Day: January 11, 2018

With peanut allergy treatment on a roll, Aimmune details egg, milk programs – FierceBiotech

The oral immunotherapy company’s approach is two-pronged: The peanut program is designed to protect patients from severe reactions from accidental exposure to peanuts, while its egg and milk program is aimed at reintroducing foods containing those allergens into a patient’s diet.

“The hardest thing for us to make is the first dose,” Dilly said. “It’s easier to get higher quantities right, but at the really microscopic levels of protein, we need to make sure it’s the right potency, that it’s evenly distributed throughout the diluent and show that it’s stable.”

The biotech is partnering with Sanofi and Regeneron on an exploratory phase 2 study combining AR101 with the latter companies’ dupilumab, approved for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. The hope is to achieve the next level of treatment: Currently, patients who stop the treatment lose desensitization.

As for milk and egg, these “are in an awful lot of stuff that is essential to your nutrition as a child,” Dilly said. So Aimmune is using the same platform, CODIT (characterized oral desensitization immunotherapy), to get to a point at which patients are desensitized enough to eat these foods again. Aimmune’s approach involves giving patients escalating doses of the allergen—starting very small—until it achieves a sufficient level of protection.

Once the formulation hurdle is cleared, the company can take treatments straight into phase 2 studies and then phase 3 confirmatory trials. While there’s a lot of prework—four year’s worth, in the case of AR101—the actual journey through the clinic can be relatively quick, Dilly said.

He means allergens like peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish—“No one is going to be nutritionally deficient by not eating them,” so avoiding peanuts isn’t the issue, accidentally eating foods with trace amounts of peanuts is. Aimmune’s goal is to relieve the burden on peanut-allergic patients and their families.

“We are looking at two different patient populations,” said CEO Stephen Dilly, Ph.D., who is set to retire at the end of the year. “There is the group of allergens you don’t really need to eat, but it’s hard to avoid them.”

The peanut treatment, AR101, sailed through phase 2 in 2016, protecting 100% of patients who ate 443 mg of peanuts, 90% of those who ate 1,043 mg and 60% who ate 2,043 mg. A single peanut weighs in at about 300 mg, the company says, while the average accidental exposure tends to hover around half a peanut.

Saudi football clubs call on women fans to kick off historic weekend matches – Arab News

Arab News

Saudi football clubs call on women fans to kick off historic weekend matches
Arab News
JEDDAH: Saudi football clubs are appealing directly to female fans for support through ad campaigns and social media as women are allowed into stadiums for the first time from today. The official Twitter account for Al-Ittihad directed a tweet toward
Iran–On the Brink?LobeLog
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Lockport Press -Washington Post -Brinkwire (press release)
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Feuding managers Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte on collision course as Paris Saint-Germain eye their next boss –

Sarri has transformed Napoli into one of Europe’s most attractive sides and Serie A leaders, while Allegri has won three successive Italian league and cup doubles and reached two Champions League finals since replacing Conte at Juventus in 2014.

He added: “He said serious words, he has used serious words. And I won’t forget this.”

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte are set for another showdown — over the Paris Saint-Germain job.

But that hasn’t put off PSG, who are continuing to monitor both managers’ situations while doubts about their long term futures persist.

PSG are considering axing current coach Unai Emery at the end of the season and bringing in a big-name to replace him.

Atletico Madrid re-signed Diego Costa from Chelsea in September after Simeone promised he would still be in charge next season, and the Argentinean coach went on to underline his commitment by signing a new deal until 2020.

They have been locked in a bitter war-of-words which began last season when Mourinho accused Conte of humiliating him with his celebrations when Chelsea hammered United 4-0 at Stamford Bridge.

And, of the two, Mirror Sport understands there is a quiet confidence in Conte’s camp that, should he leave Chelsea, he would be in pole position for the role in Paris.

Low-Cost Soft Robot Muscles Can Lift 200 Times Their Weight and Self-Heal – Singularity Hub

The muscles can even monitor the amount of strain they’re under to provide the same kind of feedback biological systems would. The muscle’s capacitance—its ability to store an electric charge—changes as the device stretches, which makes it possible to power the arm while simultaneously measuring what position it’s in.

“We draw our inspiration from the astonishing capabilities of biological muscle,” Christoph Keplinger, an assistant professor at UC Boulder and senior author of both papers, said in a press release. “Just like biological muscle, HASEL actuators can reproduce the adaptability of an octopus arm, the speed of a hummingbird and the strength of an elephant.”

Image Credit: Keplinger Research Group/University of Colorado

Dielectric elastomer actuators apply an electric field across a solid insulating layer to make it flex. These can mimic the responsiveness of biological muscle. But they are not very versatile and can also fail catastrophically, because the high voltages required can cause a bolt of electricity to blast through the insulator, destroying it. The likelihood of this happening increases in line with the size of their electrodes, which makes it hard to scale them up. By combining the two approaches, researchers get the best of both worlds, with the power, versatility and easy fabrication of a fluid-based system and the responsiveness of electrically-powered actuators.

In most of their demonstrations, these soft actuators were being used to power rigid arms and levers, pointing to the fact that future robots are likely to combine both rigid and soft components, much like animals do. The potential applications for the technology range from more realistic prosthetics to much more dextrous robots that can work easily alongside humans.

One of the main challenges has been creating soft components that match the power and control of the rigid actuators that drive mechanical robots—things like motors and pistons. Now researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have built a series of low-cost artificial muscles—as little as 10 cents per device—using soft plastic pouches filled with electrically insulating liquids that contract with the force and speed of mammalian skeletal muscles when a voltage is applied to them.

The advance is the latest breakthrough in the field of soft robotics. Scientists are increasingly designing robots using soft materials that more closely resemble biological systems, which can be more adaptable and better suited to working in close proximity to humans.

Flu shuts down Perthshire ward – Scottish Daily Record

NHS Tayside confirmed the GP Unit at Blairgowrie Community Hospital would be temporarily out of bounds until further notice after a number of patients in the ward contracted influenza A.

A spokesperson for the region’s health board apologised for any inconvenience caused by the closure of Blairgowrie’s GP Unit.

The hospital is now encouraging people to avoid visiting friends and family members who are in the medical unit if they have any coughs or colds which may be the flu virus.

The health board adds those in the “at risk” categories can still get a free flu vaccination from their GP surgery. This includes those over the age of 65, pregnant women, those with a long-term medical condition, and those with a weakened immune system.

A ward in a Perthshire hospital was closed to new patients on Thursday this week after an outbreak of the flu.

Trump says some immigrants from ‘shithole countries’ as he rejects bipartisan deal – CNN


Trump says some immigrants from 'shithole countries' as he rejects bipartisan deal
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump, using vulgar terms, rejected a pitch Thursday from a bipartisan team of senators on a compromise immigration deal to protect DACA participants while increasing border security. "Why do we want all these people
Trump Alarms Lawmakers With Disparaging Words for Haiti and AfricaNew York Times
Trump attacks protections for immigrants from 'shithole' countriesWashington Post
Trump complains about allowing immigrants from 'shithole' countriesLos Angeles Times -Fox News -Business Insider -The Hill
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Delaware threatens legal action against offshore drilling plan – WHYY


Delaware threatens legal action against offshore drilling plan
State Attorney General Matt Denn sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to formally object to the federal plan to allow oil drilling off Delaware's coast. Last week, Zinke moved forward with plans to allow new offshore oil and gas drilling in

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James Franco Further Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations on Seth Meyers – Variety

“I did read them, I haven’t responded. I think the ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that needs to be had,” Franco told Meyers. “There are people and women and others that have not been a part of this conversation, and I truly believe — and [it is] why I was wearing the pin — is that they need to be a part of this conversation. So I support them,” Franco said.

Franco was scheduled to appear at a promotional event for “The Disaster Artist” with the New York Times on Wednesday, however the event was cancelled after allegations came to light.

Meyers then asked Franco if the Time’s Up movement has made him question his past behavior.

Accusations of sexual misconduct against Franco first began to surface on Twitter after the actor wore a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globes on Sunday in support of those who have spoken out about sexual harassment and to protest gender inequality.

James Franco addressed sexual harassment allegations against him for the second night in a row when Seth Meyers questioned the actor during an interview Wednesday on “Late Night.”

“I think what I really learned, like I said, there are stories that need to get out, people that need to be heard,” Franco responded. “I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in it that much. If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will, because I believe in it that much.”

The previous night, Franco discussed the allegations on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Many of Franco’s responses on Meyers’ show mirror what he said to Colbert.