/ Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 12 2018Your body’s blood cells are manufactured by hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow. But just as regular, mature cells can become cancerous, so too can stem cells. When hematopoietic stem cells mutate in specific ways, the result can be damaged stem cells that create a type of pre-leukemic condition known as myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. On its own, MDS is a chronic condition that results in symptoms like anemia. In early stages, MDS can usually be managed with supportive care. However, as the disease progresses, about one in three cases of high-risk MDS will evolve into acute myeloid leukemia (AML), an extremely dangerous form of blood cancer that can be lethal.There is no perfect treatment for MDS – current strategies include chemotherapy, which tends to be ineffective against cancer stem cells, and bone marrow transplant, which requires lengthy hospitalization, can include significant and lasting side effects, and is not appropriate for most MDS patients who tend to be older or more frail. A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in Nature Communications takes aim at the stem cells that create MDS and, eventually, AML. The study shows that MDS stem cells dramatically increase their energy use and production of proteins. And it shows that drugs that target these processes result in the death of MDS stem cells, while leaving healthy blood stem cells unharmed.”Current treatments for MDS are not designed to specifically target the malignant stem cells. This makes treatment much like mowing over weeds without killing the root. Patients can achieve some benefit from chemotherapy, but eventually the MDS stem cells drive progression of the disease,” says Craig T. Jordan, PhD, investigator at CU Cancer Center, Chief of the Division of Hematology and the Nancy Carroll Allen Professor of Hematology at the CU School of Medicine.The story starts with a protein called CD123. Previous work has shown that AML stem cells tend to be coated with CD123. The study’s lead investigator and first author Brett Stevens, PhD, proposed that CD123 might also be detectable in patients with MDS, and therefore act as way to distinguish MDS stem cells from normal stem cells. In a series of laboratory studies, Stevens also showed that stem cells with CD123 have unique properties.Genes rarely function alone and instead are members of “pathways” that have certain larger functions. To zoom out from the level of genes to the level of pathways, Stevens, Jordan and colleagues used a technique called gene set enrichment analysis to cluster the genetic changes they saw in CD123+ cells by their function.”This let us explore not just what is turned on and off, but what these adjustments do, functionally, for the cell,” Stevens says.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on how leukemia cells become resistant to drugsStudy identifies patterns of chronic lymphocytic leukemia growthOverlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemiaThe major pathway magnified in CD123+ cells was one driving the action of ribosomes. Ribosomes make proteins, and the genetic changes in CD123+ cells meant that ribosomes in these cells were making far more proteins than they should. Interestingly, these pre-leukemia stem cells were making many more proteins without making many more cells. This is important because chemotherapy is designed to kill rapidly-dividing cells. These CD123+ pre-leukemia stem cells are not rapidly-dividing, and so they resist chemotherapy.Another significantly magnified pathway in CD123+ cells had to do with energy. In cells, mitochondria use a process called oxidative phosphorylation to make ATP, which is the major unit of cellular energy. The more oxidative phosphorylation, the more ATP. And in CD123+ stem cells, there was much more oxidative phosphorylation.Here is the important part: While CD123 is not directly druggable, the pathways of increased protein production and oxidative phosphorylation are.Omacetaxine mepesuccinate is a protein synthesis inhibitor, FDA approved to treat chronic myeloid leukemia. When the group treated CD123+ stem cells with omacetaxine, it blocked protein production in these cells and the cells died.”We have seen the usefulness of omacetaxine in CML and even hints of its activity in AML, and now we may see why this drug works. It looks like omacetaxine stops the protein synthesis that CD123+ stem cells need to live,” Jordan says.Secondly, the group targeted oxidative phosphorylation, the process that CD123+ stem cells were using to boost ATP production. As with protein synthesis, drugs exist to block oxidative phosphorylation. One of these drugs is venetoclax. Venetoclax blocked oxidative phosphorylation and killed most but not all patient samples of CD123+ stem cells.When the group added omacetaxine (to block protein synthesis) to venetoclax (to block oxidative phosphorylation), the combination was highly effective against CD123+ leukemia stem cells. Importantly, because it is only these pre-leukemic stem cells and not healthy stem cells that rely on protein synthesis and oxidative phosphorylation, it is only these cancerous cells and not healthy cells that are killed. Both drugs are already FDA-approved for use in human patients, raising the possibility of immediate use.”We see not only that this combination works, but why it works. We hope that omacetaxine and venetoclax will be a potent combination against advanced MDS,” Jordan says.last_img read more

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UK Looks to Scrap Confidentiality Rules for Animal Research

Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email The United Kingdom has proposed lifting outdated confidentiality rules that ban the release of information about animal research.Under Section 24 of the 1986 Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, the Home Office cannot release any information about animal research carried out in the country. This includes, for example, information about people or places applying for animal testing licenses and inspection visit reports. But these rules are now “out of step with [government] policy on openness and transparency,” said Home Office Minister Norman Baker in a public consultation launched yesterday.Sharing information more openly will “help to provide a constructive dissemination of technical knowledge” and will lower the risk of duplication of animal experiments, the government says. Both animal rights groups and researchers using animals have praised the proposal as a step in the right direction. “Freedom of access to information is … the only means by which research can be properly scrutinised in order to ensure the best possible outcome for people and animals,” said the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in a statement issued today.Chris Magee, head of policy at the pressure group Understanding Animal Research (UAR) in London, tells ScienceInsider that withholding information does not help scientists and their work, because it leaves a “vacuum that activists can fill in with misleading information.” “Explaining what really goes on inside labs is the best way to counter the sometimes hysterical claims of so-called animal rights activists,” says Wendy Jarrett, chief executive of the organization. The secrecy is also unnecessary because the threat of violent extremists is lower now than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, Magee adds.This month, UAR and more than 40 science organizations will publish a joint document, or concordat, laying out how they plan to be more open and transparent about their animal research work.Private companies welcomed the government’s proposal but sounded a note of caution. Louise Leong, R&D policy director of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, said in a statement yesterday that drugmakers “would be looking for reassurance that any amendments to this Act do not compromise the safety of people who work in animal research,” as well as their intellectual property and “commercially sensitive information.”The government’s proposal seems to have taken these concerns on board: It suggests scrapping Section 24 while protecting the names of places, people, and their intellectual property. Under the government’s favored scenario, disclosing animal research information “with malicious intent” would also become a criminal offense.Indeed, when the U.K. government considered repealing Section 24 more than 10 years ago, then–Science Minister David Sainsbury said the biggest concern was “the question of penalties for people who improperly put that information into the public domain” and taking a tough stance against “animal terrorism.”In 2004, the government finally decided to keep the rules unchanged. Now, observers expect Section 24 to be scrapped, but don’t know what will replace it. The public consultation closes on 13 June; the government says it will then “work quickly” to analyze the comments and propose a final option. read more

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UK Parliament approves controversial threeparent mitochondrial gene therapy

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country The United Kingdom’s House of Commons voted overwhelmingly today to allow British researchers to pursue a new fertility treatment that could prevent certain kinds of genetic diseases. The technique, called mitochondrial DNA replacement therapy, could allow women who carry disease-causing mutations in their mitochondrial genes to give birth to genetically related children free of mitochondrial disease.The measure, which passed 382 to 128, has been controversial, especially because it would alter the DNA of an embryo in a way that could be passed on to future generations. Some scientists and nongovernmental organizations have argued that not enough is known about possible side effects of the technique to go forward in human patients. “We believe the House of Commons has made a serious mistake, which we hope does not have dire consequences,” said Marcy Darnovsky, executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society in Berkeley, California, in a statement. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Proponents of the measure quickly began to celebrate. “I am delighted that [members of Parliament] have voted to allow the introduction of mitochondrial transfer techniques into the clinic,” said John Tooke, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences in London, in a statement. Robert Meadowcroft, head of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign in London, added: “We have finally reached a milestone in giving women an invaluable choice, the choice to become a mother without fear of passing on a lifetime under the shadow of mitochondrial disease to their child.”Mitochondria are the energy-producing engines of a cell. These organelles contain their own set of genes, called mtDNA. When mitochondria don’t work properly, a variety of symptoms can result, which can make mitochondrial diseases difficult to recognize and diagnose. Some babies born with defective mitochondria die within months. Other people don’t show any symptoms until much later in life.Researchers have developed ways to transfer the genetic material from an egg cell that carries faulty mitochondria into a donor egg that has healthy mitochondria. The resulting embryo carries nuclear DNA from the mother and father and mitochondrial DNA from the egg donor.Some scientists have argued that potential mismatches between donated mtDNA and host nuclear DNA could cause unanticipated problems. However, several ethical and scientific reviews and a public consultation in the United Kingdom all supported allowing the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to grant licenses for experimental use of the technique in humans. (Previously, HFEA was not allowed to grant licenses for any techniques that would alter the DNA in an embryo.)The measure must also be passed by the House of Lords. Approval does not necessarily mean that the technique will be used. Fertility clinics will have to apply for a license to use the technique, and each application will be judged on its own merits.Regulators in the United States are also considering whether to allow the technique. The Food and Drug Administration held a 2-day hearing on the science of mtDNA replacement last year. They have asked the Institute of Medicine to issue a consensus study on the ethical and social policy issues the technique raises. The committee held its first meeting on 27 January; further meetings are planned for March and May.last_img read more

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