Eli Lilly says other COVID-19 antibody drug trials ongoing after study halted for safety concern

By Carl O’Donnell and Michael Erman



a large building: FILE PHOTO: Eli Lilly logo is shown on one of their offices in San Diego


© Reuters/MIKE BLAKE
FILE PHOTO: Eli Lilly logo is shown on one of their offices in San Diego

(Reuters) – Eli Lilly & Co on Wednesday said other trials of its experimental coronavirus antibody therapy remain on track after a government-run study testing the treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients was paused due to safety concerns.

Lilly said on Tuesday that an independent safety monitoring board requested a pause in the trial, called ACTIV-3, due to a potential safety issue.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is collaborating with Lilly on the trial, said the advisory board paused the trial after seeing a “difference in clinical status” between patients on Lilly’s drug on those who received a placebo, without providing further detail.

Lilly on Wednesday said the paused trial is distinct from others it is conducting because it focuses on hospitalized patients who are more severely ill and being treated with other drugs as well, including Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral remdesivir.

The company had already asked U.S. regulators for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the antibody drug, called bamlanivimab or LY-CoV555, to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients, based on interim data from a different study in those less severe illness. It is also testing the drug in nursing homes to see if it can prevent staff and residents from getting infected.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the status of the EUA application.

LY-CoV555 is similar to the experimental dual-antibody therapy from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc that was used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump. That treatment is also awaiting clearance by U.S. regulators.

Trump touted both drugs as being tantamount to cures in a video he posted last week after being released from the hospital.

Lilly said in a statement that these type of treatments may prove to be less beneficial for hospitalized patients than for those with more mild cases of the disease. A Lilly spokeswoman declined to comment further on why the trial was halted.

The paused trial is being conducted in partnership with the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the NIH that is working with several drugmakers on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines.

It was halted at the request of an independent oversight panel, called a Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB). It is not uncommon to pause drug trials to investigate safety concerns, and such actions do not necessarily indicate a serious problem.

“Lilly trusts the judgment of the independent DSMB and supports its decisions to exercise caution in ensuring the safety of the patients participating in this study,” the company said in a statement.

(Reporting by Carl O’Donnell; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)

Source Article

Read More →

Study: Less restrictive reproductive rights reduce birth complications risk by 7%

Oct. 13 (UPI) — Women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are 7% less likely have low birth weight babies than those living in states with more stringent laws, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The risk was 8% lower for Black women living in less-restrictive states, the data showed.

“Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity,” study co-author May Sudhinaraset, of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, which effectively legalized abortion, states have had “substantial discretion” in creating policies governing whether Medicaid covers the costs of contraception or reproductive health care.

Some states have taken steps that effectively limit access to abortion services and other reproductive care, Sudhinaraset and her colleagues said.

Black women are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth than any other race group, experience more maternal health complications than White women and generally have lower quality maternity care, they said.

In addition, women of color are more likely to experience adverse birth outcomes.

Compared to infants of normal weight, low-birth-weight babies face many potential health complications, including infections early in life and long-term problems, such as delayed motor and social development or learning disabilities.

Sudhinaraset and her colleagues analyzed birth record data for the nearly 4 million births that occurred in the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in 2016, comparing reproductive rights policies and adverse birth outcomes in each state.

They also evaluated if the associations were different for women of color and immigrants.

The findings indicate that expanding reproductive rights may reduce the risk of low-birth weight, particularly for U.S.-born Black women, the researchers said.

“Important policy levers can and should be implemented to improve women’s reproductive health overall, including increasing abortion access and mandatory sex education in schools,” Sudhinaraset said.

Source Article

Read More →

Vaccine reluctance linked to belief in virus hoaxes: study

Up to a third of people in certain countries may believe coronavirus misinformation and in turn be less open to immunisation, scientists said Wednesday, warning that development of a vaccine “might not be enough”. 

Researchers in Britain and the Netherlands conducted surveys in the UK, United States, Ireland, Mexico and Spain and found that while most people rejected Covid-19 conspiracy theories, some of these false stories had taken root in “substantial sections” of the population. 

The World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic has been accompanied by a damaging “infodemic” that has made it hard for people to cut through the misinformation.  

The study found the conspiracy most believed by participants was the claim that the virus was deliberately engineered in a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the epidemic first emerged. 

Between 22-23 percent of respondents in the UK and US rated this assertion as “reliable”, rising to 33 percent and 37 percent Mexico and Spain respectively.

The hoax that Covid-19 symptoms are worsened by 5G phone networks was deemed reliable by 16 percent of respondents in Mexico and in Spain, 12 percent in Ireland, and 8 percent in both the UK and US.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, found “a clear link” between believing coronavirus conspiracies and hesitancy around any future vaccine, said co-author Sander van der Linden, director of the Cambridge University Social Decision-Making Lab. 

“As well as flagging false claims, governments and technology companies should explore ways to increase digital media literacy in the population,” he said. 

“Otherwise, developing a working vaccine might not be enough.”

– Infodemic –

Researchers conducted two surveys in the UK in April and May with 1,050 and 1,150 participants respectively, while there were also 700 participants each in the US, Mexico, Spain and Ireland. 

They were also asked to rate the reliability of coronavirus claims on a scale of one to seven.

On average, the study found that an increase by one-seventh in someone’s perception that misinformation was reliable was associated with a drop of 23 percent in the likelihood they would agree to get vaccinated.  

By contrast, a one-seventh increase in trust in scientists was associated with a 73 percent increase in the likelihood of getting vaccinated. 

Jon Roozenbeek, the lead author and a postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, said people were dealing with “a deluge of statistics” in the pandemic. 

“The fostering of numerical skills for sifting through online information could well be vital for curbing the ‘infodemic’ and promoting good public health behaviour,” he said.  

Researchers found that high levels of trust in scientists and numeracy levels were “significantly and consistently” associated with imperviousness to misinformation across all countries studied.  

Trusting politicians’ ability to tackle the crisis predicted a higher likelihood of believing conspiracies in Mexico, Spain and the US, but not in the UK and Ireland, the study found. 

A study from Cornell University earlier in October found that US President Donald Trump was

Read More →

Health Professionals Follow-Up Study

About HPFS:

The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) began in 1986. The purpose of the study is to evaluate a series of hypotheses about men’s health relating nutritional factors to the incidence of serious illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and other vascular diseases. This all-male study is designed to complement the all-female Nurses’ Health Study, which examines similar hypotheses. The HPFS is sponsored by the Harvard School of Public Health and is funded by the National Cancer Institute. Learn More About HPFS.

Thank you, participants! In 2018, nearly 90% of participants responded to the bi-annual study questionnaire. Their commitment provides the consistent data required to make progress in the study of men’s health.

The Nutrition Source

How eating right and having an active lifestyle can benefit you. Read More to learn about healthy nutrition choices.

News and Recent Research Highlights

  • Coffee Intake and Colorectal Cancer: our study provides evidence for the benefit of coffee drinking among patients with nonmetastatic colorectal cancer. Read More
  • Mediterranean diet and cognitive function: our latest findings provide further evidence that a healthy dietary pattern may prevent or delay cognitive decline. Read More
  • Physical activity and cognitive function: being physically active during early adulthood and mid-to-late life independently contribute to prevention of poor subjective cognitive function in late-life. Read more
  • Kidney Stones: Dietary and Lifestyle Risk Factors. We estimated the proportion of kidney stones that could be prevented if individuals modified a number of lifestyle factors to minimize their risk Read More

Donations

Donations and bequests to the Friends of the Health Professionals Follow-up Study Fund help to sustain our continued work. Donations may be sent to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For information on how to give or to make a secure gift online, please visit www.hsph.harvard.edu/give and indicate that the gift is in support of the Friends of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study Fund.

Important Links

Source Article

Read More →

Medicine | Undergraduate Study

Typical offers require

A Level: A*A*A
IB: 40-42 points, with 776 at Higher Level

You may enter up to four medical courses in your UCAS application. Your remaining choice can be used for an alternative course without prejudice to your commitment to medicine.

Course requirements

Details of subject requirements and typical offers by College will be available in spring 2020. All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges. Please contact the relevant College admissions office if you have any queries about College-specific requirements.

See also Entrance requirements and PDF icon The Subject Matters for additional advice about general requirements for entry, qualifications and offers, and PDF icon Key Criteria for Medical Admissions.

Please note that in the following, ‘science/mathematics subjects’ refers to Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. It does not include Psychology.

A Levels

  • A Levels in Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics, Mathematics.
  • Most applicants have at least three science/mathematics A Levels and some Colleges require this and/or particular subjects. See College websites for details.

Please note that in the past three admissions rounds, 95% of applicants for Medicine (A100) offered three or more science/mathematics A Levels and, of these, 25% were successful in obtaining a place. Of the 4% of applicants who offered only two science/mathematics A Levels, just 5% were successful in gaining a place.

International Baccalaureate

A Level subject requirements also apply to the IB. Higher Level subjects satisfy A Level subject requirements. 

Please note, IB applicants starting the new IB Mathematics syllabus are expected to take IB Higher Level ‘Analysis and Approaches’ for any course where Mathematics is a requirement. If this option is not available at your school, please contact the College that you wish to apply to directly for further advice and guidance.

Other examination systems

We expect applicants taking other recognised examinations to demonstrate a level of understanding in science and mathematics roughly equivalent to those applying with A Levels. Refer to the Entrance requirements page for details of other qualifications and please consult any College Admissions Tutor for further advice.

Please note that only 21 places are available each year for overseas fee status students. 

Graduate entry

Graduates may apply for the Standard Course (A100) as an affiliate student to one of Lucy Cavendish, St Edmund’s or Wolfson Colleges with:

  • a good Honours degree (2.1 or above) in any discipline
  • passes at A Level (or equivalent), as above

UK and EU graduates from any academic discipline with a good Honours degree (2.1 or above) and A Level Chemistry (normally passed within seven years of entry) may apply to the accelerated Graduate Course in Medicine (A101) at Lucy Cavendish, Hughes Hall, St Edmund’s or Wolfson Colleges.

Overall, graduate medical students with an undergraduate degree in an arts or humanities subject perform equally well on the course as those with biomedical sciences degrees.

Work experience

To develop understanding of what a career in Medicine involves and your suitability for your intended profession, you’re strongly advised (though not required) to undertake some relevant work experience

Read More →