HHS awards $102 million for new flu drug

first_imgJan 5, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an effort to expand the pool of antiviral drugs for influenza, the US government yesterday awarded a $102.6 million contract to BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Birmingham, Ala., to develop peramivir, a new neuraminidase inhibitor.The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in a press release, said peramivir has been effective against several influenza strains in laboratory studies. HHS said the contract will cover production of the investigational drug, phase 2 and 3 clinical studies, and validation of manufacturing processes.Research under the contract will include tests involving the deadly H5N1 avian flu virus and may include research on the possible preventive use of the drug, according to HHS. BioCryst officials said the drug has been shown to help animals survive H5N1 infection.”Antivirals are an important element of our pandemic influenza preparedness efforts,” said HHS secretary Mike Leavitt in the press release. “Our antiviral strategy includes not only stockpiling existing antiviral drugs but also seeking out new antiviral medications to further broaden our capabilities to treat and prevent all forms of influenza.”Licensed drugs in the neuraminidase inhibitor class are taken orally (oseltamivir) or by an inhaler (zanamivir). However, peramivir is under development as a parenterally administered drug, meaning it can be given through intramuscular and intravenous routes.HHS said a parenteral neuraminidase inhibitor may be particularly useful in hospital emergency departments for treatment of patients who have life-threatening flu. Parenteral injection could permit rapid buildup of peramivir to high levels throughout the body and allow treatment of people too ill to take medications by mouth, the agency said.In a news release, BioCryst said its laboratory tests have shown that peramivir, an inhibitor of influenza A and B neuraminidases, is more potent than currently available drugs in its class and is active against antiviral-resistant flu strains. The company said high doses of injectable formulations have been safely administered to healthy people, and the drug has been found to promote survival in animals infected with the H5N1 virus.At a BioCryst teleconference that followed the HHS announcement, Charles Bugg, PhD, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the contract allows the company to move peramivir as quickly as possible through clinical development.HHS said awarding the contract to BioCryst is part of a larger initiative to support the development of new treatments and vaccines that would allow the United States to respond quickly to a flu pandemic.Bugg said both the intramuscular and intravenous formulations of peramivir will go through phase 2 and 3 clinical trials. The intramuscular formulation will be tested against a placebo in outpatients, and the intravenous trial will likely test peramivir against oseltamivir in hospitals.Enrollment of patients for the phase 2 trials will begin this flu season in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Bugg said, adding that the company has identified sites in the southern hemisphere that could be used to fill this year’s phase 2 study groups or facilitate an early start on phase 3 studies. He said BioCryst is also identifying sites in Southeast Asia, where flu outbreaks occur year-round, that might be added to the study.Bugg said the HHS contract to develop peramivir is subject to an emergency use authorization that would allow the department to stockpile the drug before approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) if clinical data show it to be beneficial.Jonathan Nugent, vice president of corporate communications at BioCryst, told CIDRAP News that the company hasn’t ruled out developing oral or inhalational formulations of peramivir in the future. He said the company couldn’t speculate on how long it might take for the drug to win FDA approval. HHS said the FDA has given peramivir “fast track” status, which would expedite the agency’s review of BioCryst’s application.See also:Jan 4 HHS press releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2007pres/01/20070104a.htmlJan 4 BioCryst press releasehttp://investor.shareholder.com/biocryst/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=224367last_img read more

UNWTO: Call for innovators and entrepreneurs to accelerate the recovery of the tourism sector

first_imgParticipants should be able to show how their ideas can help tourism in response to COVID-19. Ideas must also be tested and ready for expansion, with a business plan and potential to be implemented in several countries. Faced with an unprecedented challenge, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), calls on innovators and entrepreneurs to propose new solutions so that the tourism sector can recover from the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). Ideas that are ready to implement Call “Healing solutions” was launched in collaboration with the WHO and further enhances the joint response of the wider United Nations system to COVID-19. This global call calls on entrepreneurs and innovators to provide their ideas that can help the tourism sector to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts. The call is specifically aimed at finding ideas that could immediately make a difference: for destinations, for companies, and for public health efforts. The competition has started and entries close on April 10, 2020. Winners “Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge” they will be invited to present their ideas to representatives of more than 150 governments. They will also enjoy the UNWTO access network, which includes hundreds of startups and leading companies from across the tourism sector. “Tourism is the sector that has hit COVID-19 the hardest. Our response must be strong and united. We must also embrace innovation. I invite all entrepreneurs and innovators to ideas that have been developed and are ready to be implemented to share them with us. We especially want to hear ideas that will help communities recover from this crisis, economically and socially, as well as ideas that can contribute to the public health response, ”said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. With millions of jobs at risk because the pandemic is hitting tourism harder than any other sector, the United Nations specialized travel agency has incorporated innovation into its broader response to the pandemic. The UNWTO is working closely with the WHO to mitigate the impact and put tourism at the center of future recovery efforts, and to work closely with governments and the private sector to strengthen cooperation and international solidarity. Source and photo: Ulast_img read more

Lampard: Title race still alive

first_img “But I enjoyed it. I have to give my best when I come on the pitch and I was delighted with my reception. “City fans have been brilliant since I’ve been here. I appreciate that. “They might not have known what to expect from me when I came here. Would I come here and just jolly up for five months and then go away to America? “They can see when I play I try to give everything and then I came back here after 13 years and got a great reception at the end. “When you play for a long time it is nice to have that rapport and I’m lucky to have two sets of fans that were very good. “I’m pleased for that moment because I didn’t get it at the end of last year. I’m very thankful for that.” City captain Vincent Kompany has no doubts his side can overcome the deficit, with 45 points to play for. Kompany said: “That’s probably the hardest away game we’ll have this season. It gives us enough confidence to carry on and push for the league. “Five points is not too much. Experience tells us that five points is nothing so for us it’s time to start a good run again and to put everything behind and play at the level that we can again.” Chelsea took the lead four minutes before half-time through Loic Remy, only to see David Silva swiftly equalise. Remy was deputising for Diego Costa after the Brazil-born Spain striker was suspended for treading on Emre Can as Chelsea advanced to the Capital One Cup final at Liverpool’s expense. Costa will miss the matches with Aston Villa and Everton, too, and Remy has been backed to fill the void created by the absence of Chelsea’s top scorer. Midfielder Nemanja Matic told Chelsea TV: “Remy did a good job. He scored a goal and did exactly what the coach wanted from him. “He gives us more confidence now for the next game. I’m very excited for the next game, how he’s going to play. “Now people will see he’s a very good player and he’s going to be very important for us.” The Blues, who were also without Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) and Filipe Luis (calf), could also be boosted by the imminent arrival of Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina. The Colombia forward was at Stamford Bridge on Saturday in a transfer which is likely to be financed by the sale of Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg, with Mohamed Salah also moving on. Meanwhile, Mourinho again opted out of media duties and could face a fine from the Premier League. The draw meant City remain five points behind Chelsea with 15 games to go. “You lose and it’s eight points difference and the league will become a bit more clear,” Lampard told mcfc.com. “Now it’s very much lots of points to play for and it’s on. It’s important to keep focused. “The draw keeps the league bubbling. Chelsea are obviously the favourites as they’re five points ahead. “It doesn’t change anything and Chelsea will be happy with that but we can’t be too upset.” Lampard joined City ahead of a move to New York City FC, having previously said he would never play for another Premier League club. He might have expected a muted reception from Blues supporters, but, bar the odd dissenting voice, he was well received from fans who held him so dear for so long. “I was excited but also a bit nervous to come back here,” said Lampard, who came on as a substitute 13 minutes from time. Lampard, Chelsea’s record goalscorer, scored the equaliser in September’s clash with the Blues but was unable to force a winner in the return fixture as Jose Mourinho’s men survived a City siege to draw 1-1 on Saturday. The 36-year-old midfielder scored a club record 211 goals in 13 years at Chelsea and won three Premier League titles, but could be a key figure in City’s title defence after leaving Stamford Bridge last May. Frank Lampard has told Chelsea the title race remains on as he targets a fourth Premier League winners’ medal and a first with Manchester City. Press Associationlast_img read more

Bellator 224: Julia Budd explains why she’s willing to give up 100 pounds to fight Gabi Garcia

first_imgBudd, 36, is regarded as one of the top women’s featherweights in the world alongside current UFC 145-pound titleholder Amanda Nunes and Cris “Cyborg” Justino. With Justino on the verge of free agency after her fight at UFC 241 later this month, there is the possibility of a Budd-Cyborg showdown in Bellator. But if the Canadian has her way, there’s a clash with another imposing fighter that she’d like to try on.”I really want to fight Gabi Garcia,” Budd told DAZN during a recent interview. “That’s a fantasy match for me.  It might happen. Stay tuned.” “That’s a fantasy match for me. It might happen. Stay tuned.”@JuliaBudd explains to SN’s @SMuehlhausenMMA why she’s willing to give up 100 pounds to fight Gabi Garcia: https://t.co/Rq9rrZOOeX pic.twitter.com/dMSY34aUcB— Sporting News Fights (@sn_fights) July 8, 2019 Budd (12-2) would be giving up nearly 100 pounds, as she’s fought her whole career at 145 pounds, while Garcia has entered a bout weighing in as much as 237 pounds.Join DAZN and watch Bellator 224 plus more than 100 fight nights a yearWhy take the risk facing someone who is significantly bigger than you when you’re at the top of your game?”Just the size difference and just getting in there and being able to fight somebody that much bigger than me and being able to put my skills against someone (like Garcia),” Budd said. “My husband back in the day when there was no weight classes, he was fighting guys 100 pounds heavier than him. When we were talking about it (fighting Garcia), I’m like, ‘That would be amazing to test myself and fight someone 100 pounds heavier than me and get in there and do that.’ That’s one of my goals going forward.” Right now, Julia Budd is at the top of her game.The Bellator women’s featherweight champion has won 10 consecutive fights and looks to make the third defense of her title on Friday night in the Bellator 224 headliner against Olga Rubin, streamed exclusively on DAZN.  Garcia’s (6-0, one no-contest) had six of her seven fights under the Rizin promotion based in Japan. Typically, cross-promotional bouts of this magnitude are difficult to make. In this case, it shouldn’t be a problem as the two companies have worked together in the past. Most recently, they booked two bouts featuring Rizin and Bellator bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi (Rizin) and Darrion Caldwell (Bellator) under each company’s banner. Those events have Budd optimistic that she will eventually lock horns with the Brazilian giant.”I just saw on June 14 (Bellator 222), Rizin and Bellator (work together),” Budd said. “And that’s exciting to me. Maybe a fight in Rizin (with Garcia) as well. I like that they support one another and they let their champs go back and forth.”last_img read more