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Oct 16, 2006

NIH Awards Grant for Bacterial Contamination in Platelet Units Test

  • Immunetics received a $2.5-million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to support clinical trials for its BacTx™ test for bacterial contamination of platelet units. The company hopes to run clinical trials and finally bring this product to market with the help of this grant.

    Transfusion of bacterially contaminated platelets can result in severe or fatal sepsis. This is the highest known risk associated with transfusion of blood products, according to Immunetics.

    The American Association of Blood Banks recently mandated screening all platelet units for bacterial contamination. “The BacTx test will meet a well-recognized need in hospitals and blood centers,” asserts Andrew Levin, founder and CEO.

    Immunetics explains that its test detects bacteria of all types in a simple and rapid procedure. “It will enable blood banks and transfusion clinics to test for bacteria before a platelet unit is transfused,” adds Levin, “rather than waiting several days for culture results or testing with less accurate methods. Everyone, including patients and blood centers, stands to gain from using this test.”

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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