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Join PC Gamer’s Folding@home team and help research a cure for Covid-19 – PC Gamer

A couple of weeks ago we learned about a new game called Foldit, developed by researchers at the University of Washington, that could help with the development of a treatment for the Covid-19 coronavirus. Essentially, players solve puzzles by folding protein chains into new shapes that change the function of the protein, with points awarded based on the effectiveness of the solution. Researchers can then experiment on those folded proteins in order to determine their usefulness in the real world.

If that game doesn't appeal to you, but you happen to be sitting beside an expensive, powerful PC that's not really doing anything, why not let it handle the task for you?

In Foldit you have to work for a spot on that leaderboard, but through Folding@home, you can put your PC to work. Folding@home is a distributed computing project founded by Stanford University in 2000 that uses idle PCs around the world for medical research, including the coronavirus pandemic.

The way it works, essentially, is that protein data is broken up into work units, which are then downloaded automatically by the Folding software. Your PC crunches away on it until the work unit is complete, at which point the result is uploaded to the server. A new work unit is downloaded, and the process starts again. As a weak but thematically appropriate analogy, it's a bit like Team Fortress 2, except extraordinarily slow, it's nothing but bots, and the whole world is playing in the same match.

You can fold by yourself (and bravo for doing your bit) but these things are always more fun when you're part of a teamsuch as the PC Gamer Folding@home Team. The setup instructions might look a little intimidating but it's actually quite simple, and once you're rolling it's entirely automated, although you can tweak various settings, like how much processing power to dedicate and whether or not you want it to work while you're using your PC.

If you do run into problems or have any questions with Folding@home, or just feel like chatting, the PC Gamer forum thread linked above can help out. The Folding website is struggling a little bit right now, but once it's squared away you'll be able to following along with the team's progress here.

We're maintaining a roundup of esports competitions and other gaming events that have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak that you can keep up with here.For more information on the Covid-19 coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control for updates in North America, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, or the World Health Organization.

This is what it looks like when proteins fold.

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Why AI might be the most effective weapon we have to fight COVID-19 – The Next Web

If not the most deadly, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is one of the most contagious diseases to have hit our green planet in the past decades. In little over three months since the virus was first spotted in mainland China, it has spread to more than 90 countries, infected more than 185,000 people, and taken more than 3,500 lives.

As governments and health organizations scramble to contain the spread of coronavirus, they need all the help they can get, including from artificial intelligence. Though current AI technologies arefar from replicating human intelligence, they are proving to be very helpful in tracking the outbreak, diagnosing patients, disinfecting areas, and speeding up the process of finding a cure for COVID-19.

Data science and machine learning might be two of the most effective weapons we have in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Just before the turn of the year, BlueDot, an artificial intelligence platform that tracks infectious diseases around the world, flagged a cluster of unusual pneumonia cases happening around a market in Wuhan, China. Nine days later, the World Health Organization (WHO)released a statementdeclaring the discovery of a novel coronavirus in a hospitalized person with pneumonia in Wuhan.

BlueDot usesnatural language processingandmachine learning algorithmsto peruse information from hundreds of sources for early signs of infectious epidemics. The AI looks at statements from health organizations, commercial flights, livestock health reports, climate data from satellites, and news reports. With so much data being generated on coronavirus every day, the AI algorithms can help home in on the bits that can provide pertinent information on the spread of the virus. It can also find important correlations between data points, such as the movement patterns of the people who are living in the areas most affected by the virus.

The company also employs dozens of experts who specialize in a range of disciplines including geographic information systems, spatial analytics, data visualization, computer sciences, as well as medical experts in clinical infectious diseases, travel and tropical medicine, and public health. The experts review the information that has been flagged by the AI and send out reports on their findings.

Combined with the assistance of human experts, BlueDots AI can not only predict the start of an epidemic, but also forecast how it will spread. In the case of COVID-19, the AI successfully identified the cities where the virus would be transferred to after it surfaced in Wuhan. Machine learning algorithms studying travel patterns were able to predict where the people who had contracted coronavirus were likely to travel.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) (Image source:NIAID)

You have probably seen the COVID-19 screenings at border crossings and airports. Health officers use thermometer guns and visually check travelers for signs of fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties.

Now,computer vision algorithmscan perform the same at large scale. An AI system developed by Chinese tech giant Baidu uses cameras equipped with computer vision and infrared sensors to predict peoples temperatures in public areas. The system can screen up to 200 people per minute and detect their temperature within a range of 0.5 degrees Celsius. The AI flags anyone who has a temperature above 37.3 degrees. The technology is now in use in Beijings Qinghe Railway Station.

Alibaba, another Chinese tech giant, has developed an AI system that candetect coronavirus in chest CT scans. According to the researchers who developed the system, the AI has a 96-percent accuracy. The AI was trained on data from 5,000 coronavirus cases and can perform the test in 20 seconds as opposed to the 15 minutes it takes a human expert to diagnose patients. It can also tell the difference between coronavirus and ordinary viral pneumonia. The algorithm can give a boost to the medical centers that are already under a lot of pressure to screen patients for COVID-19 infection. The system is reportedly being adopted in 100 hospitals in China.

A separate AI developed by researchers from Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan EndoAngel Medical Technology Company, and the China University of Geosciences purportedly shows 95-percent accuracy on detecting COVID-19 in chest CT scans. The system is adeep learning algorithmtrained on 45,000 anonymized CT scans. According to a preprint paperpublished on medRxiv, the AIs performance is comparable to expert radiologists.

One of the main ways to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus is to reduce contact between infected patients and people who have not contracted the virus. To this end, several companies and organizations have engaged in efforts to automate some of the procedures that previously required health workers and medical staff to interact with patients.

Chinese firms are using drones and robots to perform contactless delivery and to spray disinfectants in public areas to minimize the risk of cross-infection. Other robots are checking people for fever and other COVID-19 symptoms and dispensing free hand sanitizer foam and gel.

Inside hospitals, robots are delivering food and medicine to patients and disinfecting their rooms to obviate the need for the presence of nurses. Other robots are busy cooking rice without human supervision, reducing the number of staff required to run the facility.

In Seattle, doctors used a robot to communicate with and treat patients remotely to minimize exposure of medical staff to infected people.

At the end of the day, the war on the novel coronavirus is not over until we develop a vaccine that can immunize everyone against the virus. But developing new drugs and medicine is a very lengthy and costly process. It can cost more than a billion dollars and take up to 12 years. Thats the kind of timeframe we dont have as the virus continues to spread at an accelerating pace.

Fortunately, AI can help speed up the process. DeepMind, the AI research lab acquired by Google in 2014, recently declared that it has used deep learning to find new information about the structure of proteins associated with COVID-19. This is a process that could have taken many more months.

Understanding protein structures can provide important clues to the coronavirus vaccine formula. DeepMind is one of several organizations who are engaged in the race to unlock the coronavirus vaccine. It has leveraged the result of decades of machine learning progress as well as research on protein folding.

Its important to note that our structure prediction system is still in development and we cant be certain of the accuracy of the structures we are providing, although we are confident that the system is more accurate than our earlier CASP13 system, DeepMinds researchers wroteon the AI labs website. We confirmed that our system provided an accurate prediction for the experimentally determined SARS-CoV-2 spike protein structure shared in the Protein Data Bank, and this gave us confidence that our model predictions on other proteins may be useful.

Although its too early to tell whether were headed in the right direction, the efforts are commendable. Every day saved in finding the coronavirus vaccine can save hundredsor thousandsof lives.

This story is republished fromTechTalks, the blog that explores how technology is solving problems and creating new ones. Like them onFacebookhere and follow them down here:

Published March 21, 2020 17:00 UTC

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How you can help find a drug to stop coronavirus by not using your computer – News 5 Cleveland

If you're reading this on a computer really, if you own a working computer you can help to find a potential treatment for coronavirus.

Folding@Home, a project that uses the collective computing power of thousands of computers around the world to simulate protein dynamics, is tackling SARS-COV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

By downloading the Folding@Home software and letting it run simulations when your computer is idle, like when youre asleep and totally not scrolling through some quality quarantmemes on phone, youre helping scientists in the Bowman Lab at the University of Washington in St. Louis understand how the coronavirus proteins work, and how to design therapeutics to stop them.

Its similar to the long-running project SETI@Home, which is unfortunately ending the volunteer program this month. It uses distributed computing to analyze radio telescope data in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, and, by the way, if youre listening, we could use some help here.

By donating your spare computational power to Folding@Home, youll be a part of one of the worlds fastest computing systems, running at a speed of about 98.7 petaFLOPS, according to recent statistics from the site. Thats 10 to the 15th power FLOPS. A 98,000 teraFLOPS. The Titan Supercomputer cranks out a measly 20 petaFLOPS.

Folding@Home recently simulated a protein from Ebola virus that was considered undruggable, and after performing experiments confirming that prediction, theyre now on the hunt for drugs to bind to this newly discovered site.

Learn more about the project here.

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How you can help find a drug to stop coronavirus by not using your computer - News 5 Cleveland

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Thousands of These Computers Were Mining Cryptocurrency. Now Theyre Working on Coronavirus Research – Yahoo Money

CoreWeave, the largest U.S. miner on the Ethereum blockchain, is redirecting the processing power of 6,000 specialized computer chips toward research to find a therapy for the coronavirus.

These graphics processing units (GPUs) will be pointed toward Stanford Universitys Folding@home, a long-standing research effort that unveiled a project on Feb. 27 specifically to boost coronavirus research by way of a unique approach to developing pharmaceutical drugs: connecting thousands of computers from around the world to form a distributed supercomputer for disease research.

CoreWeave co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Brian Venturo said the project has at least a shot at finding a drug for the virus. As such, CoreWeave has responded by doubling the power of the entire network with its GPUs, which are designed to handle repetitive calculations.

Related: State Power After Coronavirus, Feat. Peter McCormack

See also: Bitcoiners Are Biohacking a DIY Coronavirus Vaccine

According to Venturo, those 6,000 GPUs made up about 0.2 percent of Ethereums total hashrate, earning roughly 28 ETH per day, worth about $3,600 at press time.

There is no cure for the coronavirus just yet (though various groups are working on vaccines and research to combat the disease, including IBMs supercomputer). Venturo noted that Folding@home has been used to contribute to breakthroughs in the creation of other important drugs.

Their research had profound impacts on the development of front-line HIV defense drugs, and we are hoping our [computing power] will aid in the fight against coronavirus, Venturo said.

Related: SkyWeaver Didnt Plan for a Captive Audience of Millions but It Sure Helps

The coronavirus is taking a toll across the world. Italy and Spain are on lockdown. Conferences, stores and restaurants are closing to stem the spread of the disease; by stoking fears, its slamming the financial markets in the process.

When the idea of using GPUs for coronavirus research was mentioned to CoreWeave, the team didnt think twice.

They had a test system up and running within minutes, Venturo said. Since then, the project quickly snowballed. CoreWeave has been contributing over half of the overall computing power going into the coronavirus wing of Folding@home.

The idea of should we do this? was never really brought up, it kind of just happened. We were all enthusiastic that we might be able to help, Venturo added.

Folding@home is a decentralized project in the same vein as Bitcoin. Instead of one research firm alone using a massive computer to do research, Folding@home uses the computing power of anyone who wants to participate from around the world even if its just a single laptop with a little unused computing power to spare.

See also: Bitcoiners in Europe Reflect on Economic Shocks as Coronavirus Spreads

In this case, the computing power is used to find helpful information relating to the coronavirus. Much like in bitcoin mining, one user might detect a solution to the problem at hand, distributing this information to the rest of the group.

Their protein simulations attempt to find potential pockets where existing [U.S. federal agency Food and Drug Administration (FDA)] approved drugs or other known compounds could help inhibit or treat the virus, Venturo said.

Viruses have proteins that they use to suppress our immune systems and reproduce themselves. To help tackle coronavirus, we want to understand how these viral proteins work and how we can design therapeutics to stop them, a Folding@home blog post explains.

Simulating these proteins and then looking at them from different angles helps scientists to understand them better, with the potential of finding an antidote. Computers accelerate this process by shuffling through the variations very quickly.

Our specialty is in using computer simulations to understand proteins moving parts. Watching how the atoms in a protein move relative to one another is important because it captures valuable information that is inaccessible by any other means, the post reads.

Folding@home could use even more power. Venturo urges other GPU miners to join the cause.

Even without these calls for participation, though, miners of other cryptocurrencies are already independently taking action. Tulip.tools founder Johann Tanzer put out a call to action to Tezos bakers (that blockchains equivalent of miners) last week, promising to send the leading contributor to Folding@home a modest 15 XTZ, worth roughly $20 at press time.

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The initiative blew up, to Tanzers surprise. Though they might not be contributing as much power as CoreWeave, 20 groups of Tezos miners are now contributing a slice of their hashing power to the cause. Tanzers pot has swelled to roughly $600 as Tezos users caught wind of the effort and donated.

But thats not to say all miners can participate. While GPUs are flexible, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), a type of chip designed specifically for mining, arent, according to Venturo. Though ASICs are more powerful than GPUs, theyre really only made for one thing: To mine cryptocurrency. This is one advantage Venturo thinks Ethereum has over Bitcoin, since GPU mining still works on the former, whereas the latter is now dominated by ASICs.

See also: Israeli Bitcoiners See Surveillance as Unavoidable During Coronavirus Crisis

This is one of the great things about the Ethereum mining ecosystem, its basically the largest GPU compute resource on the planet. We were able to redeploy our hardware to help fight a global pandemic in minutes, Venturo said. (However, its worth noting that Ethereum has seen ASICs enter the fray. Not to mention, ether miners might soon go extinct when a pivotal upgrade makes its way into the network.)

ASICs are useless for the Folding@Home effort, but if bitcoin miners have old GPUs lying around from the early days that they could contribute, too.

Even if other miners join up, though, its still a long shot that the effort will lead to a helpful drug.

After discussing with some industry experts [] we believe the chance of success in utilizing the work done on Folding@Home to deliver a drug to market to be in the 2-5% range, Venturo said.

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Thousands of These Computers Were Mining Cryptocurrency. Now Theyre Working on Coronavirus Research - Yahoo Money

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Vegan hamburger steak rice bowls added to over 1900 convenience stores in Tokyo – Japan Today

You can find some pretty great stuff in Japanese convenience stores.Piping hot pizza buns?Delicious fried chicken in a variety of flavors?Meat sauce and seafood pasta forless than a buck? Yes, yes, and YES!

But whats hard to find at Japanese convenience stores arevegan options.Granted, they have salads, but even a lot of those contain egg and tuna, and if youre looking for an entire vegan meal, youre usually entirely out of luck at the convenience store.

Thats changing in a big way this week, though, thanks to theFamilyMartchain. On March 17, FamilyMart rolled out its newest premade donburi (rice bowl) offering:the 100-percent vegan Veggie Burg-don.

Alternatively called theSoy-Patty Burger Bowl, its a new take on Japans beloved hamburger steak, essentially a hamburger patty with extra onions and served without a bun. However, while most hamburger steaks in Japan are made of either beef or a beef/pork mixture, the Veggie Burg-donuses no meat, egg, honey, dairy, or any other animal products. Instead, the patty is made ofsoybeans and roast onion,prepared in a way that FamilyMart promisesrecreates not only the flavor, but the aroma, texture, and juiciness of a traditional hamburger steak.

But its not just hamburger steaks that are ordinarily meaty, but theirsauceas well. The most common accompaniment to a Japanese hamburger steak isdemi-glace, a rich meat-based brown sauce. Obviously that wont do for the Veggie Burg-don, though, so FamilyMarts facsimile is made fromflour roasted in vegetable oil, tomato, mushrooms, carrots, and other vegetables. If even all that isnt enough vegetables for you, the rice bowl also comes with sides of stewed carrots and roasted kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) and bell pepper.

The Veggie Burg-don is the first FamilyMart item to be awarded aseal of recommendation from the Japan Vegetarian Society.

With veganism having made its deepest inroads into the Japanese culinary scene in large, cosmopolitan cities, the 498-yen Veggie Burg-don will initially only be offered in Tokyo. However, with FamilyMart having roughly 2,000 branches in the city, thats a lot of new places to get a vegan meal, and if the product proves popular, well probably see it expand to the rest of the chains stores across Japan.

Source:FamilyMartviaIT Media

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Vegan Sakura Burger from Tokyo vegetarian cafe gives everyone a taste of cherry blossomseason

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Demand for Plant-Based Omega 3 Set to Soar – vegconomist – the vegan business magazine

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A recent market research report from P&S Intelligence has stated that one of the biggest trends currently being witnessed in the omega-3 market is the growth of veganism and the resultant consumption of plant-based supplements.

The report states that in 2019, the global omega-3 market size (containing fish oil) generated revenue of $19.7 billion, and is further expected to reach $49.7 billion by 2030. Transparency Market Research released a different report that specifically examines the plant-based omega 3 market; that report estimated that the fish-free Omega 3 market is expected to reach almost US$ 1.3 billion by 2029.

The interest is shifting from the type to the source of omega fatty acids across the health-aware consumers around the world, meaning that the demand for plant-based supplements will witness a massive surge over the next decade. Consumers are increasingly concerned over the safeguarding of marine ecosystems and biodiversity.

Fish obtain omega-3 by consuming algae, so it seems logical to bypass fish and go straight to the original plant source. As such, the usage of algae as a new alternative source to fish is therefore anticipated to grow rapidly in the plant-based omega-3 ingredients market. As well as algal oil, manufactures are developing products from chia seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, hemp seeds, walnuts, and others, which are also growing as fish-free omega-3 ingredients.

The Transparency Market report says, Stakeholders are expected to continue to bank on the growing population of vegan consumers and preference for algae or plant-based omega-3 ingredients to maintain the momentum. However, slow regulatory approvals will remain a primary challenge for market players, as they will continue to make it difficult for manufacturers to offer competitive prices and delay their products from reaching the fish-free omega-3 ingredients market.

Nevertheless, the ongoing trend of substituting krill oil in omega-3 dietary supplements with vegetarian algae oil will continue to support the growth of the fish-free omega-3 ingredients landscape in the foreseeable future.

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Demand for Plant-Based Omega 3 Set to Soar - vegconomist - the vegan business magazine

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Aytu BioScience Expands Its Distribution Rights for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Point-of-Care Rapid Test to Canada and Mexico – Yahoo Finance

Company Expects to Seek Regulatory Clearance Under Health Canada and COFEPRIS Expedited Clearance Procedures

ENGLEWOOD, CO / ACCESSWIRE / March 19, 2020 / Aytu BioScience, Inc. (AYTU), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing novel products that address significant patient needs announced today that it extended its distribution right to commercialize the clinically validated and commercially used coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) IgG/IgM Rapid Test. The test has been licensed from L.B. Resources, Limited (a Hong Kong Corporation). The COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test is intended for professional use and delivers clinical results between 2 and 10 minutes at the point-of-care. This amendment expands Aytu's commercial rights and grants Aytu the right to distribute and commercialize the COVID-19 test in North America, specifically including the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The Company expects to pursue expedited regulatory clearance of the product with Health Canada and COFEPRIS (Comisin Federal para la Proteccin contra Riesgos Sanitarios), the regulatory agencies in Canada and Mexico, respectively.

Josh Disbrow, Chief Executive Officer of Aytu BioScience, commented, "We have to be progressive in doing our part in combatting the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We need to ensure that screening is available across North America and providing broad access to screening tests has to be among our highest priorities as we collectively fight the coronavirus outbreak. With COVID-19 now designated as a global pandemic, we believe we should expand our efforts to assist healthcare providers with faster point-of-care detection."

The COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test is a solid phase immunochromatographic assay used in the rapid, qualitative and differential detection of IgG and IgM antibodies to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in human whole blood, serum or plasma. This point-of-care test has been validated in a 113 patient clinical trial and is CE marked.

About Aytu BioScience, Inc.

Aytu BioScience is a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing novel products that address significant patient needs. The company currently markets a portfolio of prescription products addressing large primary care and pediatric markets. The primary care portfolio includes (i) Natesto, the only FDA-approved nasal formulation of testosterone for men with hypogonadism (low testosterone, or "Low T"), (ii) ZolpiMist, the only FDA-approved oral spray prescription sleep aid, and (iii) Tuzistra XR, the only FDA-approved 12-hour codeine-based antitussive syrup. The pediatric portfolio includes (i) AcipHex Sprinkle, a granule formulation of rabeprazole sodium, a commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitor; (ii) Cefaclor, a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic suspension; (iii) Karbinal ER, an extended-release carbinoxamine (antihistamine) suspension indicated to treat numerous allergic conditions; and (iv) Poly-Vi-Flor and Tri-Vi-Flor, two complementary prescription fluoride-based supplement product lines containing combinations of fluoride and vitamins in various for infants and children with fluoride deficiency. Aytu recently acquired exclusive U.S. distribution rights to the COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test. This coronavirus test is a solid phase immunochromatographic assay used in the rapid, qualitative and differential detection of IgG and IgM antibodies to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus in human whole blood, serum or plasma. This point-of-care test has been validated in a 113 patient clinical trial and has received CE marking.

Aytu recently acquired Innovus Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company commercializing, licensing and developing safe and effective consumer healthcare products designed to improve men's and women's health and vitality. Innovus commercializes over thirty-five consumer health products competing in large healthcare categories including diabetes, men's health, sexual wellness and respiratory health. The Innovus product portfolio is commercialized through direct-to-consumer marketing channels utilizing the company's proprietary Beyond Human marketing and sales platform.

Aytu's strategy is to continue building its portfolio of revenue-generating products, leveraging its focused commercial team and expertise to build leading brands within large therapeutic markets. For more information visit aytubio.com and visit innovuspharma.com to learn about the company's consumer healthcare products.

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Forward-Looking Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this presentation, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are generally written in the future tense and/or are preceded by words such as ''may,'' ''will,'' ''should,'' ''forecast,'' ''could,'' ''expect,'' ''suggest,'' ''believe,'' ''estimate,'' ''continue,'' ''anticipate,'' ''intend,'' ''plan,'' or similar words, or the negatives of such terms or other variations on such terms or comparable terminology. These statements are just predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: market and other conditions, the completion of the registered direct offering, the satisfaction of customary closing conditions related to the registered direct offering and the intended use of net proceeds from the registered direct offering, the regulatory and commercial risks associated with introducing the COVID-19 Rapid Test, effects of the business combination of Aytu and the Commercial Portfolio and the recently completed merger ("Merger") with Innovus Pharmaceuticals, including the combined company's future financial condition, results of operations, strategy and plans, the ability of the combined company to realize anticipated synergies in the timeframe expected or at all, changes in capital markets and the ability of the combined company to finance operations in the manner expected, the diversion of management time on Merger-related issues and integration of the Commercial Portfolio, the ultimate timing, outcome and results of integrating the operations the Commercial Portfolio and Innovus with Aytu's existing operations, risks relating to gaining market acceptance of our products, obtaining or maintaining reimbursement by third-party payors for our prescription products, the potential future commercialization of our product candidates, the anticipated start dates, durations and completion dates, as well as the potential future results, of our ongoing and future clinical trials, the anticipated designs of our future clinical trials, anticipated future regulatory submissions and events, our anticipated future cash position and future events under our current and potential future collaboration. We also refer you to the risks described in ''Risk Factors'' in Part I, Item 1A of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the other reports and documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

Contact for Media and Investors:

James CarbonaraHayden IR(646) 755-7412james@haydenir.com

SOURCE: Aytu BioScience, Inc.

View source version on accesswire.com: https://www.accesswire.com/581543/Aytu-BioScience-Expands-Its-Distribution-Rights-for-Coronavirus-2019-COVID-19-Point-of-Care-Rapid-Test-to-Canada-and-Mexico

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Aytu BioScience Announces Acceleration of U.S. Availability of COVID-19 IgG/IgM Rapid Test Based on Updated FDA Policy – Yahoo Finance

Updated FDA Policy Likely Enables Near-Term Availability of COVID-19 Test in the U.S.

ENGLEWOOD, CO / ACCESSWIRE / March 17, 2020 / Aytu BioScience, Inc. (AYTU), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing novel products that address significant patient needs announced today that the company intends to expedite the U.S. launch of its recently licensed COVID-19 IgG/IgM Point-of-Care Rapid Test in light of yesterday's updated FDA policy on coronavirus diagnostic testing.

On March 16, 2020 the FDA announced, "as part of our ongoing and aggressive commitment to address the coronavirus outbreak, the FDA updated a policy originally issued on Feb. 29 on diagnostic testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S. We believe the unprecedented policy set forth in today's updated guidance, which addresses laboratories and commercial manufacturers, will help address these urgent public health concerns by helping to expand the number and variety of diagnostic tests..." Further, the agency made recommendations specifically for test developers stating that "the FDA does not intend to object to the distribution and use of serology tests to identify antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 where the test has been validated" and other labeling conditions are satisfied.

Josh Disbrow, Chief Executive Officer of Aytu BioScience, commented, "While we are still working with FDA on making the COVID-19 Rapid Test available, we believe that this updated policy may enable near-term availability of our recently-licensed point-of-care test. During this public health emergency, we are working tirelessly to satisfy all requirements in order to make the test available to the professional medical community as soon as possible." Disbrow also commented that, "We have already gotten confirmation from the manufacturer that our initial supply is being shipped and is expected to arrive in the U.S. very soon."

The company will continue to provide updates about the near-term availability of the COVID-19 test.

About Aytu BioScience, Inc.

Aytu BioScience is a commercial-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on commercializing novel products that address significant patient needs. The company currently markets a portfolio of prescription products addressing large primary care and pediatric markets. The primary care portfolio includes (i) Natesto, the only FDA-approved nasal formulation of testosterone for men with hypogonadism (low testosterone, or "Low T"), (ii) ZolpiMist, the only FDA-approved oral spray prescription sleep aid, and (iii) Tuzistra XR, the only FDA-approved 12-hour codeine-based antitussive syrup. The pediatric portfolio includes (i) AcipHex Sprinkle, a granule formulation of rabeprazole sodium, a commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitor; (ii) Cefaclor, a second-generation cephalosporin antibiotic suspension; (iii) Karbinal ER, an extended-release carbinoxamine (antihistamine) suspension indicated to treat numerous allergic conditions; and (iv) Poly-Vi-Flor and Tri-Vi-Flor, two complementary prescription fluoride-based supplement product lines containing combinations of fluoride and vitamins in various for infants and children with fluoride deficiency.

Aytu recently acquired Innovus Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company commercializing, licensing and developing safe and effective consumer healthcare products designed to improve men's and women's health and vitality. Innovus commercializes over thirty-five consumer health products competing in large healthcare categories including diabetes, men's health, sexual wellness and respiratory health. The Innovus product portfolio is commercialized through direct-to-consumer marketing channels utilizing the company's proprietary Beyond Human marketing and sales platform.

Aytu's strategy is to continue building its portfolio of revenue-generating products, leveraging its focused commercial team and expertise to build leading brands within large therapeutic markets. For more information visit aytubio.com and visit innovuspharma.com to learn about the company's consumer healthcare products.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the Exchange Act. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this presentation, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are generally written in the future tense and/or are preceded by words such as ''may,'' ''will,'' ''should,'' ''forecast,'' ''could,'' ''expect,'' ''suggest,'' ''believe,'' ''estimate,'' ''continue,'' ''anticipate,'' ''intend,'' ''plan,'' or similar words, or the negatives of such terms or other variations on such terms or comparable terminology. These statements are just predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: the regulatory and commercial risks associated with introducing the COVID-19 Rapid Test, effects of the business combination of Aytu and the Commercial Portfolio and the previously announced, but not yet consummated, merger ("Merger") with Innovus Pharmaceuticals, including the combined company's future financial condition, results of operations, strategy and plans, the ability of the combined company to realize anticipated synergies in the timeframe expected or at all, changes in capital markets and the ability of the combined company to finance operations in the manner expected, the diversion of management time on Merger-related issues and integration of the Commercial Portfolio, the ultimate timing, outcome and results of integrating the operations the Commercial Portfolio and Innovus with Aytu's existing operations, the failure to obtain the required votes of Innovus' shareholders or Aytu's shareholders to approve the Merger and related matters, the risk that a condition to closing of the Merger may not be satisfied, that either party may terminate the merger agreement or that the closing of the Merger might be delayed or not occur at all, the price per share utilized in the formula for the initial $8 million merger consideration in the Merger may not be reflective of the current market price of Aytu's common stock on the closing date, potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, including those resulting from the announcement or completion of the Merger, risks relating to gaining market acceptance of our products, obtaining or maintaining reimbursement by third-party payors, the potential future commercialization of our product candidates, the anticipated start dates, durations and completion dates, as well as the potential future results, of our ongoing and future clinical trials, the anticipated designs of our future clinical trials, anticipated future regulatory submissions and events, our anticipated future cash position and future events under our current and potential future collaboration. We also refer you to the risks described in ''Risk Factors'' in Part I, Item 1A of the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the other reports and documents we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time.

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Global Nanomedicine Market Executive Summary and Analysis by Top Players 2020 – 2025 : GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson – Stock Market Herald

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Global Nanomedicine Market Executive Summary and Analysis by Top Players 2020 - 2025 : GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson - Stock Market Herald

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Nanoparticle Therapy Might Help Reduce Brain Swelling in… : Neurology Today – LWW Journals

Article In Brief

Mice with an open- and closed-traumatic brain injury were injected with immunomodulatory nanoparticles that reduced brain swelling and damage on MRI.

Investigators used a novel approach to prevent the swelling that can occur after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a mouse model: they injected nanoparticles that trick white blood cells into going after them instead of rushing to the injured brain and causing an inflammatory and immune response.

Mice with TBI that were given three injections of the immunomodulatory nanoparticles beginning two to three hours after injury showed less brain swelling and damage on MRI as compared with mice with TBI that did not get the nanoparticles; the treated mice also performed better on functional tests.

The immunomodulatory nanoparticle treatment, if further proven in preclinical trials and human trials, would not undo damage from the initial injury to the brain. But it could help prevent the body from setting off a cascade of immune and inflammatory cells in reaction to the injury, which in turn can cause brain swelling and even more damage to brain tissue.

We certainly haven't gone and magically prevented that initial damage, said Jack Kessler, MD, professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and the senior author of the paper. What we can do is prevent the secondary damage, which is substantial.

Predicting which TBI patients will develop edema of the brain isn't easy, so having a preventive treatment like the nanoparticles that could be administered upfront could be life-altering, Dr. Kessler said.

He said some patients with head injuries come into the hospital walking and talking, but then their brain swells, and they die.

According to background in the study, published January 10 online in Annals of Neurology, each year more than 2.5 million people in the US have a traumatic brain TBI and more than five million Americans live with at least one sequela of TBI.

After the primary injury, there is substantial secondary injury attributable to infiltrating immune cells, cytokine release, reactive oxygen species, excitotoxicity, and other mechanisms, the study authors wrote. Despite many preclinical and clinical trials to limit such secondary damage, no successful therapies have emerged.

The nanoparticles tested in the mouse experiments are made of material used in biodegradable sutures. The paper specifically described the particles as highly negatively charged, 500 nm-diameter particles composed of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved biodegradable biopolymer carboxylated poly (lactic-co glycolic) acid.

The nanoparticles (IMPs), which seem like foreign invaders to the body's immune system, attract the attention of large white blood cells known as monocytes, which have been implicated in the secondary damage that occurs with TBI.

IMPs bind to the macrophage receptor with collagenous structure (MARCO) on monocytes and monocytes bound to IMPs no longer home to sites of inflammation but rather are sequestered in the spleen, where the cells die, the study authors wrote.

The mouse study involved two types of head injury. In some of the mice, the researchers performed a craniotomy to create a controlled cortical impact. Other mice received a closed head injury involving a direct blow to the head. Both types of injuries were meant to mimic what occurs in humans with TBI.

Injections of the nanoparticles were given two to three hours after the brain injury, and again at 24 hours and 48 hours post-injury. Control animals with similar brain injuries were given saline solution at the same time points.

Outcomes for the mice who received the nanoparticles were better by multiple measures, including MRI and a motor function test called the ladder rung walking test that is used in mouse experiments.

IMP administration resulted in remarkable preservation of both tissue and neurological function, in both models of head injury, the paper said. After acute treatment, there was a reduction in the number of immune cells infiltrating into the brain, mitigation of the inflammatory status of the infiltrating cells, improved electrophysiological visual function, improved long-term motor behavior, reduced edema formation as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging, and reduced lesion volumes on anatomic examination.

Dr. Kessler said that in the case of mice with an open head injury, the size of their brain lesion was 50 percent smaller in the treated animals compared with those that did not get the nanoparticles.

He said MRI showed significantly less brain swelling and less compression of the ventricles, both signs that secondary damage was minimized.

Dr. Kessler said that right now the only recourse for severe brain swelling is to do a craniotomy to relieve pressure in the skull.

He said one of the appeals of the nanoparticle treatment is that an emergency medical technician could do it in the field or the emergency room personnel could inject it.

But Dr. Kessler is also cautious about too many predications based on a pre-clinical study, saying he is fond of telling medical students that if I had a nickel for every mouse we cured, I'd be a rich man.

Sripadh Sharma, PhD, an MD-PhD student at Northwestern and the study's first author, said the nanoparticle therapy needs to be tested further in animal models before it could go into human testing. The researchers also want to learn more about how the nanoparticles bring about a reduced immune response in the body.

Dr. Sharma noted that while immune responses are a good thing in the face of injury or infection, sometimes nature doesn't always get it right, so too much of a good thing is a bad thing. And that can be the case with TBI.

He said it has been shown by another collaborator on the study, Stephen Miller, PhD, that when the scavenger receptors on the monocytes detect the light negative charge of the nanoparticles, the monocytes engulf and bind to the particles and apoptose in the spleen instead of going to the site of injury.

More studies need to be done to optimize what dose and what time these particles need to be given following a head injury, said Dr. Sharma.

Similar nanoparticle therapy is being tested for other medical conditions, including celiac disease and myocardial infarction, Dr. Kessler said.

Michael J. Schneck, MD, FAAN, professor of neurology (and neurosurgery) at Loyola University Chicago, said the study was well-designed and thorough, using two different head injury models and multiple outcome measures, including brain imaging, functional testing, and brain tissue analysis. Dr. Schneck said the paper made him wonder whether a similar approach using immune-modulating nanoparticles could reduce inflammatory-related damage following stroke and spinal cord injury.

Dr. Schneck said the concept of trying to dampen the immune response after TBI to prevent edema is not new, but the Northwestern researchers took the idea in a new direction. The nanoparticle therapy is particularly intriguing, he said, because it is fairly simple and involves the use of a material that is already approved by the US FDA, which could mean that it would take less time to move the therapy from the laboratory into clinical trials.

This is a very elegant study with interesting translational potential, he said. But it is a mouse model and its application to (human) TBI and other forms of central nervous system injury remains to be validated.

Jiangbing Zhou, PhD, associate professor of neurosurgery and biomedical engineering at Yale University, said that as someone who does research in the field of nanomedicine, he was surprised by the study's findings and wants to understand how this simple formulation particle could achieve this marked efficacy.

The study looks very exciting, but I want to know more about the mechanism, said Dr. Zhou, whose research focuses on developing translational nanomedicine, gene therapy, and stem cell therapy for neurological disorders including TBI.

He had these and other questions about the study: Why do the particles interact specifically with the inflammatory monocytes but not the others? How do the particles, which are made of safe biomaterials, efficiently kill the inflammatory monocytes in the spleen? What is happening and why?

Javier Crdenas, MD, director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center at the Barrow Neurological Institute, said the study on the immune-modulating nanoparticle therapy for TBI was very promising, though he stressed that he is always cautiously optimistic when he sees a mouse study.

It is definitely a novel approach to addressing the secondary sequelae of brain injury and they might have something that minimizes that and hopefully improves outcomes, Dr. Crdenas said.

He said the study also raises some questions, including how the immune-modulating approach would fare in patients who have multiple injuries, not just to the head.

Dr. Crdenas said brain injuries often do not happen in isolation, with patients also having broken bones, lacerations, and other organ damage.

We don't know how this (nanoparticle treatment) would affect other organs, other immune responses elsewhere in the body, he said.

Dr. Crdenas said the field of TBI research has been disappointed before by studies of new therapies that looked promising in animal models and clinical testing but ultimately failed. He noted, for instance, that progesterone and hypothermia did not turn out to be good at preventing brain swelling.

We will wait and see, he said of the nanoparticles.

Drs. Sharma, Schneck, Zhou, and Crdenas had no disclosures.

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