$30M commitment supports development of therapies for viral infections

first_img From the lab to COVID front lines AbbVie will provide $30 million over three years and additional in-kind support leveraging AbbVie’s scientists, expertise and facilities to advance collaborative research and early-stage development efforts across five program areas that address a variety of therapeutic modalities:Immunity and immunopathology — Study of the fundamental processes that impact the body’s critical immune responses to viruses and identification of opportunities for therapeutic intervention.Led by Uli Von Andrian, Mallinckrodt Professor of Immunopathology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS and program leader of basic immunology at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard; and by Jochen Salfeld, vice president, immunology and virology discovery at AbbVie.Host targeting for antiviral therapies — Development of approaches that modulate host proteins in an effort to disrupt the life cycle of emergent viral pathogens.Led by Pamela Silver, Elliot T. and Onie H. Adams Professor of Biochemistry and Systems Biology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS; and by Steve Elmore, vice president, drug discovery science and technology at AbbVie.Antibody therapeutics — Rapid development of therapeutic antibodies or biologics against emergent pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2, to a preclinical or early-clinical stage.Led by Jonathan Abraham, assistant professor of microbiology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS; and by Jochen Salfeld, vice president, immunology and virology discovery at AbbVie.Small molecules — Discovery and early-stage development of small-molecule drugs that would act to prevent replication of known coronaviruses and emergent pathogens.Led by Mark Namchuk, executive director of therapeutics translation at HMS and senior lecturer of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology in the Blavatnik Institute at HMS; and by Steve Elmore, vice president, drug discovery science and technology at AbbVie.Translational development — Preclinical validation, pharmacological testing, and optimization of leading approaches, in collaboration with Harvard-affiliated hospitals, with program leads to be determined. $16.5 million awarded to projects to fight COVID Chan School’s Michael Mina urges federal regulatory approval, widespread use Technology developed at Harvard provides early boost to Mass. COVID testing Harvard University and AbbVie today announced a $30 million collaborative research alliance, launching a multi-pronged effort at Harvard Medical School (HMS) to study and develop novel therapies against emergent viral infections, with a focus on those caused by coronaviruses and by viruses that lead to hemorrhagic fever.This collaboration aims to rapidly integrate fundamental biology into the preclinical and clinical development of new therapies for viral diseases that address a variety of therapeutic modalities. HMS has led several large-scale, coordinated research efforts launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.“A key element of having a strong R&D organization is collaboration with top academic institutions, like Harvard Medical School, to develop therapies for patients who need them most,” said Michael Severino, vice chairman and president of AbbVie. “There is much to learn about viral diseases and the best way to treat them. By harnessing the power of collaboration, we can develop new therapeutics sooner to ensure the world is better prepared for future potential outbreaks.”“The cataclysmic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic reminds us how vital it is to be prepared for the next public health crisis and how critical collaboration is on every level — across disciplines, across institutions, and across national boundaries,” said George Q. Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School. “Harvard Medical School, as the nucleus of an ecosystem of fundamental discovery and therapeutic translation, is uniquely positioned to propel this transformative research alongside allies like AbbVie.” Related MassCPR collaboration funds plans with promise to help in a year Cheap, frequent COVID tests could be ‘akin to vaccine,’ professor sayslast_img read more

Croatia declared a tourist destination in Quebec in 2018

first_imgThat 2018 is extremely successful for Croatian tourism is confirmed by the last great recognition, ie the award that our country won for destination in 2018 in the choice Associations of travel agents Quebec (L’Association des Agents deVoyages du Quebec – AAVQ). The ceremonial and sixth in a row award ceremony “Uni-Vers” was held last night at the Théâtre Rialto in Montreal, and Croatia was declared the best destination in the strong competition consisting of Portugal, Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The award was accepted by Ina Rodin, Director of the CNTB Representation in New York, which also covers the Canadian market.  Ina Rodin also announces the continuation of positive trends from the Canadian market next year. “ŠRegarding the estimate of the total number of arrivals and overnight stays from the Canadian market in the next year, further growth of travel to Croatia is expected at a growth rate of at least 20 percent.  The estimates are based on the forecast for the recovery of the Canadian economy, the strong contribution of direct flights connecting Toronto with Zagreb and Split, and the general growth of interest in travel to Croatia. “, Rodin concluded.Photo: Pexels.com / HrTurizam.hr IllustrationThe Quebec Travel Agents Association (AAVQ) was founded in June 2011 as a non-profit association with free membership for all representatives and entities operating in the travel industry. The goal of the association is to protect and improve the legal rights of members, as well as to encourage the quality of work among members in order to meet all customer expectations.  In the previous part of the year, they realized more than 170 thousand arrivals and 470 thousand overnight stays, which compared to the same period last year represents an increase of 24 percent in arrivals and 18 percent in overnight stays. The CNTB points out that Croatia’s even stronger positioning in distant markets will be one of the key strategic goals in the coming year.last_img read more

IMCA Modifieds chase $1,250 checks at Batesville’s Arkansas Spring Nationals

first_imgBATESVILLE, Ark. – A pair of $1,250 to win features for IMCA Modifieds are on the card for the Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18 Arkansas Spring Nationals at Batesville Motor Speedway.Both Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot-qualifying events pay $1,000 to the runner-up. Mini­mum start money is $150 and IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Jet Racing Cen­tral Region, Allstar Performance State and track points will be awarded.Pre-entry fee is $50 each night or $75 at the gate. The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 7 p.m. and racing starts at 7:30 p.m. each night.Spectator admission is $10 for adults and free for kids ages 14 and under. Pit passes are $30.Overnight accommodations are available by calling the Ramada Inn at 870 698-1800, the Holiday Inn Express at 870 698-2700 or Comfort Suites at 870 698-1900.Additional information about Arkansas Spring Nationals is available by calling 870 251-0011, at the www.batesvillemotorspeedway.com website or by emailing [email protected]last_img read more

Nenagh Ormond ‘in good shape’ heading into UBL season

first_imgKick-off in Deramore Park is at 2.30 tomorrow afternoon – we’ll bring you updates on the match and will also have the latest from the other Division 2A game involving a Tipperary team, Cashel’s home encounter against Malone. John Long’s team open their Division 2A campaign away to Belfast Harlequins tomorrow afternoon.Last season Ormond just missed out on a place in the promotion play-offs.John is hopeful that the additions to their playing roster will help them to have a good season.last_img read more

UFC Greenville: Has featherweight passed lightweight as the top division in the UFC?

first_imgThere are a few comparable names at lightweight — guys like Don Madge, Nasrat Haqparast or Arman Tsarukyan — but the majority of the population in the 155-pound ranks consists of veterans with long track records and limited upside.Having a robust collection of those athletes is important and no one should ever not be interested in watching Dan Hooker, Gilbert Burns or others of their ilk compete, however having a large group that has all traded wins and losses amongst themselves with few, if any, being able to break through into the upper tier sets the lightweight ranks behind its featherweight counterparts in the divisional hierarchy at the moment.That doesn’t mean lightweight is any less exciting or consistently entertaining, it just means the featherweight ranks are the best in the UFC right now and will stay that way until the next weight class rises up to challenge for the top spot. But over the last couple years, the featherweight division has started to close the gap on the weight class above it in terms of being the most competitive ensemble in the UFC. While lightweight still boasts greater numbers and the more robust middle class, the current makeup of the featherweight division stands as the most entertaining and interesting division in the UFC and that will only become more apparent in the next couple years.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearLightweight certainly boasts the greater collection of recognizable, bankable names at the top of the division, where Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dustin Poirier, and Tony Ferguson make up a triumvirate of championship talent with Conor McGregor permanently hovering over the situation, but it’s not like that group significantly out-paces the pack that resides atop the featherweight ranks.Champion Max Holloway has won 13 straight within the division and recently went toe-to-toe with Poirier in a battle for the interim lightweight title, while the man he’ll face in the main event of UFC 240 next month in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Frankie Edgar, is a former lightweight champion himself, as well as a two-time featherweight title challenger and one of the best to ever compete in the lighter weight classes.Jose Aldo remains the greatest featherweight of all time and the standard-bearer for what a dominant champion looks like in the 145-pound weight division, having successfully defended the title seven times during the first of his two title reigns.Earlier this year, Alexander Volkanovski joined an exclusive group by defeating Aldo, venturing to Rio de Janeiro and sweeping the scorecards against the Brazilian superstar. The only other men to best Aldo inside the Octagon are Holloway, who did it twice in 2017, and McGregor, who was catapulted to a new level of stardom following his dogged pursuit and thrilling knockout of the Nova Uniao product at UFC 194.While that four-pack of fighters likely falls shy of measuring up to the quartet stationed at the top of the lightweight rankings, one of the pieces that gives featherweight the edge in this theoretical battle is the presence of Brian Ortega as a fifth member of the division’s upper crust.The Californian’s only loss to date came last time out in his bid to wrestle the title away from Holloway. Before that, he’d earned six straight stoppage wins over a mix of contenders, divisional fixtures and tough, veteran talents who make their living turning back would-be hopefuls.Age plays a roll in this reshuffling of the divisions in the hierarchy as well, as both Holloway and Ortega are still a couple years away from turning 30 and while Volkanovski will turn 31 in September, he logged fewer miles than say Poirier, who is also approaching his 31st birthday, but has been competing in the UFC the better part of the last decade.Aldo is a battle-hardened 32 and not likely to stick around for much too longer and Edgar is defying convention by remaining a legitimate title contender as he moves towards age 38, however it’s not like the lightweight elite is made up of a bunch of young bucks just entering the formative years of their careers.Nurmagomedov turns 31 nine days before Volkanovski, but he’s already planning his exit strategy, while Ferguson turned 35 in February and has trouble staying healthy. Although he’s continued winning despite various setbacks, surgical procedures and personal matters outside of the cage, it’s fair to wonder how long “El Cucuy” can continue competing at this level and in the entertaining fashion he does as he inches towards 40.For the record, McGregor turns 31 in a month’s time, but his age is less of a consideration than his status as an active fighter. While he remains the most marketable and recognizable fighter in the sport, he’s only stepped into the Octagon once since becoming the first “Champ-Champ,” so even including him on the active lightweight roster feels a bit forced.But the thing that really differentiates featherweight from lightweight at the moment and heading into the future is the wealth of new names and fresh talent working its way up the ranks.While lightweight is flush with established fighters, it’s a little thin in terms of an emerging class ascending the divisional ladder and putting pressure on the known commodities that make up the Top 15. That established group is excellent — Justin Gaethje, Donald Cerrone, Al Iaquinta, Edson Barboza — but there currently aren’t any new names who have proven themselves against the veteran class that really get you excited the way there are in the featherweight division.Gregor Gillespie looks like the real deal, but he’s been out of action since January and has yet to face a Top 15 fighter. Alexander Hernandez got taken down a peg earlier this year when he was hustled into a bout with Cerrone a little too soon. Islam Makhachev could be the heir to Nurmagomedov’s throne, but he too has built up a solid winning streak against solid, but unspectacular competition.Beyond that, the brightest young stars in the division are Contender Series grads Roosevelt Roberts and Devonte Smith, both of who have been impressive thus far, but are still working towards matchups against middle class opponents, yet alone ranked fighters.Conversely, featherweight has fighters like Zabit Magomedsharipov, Calvin Kattar, Mirsad Bektic, Yair Rodriguez and Shane Burgos who have beaten tenured talent to force their way into the Top 15 and there are a host of additional upstarts looking to follow the same path they’ve taken into contention over the next year or two.Where fighters like Grant Dawson and Sodiq Yusuff fit the same description as Roberts and Smith at lightweight, featherweight also boasts athletes like Arnold Allen, who is undefeated in the Octagon and younger than Makhachev, but missing a number beside his name and the residual shine that comes from training with a current UFC champion.The 25-year-old from Felixstowe is scheduled to face Gilbert Melendez next month at UFC 239 and if he emerges victorious, thereby pushing his winning streak to six in the UFC and eight overall, he still might not crack the Top 15 because featherweight is just that competitive at the moment.In addition to Allen, there are others like Bryce Mitchell and Mosvar Evloev and Hakeem Dawodu who all show promise, plus wild cards like Kron Gracie, Makwan Amirkhani, Mike Grundy and Kevin Aguilar whose ceilings have yet to be determined and could continue to make a push towards the rankings in the next 24 months. Featherweight is the new lightweight.For years, the 155-pound ranks were universally regarded as the deepest collection of talent in the UFC — a division replete with top names and tough outs where landing in the Top 15 stood as a major achievement and took more than a handful of wins against middle-tier competition.last_img read more