An atlas of HIV’s ‘escape routes’ could improve vaccine design
February 5, 2019
By Neozene

One of the reasons HIV infection is so hard to prevent and treat is that the virus mutates in order to evade broadly neutralizing antibodies—the immune system’s primary defense against viral pathogens. So scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center constructed an atlas of HIV mutations, providing insight that they believe will boost the ongoing search for an effective vaccine. The group showed that mutations can occur in the HIV “envelope,” a layer of glycoproteins that shuttle the virus into host cells and that interact with antibodies, even in

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FDA Staff Return to Work, but Threat of Second Shutdown Looms
January 29, 2019
By Neozene

FDA staff returned to paid work yesterday after the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. But with temporary funding set to lapse Feb. 15 and President Donald Trump skeptical a deal can be reached, the agency may be plunged back into a shutdown in less than three weeks. In signing a temporary funding bill late last week, Trump has enabled furloughed FDA staff to return to work today. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he is working to get back pay to staff by the end of the month and is otherwise taking actions

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Analysts: Things could get hairy at FDA if shutdown continues
January 23, 2019
By Neozene

The FDA is still holding it together during the longest government shutdown in history but could face big problems if it continues for another month and user fees dry up. That’s according to two FDA experts cited by analysts at Jefferies, who suggest that in a few weeks reviews could come to a halt, affecting dozens of drug applications and potentially creating a “growing backlog” of delayed programs. Notable near-term marketing applications that could be impacted if the government impasse isn’t resolved include Sage’s postpartum depression therapy brexanolone, Karyopharm’s selinexor for

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