Archive for December, 2012

REACH Health wins Phoenix Award

REACH Health, a healthcare technology company focused on telemedicine solutions, was honored with a Phoenix Award at the third annual Health IT Leadership Summit in Atlanta December 4.

The Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce created the Phoenix Awards to recognize individuals and companies that have made an outstanding contribution to the growth of the health IT industry in Georgia.  REACH Health, which received early assistance through the GRA VentureLab program and through the GRA/TAG Business Launch competition, won in the category of Start-up Company of the Year.   Read more here>

December 11, 2012 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

New insight into HIV infection reported

GRA Eminent Scholar Eric Hunter and his research team have found that varieties of HIV that replicate more quickly can cause the immune systems of infected individuals to decline faster.

“These results are exciting because they demonstrate a novel early impact of HIV replicative capacity that can define the trajectory of immune decline and disease,” Hunter, who is co-director of the Emory University Center for AIDS research, said.  “It raises the possibility that a vaccine that can attenuate early virus replication would have a positive impact on disease progression.”   Read more here>

December 11, 2012 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Common canine virus may lead to vaccine breakthrough

GRA Distinguished Investigator Biao He and colleagues in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine have discovered that parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) could be an effective delivery vehicle for exposing the human immune system to pathogens that are typically difficult to vaccinate against, thus allowing humans to create the antibodies that will protect against future disease.  PIV5, which contributes to upper respiratory infections in canines, is harmless in humans.

“Safety is always our number one concern,”  He said.  “PIV5 makes it much easier to vaccinate without having to use live pathogens.  We have developed a very strong H5N1 flu vaccine with this technique, but we are also working on vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.”  Read more about the technique here>

December 4, 2012 at 4:34 pm Leave a comment

Microneedle delivery of measles vaccine shown to be effective

In a study supported by the Georgia Research Alliance, researchers at Georgia Tech have shown that measles vaccine given with a microneedle patch can immunize against the disease at least as well as vaccine given with conventional hypodermic needles.  The finding may advance international measles vaccination efforts.

While many countries in the Western Hemisphere have virtually eliminated endemic transmission of the disease, in other parts of the world measles remains the leading cause of vaccine-preventable death among children, killing some 140,000 in 2010.  Microneedle patches reduce or eliminate many of the challenges of delivering measles vaccine by hypodermic needle.  They do not need refrigeration, reconstitution with sterile water or administration by highly-trained medical personnel and can be disposed of easily and safely.

“Microneedles represent a real potential game-changer in developing strategies to get high global coverage for a measles vaccine,” said Paul Rota, Measles Laboratory Team Lead of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Viral Diseases.  Microneedles are also being studied for potential use in the delivery of vaccines against influenza, polio, rotavirus, tuberculosis and hepatitis B.   Read more here>.

December 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm Leave a comment