Top News in R&D





 Global Health Technologies Coalition 


R&D News Roundup: May 6, 2024


Top News in R&D

First effective treatment found for spitting cobra snakebite
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine news release (5/1)

A team of scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine has discovered a new snakebite treatment that can prevent the devastating skin and muscle damage caused by African spitting cobra venom, which can lead to permanent injuries and disfigurements. There are currently no effective treatments for addressing severe bites caused by venom from the spitting cobra, which is responsible for a substantial portion of snakebites in Africa. The scientists found that repurposing the small molecule drug varespladib to target one of the two major toxins in the venom was effective, even when delivered up to an hour after the bite, and the drug also provided protection from venom-induced muscle toxicity.

Lower dose of mpox vaccine is safe and generates 6-week antibody response
POZ (4/30)

Newly shared research found that a dose-sparing mpox vaccine approach, which was used during the 2022 mpox outbreak in the United States as global vaccine supplies were stretched, is safe and effective. The study tested an intradermal mpox vaccination regimen in adults using the Jynneos vaccine containing either one-fifth or one-tenth the standard dose, finding the former was generated a comparable antibody response to the standard vaccine regimen. These findings underscore real-world data that have shown similar effectiveness for this dose-sparing intradermal regimen and the standard subcutaneous regimen. The new findings are also timely as a widespread mpox outbreak continues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Kephera Diagnostics wins $606K NIH grant to develop test for congenital Chagas disease
360Dx (4/30)

Last week, Kephera Diagnostics announced that it received a two-year $606,498 grant from the US National Institutes of Health to help fund the development of a point-of-care test for congenitally transmitted (or mother-to-child transmitted) Chagas disease, which is believed to be the primary transmission method of the disease in the United States. The company will use the funding to develop a point-of-care blood test that can be used to diagnose infection at the point of delivery by measuring the levels of the antibodies that are believed to be the first to appear in the blood in response to infection and can be differentiated from maternal antibodies. Congenital Chagas can be treated with two drugs that are approved for pediatric use, but because the disease is often asymptomatic in newborns, it can resemble the symptoms of other infections and be hard to correctly diagnose.



News from GHTC

Gates, Novo Nordisk and Wellcome commit $300 million to climate change, infectious diseases and nutrition
Forbes (5/6), features the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Cholera is making a comeback — and the world doesn’t have enough vaccines
Vox (5/2), features the International Vaccine Institute

Scientists tried to give people COVID — and failed
Nature (5/1), features the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and 1Day Sooner

More African countries roll out malaria vaccine, while babies get new treatment formulation
Health Policy Watch (4/30), features Medicines for Malaria Venture

UK ramps up response to H5N1 outbreak in US cattle – but refuses to test British cows
The Telegraph (4/30), features the Infectious Diseases Society of America



Highlights From the Week

Scientists create vaccine with potential to protect against future coronaviruses
The Guardian (5/6)

Opinion: Chikungunya crisis in the Americas: a comprehensive call for research and innovation
The Lancet Regional Health Americas (5/4)

Launching an effective bird flu vaccine quickly could be tough, scientists warn
NPR (5/3)

Common diabetes drug lowers SARS-CoV-2 levels, clinical trial finds
CIDRAP (5/3)

Texas dairy farm worker’s case may be first where bird flu virus spread from mammal to human, scientists say
STAT (5/3)

High-risk patients with COVID symptoms should use PCR rather than rapid tests, study suggests
CIDRAP (5/2)

Moderna expects CDC to view its RSV vaccine as equal to rival shots
Reuters (5/2)

The U.S. may be missing human cases of bird flu, scientists say
NPR (5/2)

A new form of mpox that may spread more easily found in Congo’s biggest outbreak
Associated Press (5/2)

Studies offer insight into HIV reservoir and viral rebound
POZ (5/1)

Opinion: Moderna cancels Kenya vaccine project due to familiar economic hurdles
Think Global Health (5/1)

ESCMID presenters make case for saliva samples in molecular infectious disease testing
360Dx (4/30)

Johns Hopkins breeds millions of mosquitoes — to stop them from killing you
The Baltimore Banner (4/30)

Opinion: Protect the health of pregnant people and their children by including them in research
STAT (4/30)

Virus gone wild
Science (4/29)

WHO Africa advances African science by promoting peer-reviewed research
Inter Press Service (4/29)

Patch to protect against measles in children shows promise
BBC (4/29)

FDA releases final rule on regulation of laboratory-developed tests
360Dx (4/29)

ESCMID global panelists underscore role of rapid Dx testing in antimicrobial resistance battle
360Dx (4/29)



Upcoming Events