This Week in Review (6/26-7/2)

In these weekly posts, we will briefly touch upon the big news in healthcare, genomics, and our company!


New Amsterdam Genomics and Cenegenics Elite Heath entered an exclusive partnership. 

Cenegenics Elite Health


We are very excited to begin this new journey with Cenegenics, where we will be able to get our genetic test out to even more people! Personalized medicine is truly the future of healthcare, where each person will receive treatment tailored by their physicians specifically for their bodies. With this partnership, we are heading in the right direction. Our whole exome sequencing test will allow Cenegenics physicians to see a patient’s major health issues, and take steps to prevent them before they happen.

World’s first malaria “vaccine” may not entirely prevent the disease

Image result for malaria vaccineA new study in the New England Journal of Medicine about the world’s first malaria vaccine suggests that three doses of the vaccine do not prevent infection in the long term. Instead, it may cause what’s described as a “rebound,” with vaccinated children in high-risk areas contracting the illness later. The vaccine—called RTS,S—is made by the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. Since this study was started, a decision has been taken to add a fourth dose to the vaccine regimen, to stretch out the protection.

Gilead drug that is the first to treat all six forms of hepatitis C is approved by the FDA

Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences won regulatory approval on Tuesday to sell a new hepatitis C combination drug, which can combat all six strains of hepatitis C, and priced it below its older treatments. Image result for gilead sciences

This new drug, called Epclusa, combines the older Sovaldi medication with the newer velpatasvir, and costs $74,760 for a 12-week course of treatment. This price, however, is before any rebates and discounts to the patient. Previously, the treatment options for hepatitis C were Sovaldi and Harvoni, which were also manufactured by Gilead.

The new drug has a cure rate of more than 90% with fewer side-effects than previous drugs used to treat hep. C.

New preclinical study indicates vaccine to prevent Zika infection in humans is feasible

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and collaborators at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School have completed a promising preclinical study of two Zika vaccine candidates that suggests that an effective human vaccine will be achievable. Findings from the study were published on Thursday in the journal Nature.Image result for zika virus

This promising study showed that single shots of either vaccine candidate protected mice against subsequent Zika challenge. Both candidates were found to be safe and elicited an antibody response to Zika virus that correlated with protection. Further work with the DNA vaccine demonstrated that protection was solely due to antibodies raised by vaccination.

Long visits to nature linked with better mental health

A new study shows by Australian and UK environmental scientists that people who visit parks for 30 minutes or more each week are much less likely to have high blood pressure or poor mental health than those who don’t.

Image result for urban park

The study led by The University of Queensland (UQ) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) suggests people might need a minimum “dose of nature”. This research reinforces the idea that not all medicine is necessarily a drug—simple daily or weekly routines can keep our bodies healthy and “in check.”

One of the lead researchers in this study stated, “Our children especially benefit from spending more time outdoors. Kids who grow up experiencing natural environments may benefit developmentally and have a heightened environmental awareness as adults than those who don’t.”

Missed our blog post from earlier this week that discussed epigenetics?

Earlier this week, we had a blog post that discussed epigenetics, and how our lifestyle might “change” our genome. Read more here.

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