Top News in R&D





 Global Health Technologies Coalition 


R&D News Roundup: February 20, 2024


Top News in R&D

CEPI and FIND partner to identify best Nipah and Lassa virus rapid tests
CIDRAP (2/15), features CEPI and FIND

Last week, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced that it will give up to $14.9 million in funding for a new four-year project led by FIND to identify the most reliable tests to detect Lassa and Nipah virus infections, two zoonotic diseases that have, respectively, led to outbreaks in West Africa and South and Southeast Asia. The hope is the initiative will lead to the licensing and widespread availability of tests to help identify and contain future outbreaks early on, reducing cases and deaths of these serious diseases. This project will contribute to CEPI’s broader 100 Days Mission of rapidly developing tools against pandemic threats, as both diseases are among CEPI's priority pathogens.

Scientists discover ‘potent’ breakthrough superbug killer drug
Independent (2/15)

Researchers have developed a new synthetic antimicrobial compound, cresomycin, which can target many strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Many antibiotics work by binding to components of the bacteria that make proteins and disrupting them, but some bacteria have adapted resistance mechanisms to prevent this effect; cresomycin has improved binding ability. The researchers hope future studies will show that cresomycin and other compounds like it are safe for use in humans and effective against a variety of deadly resistant bacteria, paving the way for new solutions to stem the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Ebola vaccine cuts fatality even in people who were infected before the jab, new study shows
STAT (2/12)

A new study shows that Merck’s Ervebo Ebola vaccine was able to substantially lower the risk of people dying if they still developed the disease compared to those who were unvaccinated, even if they received the vaccine after they had already been infected. It is the first study to show that in addition to preventing infections, the vaccine can also save the lives of people who are already sick. The study, which looked at data from the 2018-2020 Ebola Zaire outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, found the fatality rate was halved among those vaccinated two or fewer days prior to illness compared to those who were unvaccinated. In addition to confirming the effectiveness of post-exposure use of Ervebo, the study also combated concerns that there might be interference between Ebola antibody treatments and the vaccine by showing that people who developed Ebola after being vaccinated were treated as effectively with antibody products as those who had not been vaccinated.



News from GHTC

Report cites progress, but says leading economies need to do more to fight antimicrobial resistance
CIDRAP (2/16), features the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Upending the dogma of TB latency: Will it offer new clues for vaccine research?
IAVI Report (2/14), features the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

CARB-X funds the Myers Research Group to develop enhanced oral antibiotics to treat a range of serious drug-resistant bacterial infections
Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) press release (2/13)

T2 Biosystems gets FDA clearance for extended T2Bacteria panel
360Dx (2/12), features CARB-X

Opinion: Cervical cancer a disease of poverty and inequity — inclusive treatment access is essential
Daily Maverick (2/11), written by FIND Regional Director Dr. Ntombi Sigwebela



Highlights From the Week

Africa CDC announces pooled medicines procurement at AU summit; leaders called upon to expedite African Medicines Agency set-up
Health Policy Watch (2/19)

Opinion: Colonial legacies fuel unfair practices in African research
SciDevNet (2/16)

Why the White House is taking so long to issue new research security rules
Science (2/16)

Researchers identify episodic MERS cases in Kenyan camels, evidence of infection in people
CIDRAP (2/15)

Modified mosquitoes may save millions more lives in Latin America
Axios (2/15)

New biosecurity group aims to prevent biotech disasters
Science (2/15)

The uncharted world of emerging pathogens
Undark (2/14)

Largest post-pandemic survey finds trust in scientists is high
Nature (2/14)

Self-replicating RNA rabies vaccine clears early test, boosting Replicate's plans for platform
Fierce Biotech (2/14)

Clinical mpox diagnosis tracks closely with lab confirmation
CIDRAP (2/14)

Some pregnant women and infants received the wrong RSV shots
The New York Times (2/14)

Rise in hypervirulent, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella noted in Europe
CIDRAP (2/14)

New research advances potential HIV cure strategy
MedicalXpress (2/14)

Opinion: Without ensuring swift access to pathogens, pandemic accord risks failure
Health Policy Watch (2/13)

China is experimenting on mutant Covid strains again – should we be worried?
The Telegraph (2/13)

Opinion: Global health research suffers from a power imbalance − decolonizing mentorship can help level the playing field
The Conversation (2/13)

Study shows cost benefit of using azithromycin to reduce maternal sepsis
CIDRAP (2/13)

WHO sees low risk of spread after China reports combined H3N2, H10N5 bird flu case
Reuters (2/13)

Alaskapox: Elderly man becomes first known death from virus
The Guardian (2/13)

Promising new CMV vaccine shows stronger immune response
NewsMedical (2/12)

WHO updates list of medically important antibiotics for use in human medicine
CIDRAP (2/12)

The threat of fungal infections is growing. Why is it so hard to make new drugs?
NBC News (2/11)



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