The third week of June brings news of the first, much-anticipated breakthrough in the treatment of COVID-19. Scientists from the UK have discovered that dexamethasone, a widely available steroid, reduces deaths among seriously ill patients. We also bring news of breakthroughs in fatty liver disease; childhood hypertension, a digital therapeutic for ADHD; a next generation vaccine against the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria; and news of how scientists are utilizing mass spectrometry for protein sequencing.

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Life-Saving Coronavirus Drug 'Major Breakthrough'

Life-Saving Coronavirus Drug 'Major Breakthrough'

A low-cost, widely available drug can help save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus. The low-dose steroid treatment dexamethasone is a major breakthrough in the fight against the deadly virus, experts say. The drug is part of the world's biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus. It cut the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it cut deaths by a fifth.

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In a Landmark Decision, FDA Greenlights a Video Game for Kids with ADHD

In a Landmark Decision, FDA Greenlights a Video Game for Kids with ADHD

For the first time, the FDA has given a green light to a game-based therapeutic: a video game meant to be prescribed to kids with ADHD. The game, known as EndeavorRx, was developed by Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs and can now be marketed as a way to improve attention function in kids with ADHD as measured by computerized testing.

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Experts Address Clinical Challenges for Ultra-Rare Diseases at BIO

Experts Address Clinical Challenges for Ultra-Rare Diseases at BIO

A panel of experts at the recent BIO digital conference discussed some of the challenges and regulatory considerations for sponsors developing treatments for ultra-rare diseases where clinical trials could involve a very small number of patients.

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Novel Antisense Drug Could Help Slow Fatty Liver Disease

Novel Antisense Drug Could Help Slow Fatty Liver Disease

Using a first-of-its-class drug in a clinical trial, an international research effort headed by a scientist at University of California San Diego School of Medicine reports that inhibition of a key enzyme safely and effectively improved the health of persons with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a chronic metabolic disorder that affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

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New Genetically Attenuated Parasite Gives Hope for Malaria Vaccine

New Genetically Attenuated Parasite Gives Hope for Malaria Vaccine

Scientists have reported that they have been able to develop a genetically attenuated parasite that stops late in the liver stage of human malaria. According to the researchers, their findings pave the way for a novel, next generation vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes the deadliest form of malaria in humans.

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How Mass Spectrometry Can Help Limit Reproducibility Problems

How Mass Spectrometry Can Help Limit Reproducibility Problems

Antibodies are critical for biological and medical research. Yet, for the last 5 years the antibody industry has been described as being in a “reproducibility crisis”. Knowing the full sequence of a protein with certainty is important for researchers because they can use the protein sequence to produce a recombinant antibody that will ensure their assays are reproducible. In combination with other biophysical techniques, mass spectrometry can provide additional information to characterize antibody structure.

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Researchers Identify Possible Mechanisms for Childhood Primary Hypertension

Researchers Identify Possible Mechanisms for Childhood Primary Hypertension

In the first known study of its kind, mechanisms were identified by researchers as potential sources of primary hypertension among children. More studies are now required to characterize hypertension in different age groups, and as many of the pediatric patients involved in the study were already taking drugs to treat the condition - studies also should include children who are not currently medicated.

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