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Moderna says COVID booster works against Omicron subvariants

Moderna has reported top-line data suggesting that its COVID-19 booster vaccine candidate stimulates a strong immune response against
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Moderna has reported top-line data suggesting that its COVID-19 booster vaccine candidate stimulates a strong immune response against the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which have driven an uptick in infection numbers in recent weeks.

The news came hard on the heels of Moderna’s announcement that it will build a research and manufacturing facility in the UK to produce COVID and other mRNA jabs, and an additional order for  60 million doses that could be fulfilled using the new Omicron-targeted version, if authorised.

The new vaccine – called mRNA-1273.214 – is a bivalent shot, incorporating mRNA that codes for the spike protein of the original ‘wild-type’ SARS-CoV-2 strain and the Omicron variant that emerged last winter.

According to a Moderna statement, the booster stimulated a greater than five-fold increase in neutralising antibodies against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, regardless of whether the recipient had been previously infected with COVID-19, one month after dosing.

All the subjects in the study had received a primary course of two COVID-19 vaccine doses as well as a third booster shot.

The response against BA4 and BA.5 was three times weaker than for the original Omicron strain BA.1, but nevertheless should provide “lasting protection,” said Moderna’s chief medical officer Paul Burton. Subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have identical sequences of the spike protein.

Earlier this month Moderna reported results from the 800-patient study which showed that it was more effective against Omicron than its original Spikevax shot.

The data is being submitted to regulators around the world in the hope  of getting authorisation of mRNA-1273.214 in time for booster immunisation campaigns in the autumn.

“We…are preparing to supply our next generation bivalent booster starting in August, ahead of a potential rise in SARS-CoV-2 infections due to Omicron subvariants in the early fall,” said Moderna’s chief executive Stéphane Bancel.

The FDA is due to meet with expert advisors on 28 June to discuss booster shots ahead of the coming winter, including mRNA-1273.214 and updated versions of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Comirnaty vaccine.

Infections with BA.4 and BA.5 have been rising in the US, where they account for around a third of all cases – as well as Europe and South Africa – and are expected to become quickly dominant as they are highly transmissible.

They are causing concern as some reports indicate they may cause pneumonia more readily than the BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants, which are less likely to travel down into the lower respiratory tract. Meanwhile, there is also some data suggesting re-infections are more likely with BA.4 and BA.5.

In the UK, experts have recommended that a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine is offered this autumn to vulnerable people, care home residents and staff, frontline healthcare workers, the over-65s and people aged 16 to 65 with clinical risk factors.

Deliberations are still ongoing however about the possibility of offering a fourth shot more widely to protect against a resurgence in coronavirus cases that could place further stress on the health services.

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Aging-US | Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone…

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BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Credit: Hillje et al.

BUFFALO, NY- June 30, 2022 – A new research paper was published in Aging (Aging-US) on the cover of Volume 14, Issue 12, entitled, “Time makes histone H3 modifications drift in mouse liver.”

Aging is known to involve epigenetic histone modifications, which are associated with transcriptional changes, occurring throughout the entire lifespan of an individual.

“So far, no study discloses any drift of histone marks in mammals which is time-dependent or influenced by pro-longevity caloric restriction treatment.”

To detect the epigenetic drift of time passing, researchers—from Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico, University of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’, University of Milan, and University of Padua—determined the genome-wide distributions of mono- and tri-methylated lysine 4 and acetylated and tri-methylated lysine 27 of histone H3 in the livers of healthy 3, 6 and 12 months old C57BL/6 mice. 

“In this study, we used chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing technology to acquire 108 high-resolution profiles of H3K4me3, H3K4me1, H3K27me3 and H3K27ac from the livers of mice aged between 3 months and 12 months and fed 30% caloric restriction diet (CR) or standard diet (SD).”

The comparison of different age profiles of histone H3 marks revealed global redistribution of histone H3 modifications with time, in particular in intergenic regions and near transcription start sites, as well as altered correlation between the profiles of different histone modifications. Moreover, feeding mice with caloric restriction diet, a treatment known to retard aging, reduced the extent of changes occurring during the first year of life in these genomic regions.

“In conclusion, while our data do not establish that the observed changes in H3 modification are causally involved in aging, they indicate age, buffered by caloric restriction, releases the histone H3 marking process of transcriptional suppression in gene desert regions of mouse liver genome most of which remain to be functionally understood.”

DOI: https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204107 

Corresponding Author: Marco Giorgio – marco.giorgio@unipd.it 

Keywords: epigenetics, aging, histones, ChIP-seq, diet

Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article:  https://aging.altmetric.com/details/email_updates?id=10.18632%2Faging.204107

About Aging-US:

Launched in 2009, Aging (Aging-US) publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways.

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5 Top Biotech Stocks To Watch In July 2022

Amid choppy markets, could there be potential in these top biotech stocks?
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Should Investors Be Watching These Top Biotech Stocks In The Stock Market Now?

Just as most people think that pandemic woes are behind us, we now have the emergence of the monkeypox. While this virus may not be as contagious as the coronavirus, there is still a real cause for concern. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the activation of an emergency operations unit for monkeypox. This signals the initial stages of a public health concern. Epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding believes that the number of cases could reach 100,000 worldwide by August. In light of these circumstances, biotech stocks could be gaining more attention in the stock market. 

Furthermore, the coronavirus is not going away anytime soon. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted that there is a need to modify the current strain composition of available COVID-19 vaccines to target the Omicron variant. If this is approved, vaccine makers such as Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA) will need to provide modified boosters of their coronavirus vaccines. In fact, Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech (NASDAQ: BNTX) just announced a new vaccine supply agreement with the U.S. government. Under the agreement, the U.S. government will receive 105 million doses with an option of up to 195 million additional doses. With all this in mind, here are five of the top biotech stocks to note in the stock market today. 

Biotech Stocks For Your July 2022 Watchlist

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 

biotech stocks to buy (regn stock)

First up, we have the integrated biotech company, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Essentially, the company discovers, invents, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for serious diseases. For the most part, its medicines and products aim to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases. REGN stock has been trading sideways over the past year. 

Having said that, the company received a boost on Wednesday as the U.S. FDA has accepted for review the EYLEA Injection supplemental Biologics License Application for every 16-week 2 mg dosing regimen. This specifically caters to patients with diabetic retinopathy. Should this go according to plan, the 16-week dosing regimen could offer patients a potentially longer treatment interval. Also, it will allow doctors to have greater flexibility to individualize treatment. Given such a positive development, should investors be paying more attention to REGN stock?

[Read More] Stock Market Today: Dow Jones, S&P 500 Falter; Walgreens Stock Slides Despite Strong Quarter

Sanofi

best health care stocks to buy now (SNY stock)

Another top biotech name making waves this week is Sanofi. The France-based company engages in the research, development, and marketing of therapeutic solutions. Over the past week, there have been several key developments that could potentially excite investors. For starters, the company and GSK (NYSE: GSK) announced positive data from their vaccine trial last Friday. The vaccine candidate is the first to ever demonstrate efficacy in a placebo-controlled trial in an environment of high Omicron variant circulation. 

Furthermore, Sanofi’s Nexviadyme (avalglucosidase alfa) has recently gained marketing authorization from the European Commission. For the uninitiated, this is an enzyme replacement therapy for long-term treatment of both late-onset and infantile-onset Pompe disease. This is a significant development because Nexviadyme is the first and only newly approved medicine for Pompe disease in Europe since 2006. On that note, would you say that SNY stock is a top biotech stock to watch?

Novavax

best biotech stocks (NVAX stock)

Following that, let us look at the biotech company, Novavax. In detail, it promotes improved health globally through the discovery, development, and commercialization of vaccines to prevent serious infectious diseases. Its recombinant technology platform harnesses the power and speed of genetic engineering. As a result, the company produces immunogenic nanoparticles designed to address urgent global health needs. That said, NVAX stock has been struggling to find its footing since the start of the year. 

During the VRBPAC meeting, Novavax highlighted data showing that its protein-based coronavirus vaccine showed epitopes across both the original strain and emerging variants. Therefore, it will be able to contribute to the generation of broadly cross-reacting antibodies. The company also provided pre-clinical data that suggests boosting with Novavax’s Omicron or prototype vaccine will induce an immune response against Omicron variants. Overall, there are reasons to believe that Novavax will close the second half of the year on a better note. With that in mind, would you consider adding NVAX stock to the top of your watchlist?

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals 

ARWR stock

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals develops medicines that treat intractable diseases by silencing the genes that cause them. It uses a portfolio of ribonucleic acid (RNA) chemistries and modes of delivery. Most of its therapies trigger the RNA interference mechanism to induce rapid, deep, and durable knockdown of target genes. Those following the medical space would notice that gene therapies have been gaining popularity within the industry over the past few years. Hence, it would not be surprising if investors are taking note of Arrowhead. 

As a matter of fact, the company recently claimed that its experimental drug fazirsiran can reduce the accumulation of mutant protein known as Z-AAT by 83%. This result is based on an open-label phase 2 trial involving 16 volunteers with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency disease. For now, there is still no approved treatment for such genetic liver disease. All in all, Arrowhead appears to be making strides in the right direction. Thus, should you be keeping a closer tab on ARWR stock?

[Read More] Best Long-Term Stocks To Buy Now? 5 Semiconductor Stocks To Know

Global Blood Therapeutics

gbt stock

To sum it all up, we have the biopharmaceutical company, Global Blood Therapeutics. As its name suggests, this is a company that specializes in blood-related treatments. The company is currently focused on Oxbryta, an FDA-approved medicine that inhibits sickle hemoglobin polymerization. In addition, it is also advancing its pipeline program in Sickle Cell Disease with inclacumab, and GBT021601. Impressively, GBT stock has been on bullish momentum lately, rising more than 28% within the past month.

Not to mention, the company announced on Thursday that it initiated the Phase 2 portion of its Phase 2/3 trial of GBT021601. The study aims to evaluate the safety, tolerability, efficacy, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of the drug. So far, the preclinical results and data have been encouraging. Smith-Whitley, the company’s head of research and development, believes the drug has “the potential to improve on the clinical results achieved with Oxbryta® at a lower daily dose.” If so, this would be a huge boost for the company as it continues to work towards its long-term goals. All things considered, is GBT stock a buy right now?

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The post 5 Top Biotech Stocks To Watch In July 2022 appeared first on Stock Market News, Quotes, Charts and Financial Information | StockMarket.com.

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5 Regional Food Chains You’ll Wish Were Near You

These five restaurant chains inspire devotion in their home states.

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These five restaurant chains inspire devotion in their home states.

With thousands of dining options out there, it is impossible to remember them all. In fact, the United States holds approximately 700,000 pubs, restaurants, and cafes. But how can people recognize up-and-coming restaurants before they reach peak fame? 

With this in mind, here are five popular regional dining options you may or may not have heard of that you should keep your eyes peeled for when you travel. 

Philz Coffee

Philz Coffee: "One Cup at a Time"

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Similar to Dunkin'  (DNKN) - Get Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. Report or Starbucks  (SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report, Philz Coffee has become California's local café. Created by Phil Jaber and run by CEO Jacob Jaber, its marketing strategy focuses on minimalism and providing a local connection. 

Philz Coffee has now opened up locations in five different cities: San Francisco/Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., and Chicago. The coffee shop has five different coffee blends, including darker, medium, lighter, decaf, and single origin. It also sells teas, gift cards, and various forms of merchandise. 

Interestingly, Philz Coffee does not use espresso -- in fact, all of its coffee based drinks are made using pour over techniques. It also features some menu items that are very specific, like Ecstatic Iced Coffee, Mocha Tesora, Iced Mint Mojito, Iced Coffee Rose, and more. Milk alterations -- such as subbing the common whole milk for oat, almond, soy, etc. -- is actually free at Philz. It also prides itself as part of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, which is referred to on its website as "A global initiative to make coffee the first sustainable commodity." 

Philz Coffee began in 2002 and now has 70 locations. The coffee chain pulls in annual sales of more than $1.7 million per store and is on the rise. Those who find Philz Coffee attractive should keep an eye out for it, especially as it continues competing with Starbucks and Dunkin'

Krispy Kreme 

The Original Krispy Kreme Glaze Donuts 

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme  (DNUT) - Get Krispy Kreme Inc. Report has been known as Dunkin's competitor for a long time. It was founded on July 13th, 1937 in Winston-Salem North Carolina by Vernon Rudolph. Originally, the donuts were only sold to local grocery stores. As the popularity grew, so did the business, with now 1,400 shops and counting. 

What makes Krispy Kreme different? Firstly, Krispy Kreme is not in every state. In fact, there are 14 U.S. states and territories without these delicious donuts. The donuts are also made in-house, with a glass wall surrounding a conveyer belt glazing and baking the donuts for all to watch. 

The franchise also offers unique deals to its customers surrounding free donuts. When the covid-19 vaccine came out, Krispy Kreme offered a free donut every day to  customers who provided proof of vaccination. The franchise also offers a free donut for every A on a student's report card, and 2020 graduates also received a free "Graduate Dozen" donuts! If you're curious about a deal right now, as of June 8th, 2022 free original glazed donuts will be given out when the company's famous "Hot Light" is on. 

Krispy Kreme used to be a private company but switched back to public on July 1st, 2021 and is currently owned by JAB Holding Company. If you're interested in becoming a franchise owner for Krispy Kreme, check this out.

In-N-Out Burger 

Delicious Burgers, Fries, and a Drink From In-N-Out 

As you probably have heard, In-N-Out Burger continues its delicious legacy as a fast food restaurant unique to California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and Oregon. Lynsi Lavelle Snyder-Ellingson, the owner and president of In-N-Out, holds a net worth of $4.2 billion. 

In-and-Out is known for its beef patties, which are free from fillers, preservatives, and additives, as well as its freshly cut potatoes (done in store) for the infamous fries. It also has a "secret" menu, allowing people to customize their orders in "Animal Style," essentially adding In-N-Out's famous sauce and grilled onions. The chain does so well that its annual revenue as of 2021 was $575 million. 

Will In-N-Out Burger ever branch out of the West Coast? Answers are unclear. So far, it has focused on creating more than 334 locations in the six states mentioned earlier. In-N-Out Burger pop ups have also been found around the globe. 

Levain Bakery

Levain Bakery's Larger Than Average Cookies 

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Have you ever heard of the NYC favorite Levain Bakery? It was created in 1995 by Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald. The bakery has eight locations with more expected to come in the future.

Levain focuses on perfecting its notorious menu item: cookies. Its cookies are uniquely thick, gooey, and crunchy. They are huge and delicious! In fact, its most popular cookie is the Chocolate Chip Walnut cookie, however, there are many more flavors such as Two Chip Chocolate Chip Cookie, Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie, Oatmeal Raisin Cookie, and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie. More recently, the bakery decided to sell frozen batches of its cookies at select grocery stores. 

Levain's estimated annual revenue is at an estimated $44 million. Levain Bakery was acquired by the Stripes Group, a private equity firm. Though private, the group has stated that its beginning to expand nationally, so definitely keep an eye out for Levain Bakery near you in the future!

Salt & Straw

Tourists and Locals Enjoying Salt & Straw Ice Cream

Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Salt & Straw was founded by Kimberly Malek in 2011. Its unique name matches perfectly with what it sells: ice cream. The ice cream flavors range from Chocolate Nocino Cherry Pie to Pear & Blue Cheese. The company also is famous for its vegan options, including Mathilde’s Hibiscus & Coconut Sherbet and Pink Rosé & Watermelon Sorbet. 

The company currently operates 15 shops all located in Oregon, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, and Miami. Not near these areas? That's fine, Salt & Straw also ships domestically. 

Celebrities such as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and business partner Dany Garcia invested a nondisclosed amount into Salt & Straw back in 2019, also acting as creative partners and strategic advisors for the ice cream brand. It also received $4.2 million in funding earlier that year, with $2 million coming from Oregon Venture Fund and the other $2.2 million coming from individual investors.

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