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Severe COVID-19 patients suffer alterations on their tissue microcirculation

Since the detection of the first Sars-Cov-2 infection cases in November 2019, more than 250 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease, and more than 5 million have died [1]. Credit: ICFO Since the detection of the first Sars-Cov-2…



Since the detection of the first Sars-Cov-2 infection cases in November 2019, more than 250 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease, and more than 5 million have died [1].

Credit: ICFO

Since the detection of the first Sars-Cov-2 infection cases in November 2019, more than 250 million people worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease, and more than 5 million have died [1].

Although COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory syndrome, it has been observed and detected in other organs. Several studies have shown affections in the circulatory system, where the virus damages the membrane that covers the inside of the heart and blood vessels, known as the endothelium. The correct circulation of blood in the smallest vessels of our body is of crucial importance. The branching network of these microvessels is the end-point of the circulatory system, where the oxygen transfer and the transport and exchange of heat, nutrients or waste products take place.

To further investigate how the disease could affect microcirculation, an international team of researchers put together a clinical study to monitor the endothelium of COVID-19 patients that had been admitted to different intensive care units (ICUs) around the world. They did this by using a non-invasive, portable, wireless, battery-operated near-infrared optical device to observe microvascular health.

After many months of data gathering and analysis, the researchers have published their preliminary results in the journal Critical Care, where they have provided data for the monitoring of healthy adults versus patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID-19, in six different hospitals across Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

Using NIRS to monitor the microcirculation

The researchers used near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to study the local oxygen saturation on the tissues and the blood and the hemoglobin concentration. They also assessed the severity of the disease in the COVID-19 patients.

The clinicians first placed the NIRS probe on the forearm of the person. Afterwards, they performed a vascular occlusion test by placing a blood pressure cuff and inflating it, temporarily stopping the blood from flowing through the blood vessels in the arm. They obtained measurements of the oxygen saturation, the metabolic rate of the tissue and the microvascular reactivity -how the tissue responded to the occlusion-.

After gathering data from more than 100 individuals, the team found alterations in severe COVID-19 patients regarding the process of circulation inside the tissue microvessels. They observed that, regarding the respiratory involvement, the degree of those alterations was directly associated with the severity of the disease. The study accentuates the role of the endothelial function, highlighting the relationship between its dysfunction and the severity of the disease. With these observations, the researchers suggest that monitoring the endothelial function could be useful when predicting the course of COVID-19 and other medical conditions.

“These preliminary results are highly relevant in several aspects”, says Dr. Jaume Mesquida, a clinician at the Parc Taulí Hospital. “First, we have reinforced the idea that the severe forms of COVID-19 are a systemic disease that affects the microvessels of the body. Second, we established that the severity of the disease, mainly determined by the pulmonary involvement, correlates with the impairment of the microvascular response in the peripheral skeletal muscle. And finally, we can non-invasively monitor this microvascular impairment. Such findings are promising since a non-invasive tool might be helpful in the early detection of potentially critical patients. Also, it will help us in selecting and monitoring the response to novel therapies targeting the microvessels in the course of COVID-19.”

An international initiative

The team gathers researchers and clinicians from several institutions in four different countries. Researchers from ICFO – (coordinators of the project-), the Institute of Physics of the Campinas University in Brazil, and the University of Texas Southwestern joined forces with clinicians from the Parc Taulí Hospital Universitari, the Parc Salut Mar Hospital, the Hospital General de México, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and the Hospital Universitari Vall d’Hebron.

Researchers from the ICFO Medical Optics group Lorenzo Cortese, Umut Karadeniz and Marta Zanoletti were led by ICREA Prof. at ICFO Turgut Durduran. As Prof. Durduran points out, “These findings demonstrate that near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) could have an important role in fulfilling an unmet need at the intensive care units, for patients with COVID-19, ARDS, sepsis and other conditions. Furthermore, it supports our hypothesis that more advanced forms of NIRS with the latest technologies that are being developed in the European initiative VASCOVID could have a significant clinical impact.”

Exploring the potential impact

Many of the partners of this initiative are also collaborating in the H2020 project VASCOVID[2], which is closely linked to the HEMOCOVID-19 clinical trial. VASCOVID aims to develop a dedicated device not only to improve the accuracy and precision of the current systems but also to add other biomarkers, as blood flow, that might be useful in the same cases.

In parallel, ICFO and UTSW are supported by the US National Institutes of Health[3] to develop a dedicated low-cost device to monitor microvascular reactivity while minimizing the impact of superficial adipose tissue in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome, with or without SARS-COV2 infection.

Additionally, the National Ministry of Health and La MaratoTV3 support other initiatives to explore the potential impact beyond patients undergoing intensive-care.

This study is also part of The Barcelona Medical Photonics Network BMPN, a network devoted to promoting the medical research and development activities based on photonics being carried out in the Barcelona region.


[1] Data according to Worldometer

[2] The VASCOVID project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No101016087.

[3] NIBIB R21EB031261.


More information

Reference: Mesquida, J., Caballer, A., Cortese, L. et al. Peripheral microcirculatory alterations are associated with the severity of acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients admitted to intermediate respiratory and intensive care unitsCrit Care 25, 381 (2021).


Link to the HEMOCOVID-19 project and the Hemocovid-19 Video

Link to the Medical Optics group at ICFO

Link to the Consorci Corporació Sanitària Parc Taulí


The members of the HEMOCOVID-19 Consortium are listed as: ICFO (Spain): Turgut Durduran, Marco Pagliazzi, Lorenzo Cortese, Marta Zanoletti, and Umut Karadeniz. Parc Taulí Hospital Universitari (Spain): Jaume Mesquida, Alba Caballer, Sara Nogales, Cristina Espinal, Guillem Gruartmoner, Edgar Cortés. Hospital del Mar-IMIM (Spain): Judith Marin Corral, Puri Pérez Terán, Clara Vilà, Lucía Picazo. Hospital Vall D’Hebron (Spain): Ricard Ferrer, Marina García De Acilu, Luis Chiscano, Abraham Mera. Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (Spain): Pedro Castro, Adrián Téllez, Sara Fernández, Ana Matas, Fernando Fuentes. Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (Spain): Isabel Serra, David Romero, Francesc Font, Tim Myers. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (USA): David R. Busch, Siddharth Dave, Sreekanth Cheruku, Christopher Choi, Peiman Lahsaei, DaiWai Olson. Hospital General De México Dr. Eduardo Liceaga (Mexico): Argelia Pérez Pacheco, Raúl Serrano Loyola, Verónica Carbajal Robles, Rosa María Quispe Siccha, Enrique Santillan Aguayo, Melvin Parada Guzmán, Fèlix Hernández Monte De Oca, Diana Pineda Vasquez. Hospital Das Clínicas University of Sao Paulo Medical School (Brazil): Leandro Utino Taniguchi, Bruno Adler Maccagnan Pinheiro Besen, Pedro Vitale Mendes. Institute of Physics, University of Campinas (Brazil): Rickson Coelho Mesquita, Rodrigo Menezes Forti, Andrés Fabián Quiroga Soto. Clinical Hospital, University of Campinas (Brazil): Antonio Luis Eiras Falcão, Laís Bacchin de Oliveira, Lilian Elisabete Bernardes Delazari , Gabriela Lívio Emídio, Lígia dos Santos Roceto Ratti. Bruna do Nascimento, Ana Lucia Cavallaro Barauna Lima. BioPixS Ltd (Ireland): Sanathana Konugolu Venakata Sekar, Claudia Guadagno 


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Spread & Containment

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory..



TV Show Mysteriously Deletes Poll After Vast Majority Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

A major morning television show in the UK deleted a Twitter poll asking if vaccines should be made mandatory after the results showed that 89% of respondents oppose compulsory shots.

Yes, really.

Good Morning Britain, which often tries to set the news agenda, posted the poll which asked the public, “With Omicron cases doubling every two days, is it time to make vaccines mandatory?”

The last screenshots Twitter users were able to obtain before the poll was wiped showed 89% oppose mandatory vaccinations, with just 11% in favor after a total of over 42,000 votes.

People demanded to know why the poll had been pulled, although it wasn’t exactly hard to guess.

Why did you delete this poll, is it because you were asked? Or because it shows the people don’t support this s**t, this tyrannical future your colleagues seem to want. We see you,” commented one respondent.

“Guess that wasn’t the answer they were looking for,” remarked another.

Good Morning Britain has failed to explain why it removed the poll.

However, it’s unsurprising given that the broadcast has been a vehicle for pushing pro-lockdown messaging since the start of the pandemic.

For most of that time, it was hosted by Piers Morgan, an aggressive proponent of lockdowns, mandatory vaccines and face masks.

The show also regularly features Dr. Hillary Jones, someone who at the start of the pandemic warned that face masks could make the spread of the virus worse, before getting the memo and doing a complete 180.

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Tyler Durden Thu, 12/09/2021 - 03:30

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Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end.



Life Sciences Expansions Take Off as 2021 Wraps Up

Several life sciences companies and life science-focused real estate firms have announced expansion plans as 2021 comes to an end. Here’s a look.

Novavax to Expand Maryland Campus

Novavax, on the cusp of getting its COVID-19 vaccine authorized in numerous countries around the world, is expanding its footprint in Gaithersburg, Md., where it is headquartered. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to authorize the company’s vaccine soon, and so is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Czechia has already ordered 370,000 doses, with deliveries expected at the beginning of 2022. The company also has a deal with Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies to manufacture millions of doses of the Novavax vaccines at its facilities in Billingham, U.K., with a £400 million investment in expansion.

Four Corners Acquired 150,000-Square-Foot Complex in Belmont, Calif.

Four Corners Properties acquired a 150,000-square-foot office building in Belmont, Calif., called the Shoreway Innovation Center. The seller was Westlake Group. Westlake bought it in 2016 for $61 million. The company plans to expand its use for life sciences, noting that 82% of it is currently leased to a mix of tenants with an average of less than three years lease term remaining.

“Shoreway Innovation Center offers the opportunity to bring office and life sciences space to a market where tenant demand is far outpacing available supply,” said Mike Taquino, executive vice president of CBRE’s Northern California Capital Markets team.

Genentech Leases Building Under Construction in South San Francisco

Source: BioSpace

Boston Properties and Alexandria Real Estate Equities are leasing a building under construction in South San Francisco to Genentech. It will be the first phase of a life sciences campus. The building is at 751 Gateway and is 229,000 square feet. The campus will be called Gateway Commons and is a joint venture between the two real estate firms. They expect initial occupancy toward the end of 2024. Genentech has been headquartered in South San Francisco for forty years, with a large corporate headquarters made up of 4.7 million square feet of five neighborhood hubs. The new site is about one mile’s distance from their main campus.

Mispro Biotech to Open New Facility in North Carolina in Early 2022

Mispro Biotech Services plans to open a new facility in Research Triangle Park (RTP), N.C., in early 2022. Mispro is a leading contract vivarium organization (CVO). The new facility, a full-service vivarium research facility, will be central to one of RTP’s biopark campuses.

“Since we first opened our doors here in 2013, we have seen incredible growth in the RTP cluster,” said Philippe Lamarre, chief executive officer of Mispro. “The time was right to expand into a new facility with more space and modern amenities where we can support the influx of biotechs who are seeking in vivo lab space.”

Laura Gunter, president of NCBIO, representing the life sciences industry in North Carolina, noted, “Mispro has become a cornerstone of the Triangle ecosystem as contract research and support companies are finding increased favor. Biotechs of all sizes and therapeutic disciplines are focusing more on their core competencies, which is opening the door to innovation like Mispro’s contract vivarium option. We are pleased to see their decision to expand here and support more North Carolina companies.”

BioSpace source:

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Over 170 companies delisted from major U.S. stock exchanges in 12 months

  Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies….





Over the years, United States-based exchanges have remained an attractive destination for most companies aiming to go public. With businesses jostling to join the trading platforms, the exchanges have also delisted a significant number of companies.

According to data acquired by Finbold, a total of 179 companies have been delisted from the major United States exchanges between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, the number of companies on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stands at 6,000, dropping 2.89% from last year’s figure of 6,179. In 2019, the listed companies stood at 5,454.

NYSE recorded the highest delisting with companies on the platform, dropping 15.28% year-over-year from 2,873 to 2,434. Elsewhere, Nasdaq listed companies grew 7.86% from 3,306 to 3,566. Data on the number of listed companies on NASDAQ and NYSE is provided by The World Federation of Exchanges.

The delisting of the companies is potentially guided by basic factors such as violating listing regulations and failing to meet minimum financial standards like the inability to maintain a minimum share price, financial ratios, and sales levels. Additionally, some companies might opt for voluntary delisting motivated by the desire to trade on other exchanges.

Furthermore, the delisting on U.S. major exchanges might be due to the emergence of new alternative markets, especially in Asia. China and Hong Kong markets have become more appealing, with regulators making local listings more attractive. Over the years, exchanges in the region have strived to emerge as key players amid dominance by U.S. equity markets. As per a previous report, the U.S. controls 56% of the global stock market value.

A significant portion of the delisted companies also stems from the regulatory perspective pitting U.S. agencies and their Chinese counterparts. For instance, China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom, and China Telecom Corp announced their delisting from NYSE, citing investment restrictions dating from 2020.

Worth noting is that the delisting of firms was initiated due to strict measures put in place by the Trump administration. The current administration has left the regulations in place while proposing additional regulations. For instance, a recent regulation update by the Securities Exchange Commission requiring US-listed Chinese companies to disclose their ownership structure has led to the exit of cab-hailing company Didi from the NYSE.

Impact of pandemic on the listing of companies

The delisting also comes in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in economic turmoil. With the shutdown of the economy, most companies entered into bankruptcies as the stock market crashed to historical lows.

Lower stock prices translate to less wealth for businesses, pension funds, and individual investors, and listed companies could not get the much-needed funding for their normal operations.

At the same time, the focus on more companies going public over the last year can be highlighted by firms on the Nasdaq exchange. Worth noting is that in 2020, there was tremendous growth in special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), mainly driven by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With the uncertainty of raising money through the traditional means, SPACs found a perfect role to inject more funds into capital-starving companies to go public.

From the data, foreign companies listing in the United States have grown steadily, with the business aiming to leverage the benefits of operating in the country. Notably, listing on U.S. exchanges guarantees companies liquidity and high potential to raise capital. Furthermore, listing on either NYSE or Nasdaq comes with the needed credibility to attract more investors. The companies are generally viewed as a home for established, respected, and successful global companies.

In general, over the past year, factors like the pandemic have altered the face of stock exchanges to some point threatening the continued dominance of major U.S. exchanges. Tensions between the US and China are contributing to the crisis which will eventually impact the number of listed companies.


Courtesy of Finbold.

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