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TEMPUS INVESTS IN ONCOLOGY CLINICAL TRIAL DATA: Tempus Labs, a Chicago-based precision medicine company and one of the city’s “unicorn” companies valued at more than $8 billion, has acquired a San Francisco oncology research company in a bid to expand its clinical trial activities.

Tempus announced today that it has acquired Highline Sciences, a full-service contract clinical research organization that manages and executes early and late-stage clinical trials. Tempus declined to disclose the terms of the agreement.

Highline will help support and grow new and established businesses within Tempus and enable it to launch more clinical trial services, the companies said. Tempus says it is keeping all Highline employees, who will all remain in San Francisco. Tempus, founded in 2015 by Groupon co-founder and billionaire Eric Lefkofsky, today employs more than 1,700 people. READ MORE.

AMITA, OTHERS AT THE TOP OF THE LIST OF HEALTH GRADES: Thirteen Illinois hospitals have ranked among the nation’s top facilities on a new list from Healthgrades, a Denver-based consumer marketplace for finding doctors and care.

The list places Amita Health Resurrection Medical Center Chicago, Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center Elk Grove Village, Palos Community Hospital and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana among the top 1% in the nation. READ MORE.

ABBOTT WIRELESS PACEMAKERS IN THE FIRST PATIENT: Abbott said in a statement Monday that the first patient received implants of a dual-chamber wireless pacemaker system as part of a clinical study.

Implant technology represents a significant milestone, Abbott said in the release. While lead-free pacemakers, implanted directly into the heart, may have fewer complications than those with heart leads, they have traditionally been limited to one chamber of the heart due to difficulty in timing the electrical impulse that maintains the pace, the statement said.

“Abbott addressed this challenge by designing the company’s innovative “i2i technology” to provide beat-to-beat communication between two lead-free pacemakers, one positioned in the right ventricle and the other positioned in the right atrium. “, reads the press release. “This technology is designed to synchronously regulate heart rate between chambers and enable true dual-chamber lead-free pacing.”

The first implant was performed at Na Homolce Hospital in Prague, Czech Republic.

CATHOLIC SCHOOL PARENTS SAY IT’S TIME TO TAKE OFF THE MASKS: A parent group is pressuring Chicago-area Catholic schools to drop the mask mandate.

Nearly 3,000 parents in the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago have signed petitions calling for an end to COVID mask mandates in schools. The archdiocese rejects the effort, saying COVID cases, while declining, are still too high to follow other dioceses in changing course. READ MORE.

The principal of the Queen of Martyrs Catholic School in Evergreen Park was also removed from his post by the archdiocese for ending the school’s mask mandate, the Block Club Chicago reports.

BUT DOCTORS IN THE NORTH WEST SAY NOT SO QUICKLY ON SCHOOL WITHOUT A MASK: Northwestern Medicine experts say it’s still too early to lift mask mandates and the effort isn’t rooted in science, according to a statement.

“It’s a little premature,” Dr. Tina Tan, a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in the statement. “Yes, there are a lot of places that have overcome the omicron surge, but there are still places in the United States where the spike hasn’t happened yet.”

“The timing is very bad because in Illinois it is still very cold, so our children are forced to spend most of their days indoors,” said Mercedes Carnethon, vice president of preventive medicine and professor of epidemiology and pulmonary and intensive care at Feinberg. said in the press release. “That would be one thing in the summer or late spring, when more can be done outdoors where transmission rates are lower.”

ROSALIND FRANKLIN RESEARCHERS DEVELOP A NEW APPROACH TO CYSTIC FIBROSIS: Researchers are reporting promising results from a new therapeutic approach using RNA-like molecules in the treatment of cystic fibrosis, a statement from the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science said Tuesday.

The study, led by Rosalind Franklin’s Professor Michelle Hastings, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examines the use of short molecules, called antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs), in combination with fibrosis modulators cyst approved as an effective treatment. option. The study was partially funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“Our ASO treatment resulted in recovery of CFTR activity in patient cells cultured in the laboratory to recapitulate the lung environment,” Hastings, director of the Center for Genetic Diseases, said in the release. “Efficacy of treatment in this cellular model of disease is a strong indicator of potential clinical success, giving us hope that our ASO strategy will offer potential treatment for patients with this particular CF mutation and mutation types also similar.

Cystic fibrosis affects more than 30,000 children and adults in the United States and more than 70,000 worldwide, according to the statement, and some patients have “stop” mutations that have proven very difficult to treat in cystic fibrosis and other diseases because they lead to almost complete loss. production of proteins from the gene.

ASO’s patented technology and Dr. Hastings’ therapeutic approach have demonstrated potential applications for genetic diseases that add to CF, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Batten’s disease, and Cystic Fibrosis Syndrome. Usher, the statement said.

AS LAPTOP USE GROWS, CAN CLINICIANS TRUST THE DATA? The lack of clinical validation of data generated by mobile apps and wearable devices may hinder the adoption of these tools by healthcare professionals, says Dr. Kaveh Safavi, consultant at Accenture, Modern Healthcare.

Investments in digital medicine have exploded in recent years, with mobile apps and wearable devices deploying vast amounts of previously unknown data to consumers, providers and health plans. But experts worry that a lack of standardized metrics could slow vendor adoption of digital tools.

Validating numerical parameters could prove difficult, especially for conditions without an established body of knowledge or standard of care to judge clinical validity, Safavi said.

And endpoint validation of clinical data (all that wearable data) is difficult without a standard of care.

For example, Safavi said, he participated in an effort by the American Medical Association to establish standards for evaluating digital tools. But it went nowhere because there was no organization to do the clinical validation, he said.

LABCORP INCREASES ITS REGIONAL CAPACITY WITH A LABORATORY IN SOUTH BEND: Labcorp said in a statement it is opening a new diagnostic lab in South Bend to improve service levels and offerings to patients and physicians in the area.

The 25,000-square-foot facility includes new equipment to perform efficient, high-quality testing — and will include STAT testing to accelerate high-priority test results, Labcorp said. It employs around 100 people, the statement said.

Labcorp acquired the clinical laboratory diagnostic testing business of the South Bend Medical Foundation in October 2019, enhancing its services in parts of Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, according to the release. . The new lab is further expanding its services to include northwest Indiana and southern Michigan, according to the release.

BECKMAN INSTITUTE RESEARCHER USING A RARE MRI SCANNER TO STUDY BRAIN BLEEDS: Neurosurgeon and researcher Wael Mostafa of Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana uses the Siemens Magnetom Terra 7 Tesla MRI scanner he co-owns with the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois to study intracranial hemorrhage or acute bleeding in the brain.

Mostafa’s first-of-its-kind study seeks to better understand what treatments and interventions might work best when a patient has a spontaneous intracranial hemorrhage deep in the brain, according to a statement from the Beckman Institute. Treatments are often controversial, the statement said.

The Siemens MRI scanner is an ultra-high field MRI, which means it enables in-depth clarity of scans that is not common to all MRIs, according to the release. It is one of four such MRIs currently in use for patient care, and the only such machine in Illinois, according to the release.

“This study presents a true collaboration between neurosurgery and biomedical imaging to understand a serious question that we currently don’t have an answer to,” Mostafa said.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

jason huton joined Access Community Health Network as Vice President of Human Resources. Hutton offers expertise in driving employee recruitment and retention strategies, training and development, performance management and compensation practices, Access said in a statement.