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Novel TB treatment ups patients’ odds

New compound that was developed by TB Alliance, used with Pfizer products, cured 90% of patients in study

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Shield Diagnostics announces launch of Target-NG test for antibiotic susceptibility in Neisseria …

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Shield Diagnostics, an Andreessen Horowitz-backed clinical laboratory tackling antibiotic …

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Shield Diagnostics, an Andreessen Horowitz-backed clinical laboratory tackling antibiotic resistance by bringing precision medicine to infectious disease, announced the launch of Target-NG, a rapid molecular test for antibiotic susceptibility in Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

A common sexually transmitted infection, Gonorrhea has quickly become resistant to most major classes of antibiotics and resistance has now been reported in the final class of antibiotics we have left, requiring those patients to be hospitalized and treated with broad spectrum antibiotics in order to be cured. With 820,000 cases of Gonorrhea each year in the US, the CDC has named antibiotic resistant gonorrhea (dubbed “Super Gonorrhea”) a top 3 urgent public health threat.

To slow the rate of antibiotic resistance, the last line of defence must only be used when strictly necessary. First line antibiotics can be used in the majority of patients if a precision medicine approach is taken to identify the specific resistance patterns of an infection & the appropriate drug then prescribed. Such an approach is being taken by the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, who recently announced revised treatment guidelines to recommend treating with ciprofloxacin if susceptibility results are available prior to treatment.

“Rapid molecular testing for ciprofloxacin resistance allows for smarter medicine,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Klausner, a professor of infectious disease medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Right now we’re treating gonorrhea with a sledgehammer, we’re treating everything with the same exact regime. And it’s not a surprise that the organism will become resistant to what we’re currently using.”

Ciprofloxacin can be used to treat 80% of infections, and is 99.8% effective when susceptibility has been determined. Because it is administered as a single oral dose, rather than the current injectable treatment, clinicians can prescribe antibiotics for the patient to give to their partners, ensuring that they are treated as well.

“Shield has launched Target-NG to help clinicians adopt a precision medicine approach to Gonorrhea treatment,” said lead scientist on the project Dr. Nidhi Gupta.

“Target-NG can determine if a given gonorrhea infection is susceptible to ciprofloxacin with the same turnaround time as regular gonorrhea screening tests,” said Fred Turner, the company’s CEO. “This is enabling prescription of a single-dose pill (ciprofloxacin) as an effective treatment for gonorrhea.” The test is available from urine, rectal & pharyngeal samples, ensuring that complete care is provided for higher risk groups.

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SOURCE Shield Diagnostics

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How Analysts Feel About Aurora Cannabis Inc. (ACB) After Today’s Significant Increase?

The stock of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) is a huge mover today! The stock increased 12.94% or $1.03 during the last trading session, reaching …

The stock of Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) is a huge mover today! The stock increased 12.94% or $1.03 during the last trading session, reaching $8.99. About 111.17 million shares traded or 378.38% up from the average. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) has declined 10.79% since March 13, 2018 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 15.16% the S&P500.

The move comes after 7 months positive chart setup for the $9.27 billion company. It was reported on Mar, 13 by We have $9.35 PT which if reached, will make NYSE:ACB worth $370.72M more.

Analysts await Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) to report earnings on May, 14. They expect $-0.05 EPS, down 25.00 % or $0.01 from last year’s $-0.04 per share. After $-0.04 actual EPS reported by Aurora Cannabis Inc. for the previous quarter, Wall Street now forecasts 25.00 % negative EPS growth.

More notable recent Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) news were published by: which released: “Aurora Cannabis Just Hit a Dubious Milestone – Motley Fool” on March 11, 2019, also with their article: “Cronos leading pot stock rally – Seeking Alpha” published on February 04, 2019, published: “Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) Appoints Nelson Peltz As Strategic Advisor: ‘Solid Execution, Strongly Differentiated From Its Peers’ – Benzinga” on March 13, 2019. More interesting news about Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE:ACB) were released by: and their article: “Tilray Leapfrogs Aurora Cannabis and Canopy Growth in the U.S. Hemp Market – The Motley Fool” published on February 20, 2019 as well as‘s news article titled: “Why There Are At Least 2 Monster Years Ahead For Aurora Cannabis – Seeking Alpha” with publication date: February 01, 2019.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. produces and distributes medical cannabis products. The company has market cap of $9.27 billion. It is vertically integrated and horizontally diversified across various divisions of the cannabis value chain, from facility engineering and design to cannabis breeding, genetics research, production, derivatives, high value-add product development, home cultivation, wholesale, and retail distribution. It has a 41.62 P/E ratio. The company’s products consist of dried cannabis and cannabis oil; CanniMed vegan capsules; and hemp products, as well as sells vaporizers, consumable vaporizer accessories, and herb mills for using herbal cannabis products.

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Cannabis maker Aurora picks billionaire investor Peltz as adviser

(Reuters) – Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc on Wednesday tapped billionaire Nelson Peltz as a strategic adviser, betting on the consumer …

Cannabis maker Aurora picks billionaire investor Peltz as adviser

By John Benny


(Reuters) – Canada’s Aurora Cannabis Inc on Wednesday tapped billionaire Nelson Peltz as a strategic adviser, betting on the consumer industry-focused veteran to help the recreational marijuana maker chart its expansion into new markets.

Shares of the company jumped 10 percent after it offered Peltz the role and an option to buy nearly 20 million shares at C$10.34 a share, a small discount on the stock’s close of C$10.64 on Tuesday.

This equates to a nearly 2 percent stake in the company, which would be vested every quarter over a four-year period, Aurora said.

Peltz brings a network of relationships with large potential strategic companies that Aurora could partner with across medical and consumer applications, Cowen and Company analysts said in a note.

His appointment comes weeks after rival Canopy Growth Corp appointed lifestyle guru Martha Stewart to help develop and launch a line of pot-based products.

Aurora, the second biggest cannabis producer by market value, has also been looking beyond recreational marijuana to drive sales, especially after the legalization of hemp, which was part of 2018 U.S. farm bill.

Hemp, a cannabis plant with no or extremely low concentrations of “high” inducing compound, can be used in foods, organic body care and clothing, among others.

“Canadian licensed producers, and Aurora in particular, are well positioned to lead in the development of the international cannabis industry,” Peltz said in a statement.

The activist investor, who heads hedge fund Trian Fund Management, has invested in several global consumer conglomerates, including Mondelez International and Procter & Gamble Co.

He has a 1.5 percent stake worth about $4 billion in P&G and in 2017 won a board seat after waging what was the largest proxy fight ever.

Including Wednesday’s gains, Aurora’s U.S.-listed shares have surged more than 68 percent this year.

(Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur)

03/13/2019 12:59

© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.

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New Acting FDA Commissioner Named

He has expressed a longtime interest in using artificial intelligence, including IBM Watson and its cancer care tool, to improve treatments—recognizing …

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced it would name Ned Sharpless, the director of the National Cancer Institute, the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration next month.

The announcement came just a week after the current commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, announced he plans to resign in early April.

Health secretary Alex Azar confirmed the announcement at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee. The news was first reported by Fox Business Network.

Sharpless, a physician-scientist, ran the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina before taking over the NCI in October 2017.

“Dr. Sharpless’ deep scientific background and expertise will make him a strong leader for FDA,” Azar said in a statement. “There will be no let-up in the agency’s focus, from ongoing efforts on drug approvals and combating the opioid crisis to modernizing food safety and addressing the rapid rise in youth use of e-cigarettes.”

Sharpless was an enthusiastic supporter of Gottlieb’s aggressive push to increase tobacco and e-cigarette regulations.

While it remains unclear whether Sharpless will lead the FDA in a long-term capacity, he was seen as a likely pick to replace Gottlieb. Sharpless is already well acquainted with the agency, Gottlieb said in a staff memo the FDA provided to STAT.

“In fact, he plays on a weekly basketball team with some of our medical review staff,” Gottlieb wrote.

Sharpless is also familiar with the biotechnology industry and the drug-development process. He has co-founded two early-stage biotech companies: G1 Therapeutics, a developer of cancer drugs that raised $108.6 million in a 2017 initial public offering, and HealthSpan Diagnostics, a developer of blood tests.

“One of the things that made me appealing to the White House was that in addition to working in research and as a cancer center director, I’d had some work in the commercialization of ideas, from a basic science lab into a Phase 2 trial asset,” Sharpless told STAT in a 2018 interview, shortly after taking over NCI.

Even from his post within the National Institutes of Health, Sharpless spoke often about how his agency could work with the FDA—and how, at NCI, his powers to better regulate and improve cancer care were limited.

He has expressed a longtime interest in using artificial intelligence, including IBM Watson and its cancer care tool, to improve treatments—recognizing that the technology is limited. “It’s early days for the National Cancer Institute in this area,” he said last year, “and most of the regulatory issues are really for the FDA to tackle.”

Douglas Lowy, NCI’s deputy director, will serve as acting director of the cancer research institute while Sharpless serves as acting director of the FDA.

Sharon Begley contributed reporting.

Republished with permission from STAT. This article originally appeared on March 12, 2019

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