Israel begins human trials for coronavirus vaccine

Israel began human trials for its own coronavirus vaccine as the Jewish state’s second lockdown comes to a gradual end.

Two volunteers in separate hospitals – one in Tel Aviv and another in Jerusalem – have started the trials. If the two, Segev Harel and Aner Ottolenghi, feel in good health in the next two days, another 80 people will join the first phase of the trial.

According to officials, each volunteer will get either a dose of the vaccine or a placebo and will be sent home, where they will be monitored for three weeks for any possible side effects or whether they develop antibodies.

Harel said he is very proud to be part of such an important national mission and said he is not nervous.

Segev Harel at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Segev Harel at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
(Israeli Defense Ministry)

MODERNA WILL HAVE 20M CORONAVIRUS VACCINES READY BY YEAR’S END

If the first phase is successful, the second phase is scheduled for December and will include nearly 1,000 volunteers. A final phase will be open to 30,000 volunteers and will begin in April 2021.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, where the first vaccine was administered.

Segev Harel meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.

Segev Harel meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
(Israeli Defense Ministry)

“There is a cause for a measure of cautious optimism today,” Gantz said. “Optimism, because I think excellent work is being done by our top scientists across the board, all of whom are giving their very best, and this is cause for optimism.”

He said it will take time to track and process the data and draw conclusions. He asked for patience.

“I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Netanyahu said. “I see the vaccines in the state of Israel. In this means or another, a vaccine developed here or abroad we will bring enough vaccines to the Israeli citizens, and we will break free from this pandemic.”

The commercial name of the vaccine is “BriLife.” The first part of the name, “Bri”, refers to the Hebrew word for health, “briut,” the second part, “il” alludes to Israel, and “life” speaks to the importance of the vaccine.

Israeli scientists have begun the first coronavirus vaccine trial.

Israeli scientists have begun the first coronavirus vaccine trial.
(Israeli Defense Ministry)

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

According to the Israel Institute for Biological Research, large-scale production of the vaccine has been implemented. To date, the institute has produced more than 25,000 vaccine doses.

“The work of all the hidden heroes in the institute and the hospitals has been poured into a little bottle which has the potential to bring a life-saving vaccine to the citizens of the state of Israel,” Dr. Shmuel Yitzhaki, head of the Biology Division at the IIBR told Fox News.

Officials said that, if all goes well, the vaccine could be ready for the general population as early as summer 2021.

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Hestia Insight Inc. Begins Healthcare Operations; Treating Anxiety, Depression; Exploring Alternate Medicine

Las Vegas, NV – ( NewMediaWire ) – October 22, 2020 – Hestia Insight Inc. (OTC: HSTA) new subsidiary, HSTA Health Inc. (HHI), today announced that it has entered a business partnership with Noether Sciences and Technologies, Inc.   HHI will utilize Noether’s IP therapy to treat anxiety and depression and has licensing rights for the therapy throughout the U.S.

“These two most common diseases cause numerous societal problems.  We believe this innovative technology will provide excellent healthcare services and we look forward to marketing it to medical professionals,” said Edward C. Lee, Chairman and President of Hestia and President of HHI.

“We are coming out of a difficult period, with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we believe there are many innovative technologies that should be introduced in the healthcare industry and commercialized,” Mr. Lee said.  “For instance, the alternative medicine market size, a multi-billion-dollar sector, continues to grow.  This includes yoga, meditation, magnetic intervention, acupuncture, and other wellness treatments.  HHI will work to lead and expand this sector.  We are exploring the establishments of clinics throughout the U.S. to provide better patient healthcare.”

Mr. Lee also stressed that:  “Healthcare companies with great products and technology have not been able to enter the marketplace in an effective way, often being unaware on how to communicate with healthcare industry professionals.  We look forward to assisting in this effort, a huge opportunity in a new dimension to make a better life for everyone.”

“After COVID-19 we believe consumers are ready to adapt to a new healthcare ecosystem. It will bring more hope to consumers,” concluded Mr. Lee. “The global healthcare market reached a value of nearly $8,452 billion in 2018, having grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.3% since 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% to nearly $11,909 billion by 2022.”

ABOUT HESTIA INSIGHT INC.:  (www.hestiainsight.com) Hestia Insight Inc. is an advisory Company focused primarily on the great Healthcare and Biotech sectors. It also provides seed capital and mezzanine financing to its clients. Hestia Insight will make strategic acquisitions and mergers or joint ventures with emerging growth companies with intellectual properties. It provides sales and marketing guidance and capital market advice to increase the success of its clients.

(“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release contains or may contain forward-looking statements such as statements regarding the Company’s growth and profitability, growth strategy, liquidity and access to public markets, operating expense reduction, and trends in the industry in which the Company operates. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in the Company’s filings. The Company assumes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in risks, uncertainties or assumptions underlying or affecting such statements, or for prospective events that may have a retroactive effect.)

Contact: Paul Knopick

[email protected]

940.262.3584

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Ionis’ third novel antisense medicine for ALS, its first designed to treat a broad ALS population, begins clinical trial

CARLSBAD, Calif., Oct. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: IONS), the leader in antisense therapeutics, today announced that the first patients have been dosed with ION541 (also known as BIIB105), an investigational antisense medicine being developed as a potential therapy to treat most forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) regardless of family history. This is another milestone in the continuing progress of Ionis’ ambitious program to develop novel treatments for ALS. Almost all cases of ALS share the pathological hallmark of TDP-43 protein aggregation in motor neurons. ION541 targets ataxin-2 RNA (ATXN2), which has been shown to prevent or reverse TDP-43 toxicity in preclinical models of ALS.

(PRNewsfoto/Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)

ALS is a rare, progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder that affects approximately 55,000 people globally.i  About 90 percent of ALS cases occur in people who have no apparent family history of the disease. People with ALS experience muscle weakness, loss of movement, and difficulty breathing and swallowing, resulting in a severely declining quality of life and potentially death.

“As our third medicine designed to treat different forms of ALS to enter clinical trials, ION541 represents yet another example of the power of Ionis’ antisense technology to potentially target root causes of devastating neurodegenerative diseases,” said Frank Bennett, Ph.D., Ionis’ chief scientific officer and franchise leader for neurological programs. “Initiation of this clinical trial for ION541 marks an important milestone in Ionis’ ALS program and reaffirms our commitment to the ALS community.”

Ionis received a payment of $10 million from Biogen for initiation of this Phase 1/2 clinical trial of ION541. Biogen is developing ION541 as part of a broad strategic collaboration with Ionis to advance novel antisense therapies for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Learn more about the Phase 1/2 trial of ION541 at: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04494256?term=biib105&draw=2&rank=1

Ionis’ other leading investigational medicines to treat ALS are tofersen (BIIB067) and IONIS-C9Rx (BIIB078), both partnered with Biogen. Tofersen is designed to reduce the production of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), the cause of a genetic form of ALS, referred to as SOD1-ALS, that results from mutations in the SOD1 gene. SOD1-ALS is the second most common genetic form of ALS, accounting for up to 20 percent of genetic ALS. Tofersen is currently in a Phase 3 clinical trial in SOD1-ALS patients with data expected in 2021. IONIS-C9Rx is designed to selectively reduce the mutant C9ORF72 RNA and associated neurotoxicity. Mutations in the C9orf72 gene account for greater than 30 percent of genetic ALS cases and five to 10 percent of all patients with ALS. It is the most common genetic form of ALS worldwide. IONIS-C9Rx is the first drug to enter clinical development that specifically targets the mutant C9ORF72 RNA and is a potentially first-in-class therapy for patients with C9orf72-ALS, referred to as C9-ALS. IONIS-C9Rx, which earlier this year received Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is currently in a Phase 1/2 trial in C9-ALS patients.

Ionis’ Forward-looking Statement

This press release includes forward-looking

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Annual stone crab claw harvest begins in Florida

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s annual stone crab claw harvest has started amid new rules aimed at protecting future stocks and concerns about demand for claws due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New regulations, enforced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, include increasing the minimum size of a harvested claw from 2 3/4 inches (7 centimeters) to 2 7/8 inches (7.3 centimeters); reducing the harvest season by two weeks and modifying traps to have a 2 3/16-inch (5.5-centimeter) escape ring. The season started Thursday and ends May 1.

Trap modifications must be completed by the 2023-2024 season, but Gary Graves, vice president of Keys Fisheries, one of the state’s largest processors of the tasty claws, said many commercial fishermen’s traps in the Florida Keys are already compliant.

He said commercial fishermen around the state worked with FWC officials to institute the new rules to ensure future harvests.


“We’re in favor of this (new regulations) to rebuild the fishery,” Graves said, adding that about 2.1 million pounds of claws were harvested last year around Florida. “Probably in four or five years, we’ll be able to start catching three or three-and-a-half million pounds (annually) like we used to.”

Graves said the COVID-19 pandemic has fishermen on edge because most commercially harvested claws are sold to restaurants across Florida.

“Retail, I think, is strong,” Graves said. “We see a lot of people ordering (seafood) online or going to the grocery store and buying and eating at home.

“But we just don’t know what restaurants are going to do this year in Florida, which are the largest consumers of the crab,” he said.

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As Open Enrollment Begins, Health Benefits May Not Change Much

If you take medication regularly for a chronic condition, she added, make sure the plan’s prescription benefit covers it.

If your employer offers multiple plan choices, Ms. Watts of Mercer said, you should take the time to compare the total cost of coverage for each option — don’t just look at the premiums. She advises taking the total premium and subtracting any contributions made by your employer, such as to a health savings account, to compare the cost of different plans.

“Do the math,” she said.

To see your total potential financial exposure, add the plan deductible. If you are generally healthy and don’t take regular medication, a plan with a higher deductible may save you money. If you can’t afford unexpected costs, a lower deductible — typically with a higher premium — may be the best option. The average deductible for an individual is $1,644, Kaiser found.

Theresa Adams, senior knowledge adviser at the Society for Human Resource Management, said many workers didn’t take enough time to evaluate benefits. She encouraged them to make use of online tools offered by their employers to help choose options and to reach out with questions.

How much can I contribute to a health savings account in 2021?

Contribution limits ticked up for next year, the Internal Revenue Service announced. The maximum contribution is $3,600 for an individual and $7,200 for family coverage. (People 55 and older can save an extra $1,000.) H.S.A.s, however, are available only with specific types of health plans with high deductibles — at least $1,400 for individual coverage and $2,800 for family coverage for 2021. Typically, your employer will specify if a plan is H.S.A. qualified.

Some plans have a different option, called a health care flexible spending account. You can contribute to it before taxes, via paycheck withdrawals, to pay for care and products that your health plan doesn’t cover. Contribution limits are lower than with an H.S.A., and if you change jobs, your flexible spending account doesn’t go with you, as an H.S.A. does.

When is open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act marketplace?

According to Healthcare.gov, open enrollment for coverage starting on Jan. 1 runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. Open enrollment for state-run marketplaces may vary.

The legal challenge before the Supreme Court isn’t expected to affect this year’s open enrollment, as the court’s decision would probably come before next summer.

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