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COVID-19, MIS-C and Kawasaki disease share same immune response

The emergence of COVID-19 had doctors racing to define and treat the new disease, but they soon discovered it was not the only novel illness caused by…

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The emergence of COVID-19 had doctors racing to define and treat the new disease, but they soon discovered it was not the only novel illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. A subset of children infected by the virus also experienced abdominal pain, headaches, rashes and vomiting. This new set of symptoms was labeled multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and had many of its pediatric patients requiring intensive care.

Credit: UC San Diego Health Sciences

The emergence of COVID-19 had doctors racing to define and treat the new disease, but they soon discovered it was not the only novel illness caused by SARS-CoV-2. A subset of children infected by the virus also experienced abdominal pain, headaches, rashes and vomiting. This new set of symptoms was labeled multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) and had many of its pediatric patients requiring intensive care.

As MIS-C rates rose, physicians began to note its similarities to a pre-pandemic illness, Kawasaki disease (KD), which has puzzled pediatricians for more than 50 years. MIS-C and KD share many symptoms, including fever, rash and bloodshot eyes, though KD can also lead to coronary artery aneurysms and heart attack. Unlike MIS-C, which is associated with a specific virus, KD may be triggered by a variety of infectious and environmental stimuli.

To better understand how these inflammatory syndromes compare and contrast, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine collected blood and tissue samples from MIS-C and KD patients. Using artificial intelligence tools, they analyzed patterns of gene expression in both conditions and compared them to gene expression markers of COVID-19. 

The study, publishing May 16, 2022 in Nature Communications, reveals that MIS-C and KD are on the same immune response continuum as COVID-19, with MIS-C being a more severe version of the response than KD. Despite these underlying similarities, the conditions do diverge in several laboratory and clinical parameters. Authors said the findings could improve disease diagnosis, monitoring and treatment in pediatric patients.

“We want our immune system to protect us from harmful stimuli, but some children are genetically predisposed to respond more intensely, leading to inflammation and unwanted symptoms across the body,” said co-corresponding author Jane C. Burns, MD, a pediatrician at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “The sooner we can identify and understand the child’s inflammatory condition, the better we can tailor our delivery of life-saving support.” 

The research team previously identified a set of 166 genes expressed in viral respiratory diseases, including COVID-19, a subset of which also corresponded to disease severity. Researchers found that this same “gene signature” also applied to both MIS-C and KD, suggesting the conditions all stem from a similar underlying mechanism, which involves the rapid release of IL15/IL15RA cytokines. 

The team then looked at a separate set of 13 genes used to identify KD, and found that a computer program trained to look for this genetic signature could not tell the KD and MIS-C samples apart. 

“We were not expecting that,” said co-corresponding author Pradipta Ghosh, MD, professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We analyzed MIS-C and KD through the lens of two distinct gene signatures, and both experiments told us these diseases are closely related.”

Ghosh said the two gene signatures likely represent different parts of the same broader immune response.

While the study provides a new unifying framework for these diseases, it also identifies a few subtle differences. For example, MIS-C patients had lower blood platelet and eosinophil counts, two features that can be measured from routine blood tests. And, while many serum cytokines were similarly elevated in both conditions, a select few were more elevated in MIS-C than in KD samples. 

Authors noted that therapeutics targeting some of these cytokines, including TNFα and IL1β, have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are being tested as novel treatments for MIS-C.

“We believe our findings have a high potential to impact clinical trial planning immediately, and also shape clinical guidelines and patient care down the line,” said co-corresponding author Debashis Sahoo, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics and computer science at UC San Diego School of Medicine and UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Co-authors include: Gajanan D. Katkar, Chisato Shimizu, Jihoon Kim, Soni Khandelwal, Adriana H. Tremoulet, John T. Kanegaye, Pediatric Emergency Medicine Kawasaki Disease Research Group and Soumita Das, all at UC San Diego, as well as Joseph Bocchini of the Willis-Knighton Health System.

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Government

Royal Caribbean Shares Huge News on Covid Testing, Vaccine Rules

President Michael Bayley gave some straight answers on pre-cruise covid testing and potentially dropping vaccine requirement at a Q&A during the cruise…

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President Michael Bayley gave some straight answers on pre-cruise covid testing and potentially dropping vaccine requirement at a Q&A during the cruise line's President's Cruise.

Being on a cruise has largely returned to the same experience it was before the pandemic. Mask requirements have been dropped, capacities have returned to normal, and social distancing requirements have been dropped.

In fact, aside from crew members still having to wear masks and some stray passengers opting to do so in certain indoor situations, there's really no sign of covid rules once you board your cruise.

Before you board, however, the pandemic still has an effect on cruising. Every passenger 12 and older must be vaccinated (and must prove so before getting on board) and all passengers must produce a negative covid test taken no more than two days before getting on the ship.

And, while covid remains a problem, the cruise industry sees some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to pre-cruise protocols. Executives from the major cruise lines -- Royal Caribbean International (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report, Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report -- have said very little about plans to drop pre-cruise testing and vaccination requirements,

Now, however, Royal Caribbean President Michael Bayley has spoken out on both issues and has given cruise fans some real answers.

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When Will Covid Tests and Vaccinations Get Dropped?

The major cruise lines have largely stayed quiet about covid protocols because they remain somewhat beholden to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The current CDC rules are voluntary, but voluntary is sort of a relative term when it comes to the power the federal agency has over the cruise industry.

It makes sense that the industry has been cautious in commenting on when covid protocols may change, but with the end at least seeming feasible Bayley answered questions about both the end of pre-cruise testing and potentially dropping vaccination requirements during the 2022 Royal Caribbean President's Cruise on Ovation of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean Blog reported.

"I think pre-cruise testing is going to be around for another couple of months," Bayley said. "We obviously want it to go back to normal, but we're incredibly cognizant of our responsibilities to keep our crew, the communities and our guests safe."

Bayley was less hopeful about the end of vaccinations, according to the blog, which has no connection to Royal Caribbean.

"The no vaccine question is is a huge question that none of us know the answer to," he said. "I'm skeptical that's going to change in the in the real short term. Many and most of the destinations that we visit require a high degree of vaccination, and they expect our crew to be vaccinated."

Cruise Lines Covid Protocols Are Working

Covid has not gone anywhere, but the cruise industry has been very successful at controlling the impact of the virus. Bayley noted that the CDC shares some information with him about the "millions" of people who have sailed from U.S. ports over the past 12 months.

"And the number of people who died from COVID who'd sailed on ships over the past year was two," the Royal Caribbean Blog reported. "Two is terrible. But against the context of everything we've seen, that's it's truly been a remarkable success."

Vaccine requirements remain a touchy issue as some people have chosen not to be vaccinated and that means they cannot cruise. That seems unlikely to change anytime soon given the destinations Royal Caribbean visits and the CDC information which shows that the current protocols are working.

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Trial of potential universal flu vaccine opens at NIH Clinical Center

A Phase 1 clinical trial of a novel influenza vaccine has begun inoculating healthy adult volunteers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center…

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A Phase 1 clinical trial of a novel influenza vaccine has begun inoculating healthy adult volunteers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The placebo-controlled trial will test the safety of a candidate vaccine, BPL-1357, and its ability to prompt immune responses. The vaccine candidate was developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The single-site trial can enroll up to 100 people aged 18 to 55 years and is led by NIAID investigator Matthew J. Memoli, M.D.

Credit: NIAID

A Phase 1 clinical trial of a novel influenza vaccine has begun inoculating healthy adult volunteers at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The placebo-controlled trial will test the safety of a candidate vaccine, BPL-1357, and its ability to prompt immune responses. The vaccine candidate was developed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The single-site trial can enroll up to 100 people aged 18 to 55 years and is led by NIAID investigator Matthew J. Memoli, M.D.

“Influenza vaccines that can provide long-lasting protection against a wide range of seasonal influenza viruses as well as those with pandemic potential would be invaluable public health tools,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “The scientific community is making progress on this pressing global health priority. The BPL-1357 candidate influenza vaccine being tested in this clinical trial performed very well in pre-clinical studies and we look forward to learning how it performs in people.” 

BPL-1357 is a whole-virus vaccine made up of four strains of non-infectious, chemically inactivated, low-pathogenicity avian flu virus. A study in animals, led by NIAID investigator Jeffery K. Taubenberger, M.D., Ph.D., and posted online as a pre-print, found that all mice receiving two doses of BPL-1357 vaccine delivered either intramuscularly or intranasally survived later exposure to lethal doses of each of six different influenza virus strains, including subtypes that were not included in the vaccine. Similar results were obtained in challenge experiments with BPL-1357-vaccinated ferrets. 

In the Phase 1 trial, volunteers will be randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio into three groups and will receive two doses of placebo or vaccine spaced 28 days apart. Group A participants receive BPL-1357 intramuscularly along with intranasal saline placebo; Group B will receive doses of the candidate vaccine intranasally along with intramuscular placebo; volunteers in Group C receive intramuscularly and intranasally delivered placebo at both visits to the clinic. Neither the study clinicians nor the volunteers know the group assignments. Volunteers must not have received any type of flu vaccination in the eight weeks prior to enrollment and must agree to forego seasonal flu vaccination for approximately two months after the second vaccine (or placebo) dose. 

The study duration for each participant is approximately seven months. In addition to the two clinic visits to receive vaccine (or placebo), volunteers will be asked to return to the clinic seven times to provide blood and nasal mucosal samples that will be used by the investigators to detect and characterize immune responses. 

“With the BPL-1357 vaccine, especially when given intranasally, we are attempting to induce a comprehensive immune response that closely mimics immunity gained following a natural influenza infection,” said Dr. Memoli. “This is very different than nearly all other vaccines for influenza or other respiratory viruses, which focus on inducing immunity to a single viral antigen and often do not induce mucosal immunity.” 

“Our study will examine the safety of BPL-1357 and also will allow us to assess the importance of mucosal immunity against flu and whether a strategy of inducing both the cellular and antibody arms of the immune system can provide broader protection against the ever-changing influenza virus,” he added. 

For additional information about the trial, visit ClinicalTrials.gov and search on the trial identifier NCT05027932. 


NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID website. 

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov. 

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®


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Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving

Penny stocks to watch with news
The post Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving appeared first on Penny Stocks to…

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Penny stocks are well-known for their high-risk and high-reward potential. When it comes to a choppy stock market, traders will flock to some of these names for quick gains instead of taking a chance at investing in a broader market that still has some downside left.

Needless to say, this week, in particular, could bring more speculation and uncertainty thanks to key economic data. The foremost is second-quarter GDP results set to report on Wednesday. The biggest question is, will GDP data signal signs or even confirm a recession?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the figures show some interesting trends:

“Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 1.5 percent in the first quarter of 2022, following an increase of 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021. The decrease was revised down 0.1 percentage point from the “advance” estimate released in April. In the first quarter, there was a resurgence of COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant and decreases in government pandemic assistance payments.”

But whether or not this read-out is bullish or bearish may not matter much to traders looking for penny stocks to buy. Let’s explain.

Penny Stocks To Watch

In general, broader market trends take a back seat to whatever individual catalysts are at play with penny stocks. If you’ve traded long enough, I’m sure you’ve seen the stock market crash lower, yet several penny stocks are exploding higher. This detached trend is unique and has become one of many reasons traders hunt for top trending penny stocks daily.

One of the most prominent reasons for cheap stocks to move iradically even with the stock market down tends to involve headlines. These can become significant catalysts for a bullish (or bearish) trend. Here’s a quick list of penny stocks with news that are moving during the week.

  • Wejo Group Limited (NASDAQ: WEJO)
  • Bird Global Inc. (NYSE: BRDS)
  • Tuniu Corp. (NASDAQ: TOUR)
  • JanOne Inc. (NASDAQ: JAN)
  • Endo International (NASDAQ: ENDP)

Best Penny Stocks To Buy Now

Are penny stocks with news the best to buy now? Much of that answer deals with specific trading styles. Sometimes, news catalysts can be short-lived, primarily suitable for day traders. In other instances, headlines include verbiage and further discussion that prompt a longer-term forecast for some. If a company posts news, diving deeper beyond the headline is a good idea.

Wejo Group Limited (NASDAQ: WEJO)

Who said penny stocks have no legitimate business with well-established companies? Wejo Group is a prime example of why that statement isn’t accurate. The smart-mobility could solutions company focuses on electric and autonomous vehicle data. This has become a point of interest for those looking at car companies aiming for self-driving and a more tech-focused model.

Why WEJO Stock Is Moving

This week, Wejo Group announced a collaboration with none other than Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) in Europe. The two will leverage data and insights where Wejo can access personalized connected vehicle data from Ford vehicles.

“Providing actionable data insights to insurance providers is another example of how Wejo is expanding into additional markets and demonstrating new use cases for OEMs and insurance companies to monetize connected vehicle data for good,” said Richard Barlow, founder, and CEO, of Wejo.

Bird Global Inc. (NYSE: BRDS)

Another mobility company on the list of penny stocks to watch is one you might have seen “scooting” around your city. Bird Global offers eScooters and eBikes that anyone can rent using a Bird-connected app. Billing itself as a “micro electric vehicle company,” Bird’s suite of scooters and bikes is becoming popular among riders looking for urban travel without getting in an actual vehicle. Unfortunately, BRDS stock wasn’t such a high flyer after its IPO debut last year. Shares have gone from highs of $11.25 to lows of $0.4648 in a matter of 7 months.

Why BRDS Stock Is Moving

Earlier this month, Bird received a notice of non-compliance with the NYSE based on its low share price. The exchange requires companies to maintain a closing price of at least $1 for 30 consecutive trading days to keep the listing. Considering that the company plans to notify the NYSE by July 5th of its intention to “cure” the stock price deficiency, there could be some speculation building as the countdown begins.

Tuniu Corp. (NASDAQ: TOUR)

Travel is one of the industries taking a back seat over the last few years. Thanks to the rise of the pandemic and continued COVID restrictions, travel stocks haven’t faired as well as their market cohorts. However, the area of the industry that has remained beaten down involves companies with exposure to China’s market.

Tuniu Corp. is a prime example of the bearish sentiment for Chinese travel stocks. TOUR stock has slumped from over $2 to under $0.50 within the last year. The company offers an online leisure travel service focused on prepackaged and self-guided tours. This week, TOUR stock’s tides changed a bit, and shares have begun to rally.

[Read More] What to Know About Buying Penny Stocks on June 28th

Why TOUR Stock Is Moving

There isn’t any TOUR stock-specific news. However, broader industry information has come to light and acted as a catalyst. In particular, China has begun loosening its COVID quarantine rules. As a result, bullish sentiment has returned to the sector, prompting momentum in several travel names, including Tuniu.

JanOne Inc. (NASDAQ: JAN)

JanOne develops drugs with non-addictive and pain-relieving properties. One of its focuses is on curbing the opioid crisis. Its JAN101 platform is being developed for treating peripheral artery disease and is a catalyst behind the latest move in JAN stock today.

Why JAN Stock Is Moving

This week, JanOne announced that work was completed with Dr. Maureen Donovan at the University of Iowa. It will allow for an improved formulation of JAN101, which has been used successfully in trials for reducing pain and improving nerve function. Furthermore, JanOne expects to start manufacturing and validating processes “in the near future.”

One of the other attractive points of interest for traders is JAN stock’s float. Looking at multiple outlets, you’ll see that this figure is well below 10 million shares. In cases of low float penny stocks, volatility can play a leading role. Given the latest headline, this could be something to keep in mind heading into the rest of the week.

Endo International (NASDAQ: ENDP)

Shares of Endo International took flight this week. The specialty pharmaceutical company recently focused on developing an orthopedic product for treating osteoarthritis knee pain. It signed a deal with Taiwan Liposome to commercialize its TLC599 injectable compound, which is in Phase 3 development for osteoarthritis treatment.

[Read more] Penny Stocks To Buy Now? 4 Biotech Stocks To Watch Before July 2022

“TLC599 is fully aligned with our commitment to providing differentiated nonsurgical options to healthcare providers and their appropriate patients,” said Patrick Barry, Executive Vice President, and President, Global Commercial Operations at Endo, in a June 13th update.

Why ENDP Stock Is Moving

You won’t find anything in corporate newsfeeds if you’re looking for why ENDP stock is moving right now. However, if you dig deeper into the company’s filings, there may be something evident acting as a catalyst in the stock market today. Millennium Management LLC filed a 13G on June 27th, showing a 1.7% stake in the company. In our article Buy Penny Stocks Like Hedge Funds Do: A How-To Guide, we discussed specific forms and filings to pay attention to if you want to “follow” the money of investment firms.

A 13G pertains to “passive investors” owning less than 20% of a company’s outstanding shares. Once a “passive investor” reaches over 20% of the OS, they must start filing 13D statements.

Best Penny Stocks Today

News can be a way to find names for your penny stocks list. However, when it’s time to buy them, it’s best to dig a little deeper to determine if that news has lasting potential. Penny stocks with news experience volatility early. When it comes to follow-through, much of that comes down to the market itself. Today we looked at 5 penny stocks with news, industry-related speculation, or corporate developments. After seeing why they moved, are any on your watch list right now?

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The post Penny Stocks To Watch: Why TOUR, JAN, ENDP, BRDS & WEJO Stock Are Moving appeared first on Penny Stocks to Buy, Picks, News and Information | PennyStocks.com.

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