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The Castleman Disease Research Network publishes Phase 1 Results of Drug Repurposing Database for COVID-19

Reporter: Stephen J. Williams, PhD.

 

From CNN at https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/27/health/coronavirus-treatment-fajgenbaum-drug-review-scn-wellness/index.html

Updated 8:17 AM ET, Sat June 27, 2020

(CNN)Every morning, Dr. David Fajgenbaum takes three life-saving pills. He wakes up his 21-month-old daughter Amelia to help feed her. He usually grabs some Greek yogurt to eat quickly before sitting down in his home office. Then he spends most of the next 14 hours leading dozens of fellow researchers and volunteers in a systematic review of all the drugs that physicians and researchers have used so far to treat Covid-19. His team has already pored over more than 8,000 papers on how to treat coronavirus patients.

The 35-year-old associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine leads the school’s Center for Cytokine Storm Treatment & Laboratory. For the last few years, he has dedicated his life to studying Castleman disease, a rare condition that nearly claimed his life. Against epic odds, he found a drug that saved his own life six years ago, by creating a collaborative method for organizing medical research that could be applicable to thousands of human diseases. But after seeing how the same types of flares of immune-signaling cells, called cytokine storms, kill both Castleman and Covid-19 patients alike, his lab has devoted nearly all of its resources to aiding doctors fighting the pandemic.

A global repository for Covid-19 treatment data

Researchers working with his lab have reviewed published data on more than 150 drugs doctors around the world have to treat nearly 50,000 patients diagnosed with Covid-19. They’ve made their analysis public in a database called the Covid-19 Registry of Off-label & New Agents (or CORONA for short).
It’s a central repository of all available data in scientific journals on all the therapies used so far to curb the pandemic. This information can help doctors treat patients and tell researchers how to build clinical trials.The team’s process resembles that of the coordination Fajgenbaum used as a medical student to discover that he could repurpose Sirolimus, an immunosuppressant drug approved for kidney transplant patients, to prevent his body from producing deadly flares of immune-signaling cells called cytokines.The 13 members of Fajgenbaum’s lab recruited dozens of other scientific colleagues to join their coronavirus effort. And what this group is finding has ramifications for scientists globally.
This effort by Dr. Fajgenbaum’s lab and the resultant collaborative effort shows the power and speed at which a coordinated open science effort can achieve goals. Below is the description of the phased efforts planned and completed from the CORONA website.

CORONA (COvid19 Registry of Off-label & New Agents)

Drug Repurposing for COVID-19

Our overarching vision:  A world where data on all treatments that have been used against COVID19 are maintained in a central repository and analyzed so that physicians currently treating COVID19 patients know what treatments are most likely to help their patients and so that clinical trials can be appropriately prioritized.

Phase 1: COMPLETED

Our team reviewed 2500+ papers & extracted data on over 9,000 COVID19 patients. We found 115 repurposed drugs that have been used to treat COVID19 patients and analyzed data on which ones seem most promising for clinical trials. This data is open source and can be used by physicians to treat patients and prioritize drugs for trials. The CDCN will keep this database updated as a resource for this global fight. Repurposed drugs give us the best chance to help COVID19 as quickly as possible! As disease hunters who have identified and repurposed drugs for Castleman disease, we’re applying our ChasingMyCure approach to COVID19.

Read our systematic literature review published in Infectious Diseases and Therapy at the following link: Treatments Administered to the First 9152 Reported Cases of COVID-19: A Systematic Review

From Fajgenbaum, D.C., Khor, J.S., Gorzewski, A. et al. Treatments Administered to the First 9152 Reported Cases of COVID-19: A Systematic Review. Infect Dis Ther (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40121-020-00303-8

The following is the Abstract and link to the metastudy.  This study was a systematic review of literature with strict inclusion criteria.  Data was curated from these published studies and a total of 9152 patients were evaluated for treatment regimens for COVID19 complications and clinical response was curated for therapies in these curated studies.  Main insights from this study were as follows:

Key Summary Points

Why carry out this study?
  • Data on drugs that have been used to treat COVID-19 worldwide are currently spread throughout disparate publications.
  • We performed a systematic review of the literature to identify drugs that have been tried in COVID-19 patients and to explore clinically meaningful response time.
What was learned from the study?
  • We identified 115 uniquely referenced treatments administered to COVID-19 patients. Antivirals were the most frequently administered class; combination lopinavir/ritonavir was the most frequently used treatment.
  • This study presents the latest status of off-label and experimental treatments for COVID-19. Studies such as this are important for all diseases, especially those that do not currently have definitive evidence from randomized controlled trials or approved therapies.

Treatments Administered to the First 9152 Reported Cases of COVID-19: A Systematic Review

Abstract

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2/2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created a global pandemic with no approved treatments or vaccines. Many treatments have already been administered to COVID-19 patients but have not been systematically evaluated. We performed a systematic literature review to identify all treatments reported to be administered to COVID-19 patients and to assess time to clinically meaningful response for treatments with sufficient data. We searched PubMed, BioRxiv, MedRxiv, and ChinaXiv for articles reporting treatments for COVID-19 patients published between 1 December 2019 and 27 March 2020. Data were analyzed descriptively. Of the 2706 articles identified, 155 studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising 9152 patients. The cohort was 45.4% female and 98.3% hospitalized, and mean (SD) age was 44.4 years (SD 21.0). The most frequently administered drug classes were antivirals, antibiotics, and corticosteroids, and of the 115 reported drugs, the most frequently administered was combination lopinavir/ritonavir, which was associated with a time to clinically meaningful response (complete symptom resolution or hospital discharge) of 11.7 (1.09) days. There were insufficient data to compare across treatments. Many treatments have been administered to the first 9152 reported cases of COVID-19. These data serve as the basis for an open-source registry of all reported treatments given to COVID-19 patients at www.CDCN.org/CORONA. Further work is needed to prioritize drugs for investigation in well-controlled clinical trials and treatment protocols.

Read the Press Release from PennMedicine at the following link: PennMedicine Press Release

Phase 2: Continue to update CORONA

Our team continues to work diligently to maintain an updated listing of all treatments reported to be used in COVID19 patients from papers in PubMed. We are also re-analyzing publicly available COVID19 single cell transcriptomic data alongside our iMCD data to search for novel insights and therapeutic targets.

You can visit the following link to access a database viewer built and managed by Matt Chadsey, owner of Nonlinear Ventures.

If you are a physician treating COVID19 patients, please visit the FDA’s CURE ID app to report de-identified information about drugs you’ve used to treat COVID19 in just a couple minutes.

For more information on COVID19 on this Open Access Journal please see our Coronavirus Portal at

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/coronavirus-portal/

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Is It Time for the Virtual Scientific Conference?: Coronavirus, Travel Restrictions, Conferences Cancelled

Curator: Stephen J. Williams, PhD.

UPDATED 3/12/2020

To many of us scientists, presenting and attending scientific meetings, especially international scientific conferences, are a crucial tool for disseminating and learning new trends and cutting edge findings occurring in our respective fields.  Large international meetings, like cancer focused meetings like AACR (held in the spring time), AAAS and ASCO not only highlight the past years great discoveries but are usually the first place where breakthroughs are made known to the scientific/medical community as well as the public.  In addition these conferences allow for scientists to learn some of the newest technologies crucial for their work in vendor exhibitions.

During the coronavirus pandemic, multiple cancellations of business travel, conferences, and even university based study abroad programs are being cancelled and these cancellations are now hitting the 2020 Spring and potentially summer scientific/medical conferences.  Indeed one such conference hosted by Amgen in Massachusetts was determined as an event where some attendees tested positive for the virus, and as such, now other attendees are being asked to self quarantine.

Today I received two emails on conference cancellations, one from Experimental Biology in California and another from The Cancer Letter, highlighting other conferences, including National Cancer Coalition Network (NCCN) meetings which had been canceled.

 

Experimental Biology - San Diego 2020 - April 4-7

Dear Stephen,

After thoughtful deliberations, the leaders of the Experimental Biology host societies have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Experimental Biology (EB) 2020 set to take place April 4–7 in San Diego, California. We know how much EB means to everyone, and we did not make this decision in haste. The health and safety of our members, attendees, their students, our staff, partners and our communities are our top priority.

As we have previously communicated via email, on experimentalbiology.org and elsewhere, EB leadership has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease). Based on the latest guidance from public health officials, the travel bans implemented by different institutions and the state of emergency declared in California less than 48 hours ago, it became clear to us that canceling was the right course of action.

We thank you and the entire EB community for understanding the extreme difficulty of this decision and for your commitment to the success of this conference – from the thousands of attendees to the presenters, exhibitors and sponsors who shared their time, expertise, collaboration and leadership. We deeply appreciate your contributions to this community.

What Happens Next?

Everyone who has registered to attend the meeting will receive a full registration refund within the next 45 days. Once your registration cancellation is processed, you will receive confirmation in a separate email. You do not need to contact anyone at EB or your host society to initiate the process. Despite the cancellation of the meeting, we are pleased to tell you that we will publish abstracts in the April 2020 issue of The FASEB Journal as originally planned. Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel and housing reservations. 

We ask for patience as we evaluate our next steps, and we will alert you as additional information becomes available please see our FAQs for details.

And in The Cancer Letter

Coronavirus vs. oncology: Meeting cancellations, travel restrictions, fears about drug supply chain

By Alexandria Carolan

NOTE: An earlier version of this story was published March 4 on the web and was updated March 6 to include information about restricted travel for employees of cancer centers, meeting cancellations, potential disruptions to the drug supply chain, and funds allocated by U.S. Congress for combating the coronavirus.

Further updates will be posted as the story develops.

Forecasts of the inevitable spread of coronavirus can be difficult to ignore, especially at a time when many of us are making travel plans for this spring’s big cancer meetings.

The decision was made all the more difficult earlier this week, as cancer centers and at least one biotechnology company—Amgen—implemented travel bans that are expected to last through the end of March and beyond. The Cancer Letter was able to confirm such travel bans at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Meetings are getting cancelled in all fields, including oncology:

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network March 5 postponed its 2020 annual conference of about 1,500 attendees March 19-22 in Orlando, citing precautions against coronavirus.

“The health and safety of our attendees and the patients they take care of is our number one concern,” said Robert W. Carlson, chief executive officer of NCCN. “This was an incredibly difficult and disappointing decision to have to make. However, our conference attendees work to save the lives of immunocompromised people every day. Some of them are cancer survivors themselves, particularly at our patient advocacy pavilion. It’s our responsibility, in an abundance of caution, to safeguard them from any potential exposure to COVID-19.”

UPDATED 3/12/2020

And today the AACR canceled its yearly 2020 Meeting (https://www.aacr.org/meeting/aacr-annual-meeting-2020/coronavirus-information/)

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Board of Directors has made the difficult decision, after careful consideration and comprehensive evaluation of currently available information related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, to terminate the AACR Annual Meeting 2020, originally scheduled for April 24-29 in San Diego, California. A rescheduled meeting is being planned for later this year.

The AACR has been closely monitoring the rapidly increasing domestic and worldwide developments during the last several weeks related to COVID-19. This evidence-based decision was made after a thorough review and discussion of all factors impacting the Annual Meeting, including the U.S. government’s enforcement of restrictions on international travelers to enter the U.S.; the imposition of travel restrictions issued by U.S. government agencies, cancer centers, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies; and the counsel of infectious disease experts. It is clear that all of these elements significantly affect the ability of delegates, speakers, presenters of proffered papers, and exhibitors to participate fully in the Annual Meeting.

The health, safety, and security of all Annual Meeting attendees and the patients and communities they serve are the AACR’s highest priorities. While we believe that the decision to postpone the meeting is absolutely the correct one to safeguard our meeting participants from further potential exposure to the coronavirus, we also understand that this is a disappointing one for our stakeholders. There had been a great deal of excitement about the meeting, which was expected to be the largest ever AACR Annual Meeting, with more than 7,400 proffered papers, a projected total of 24,000 delegates from 80 countries and more than 500 exhibitors. We recognize that the presentation of new data, exchange of information, and opportunities for collaboration offered by the AACR Annual Meeting are highly valued by the entire cancer research community, and we are investigating options for rescheduling the Annual Meeting in the near future.

We thank all of our stakeholders for their patience and support at this time. Additional information regarding hotel reservation cancellations, registration refunds, and meeting logistics is available on the FAQ page on the AACR website. We will announce the dates and location of the rescheduled AACR Annual Meeting 2020 as soon as they are confirmed. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to everyone impacted by this global health crisis.

However,  according to both Dr. Fauci and Dr. Scott Gottlieb (former FDA director)  the outbreak may revisit the US and the world in the fall (see https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/04/were-losing-valuable-time-ex-fda-chief-says-of-coronavirus-spread.html)  therefore these meetings may be cancelled for the whole year.

Is It Time For the Virtual (Real-Time) Conference?

Readers of this Online Access Journal are familiar with our ongoing commitment to open science and believe that forming networks of scientific experts in various fields using a social strategy is pertinent to enhancing the speed, reproducibility and novelty of important future scientific/medical discoveries.  Some of these ideas are highlighted in the following articles found on this site:

Scientific Curation Fostering Expert Networks and Open Innovation: Lessons from Clive Thompson and others

Old Industrial Revolution Paradigm of Education Needs to End: How Scientific Curation Can Transform Education

Twitter is Becoming a Powerful Tool in Science and Medicine

e-Scientific Publishing: The Competitive Advantage of a Powerhouse for Curation of Scientific Findings and Methodology Development for e-Scientific Publishing – LPBI Group, A Case in Point

Reconstructed Science Communication for Open Access Online Scientific Curation

In addition, we understand the importance of communicating the latest scientific/medical discoveries in an open and rapid format, accessible over the social media platforms.  To this effect we have developed a methodology for real time conference coverage

see  Press and Conference Coverage

at  https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/press-coverage/

AND

The Process of Real Time Coverage using Social Media

at https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/press-coverage/part-one-the-process-of-real-time-coverage-using-social-media/

Using these strategies we are able to communicate, in real time, analysis of conference coverage for a multitude of conferences.

Has technology and social media platforms now have enabled our ability to rapidly communicate, in a more open access platform, seminal discoveries and are scientists today amenable to virtual type of meetings including displaying abstracts using a real-time online platform?

Some of the Twitter analytics we have curated from such meetings show that conference attendees are rapidly adopting such social platforms to communicate with their peers and colleagues meeting notes.

Statistical Analysis of Tweet Feeds from the 14th ANNUAL BIOTECH IN EUROPE FORUM For Global Partnering & Investment 9/30 – 10/1/2014 • Congress Center Basel – SACHS Associates, London

Word Associations of Twitter Discussions for 10th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference at the Harvard Medical School, November 12-13, 2014

Comparative Analysis of the Level of Engagement for Four Twitter Accounts: @KDNuggets (Big Data) @GilPress @Forbes @pharma_BI @AVIVA1950

Twitter Analytics on the Inside 3DPrinting Conference #I3DPConf

 

Other Twitter analyses of Conferences Covered by LPBI in Real Time have produced a similar conclusion: That conference attendees are very engaged over social media networks to discuss, share, and gain new insights into material presented at these conferences, especially international conferences.

And although attracting international conferences is lucrative to many cities, the loss in revenue to organizations, as well as the loss of intellectual capital is indeed equally as great.  

Maybe there is room for such type of conferences in the future, and attending by a vast more audience than currently capable. And perhaps the #openscience movement like @MozillaScience can collaborate with hackathons to produce the platforms for such an online movement of scientific conferences as a Plan B.

Other articles on Real Time Conference Coverage in the Online Open Access Journal Include:

Innovations in electronic Scientific Publishing (eSP): Case Studies in Marketing eContent, Curation Methodology, Categories of Research Functions, Interdisciplinary conceptual innovations by Cross Section of Categories, Exposure to Frontiers of Science by Real Time Press coverage of Scientific Conferences

Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of Presentations on 11/16 – 11/17, 2016, The 12th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference, HARVARD MEDICAL SCHOOL, Joseph B. Martin Conference Center, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston

Tweets by @pharma_BI and by @AVIVA1950: Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of The 11th Annual Personalized Medicine Conference, November 18-19, 2015, Harvard Medical School

REAL TIME Cancer Conference Coverage: A Novel Methodology for Authentic Reporting on Presentations and Discussions launched via Twitter.com @ The 2nd ANNUAL Sachs Cancer Bio Partnering & Investment Forum in Drug Development, 19th March 2014 • New York Academy of Sciences • USA

Search Results for ‘Real Time Conference’

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