Purdy gets appointed as COO at Turning Point Brands

November 19, 2019

Turning Point Brands has promoted Graham A. Purdy to chief operating officer.

Since joining the company in 2004, Purdy has held a range of leadership positions. Among other accomplishments, he built and ran the company’s sales organization, launched the Nu-X new product development engine and led transaction teams for many of the company’s strategic initiatives.

In his new role as chief operating officer, Purdy will oversee the day-to-day operations of the business.

“I have worked with Graham for the past 15 years. He has great intuition for the consumer, anticipates new market trends and builds strong internal processes to capitalize on those growth opportunities,” said Larry Wexler, president and chief executive of Turning Point Brands.

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Cannabis credentials approved for Global Labs

November 19, 2019

A2LA has renewed accreditation of Global Laboratory Services (GLS) to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for cannabis testing. Based in Wilson, North Carolina, USA, GLS is the first cannabis testing laboratory accredited in the state.

ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation confirms that laboratories have management, quality and technical systems in place to ensure accurate and reliable analyses as well as proper administrative processes to ensure that all aspects related to the sample, the analysis and the reporting are standardized, measured and monitored.

“At Global Laboratory Services, we always strive to keep pace with industry needs,” said Kim Hesse, business development manager at GLS. “We saw the need for an accredited laboratory in the hemp industry and therefore added CBD and THC testing to our scope. Our next step is to expand our service offerings to include agrochemical analysis of industrial hemp.”

A2LA is an independent nonprofit accreditation body in the United States.

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Black market CBD vaping device blamed for death in Belgium

November 19, 2019

An 18-year-old has become the first person to die of vaping in Belgium after authorities blamed his respiratory failure on e-cigarette use, according to a report in The Brussels Times.

The vaper, who lived in Brussels, died on Nov. 6 after using a device with cannabidiol (CBD), a popular and legal hemp component with mild soothing properties that is also sold on the black market mixed with illicit and dangerous products.

“The link with the electronic cigarette is established,” said Health Minister Maggie De Block when questioned in Belgian parliament. “There is no other explanation for such severe pneumonia in this patient.”

The case follows an outbreak of vaping-related hospitalizations and deaths in the United States that have been mostly blamed on vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent in vaping oil.

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Apple ditches vaping apps

November 19, 2019

Apple has removed 181 vaping-related apps from its app store, citing health concerns, reports CNN.

“Recently, experts ranging from the CDC [Centers for disease Control and Prevention] to the American Heart Association have attributed a variety of lung injuries and fatalities to e-cigarette and vaping products, going so far as to call the spread of these devices a public health crisis and a youth epidemic. We agree, and we’ve updated our app store review guidelines to reflect that apps encouraging or facilitating the use of these products are not permitted,” the company said in a statement.

Apple said the apps are a mix of stores, social networks, news and games and represent 0.00010 percent of the 1.8 million apps available through the app store.

The apps now banned from the app store will continue to work for customers who already have them downloaded on their devices, and they can be transferred to new devices.

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Cigarette smoking prevalence continues historic decline

November 19, 2019

In its annual study released on Nov. 14, the U.S. Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the U.S. adult smoking prevalence rate for 2018 was 13.7 percent or 34.2 million people, slightly down from 2017.

The U.S. adult e-cigarette prevalence rate for 2018 was 3.2 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 2017. Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s office on smoking and health, noted that young adults spurred the increase as 7.6 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 vape.

“What we don’t want to be doing is playing a game of public health whack-a-mole where we let the use of some products go up while others go down, particularly among the young adult population,” said King.

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Vitamin E acetate ‘likely culprit’ in THC-related lung illnesses

November 19, 2019

U.S. health officials have found vitamin E acetate in the lung fluids of 29 people sickened in the recent outbreak of vaping-related injuries, according to reports by The Washington Post, Reuters and other sources.

Described as a “breakthrough,” the discovery points to the oil as a likely culprit in the outbreak that has affected more than 2,000 people and killed at least 39.

The findings are significant because for the first time, scientists have been able to connect results from product testing with clinical specimens from patients.

“These findings provide direct evidence of vitamin E acetate at the primary site of injury within the lungs,” said Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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How Common Is Abuse in Fibromyalgia Patients?

The 24-hour news cycle is just as important to medicine as it is to politics, finance, or sports. At MedPage Today, new information is posted daily, but keeping up can be a challenge. As an aid for our readers and for a little amusement, here is a 10-question quiz based on the news of the week. Topics include fibromyalgia, more vaping news, and weight loss in the U.S. After taking the quiz, scroll down in your browser window to find the correct answers and explanations, as well as links to the original articles.

2019-11-16T17:00:00-0500

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Dennis Lee Johnson -- Rochester - PostBulletin.com

Dennis L. Johnson, 80, of Rochester, died on Nov. 12, 2019 at Saint Marys Hospital in Rochester. He was born to Tony and Ida Johnson on Nov. 10, 1939, in Tracy, Minn. He graduated from Walnut Grove High School in 1957 and the University of Minnesota in 1961. He married Joann Monson in August 1969, in Marine on St. Croix. 

Dennis spent most of his adult life living with Multiple Sclerosis. He became an inspiration to many because of his positive attitude, great smile, and determination to keep doing the things he loved. He taught in Farmington, Pine Island and Rochester. He was a volunteer track coach at Mayo High School for 21 years and made many lasting relationships with members of the team as he coached from his mobility scooter. He spent many summers working with the All Comer Track Meets in Rochester. Dennis was also a member of the Eagles Aerie 2228 Rochester.

He is survived by his wife, Joann; brother, Donald of Walnut Grove; brother, Doug (Sharon) of Spring Hill, Fla.; sister, Evonne Phillippe (Gene) of Surprise Ariz.; many nieces and nephews; and some great-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister-in-law, Judy Johnson.

Dennis enjoyed trap shooting, University of Minnesota wrestling and cheering for and helping young athletes. He was a member of the Rochester Quarterbacks Club and the Dodge Center Sportsman's Club and the Southern Minnesota Sportsman's Club.

The funeral service for Dennis will be held 11 a.m. Nov. 19 at Macken Funeral Home in Rochester with Pastors Paul Hauschild and Ron Hackmann officiating. A visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18 at Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service on Tuesday. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester.

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EMA/CHMP backs five novel medicines for approval - The Pharma Letter

EMA/CHMP backs five novel medicines for approval  The Pharma Letter
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Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Mayzent® (siponimod) for the treatment of adult patients with active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) | Small Molecules | News Channels - PipelineReview.com

Novartis receives positive CHMP opinion for Mayzent® (siponimod) for the treatment of adult patients with active Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS)

DetailsHits: 158If approved, Mayzent® (siponimod) will be the first and only oral treatment specifically indicated for patients with active Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) in Europe[1])CHMP opinion is based on the Phase III EXPAND trial, the largest randomized clinical study in a broad SPMS patient population (EDSS score 3.0 to 6.5 at baseline), showing Mayzent significantly reduced the risk of disease progression, including physical disability and cognitive decline[2]Up to 80% of patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) will develop SPMS[3]; if approved, Mayzent would be a viable treatment option for those patients with active SPMS

BASEL, Switzerland I November 15, 2019 I Novartis today announced the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion for Mayzent® (siponimod) for the treatment of adult patients with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS) with active disease evidenced by relapses or imaging features of inflammatory activity (i.e. Gd-enhancing T1 lesions or active, new or enlarging, T2 lesions). While MS progression is different for each patient and influenced by multiple factors, including use of MS disease-modifying treatments, it is estimated that up to 80% of patients will eventually transition from RRMS to SPMS [3]. If approved, Mayzent is expected to be the first and only oral treatment specifically indicated for patients with active SPMS based on a randomized clinical trial of a broad SPMS patient population.

“Today’s CHMP opinion marks a milestone in supporting people in Europe who are living with active SPMS,” said Christoph Thalheim, Director External Affairs, European Multiple Sclerosis Platform. “This decision brings hope of a possible new and beneficial therapy.”

The positive CHMP opinion for Mayzent is based on groundbreaking data from the Phase III EXPAND study, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, comparing the efficacy and safety of Mayzent versus placebo in people with SPMS. EXPAND also investigated a subgroup of patients with active disease (n=779), defined as patients with relapses in the two years prior to the study and/or presence of Gd-enhancing T1 lesions at baseline. The baseline characteristics were similar except for signs of activity compared to the overall population. Results from EXPAND in the overall population showed that Mayzent significantly reduced the risk of three-month confirmed disability progression (CDP) (primary endpoint; 21% reduction versus placebo, p=0.013) and meaningfully delayed the risk of six-month CDP (26% versus placebo, p=0.0058) [2]. 

In the subgroup of Mayzent-treated patients with active disease, results showed:

Time to onset of three‑month and six‑month CDP was significantly delayed by 31% compared to placebo and by 37% compared to placebo, respectively [4].The annualized relapse rate (ARR – confirmed relapses) was reduced by 46% compared to placebo [4].Significant favorable outcomes in other relevant measures of MS disease activity, including MRI disease activity and brain volume loss (brain shrinkage) [4].

Additional analyses of the EXPAND study were presented this year at the 35th Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), demonstrating that Mayzent:

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Overcoming obstacles earns SUNY Oswego freshman statewide scholarship - NNY360

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SUNY Oswego freshman Samia Montgomery’s resilience and achievements resulted in her becoming one of five statewide recipients of the Carey Gabay Scholarship Program.

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Havana's 500th Anniversary a missed opportunity to strengthen U.S.-Cuba ties - New York Daily News

Havana's 500th Anniversary a missed opportunity to strengthen U.S.-Cuba ties  New York Daily News
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Brenda Joyce Peterson | Obituaries - Standard-Examiner

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Carisma Therapeutics Announces Investor Conference Participation - P&T Community

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Carisma Therapeutics Inc., a preclinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing innovative immunotherapies based on engineered macrophages, today announced that it will be participating in three upcoming investor conferences.

Stifel 2019 Healthcare Conference, November 19-20, 2019 – Carisma's management will deliver a presentation on Wednesday, November 20, at 4:45 pm EDT and host one-on-one meetings at the venue. The conference will be held at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel, New York, NY.Jefferies 2019 London Healthcare Conference, November 20-21, 2019 – Carisma will host one-on-one meetings on November 20 and 21 at the conference venue, at the Waldorf Hilton, London, UK.Piper Jaffray 31st Annual Healthcare Conference, December 3-5, 2019 – Carisma's management team will present on Tuesday, December 3, at 4:50 pm EDT. The company will host one-on-one meetings at the conference venue, at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in New York, NY.

Carisma Therapeutics is pioneering the development of engineered macrophages to transform the treatment of cancer and other serious illnesses through the engagement of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. Carisma's proprietary chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophage cell therapy platform is designed to address key challenges involved in the treatment of solid tumors by actively trafficking to the tumor, selectively killing tumor cells through phagocytosis, "warming up" the tumor microenvironment, and triggering a durable response from other immune cells.

Carisma's first product in development is an autologous HER2-targeted CAR-macrophage expected to enter clinical studies in 2020. Additional CAR-macrophages targeting other solid tumor antigens are in early development.

About Carisma Therapeutics Inc.

Carisma Therapeutics Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing a differentiated and proprietary cell therapy platform focused on engineered macrophages, cells that play a crucial role in both the innate and adaptive immune responses. The first applications of the platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania, are autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-macrophages for the treatment of solid tumors. Carisma Therapeutics is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.

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Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Market 2019| Recent Trends, In-depth Analysis, Market Size Research Report Forecast up to 2026 | Research Industry US - News Obtain

Global Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Market presents insights on the current and future industry trends, enabling the readers to identify the product and services, hence driving the revenue growth and profitability. The research report provides a detailed analysis of all the major factors impacting the market on a global and regional scale, including drivers, constraints, threats, challenges, opportunities, and industry-specific trends. Further, the report cites global certainties and endorsements along with downstream and upstream analysis of leading players.

The Research Report presents a detailed analysis based on the thorough research of the overall market, particularly on questions that border on the market size, growth scenario, potential opportunities, operation landscape, trend analysis, and competitive analysis of Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Market. This research is conducted to understand the current landscape of the market, especially in 2018. This will shape the future of the market and foresee the extent of competition in the market. This report will also help all the manufacturers and investors to have a better understanding of the direction in which the market is headed.

Request For Sample PDF Report (Kindly Use Your Bussiness/Corporate Email Id to Get Priority): http://researchindustry.us/report/multiple-sclerosis-drugs-market-ric/851565/request-sample

Competitive Landscape:

The Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Industry is severely competitive and fragmented due to the existence of various established players taking part in different marketing strategies to increase their market share. The vendors operating in the market are profiled based on price, quality, brand, product differentiation, and product portfolio. The vendors are turning their focus increasingly on product customization through customer interaction.

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Community news Saturday Nov. 16 - The San Diego Union-Tribune

CARLSBAD

Class registration offered at senior center

The Carlsbad Senior Center is presenting a free registration workshop for classes held at the Carlsbad Senior Center and at Pine Avenue Community Center from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 3209 Harding St. Attendees will learn to create and edit an account online at CarlsbadConnect.org and how to locate and register online for City of Carlsbad classes. Call (760) 602-4650.

Flu shots given at senior center

The Carlsbad Senior Center will host licensed CVS Immunizing Pharmacists to administer the 2019 “All-in-one Influenza Vaccine” (Influenza A, Influenza B & H1N1) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 799 Pine Ave. Bring your Medicare Part B card and CVS will take care of billing Medicare for you. No appointment necessary. Call (760) 602-4654.

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How to Find the Right MS Treatment

How to Find the Right MS Treatment
Diane Kramer, 35, knows all too well the challenges of finding the right Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment. When she was diagnosed in her 20s, she tried several drugs, one after the other -- and has tried several more therapies since.

“My first disease-modifying treatment was completely dictated by insurance. I wasn’t part of the conversation,” Kramer says. “Then I changed insurance, so I had to change medications. I went from using an injectable once a week to using an injectable once every 3 days.”

The new drug left her covered in welts and flattened by flu-like symptoms. But perhaps even worse, she says, was the relationship she had with her new neurologist. “He told me I would be in a wheelchair in a year, so I should probably consider not working so I could spend more time with my family.”


After that, Kramer made it a priority to find a doctor who would fight for her health. “I’m in a very good place with my MS right now, and I attribute that hugely to having a great doctor who is ready with an answer about what’s next, no matter what issue I’m having.”

Joash T. Lazarus, MD, a neurologist at the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Atlanta, says finding the right treatment isn’t easy because the disease affects everyone differently. Having a good relationship with your doctor can make medication adherence more likely, especially when you need to experiment with different drugs to find a good fit.

Have the Awkward Conversation
When your MS doctor asks how you feel, you may find it easy to mention numbness, weakness, vision problems, loss of coordination, dizziness, and fatigue, which are all common symptoms in MS.

Would you also freely talk about more intimate concerns? These also are symptoms of MS:

Loss of bowel control
Painful constipation 
Inability to orgasm 
Peeing during sex
Forgetting what to do at work 

Sometimes people don’t bring such issues to their doctors’ attention, says Pavan Bhargava, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University Medical School. “I think embarrassment is a factor, or patients selectively leave out things they think aren’t related to MS,” he says. “Patients need to know that MS can affect a broad spectrum of things that have a huge impact of quality of life, and that there are ways to improve a lot of them.”

Lazarus agrees. “Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable for patients to talk about some of the more intimate ways MS affects you, but it’s the only way we can help,” he says.

Talk About Treatment Goals
Trying multiple therapies throughout the course of your disease is common. Doctors will recommend a switch if you’re on a disease-modifying drug that isn’t working well enough or if you find the side effects tough to handle.

Before you start taking a new drug, ask your doctor what to expect. Will you have different side effects? Will you start to feel better? How will you know if it’s working?

Bhargava says people with MS are often concerned when they don’t feel better because they don’t know that isn’t what the drugs are designed to do. “The goal is to prevent new lesions so that the disease does not get worse over time,” he says.

To feel better both physically and mentally, you’ll probably need to add treatments that improve your MS symptoms, not the course of the disease. Some examples include:
 Physical therapyMuscle relaxantsMedications to reduce fatigueAntidepressantsTreatments for bladder or bowel problemsPain relievers
If these approaches don’t give you enough relief, work with your doctor to find options that will. “I was in a lot of pain, and narcotics make my neuralgia worse,” Kramer says. “My current doctor suggested acupuncture could help. Now I’m not at all struggling with pain.”


Know Your Options

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What to Know About MS and the JC Virus

This common virus is harmless to most of the population. But it can have serious effects for those with Multiple Sclerosis.

What is the JC virus?
The John Cunningham virus, known more commonly as the JC virus, is a very common virus in the United States. According to the World Journal of Neurosciences, between 70 and 90 percent of people in the world have the virus. The average person carrying the JC virus will never know and is unlikely to experience any side effects.
However, that’s not the case for a small percentage of individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The JC virus can be activated when a person’s immune system is compromised because of disease or immunosuppressive medication.
The virus can then be carried into the brain. It infects the white matter of the brain and attacks the cells responsible for making myelin, the protective coating that covers and protects nerve cells. This infection is called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML can be disabling, even fatal.

The role of immune-suppressing drugs

The JC virus often attacks when a person’s immune system is at its weakest. A weakened immune system can no longer fight off invading viruses. It’s the perfect opportunity for the JC virus to awaken, cross the blood-brain barrier, and begin attacking the brain. People with MS are at an increased risk for PML because their immune system is often compromised as a result of the condition.
Further compounding the problem, several medications used to treat the symptoms of MS can also compromise the immune system. Immunosuppressant medications can increase the likelihood that a person with MS will develop PML after exposure to the JC virus. These immunosuppressant medications may include:
azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)cyclophosphamidedimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera)methotrexatemitoxantrone (Novantrone)mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept)corticosteroids
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New insights into how immune system and inflammation play a role in PD

Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 14 2019

Relatively new research findings indicating that the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease (PD) may occur in the gut have been gaining traction in recent years. In a review published in the Journal of Parkinson's disease, Tomasz Brudek, PhD, evaluates evidence for the association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and PD and proposes directions for future research.

Parkinsonism is probably not just a brain disorder, but a group of diseases that may have their onset in the periphery, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract. Taken together, all data, including human, animal, and microbiome studies, suggest quite strongly that individuals with an increased tendency for peripheral inflammation have a higher risk to acquire PD. Given the potentially critical role of gut pathology in the pathogenesis of PD, there is reason to suspect that IBD may impact PD risk.

Dr. Brudek, of the Research Laboratory for Stereology and Neuroscience, and Copenhagen Center for Translational Research, Copenhagen University Hospital, Bispebjerg, and Frederiksberg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark

This review explores and discusses the latest knowledge about links between IBD and PD and presents evidence from animal studies that peripheral immune system alterations may play a role in PD, which has the potential for new therapeutic strategies. It shows how our understanding and appreciation of the importance of the so-called gut-brain axis, the connection between gut and the brain in PD, has grown rapidly in recent years. It also provides important new insights into ways in which the immune system and inflammation can play a role in PD.

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Blocking a molecule could delay the progression of multiple sclerosis

Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 14 2019

Over 77,000 Canadians are living with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease whose causes still remain unknown. Presently, they have no hope for a cure. In a study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) identify a molecule named ALCAM which, once blocked, delays the progression of the disease. Their results, obtained from in vitro human and in vivo mouse studies, could lead to the development of a new generation of therapies to treat this autoimmune disease.

Under normal conditions, the blood-brain barrier protects our brain from exposure to harmful elements. For example, it prevents cells of the immune system such as lymphocytes from invading our central nervous system. However, in people with Multiple Sclerosis, this barrier is permeable. A large number of lymphocytes manage to migrate into the brain and deteriorate its tissues (by destruction of the myelin sheath that protects the neurons and enables the transmission of nerve impulses).

In our study, we show for the first time that a molecule called ALCAM (Activated Leukocyte Cell Adhesion Molecule), expressed by B cells, controls their entry into the brain via blood vessels. It allows them to migrate to the other side of the blood-brain barrier in mice and humans. By blocking this molecule in mice, we were able to reduce the flow of B cells into their brains and, as a result, slow the progression of the disease."

Dr. Alexandre Prat, researcher at the CRCHUM, professor at the Université de Montréal and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Multiple Sclerosis

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