Minaris Regenerative Medicine, a leading contract development and manufacturing organization for the cell and gene therapy industry, will be the commercial manufacturer in Europe for bluebird bio’s Skysona (elivaldogene autotemcel, formerly Lenti-D gene therapy), for the treatment of Early Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy (CALD).
Owen Mumford has been awarded a RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) gold health and safety award. The awarded is given to organisations that achieve exceptional control of risk with very low levels of error, harm and loss.
Siemens Healthineers has recently started offering its customers WeScan. WeScan is a new service that helps healthcare providers to perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations if they lack qualified radiology staff. With the WeScan service, customers may seek access to a pool of skilled remote imaging technologists who help operate the MRI scanner using syngo […]
The US FDA has granted Fast Track designation to APB-102, Apic Bio’s lead gene therapy candidate designed to treat SOD1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Apic said they plan to commence a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in early 2022.
Canon Medical Systems Corporation recently announced a major operational plan to strengthen its healthcare information technology (HIT) division which will see it broaden its capabilities and leverage Canon Medical’s global infrastructure to accelerate the delivery of a full range of Enterprise, AI, and collaborative imaging solutions. As part of the development, Vital Images, Inc. will […]
CN Bio, a leading organ-on-a-chip company (OOC) that designs and manufactures singleand multi-organ microphysiological systems (MPS), has secured the licensing rights to a novel tool for modelling the gut microbiome, GuMI, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and North-eastern University. Planned for commercial launch in 2023, the technology will be integrated into CN Bio’s PhysioMimix […]
Leaders of the global healthcare community are invited to attend an important virtual event looking at developing innovative practices for a sustainable future.
The event – Green Hospitals: Sharing innovative practices for a sustainable future – on 7 October (12pm – 3pm UTC), is being hosted by the International Hospital Federation and Dialog Health.
It will bring together hospital executives from around the world to share their strategies and experiences in promoting sustainability in the healthcare sector.
Climate change – a major threat to public health
Hospital and healthcare professionals are at the forefront of the fight against climate change, which is at risk of becoming the biggest public health threat of our generation:
- If the world’s healthcare sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of carbon emissions on the planet.
- Medical professionals have identified climate change from carbon emissions as the ‘biggest global health threat of the 21st century’. (The Lancet, Commission on Climate Change, 2009)
- Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause more than 250,000 additional deaths per year.
The keynote speaker at the event will be Dr. Satoru Komatsumoto, Emeritus Director of Ashikaga Red Cross Hospital, which is Japan’s first green hospital Dr. Komatsumoto will share his insights into designing a resilient hospital.
He commented: “Sixteen years ago, I proposed that our hospital should be eco-conscious. I wanted to create a hospital that would be beautiful and that would organically integrate all the features to meet the challenges of the future… I wondered what kind of hospital would meet the needs of our time. I studied very hard to imagine a next generation hospital.”
The program also includes speakers from Europe and the USA who will share strategies to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, sustainable food circuits and building a carbon-neutral hospital. There will also be dedicated time for small group discussions with the experts to explore innovative ideas.
- You can register here for Green Hospitals: Sharing innovative practices for a sustainable future.
Scientists have long been aware of a link between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system (CNS). Until now, however, the immune cells that move from the gut into the CNS and thus the brain had not been identified. A team of researchers in Munich has now succeeded in using violet light to make these migrating T cells visible for the first time. This opens up avenues for developing new treatment options for diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer.
The link between the gut microbiome and the CNS, known as the gut/brain axis (GBA), is believed to be responsible for many things: a person’s body weight, autoimmune diseases, depression, mental illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and LMU University Hospital Munich have now succeeded in making this connection visible for the first time. This is cause for hope – for those suffering from MS, for example. It may offer ways to adapt treatments, and T cells could perhaps be modified before reaching the brain.
Immune cell migration in MS
The immune system is affected by environmental factors – also in the central nervous system in case of MS patients. This autoimmune disease is subject to repeated flare-ups, experienced by patients as the improvement or worsening of their condition. T cells collect information and, in MS patients, carry it to the central nervous system (in the brain or spinal cord) where an immune response is triggered. Until now, however, it was long uncertain how and from where the T cells were travelling to the CNS
Using violet light to track marked T cells
The team working with Thomas Korn, a professor of experimental neuroimmunology at TUM, has developed a method for marking immune cells in mice using photoconvertible proteins. The T cells can then be made visible with violet light. The researchers successfully tested this method with the mouse model in lymph nodes, both in the gut and the skin. They were able to track the movement of the T cells from those locations into the central nervous systems.
Characteristics of T cells reveal their origin
T cells from the skin migrated into the grey and white matter of the CNS, while almost all T cells from the gut ended up in the white matter. For T cells in the brain, it was still possible to determine their origin.
“What makes these insights so important is that they demonstrate for the first time that environmental influences impact the T cells in lymph nodes in the gut and the skin, which then carry this information into the distant organs,” said Prof. Thomas Korn. “The characteristics of the T cells are sufficiently stable for us to determine whether immune responses are influenced by skin or gut T cells,” added LMU researcher Dr. Eduardo Beltrán, who performed the bioinformatic analyses in this study.
Starting point for future treatments
Michael Hiltensperger, first author, remarked that the research provided an important insight for MS patients: “If gut or skin cells were known to be the cause, the T cells could be treated at the source of the disease and predictions could be made on the progress of the chronic inflammation and autoimmune condition. The results of the study could also mean a breakthrough for research on other autoimmune diseases or cancer.
Hiltensperger, M., Beltrán, E., Kant, R. et al. Skin and gut imprinted helper T cell subsets exhibit distinct functional phenotypes in central nervous system autoimmunity. Nature Immunology 22, 880–892 (2021).
The 23rd National Healthcare CXO Summit will take place on 24-26 October 2021 in Boston, MA. This summit gathers leading healthcare executives and innovative suppliers and solution providers physically together at a premium location, the Boston, Encore, Boston, MA.
The summit effectively unites experts in an exclusive networking environment providing the opportunity to pre-schedule one-to-one physical business meetings with leading and forward-thinking executives. Delegates that have attended in the past include:
- Beacon Health System – Chief Executive Officer
- Elmhurst Hospital – President and Chief Executive Officer
- Erlanger Health System – Executive VP and CFO/Treasurer
- Luke’s Health System – President and Chief Executive Officer
- Yale New Haven Health System – Executive Vice President/Chief Strategy Officer
- The MetroHealth System – President and Chief Executive Officer
- Mercy Health – Regional President and Chief Executive Officer
The one-to-one business meetings provide access to the gate keepers of sizeable budgets – top executives actively seeking external partnerships with operational, management, financial and technology solutions, geared entirely to the needs of healthcare industry.
What if a computer simulation model of the heart and blood vessel could reduce the need for human or animal data in clinical trials, while speeding up product development? Biotronik and their research partners are looking into exactly that question in the new EU-funded SIMCor project. One of the first likely developments from this partnership will be an implantable sensor to better manage heart failure.
More than 10 million people in Europe suffer from heart failure. Beyond its obvious impacts on patient quality of life, treating heart failure uses 1-2% of a developed country’s health budget every year, with two-thirds of that taken up by hospital stays. If we can help reduce hospital visits related to heart failure, we can both help heart failure patients live better lives and reduce overall healthcare costs. That’s just one reason why Biotronik is taking part in SIMCor, a three-year EU-funded project to develop an implantable pressure sensor that aims to help heart failure patients and physicians better manage their condition.
Along with Biotronik, SimCor includes 11 partners from eight countries, including Berlin’s Charité Hospital. By pooling resources and data, SIMCor’s goal is to speed up the development of this technology and achieve results as fast as possible.
Beyond a new and innovative technology to support heart failure patients, the SIMCor partnership also has the potential to provide even longer-lasting benefits. If successful, computer simulations of the heart-implant interaction could speed up product testing and regulatory approval, providing many patients with technology that can save and improve their lives in a more timely manner.
How the SIMCor partnership can speed up the development process
The SIMCor project focuses on developing computer simulation technology that can help test and validate medical devices. These computerized tests could replace the need for animal testing and help make clinical studies even safer for patients. If a large and high-quality dataset is available, researchers can simulate clinical interventions in virtual patient cohorts. Over the longer term, this could reduce clinical trial size by 25%, with 30% less time required to complete studies. In the end, this allows medical devices to be quickly approved to help patients. The US FDA has already noted the potential positive effects such modelling could have, and is encouraging the development of simulation technology. By working together, Biotronik and its SIMCor partners can conduct these simulations using far bigger datasets than would otherwise be available, yielding the sophisticated modelling required to simulate heart and blood vessels.
“We need to demonstrate that implants perform well across the whole patient population. That’s a long and sometimes challenging process because patient anatomy can vary widely, especially due to diseases,” said Dr. Torsten Luther, Director of Product Development for Delivery Tools, Leads & Accessories in R&D at Biotronik. “Using a large data pool to simulate different parts of the cardiovascular system, such as the heart or pulmonary artery, allows us to test implant performance across a wide range of anatomies representing the whole patient population. We can then optimize our technology for everyone.”
Collaboration is an important driver for innovation
Research and development have always been a priority at Biotronik. Since developing the first German pacemaker in 1963, Biotronik has continued to pave the way for pioneering innovations. In its Berlin headquarters alone, one out of every five employees work in R&D, ensuring that medical technology keeps pace with the interests and needs of future patients and physicians.
“The SimCor project is a great example of how we work together with like-minded partners from different industries as well as academic institutions across Europe. We profit from each other’s knowledge and together, we can make an impactful contribution to medical research. In this regard, I believe that collaboration can be a key driver for innovation,” said Dr. Andreas Arndt, Team Lead R&D Sensors and SIMCor project coordinator at Biotronik.
See a Computer Simulation of the Pulmonary Artery