Regeneron begins human testing of COVID-19 antibody cocktail

first_imgTopics : The dual antibody, called REGN-COV2, is being compared to a placebo treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and in COVID-19 patients who have symptoms but are not sick enough to be hospitalized. Regeneron also plans to study REGN-COV2 for preventing the infection in people at high-risk of exposure – such as healthcare workers – and in uninfected people with close exposure to someone who has tested positive for the virus.Antibodies are proteins made by the body’s immune system that recognize, bind and neutralize an invading virus. Regeneron’s cocktail – which contains an antibody made by the company and a second isolated from humans who recovered from COVID-19 – is designed so that its two antibodies bind to the coronavirus’ spike protein, limiting the ability of viruses to escape.Trial patients will be given a single intravenous infusion of REGN-COV2. In the prevention segments of the study, participants will be given smaller subcutaneous doses, Yancopoulus said. Investigators will be measuring patients’ viral loads and keeping track of symptoms.Regeneron said its treatment could be useful even if a COVID-19 vaccine is developed since the elderly and people with compromised immune systems often do not respond well to vaccines.Yancopoulos said, even though Regeneron does not yet have proof that REGN-COV2 is effective, the company has cleared the way for production of the antibody compound at its New York manufacturing facility. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc on Thursday said it has begun human testing of its experimental antibody cocktail as a treatment for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.The trial has an “adaptive” design and could quickly move from dozens of patients to eventually include thousands, Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos told Reuters.”If it goes perfectly well, within a week or two we will move to the second phase. Within a month or so of that we will have clear data that this is or isn’t working. By the end of summer, we could have sufficient data for broad utilization.”last_img read more

Philips scheme cuts government bonds to benefit from rising rates

first_imgIn the adjusted portfolio all countries have an equal weighting in principle, according a spokeswoman for the pension fund. Previously, the fixed income holdings largely comprised German and French government paper. Source: Source: ECBThe ECB has indicated that it may raise interest rates next yearAt the start of 2017, the scheme’s actual holding of euro-denominated government bonds was 32%, with worldwide government paper totalling 4%.At year-end, the combined government bonds allocation had been reduced to 29.5%.The Philips scheme attributed its overall return of 5.8% largely to the 9.9% gain on its equity holdings as well as the result of its currency hedge.Thanks to the depreciation of the main currencies relative to the euro, the currency hedge contributed no less than 3.8 percentage points to the scheme’s total profits.In contrast, the pension fund incurred a 0.7% loss on its 56% interest rate hedge.It reported losses across almost its entire 57.5% matching portfolio, citing higher interest rates as well as the appreciation of the euro as main causes.With a positive return of 1.7%, Dutch residential mortgages were the only exception.During the first six months, the Philips scheme lost 2.2% on its holdings of euro-denominated government bonds.Worldwide bonds and credit generated losses of 1.8% and 3.3%, respectively, while high yield credit (-3.9%) and emerging market debt (-0.6%) also produced negative results.Property holdings delivered 5.8%, according to the scheme. As the construction of a portfolio of direct non-listed property takes some time, Philips said it had temporarily invested in a combination of listed real estate and cash in order to get close to the desired property profile.Last year, it kept 7.2% of its assets in cash, invested in money market funds and loans with a very short duration. As the valuation of short-term interest rates is usually negative as a consequence of quantitative easing in the euro-zone, it made a 0.5% loss on cash, it said.Last April, the Philips Pensioenfonds granted its participants a 0.22% indexation based on a funding of 117.2% at year-end. As of April 2018, its coverage ratio stood at 119.4%.The pension fund reported asset management and transaction costs of 0.22% and 0.15%, respectively. It spent €100 per participant on administration costs. The €19.5bn Dutch pension fund of electronics giant Philips reduced its stake in government bonds from 40% to 30% in order to benefit from rising interest rates.In its annual report for 2017, it indicated that the strategic divestment came at the expense of euro-denominated government bonds.It reinvested the proceeds in equity (1%), property (2.5%) and cash (6.5%), asset classes less susceptible to rising interest rates.To increase diversity within its fixed income portfolio, the Philips scheme has also divested part of its remaining sovereign exposure away from euro-zone countries in favour of UK, US and Canadian government bonds.last_img read more

LR approves STX’s LNG-fueled MR tanker design

first_imgImage courtesy of Lloyd’s RegisterLloyd’s Register has granted an approval in principle to STX for a 50,000 dwt MR tanker design capable of using LNG as a fuel. STX incorporated an LNG-fuelled propulsion system into their existing conventional MR tanker design with technical assistance and support from LR, ensuring that the design is in compliance with the new IGF code as well as LR’s Gas Fuelled Rules, covering other applicable requirements, the classification society said.Lloyd’s Register also supported STX in carrying out a risk assessment of the LNG-fuelled propulsion system for the vessel design.EK Choi, chief technical officer of STX, said, “the design enables the lowest possible fuel consumption and allows owners to select a design that will meet the future SOx and NOx emission challenges.”The vessel is based on STX’s hull design and features two IMO Type-C independent fuel tanks capable of holding 900 cubic meters of LNG.last_img read more

Three-person civil union sparks controversy in Brazil

first_imgBBC News 28 Aug 2012A notary in the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo has sparked controversy by accepting a civil union between three people. Public Notary Claudia do Nascimento Domingues has said the man and two women should be entitled to family rights. She says there is nothing in law to prevent such an arrangement. But the move has angered some religious groups, while one lawyer described it as “absurd and totally illegal”. The three individuals, who have declined to speak to the press, have lived in Rio de Janeiro together for three years and share bills and other expenses. Ms Domingues says they have already opened a joint bank account, which is also not prohibited by any law.

Adoption promoted as the loving option

first_imgOtago Daily Times 24 January 2018Family First Comment: Very good question. Why do we not promote adoption? Much better option than abortion. #chooselifeWhy are there not more child adoptions, asks  Ken Orr, the Right to Life spokesman.There are in New Zealand about 100 adoptions each year, down from a peak of 3967 adoptions in 1971, and only 20 of these adoptions are to strangers.There are 600 families registered with the Ministry of Children wanting to adopt. These families long to adopt a child and to provide a loving home. It is sad that for most of these families their desire to adopt will be met with frustration, tears and rejection. Adoption is the loving option beneficial for the happiness and welfare of the adoptee and rewarding and fulfilling for the adopting parents and for the birth mother.Since 1985, with the passing of the Adult Adoption Information Act, we have had open adoption with the birth mother being allowed to choose the adoptive parents. She now has the opportunity to have an ongoing caring and loving relationship with her child and the adoptive parents. Today most adoptions are open, a far cry from the trauma and the terrible grief experienced by unmarried mothers who had their children taken from them by the State at birth.There are fewer babies available today for adoption because of the availability of contraception, society’s acceptance of single parenthood and the availability of the domestic purposes benefit and access to abortion.Before 1977, when the Contraception Sterilisation and Abortion Act was passed, it was the expectation that pregnant unmarried mothers would choose life for their child and allow their child to be adopted into a loving home. Since then, many vulnerable pregnant unmarried women have been encouraged by Family Planning, many in the medical profession, family and friends to terminate the life of their precious child. Many women are also coerced by the father of the child to destroy the child to avoid having to pay maintenance for the child.There were 12,823 abortions in New Zealand in 2016 and only an estimated 20 stranger adoptions. It is tragic that for every 1000 abortions there is just over one stranger adoption.READ MORE: read more

Magnitude 6.9 quake rattles Davao del Sur

first_imgPhoto by John Angelo Jomao-as In nearby Matanao town, a six-year-oldgirl was killed when she was hit by a falling concrete wall in their house,said Vincent Fernandez, the municipality’s mayor. The Philippine Institute of Volcanologyand Seismology (Phivolcs) recorded the earthquake around 2:11 p.m. and tracedits epicenter 9 kilometers northwest of Matanao, Davao del Sur. The powerful temblor caused a powertransformer to explode in Davao City. It also disrupted an activity of seniorcitizens in Barangay 21-C in Davao City. A three-storey supermarket collapsed inPadada town in Davao Del Sur province, killing at least three people, accordingto Bureau of Fire Protection municipal chief Samuel Tadeo. center_img MANILA – A magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck Davao del Sur Sundayafternoon. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center saidthere was no tsunami threat from the earthquake. The region was shaken by four powerfulquakes in October and November, which together killed at least 20 people. (With ABS-CBN News/PN)last_img read more

Joncol seeking Hennessy gold

Paul Nolan is hoping Joncol can put his troubles behind him when he bids to lift the Hennessy Gold Cup for a second time at Leopardstown on Saturday. Nolan had the 10-year-old, winner of this race in 2010, treated for a back problem as he felt Joncol was not jumping his fences with his usually fluency and accuracy. The County Wexford handler is happy once again with the condition of his stable stalwart and is looking forward to saddling him in the big three-mile contest. “He was horrendously tight in his back, he wasn’t moving properly and he certainly wasn’t 100%,” said Nolan. “He was guessing at his fences unless he got really close to them. “We’ve had a few people look at him. Hopefully they’ve sorted out his problems and he seems fine again now.” Not only did Joncol take this prize three years ago, but he was also third to Kempes in the 2011 renewal. Press Association read more

Louis van Gaal knows finishing above Manchester City is ultimately what matters

first_img Before the 4-2 win at Old Trafford last term, City had won four derbies in a row and not since the 2012-13 season have United finished above their neighbours in the table. The year after Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, United finished an eye-watering 22 points behind City, but there does not appear to be such a huge gulf in quality between the two teams. Van Gaal believes United are a much better side now, but admits he will only be able to gauge how far his men have come at the end of the season. “I’m happy that we are more balanced in our selection. If you can compete (with City) we have to wait and see,” he said. “Of course we have started very well when you compare it with last year but when you compare (us) with Manchester City we are two points behind. “We were first at the table then lost at Arsenal. We have to wait and see if we can develop as a team. “We have more young players in our selection than last year and we have to develop ourselves. Only at end of the season we can say if we have minimised the gap with our competitors.” Van Gaal believes United are underdogs for the derby even though City are without first-team stars Sergio Aguero and David Silva. Louis van Gaal believes his United team will only be regarded as kings of Manchester if they end the season above City. ”When you look at the facts they are first and we are third,” the United manager said. ”There’s a goal difference, a point difference, and they are first so they are the favourite, I think.” Van Gaal will not use this week’s eight-hour round trip to Moscow as an excuse – despite City staying at home to play Sevilla – but there is certainly a feeling that the trip east has given the visitors a slight disadvantage. To help matters, the Dutchman put his players through a session the day after the game when they landed in Manchester. ”I hope that we have recovered,” Van Gaal said. ”We have done everything to help the recovery for the players. ”We stayed in the hotel the next day, we had a smooth flight. After the flight we came to the AON Training Complex for recovery, we didn’t train too much today. We have to recover. ”It’s still a match at a high level and a big travel. We know that in advance and we have done that.” This will be Van Gaal’s third derby since moving to Old Trafford. He suffered a 1-0 defeat in his first outing at the Etihad Stadium last November, but in the reverse fixture United clinched a superb 4-2 win thanks to goals from Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling. Van Gaal is fully aware of the significance of the fixture to the city’s football fans, but he will not get caught up in the excitement of the occasion. ”You have to do your work more rationally and not emotionally,” he said. ”I think for the fans it’s very emotional. I live in a little village and there it is also the talk of the town. I think in Manchester it is more. ”We have to do our work and prepare our game. We have one day less so it’s more difficult. ”We have to do the meetings in shorter time, which is more difficult for the players, but that is what we have to do and we are doing and we have to hope we beat Manchester City.” United and City will meet for the 170th time on Sunday. Although Van Gaal won his last derby, City have enjoyed supremacy over their local rivals for the majority of the last few years. Press Associationlast_img read more

Connacht hold out for victory over Edinburgh

first_imgConnacht closed out a tense 14-9 victory over Edinburgh at the Sportsground to stay second in the Guinness PRO12 table. Carty’s 25 metre penalty got Connacht up and running and they provided the highlight of a finely balanced first half when full-back O’Halloran crossed in the ninth minute. From a lineout won by Aly Muldowney, Carty’s inviting inside pass sent Matt Healy charging through a gap and he linked with O’Halloran on his outside for a score straight off the training ground. Carty’s conversion attempt from near the right touchline came back off the post and Edinburgh were quick to respond. They pressed from a lineout maul and while they failed to make use of numbers out wide, scrum half Hidalgo-Clyne successfully slotted a penalty on the quarter hour. The Scots disrupted Connacht’s usually solid set piece game and the hosts needed a couple of breakdown wins from Denis Buckley and O’Halloran to break up Edinburgh’s attacking momentum. On the whole it was a scrappy opening 40 minutes, blighted by stop-start passages of play and handling errors. However, as half-time approached, the 18-year-old Kinghorn had the accuracy and distance to convert a long range penalty and draw Edinburgh within two points. A strong burst from Bundee Aki led to a penalty early on the resumption which Carty sent through the uprights for 11-6. Press Association Sam Beard, one of Edinburgh’s most threatening runners, led the Scots’ response with a neat break and Hidalgo-Clyne clipped over his second penalty, rewarding his forwards for further pressure on the Connacht lineout. Livewire flanker Nepia Fox-Matamua got over a ruck ball straight from the restart to win a penalty which Carty converted for 14-9, with Ireland Rugby World Cup squad member Nathan White making his entrance off the bench. Edinburgh, who made the trip without nine frontline players, gave away hard-earned territory as Connacht’s pack grew in influence. They won a scrum penalty which Carty drew wide from distance and he also missed a 78th minute kick after Edinburgh lock Fraser McKenzie was sin-binned for a high tackle. The 14 men launched a determined late surge from their own half but Connacht held their nerve to win a final breakdown penalty and avenge last January’s 16-13 home defeat to the Scots. A brilliantly-worked try from Connacht’s player of the month Tiernan O’Halloran had the hosts 8-6 ahead at the break, with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and teenage full-back Blair Kinghorn kicking a penalty apiece for Edinburgh. Jack Carty landed two second half penalties, sandwiching a 55th minute effort from Hidalgo-Clyne, and those kicks proved vital as Pat Lam’s men, with five wins from six games, remain hot on the heels of the table-topping Scarlets. last_img read more

Smith responds to Yasir’s seven-finger salute

first_imgPAKISTAN’S Yasir Shah may have awakened the beast with his seven-finger salute at the Gabba, with Steve Smith saying it motivated him to not get out to the leg-spinner again in Adelaide this week.Yasir handed Smith a rare Test failure in Brisbane, bowling him for just four and celebrating by holding up seven fingers to signify it’s the seventh time he’s dismissed the world’s best Test batsman in the longest format.Speaking in Adelaide yesterday, Smith pointed out that some of his past dismissals to Yasir – including the one at the Gabba last week – came when he was trying to be aggressive and had played a “funky” shot in order to quickly lift the run rate.And he promised he would adopt a much more cautious approach against Yasir in the second Test, starting on Friday, in order to not get out to the leg-spinner again.“It gave me a bit more motivation next game to not get out to him,” Smith said of Yasir’s celebration.“I’ll be a little bit more disciplined against him.“It was interesting. A few of the times he’s got me out, I’ve been on a few runs and been slogging. There’s been a couple of second innings ones where I was playing some funky shots. So I’m not too worried.“I thought he bowled really well at the Gabba, got some good drift and a little bit of a spin on a wicket that wasn’t spinning that much. He bowled well and we’re going to have to play him well this game.”Yasir dismissed Smith three times in four innings during Australia’s away series in 2014, when the leg-spinner was on debut and Smith had only just started his ascent towards becoming the best batsman in the world.The leggie added three more dismissals of Smith on their tour of Australia three years ago, two of which came when the hosts were speeding towards a declaration in their second innings. Smith was caught on the long-on boundary in the first Test of that series and then dismissed playing a risky paddle sweep in the third Test in Sydney, while Yasir also found a more conventional edge behind on the opening day of the SCG Test.With Australia again cruising towards a massive total in Brisbane last week, Smith was given licence to take the game on by coach Justin Langer, which resulted in two swipes across the line, one that found the mid-wicket boundary and another that clattered into his stumps.“The situation we were at was a pretty good one; the boys batted beautifully at the top,” Smith explained.“I actually spoke to JL in the morning (and asked) ‘how should I approach this today?’. He (said) ‘do what you want to do’.“I thought about being quite aggressive and it didn’t work.”Smith found himself in an unusual position in Brisbane, coming to the middle with 351 runs already on the board and the Australians looking to ram home their advantage.In complete contrast, Smith’s dominant Ashes campaign this year came despite Australia’s top order misfiring badly, with the former skipper walking out to bat after the 10th over just once in seven innings.The prolific right-hander, who punished himself for his failure in Brisbane by jogging from the Gabba back to the team hotel after play, admitted the higher stakes bring out the best in him.“It’s great for the team when there’s no pressure on,” he said. “It means someone else or a couple of guys have done a really good job, which is good.“But I do like batting under pressure and trying to help the team post a total and dig them out of a hole if we’re in a hole. I probably do bat a bit better when there is that pressure on.”last_img read more