CDC funds work on rapid tests for avian flu

first_imgDec 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded four contracts worth $11.4 million in an effort to develop a 30-minute test for H5N1 avian influenza.The CDC said it awarded the funds to spur development of tests that doctors and field epidemiologists could use to test patients for both H5N1 and other flu viruses. Currently, testing for H5N1 in the United States must be done in 1 of about 100 designated laboratories and takes from 4 to 24 hours, depending on shipping time, the CDC said.Last month the World Health Organization (WHO) listed a rapid diagnostic test as one of the top priorities in avian and pandemic flu research. The CDC said it hopes a rapid test can be ready and licensed within 2 to 3 years.”The creation of a point-of-care test to rapidly detect human cases of H5N1 avian influenza would be a major step forward in our ability to protect public health,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said in a news release.The four companies, their tests, and the contract amounts are as follows:Cepheid, Sunnyvale, Calif.—GeneXPert Flu assay, $2.4 millionIquum, Marlborough, Mass.—LIAT, Lab-in-a-Tube, $3.8 millionMesoScale, Gaithersburg, Md.—Multi-Array Detection, $706,241Nanogen, San Diego—a novel point-of-care immunoassay system, $4.5 millionOver the next year, the companies will work to develop tests that can detect flu viruses and distinguish seasonal strains from H5N1 within 30 minutes, the CDC said. Existing rapid tests can tell only if a patient has a seasonal influenza A or B virus.CDC spokeswoman Christine Pearson told CIDRAP News the contracts are intended to fund the first two of five development phases.The goal for the first two phases is to produce a prototype test that can be evaluated by the CDC, said Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of the molecular virology and vaccines branch in the CDC’s influenza division. He said the agency will fund further development only if the prototype has “acceptable performance characteristics.”In a news release, Nanogen said that if the CDC funds all five development phases, the company would receive a total of about $12.5 million over the next 2 to 3 years.The four companies were chosen from 13 applicants, the CDC said. Selection criteria included the technical specifications of the test, experience in developing diagnostic tools, staff expertise, and access to labs with sufficient security to handle H5N1 viruses.The agency also promised to provide funds for a repository of influenza reagents and other materials to help in development of the tests.See also:Dec 4 CDC news releasehttp://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r061204.htmlast_img read more

LOUD THINKING – Private renters / hosts – Where are we and how to proceed?

first_imgIn the new edition of Loud Thinking, I spoke with three key people in family accommodation in Croatia. We opened many topics, from Cro cards as well as Blue cards, expectations, quality labels, the need for synergy of renters, measures and challenges, etc.…  I apologize for the technical difficulties that were during this broadcast. We were supposed to go live on FB but this time everything just went wrong, but we still managed to record a video hehe even during the broadcast I was left without electricity in the house and the internet, and we had a small break somewhere in the middle. Although form is extremely important, content is paramount. 3. NEDO PINEZIĆ – Advisor for family tourism and founder of the Croatian Association for Family Accommodation at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Private renters / hosts – Where are we and how to proceed? 2. GORAN SPRAYER – Association of Private Landlords Zagrebcenter_img 1. MARTINA NIMAC KALCINA – President of the Family Accommodation Association at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce  The interlocutors were:  APOLOGIZATION FOR TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIESlast_img read more

Dutch metal industry scheme to stop investing in coal

first_imgAs a consequence, it has started an active engagement with energy companies, focusing on the 10 worst carbon dioxide emitters and demanding they actively contribute to the energy transition.Companies which avoid dialogue on the issue or make insufficient progress in reducing their carbon footprint would be excluded from investment.PME also said that in 2021, 10% of all asset classes in its investment portfolio must contribute to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.Recently, it announced that it supported the resolution of pressure group Follow This – to be voted on at Shell’s AGM tomorrow, 22 May – calling on the energy company to set climate goals that are aligned with the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C. Follow This is said to expect around 10% of the vote to support the resolution, which is a modified version of a shareholder climate change motion at last year’s Shell AGM.The metal scheme has already ceased investing in tar sands. The large Dutch metal pension scheme PME said it would cease investing in coal producers as it fears its holdings are to become stranded assets.Eric Uijen, chairman of PME’s executive board, argued that the large carbon footprint of coal and social pressure for sustainable energy meant that mining companies solely focusing on coal did not have a future, and therefore no longer fit in its investment portfolio.Citing the Paris climate agreement, the €47bn sector scheme for metalworking and electro-technical engineering said it expected coal would lose its role for energy generation as well as steel production.The metal scheme has decided that the carbon footprint of its combined investments must have fallen by 25% in 2021.last_img read more