Jul 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Acambis, a British biotechnology company, recently announced the launch of a phase 1 clinical trial of an influenza vaccine designed to provide a stable shield against seasonal and pandemic flu strains and eliminate the need to overhaul the flu vaccine each year.Known as ACAM-FLU-A, the vaccine is designed to target all influenza A virus strains, Acambis said in a Jul 17 press release. If successful, the product will mark a major step toward a universal flu vaccine—one that would protect against all strains of both influenza A and B. The majority of laboratory-confirmed flu cases each year in the United States are type A.The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial will be conducted in the United States. Investigators will assess the vaccine’s safety, tolerability, and ability to generate an immune response in up to 80 healthy volunteers between ages 18 and 40, the company said.The trial will also assess the effectiveness of two adjuvants (immune-boosting chemicals): aluminum hydroxide, widely used in licensed vaccines, and QS-21 Stimulon, an investigational adjuvant licensed from Antigenics, Inc., according to Acambis.Michael Watson, Acambis’ executive vice-president for research and development, said in the press release that an effective universal vaccine will not require reengineering each time the virus mutates. Such a vaccine could be manufactured continuously, and people could be immunized any time of year.”It could be stockpiled in advance of a pandemic or potentially used routinely to ensure population protection against future pandemics,” Watson said, adding that Acambis hopes to see results of the study by the end of the year.Frequent minor changes in flu viruses involve two surface proteins, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, represented by the H and N in virus names, such as H3N2. The two proteins allow flu viruses to enter host cells and then exit them after replicating. Because the H and N components are highly mutable, vaccine makers must adjust the flu shot components every year to match circulating strains.However, Acambis’s vaccine involves a more stable viral protein called M2, the ion channel protein. The company said the key component in its flu vaccine is M2e, the extracellular domain of M2, which is specific to influenza A. The hope is that M2e will produce an immune response against all influenza A stains, according to Acambis.ACAM-FLU-A is a recombinant vaccine that uses a hepatitis B virus core protein to deliver M2e, the company said.Acambis also said it is searching for a similarly conserved region on influenza B virus strains so that it can offer a vaccine that protects against all human seasonal flu strains.Universal influenza vaccines are under investigation by several other groups, including the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia and Dynavax Technologies in the San Francisco area, among others.Walter Gerhard, professor of immunology at the Wistar Institute, and colleagues wrote in an April 2006 Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) article that the hope is that universal vaccines can replace current vaccines. But they wrote that even if universal vaccines only reduce, without preventing, clinical disease, they will still be an important adjunct to conventional vaccines, particularly for high-risk groups.Gerhard and colleagues wrote that, in the face of a major new flu variant, maternal antibodies generated by universal vaccines could give newborns some protection. Also, in elderly people a universal vaccine could induce memory B cells, which tend to be maintained into old age and can be recalled by booster vaccination, to generate protective antibodies. The article said the effectiveness of current vaccines depends heavily on “naïve” B cells, which frequently decrease as people age.”When all factors are taken into account, protection against influenza virus infection likely can be improved by a universal vaccine,” the authors wrote.See also:Aug 25, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Acambis hopes to build a flu vaccine that lasts”Apr 2006 EID article on prospects for a universal influenza vaccine
Robinson was a star almost from the moment he debuted with the Reds at age 20 in 1956.He set a National League rookie record with 38 home runs that season and was a unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. The record stood until 2017 when the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger hit 39.Five years after his rookie success, Robinson earned NL MVP honors in 1961 for leading the Reds to their first league pennant since 1940.MORE: Highest percentage of African-American players in six years at start of ’18On Dec. 9, 1965, he was dealt to the Orioles in what became one of baseball’s most lopsided trades. After being shipped to Baltimore for a package led by pitcher Milt Pappas, Robinson in 1966 won the Triple Crown, spurred the O’s to their first World Series championship and became the first (and only) player to be voted MVP in both leagues. He played in three more World Series with the O’s (1969-71), with Baltimore beating Cincinnati in 1970.In 1974, Robinson was wrapping up a Hall of Fame playing career when the Indians hired him to be the majors’ first African-American manager. He was a player-manager for Cleveland in 1975 and 1976, famously hitting a home run in his first game with the Tribe. He retired with 586 career homers, behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays. Frank Robinson, a pioneering superstar who has been involved with Major League Baseball for six decades, is seriously ill, The Baltimore Sun reported late Tuesday.The Sun’s Peter Schmuck, citing a source with direct knowledge, reported that Robinson, 83, is “in the late stages of a long illness.” Robinson has been dealing with health issues for several months, Schmuck reported. Cleveland fired Robinson 57 games into the 1977 season. He later managed the Giants (as the NL’s first black skipper), Orioles, Expos and Nationals. His final season in the dugout was with Washington in 2006.The Reds, Orioles and Indians have all retired his No. 20 jersey.Robinson’s post-playing career has also included work in the Orioles’ front office and the commissioner’s office. He was MLB’s vice president of on-field operations from 2000-02. His most recent role has been special adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred and honorary American League president.
“I was a little afraid when I saw her (opponent). But “I was a little afraid when I saw her (opponent). But then I said to myself that age or body structure does not matter. I will remain focused and give my best shot,” Tajamul said. “I want to win the international championship for my family and my school. I have some amount of fear as I think what will the international players do to me in the ring, but then I know I will knock down everyone,” she added. Her brother and two sisters also practice kickboxing and have taken part in many state-level championships. “It is in their genes. All the siblings are champions, but Tajamul is far ahead of the pack. She has a fighting spirit even as she looks soft-spoken and cute. Do not be fooled by her innocent looks, they are deceptive,” Shabnam Kounser, Principal of the school, said. The Principal also said that besides sports, Tajamul is good in studies and other extracurricular activities. “She dances well. She has her own team here and teaches them dancing. She is a bright kid and very good at studies,” Kounser said. Tajamul said she wanted to become a doctor, and when asked why, she said with a smile: “It will have its own benefits. I will first break bones of my opponents and then treat them.” Her favourite movie is Spider-Man but she said she wants to become much bigger than a hero that Spider-Man is. Having set her eyes on the international event, Tajamul is eagerly waiting for November, but her father, who works for a construction company, cannot afford to pay for the event fee and players kit. However, Army, which has supported Tajamul for the state and national events before, would facilitate her Italy plans as well. “We will be facilitating her participation in the world championship. We have asked her father to forget about the financial problems as we will take care of that aspect. We just told him to not stop her from playing,” a senior army official in Bandipora said. He said the process of acquiring Tajamul and her fathers passport is being facilitated by the army and the document will be provided to them in time so that her entry to the world championship is confirmed. The official said Tajamuls success is an inspiration to the young boys and girls of the Valley. “She is an inspiration for all. Even I have learned a few things from her. She is a champion. All that the army can do is inspire children like her and support them. It is their parents who have to see to it that their children chase and realise their dreams,” he said. PTI SSB CM CMadvertisement