Peter Wright on his walk-on song and trademark dance | Darts News

first_img– Advertisement – – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Before winning the World Championship, Peter Wright explained the story behind his walk-on and that trademark dance move on the stage In the third of our series, the world champion Peter Wright tells us the story behind his walk-on song and dance.Back on January 1 as Peter Wright lifted the Sid Waddell trophy, no one could have imagined how this year was going to pan out.Listen to the Darts Show podcast on: Spotify | Apple | CastboxFollowing that famous evening, Wright would have been relishing visiting arenas all over the world, being introduced as the world champion and entertaining sell-out crowds with his colourful outfits and legendary walk-on dance.However, since the global pandemic, walk-ons have become a little different which gives us even more reason to remind ourselves of how Wright, winner of the European Championship at the weekend, usually makes his entrance. 3:24 Before winning the World Championship, Peter Wright explained the story behind his walk-on and that trademark dance move on the stage In the latest special series from The Darts Show podcast Wright tells us the story behind his walk-on song, the dance that gets every party started and the Snakebite persona that he adorns for the stage; Download & subscribe to The Darts Show podcast via Spotify By Henry ChardLast Updated: 03/11/20 6:29amcenter_img Peter Wright will defend his world title this year Peter Wright will defend his world title this year

Biden’s concern for ‘the soul of this country’ drove his successful campaign.

first_imgBut Mr. Biden also said he felt pulled by a sense of moral duty.“He said, back then, ‘I really am concerned about the soul of this country,’” Mr. Garcetti said.Twenty-one months and a week later, Mr. Biden stands triumphant in a campaign he waged on just those terms: as a patriotic crusade to reclaim the American government from a president he considered a poisonous figure. The language he used in that call with Mr. Garcetti became the watchwords of a candidacy designed to marshal a broad coalition of voters against Mr. Trump and his reactionary politics. On a January evening in 2019, Joseph R. Biden Jr. placed a call to the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, a personal friend and political ally who had just announced he would not pursue the Democratic nomination for president.During their conversation, Mr. Garcetti recalled, Mr. Biden did not exactly say he had decided to mount his own campaign. The former vice president confided that if he did run, he expected President Trump to “come after my family” in an “ugly” election.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – It was not the most inspirational campaign in recent times, nor the most daring, nor the most agile. The personality cult that had built up around Mr. Trump was absent: There were no prominent reports of Biden supporters branding themselves with “Joe” tattoos and lionizing him in florid murals — or even holding boat parades in his honor. Mr. Biden campaigned as a sober and conventional presence, rather than as an uplifting herald of change. For much of the general election, his candidacy was not an exercise in vigorous creativity, but rather a case study in discipline and restraint.In the end, voters did what Mr. Biden asked of them and not much more: They repudiated Mr. Trump, while offering few other rewards to Mr. Biden’s party. And by a popular vote margin of four million and counting, Americans made Mr. Biden only the third man since the Second World War to topple a duly elected president after just one term. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Deshaun Watson delighted the Houston Texans didn’t trade Will Fuller | NFL News

first_img4:04 0:30 Deshaun Watson completes to Will Fuller for a 77 yard touchdown pass for the Houston Texans against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Deshaun Watson completes to Will Fuller for a 77 yard touchdown pass for the Houston Texans against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fuller caught all five of his targets on Sunday for 100 yards and a score in a bounce back week following his three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown in the Week Eight defeat to the Green Bay Packers.His value as a deep-threat has been undisputed since being selected in the first round of the 2016 Draft, with niggling injuries the major hindrance to his efforts to establish himself as a consistent threat. The hope is that he has turned a corner this year in regards to his health.Speaking post-game Fuller admitted “it really sucked” to be shopped by the Texans prior to the deadline.“Just giving this organisation my all, coming to work every day, very unselfish player, do everything they ask, and then, just to be shopped around, I did feel a certain type of way,” he said.“But like I said, I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to play with Deshaun and continue to try to get wins with this organisation.”Sky Sports NFL is your dedicated channel for NFL coverage through the season – featuring a host of NFL Network programming, a new weekly preview show as well as at least five games a week and NFL Redzone, you won’t miss a moment. Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/nfl, our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL & Sky Sports – on the go! – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Wide receiver Will Fuller caught a touchdown for the sixth straight game on Sunday as he helped the Houston Texans to a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars after being linked with a trade to the Green Bay Packers prior to last Tuesday’s deadline. By Cameron HogwoodLast Updated: 09/11/20 1:11pmcenter_img – Advertisement – A look back at the action and talking points from Week 9 of the NFL season A look back at the action and talking points from Week 9 of the NFL season There was nobody more relieved than Deshaun Watson when Will Fuller was still a Houston Texans player after Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline.Having traded Watson’s favourite target DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals this past offseason, Houston appeared ready to strip their quarterback of another weapon as they listened to offers on Fuller.The Green Bay Packers are believed to have made a run at him prior to the deadline as they sought support for Davante Adams, however the two sides were unable to agree on value.Watson and Fuller linked up well in Sunday’s 27-25 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the former connecting with his lead receiver for a 77-yard touchdown. It was the sixth straight game in which Fuller had hauled in a touchdown catch, marking the longest streak by any player since Antonio Brown’s eight-game stretch in 2018.“It would have been hell if they would have done that, for sure,” Watson said post-game when asked about the possibility of Fuller being traded.“Honestly. I’m glad to continue to play with Will. We’ve been making a lot of big, big plays since I came into this league, [and we’re] going to continue to do that as we continue to go the rest of this year and hopefully the rest of our careers.” – Advertisement – last_img read more

The Umbrella Academy Season 3: Netflix Renews Superhero Series, Production Begins Early 2021

first_imgThe Umbrella Academy will return for season 3. Netflix has renewed the superhero series — based on the comic book series of the same name by former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and Brazilian illustrator Gabriel Bá — for a third season, over three months after the release of the second season. Production will begin on The Umbrella Academy season 3 in February 2021 in Toronto, Canada, where the first two seasons were also filmed. The Umbrella Academy season 3 will be made up of 10 hour-long episodes, as was the case with the first two seasons.Review: Umbrella Academy Season 2 Is a Better Second Try, but Not Enough- Advertisement – On Tuesday, the official Netflix and The Umbrella Academy accounts simultaneously tweeted the series’ season 3 renewal. Netflix wrote: “They’re not done yet! The Umbrella Academy Season 3 is officially happening!” while the show’s tweet said: “Oh my god! We’re back! Again! It’s official. Production for S3 of The Umbrella Academy begins in February.” An hour and a half later, The Umbrella Academy star Justin H. Min revealed season 3 would be filmed in Toronto.In addition to Min, returning stars on The Umbrella Academy season 3 include Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Ritu Arya, and Colm Feore. Behind the scenes, The Umbrella Academy creator Steve Blackman will continue as showrunner, and executive producer alongside director Jeff F. King, Mike Richardson, Keith Goldberg, and Jesse McKeown. Way and Bá are co-executive producers.[SPOILER ALERT FOR SEASON 2] On The Umbrella Academy season 3, the Hargreeves foster siblings will most likely need to deal with the fallout of their time-travelling actions. At the end of season 2, they discovered that their presence in the 1960s had created an altered present day, in which the Umbrella Academy was never established by their adoptive billionaire father. Instead, he created the Sparrow Academy, which is made up of different individuals except for Ben (Min) who’s alive in this timeline and is the leader of the Sparrow Academy as Number One.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Big Brother’s Rachel Reilly, Brendon Villegas Reveal Newborn’s Name

first_imgVillegas, 40, announced the birth of their son on Wednesday via Twitter. “Thank you for all the well wishes for Rachel and the baby. Rachel and our baby boy are both healthy and doing well. They are recovering at UCLA,” he wrote. “I am sure it will not be too long until Rachel shares some pics, but I will leave that up to our momma warrior. No name as of yet!”The couple — who tied the knot in September 2012 — shared the news in May that they were expecting a second child.- Advertisement – “At one point I was on oxygen and it lasted longer than my birth with Adora,” she explains. “Almost 15 hours he did not want to come out of the womb. Brendon was really supportive and my rock the whole time. He encouraged my breathing and my labor positions and helped me when I didn’t think I could keep going. He was an amazing partner and has been so helpful.”Reilly says her daughter has adjusted to having a younger sibling and has been “so helpful” and “very protective” of her little brother. The reality star admitted that she and Villegas, 40, haven’t been “sleeping at all” with a newborn under their roof, but they’ve loving every minute of it.“Our little Adler is such an amazing addition to our family. We can’t wait to get to know what his personality is going to be like,” she said, adding, “Our hearts couldn’t be more overjoyed and full.”- Advertisement – Introducing the latest addition to the Brenchel family! Rachel Reilly and Brendon Villegas exclusively revealed to Us Weekly the name of their newborn after welcoming their second child earlier this week.Reilly, 36, tells Us that her son’s name is Adler Mateo Villegas, who joins the Big Brother alums’ daughter Adora, 4. The North Carolina native— who gave birth to her infant on Wednesday, November 11 — also detailed her “super hard and scary” labor.- Advertisement – “We have a lot to celebrate this year,” Reilly wrote in a Mother’s Day Instagram post. “As a mom, it’s my day to celebrate Adora & OMG baby #2!! I can’t believe I’m pregnant!”Villegas, for his part, shared a photo of their daughter holding an ultrasound picture. “We’re having another baby and couldn’t be happier,” the California native captioned the picture.Scroll down to see photos of Reilly and Villegas’ newborn son. – Advertisement –last_img read more

What J.R.R. Tolkien can teach us about life after Trump

first_imgThe sooner we begin, the sooner we may say along with Sam’s old Gaffer, “All’s well that ends better!”   McConnell may be right—indeed, he may continue to do damage even as we work to correct it—but we must undertake it just the same. And Tolkien provides us with insight into the way that work must be accomplished: with determination, but also with compassion. Frodo, as leader of the free hobbits, forbids violence against his fellow hobbits “even if they have gone over to the other side. Really gone over, I mean, not just obeying … because they are frightened.” He cautions that “it is useless to meet revenge with revenge: It will heal nothing.” Compare this to Joe Biden: “We must stop treating our opponents as our enemy. We are not enemies. We are Americans.”  Like Trump’s MAGA minions, Saruman’s thugs—hobbit, half orc, and human alike—demand respect but deserve none. What they do deserve, Frodo knows, is the chance to change—with consequences if they choose not to. “Do not kill him even now,” he instructs Sam after the disgraced Wizard has just attempted to stab him with a dagger.  “He was great once, of a noble kind … He is fallen and his cure is beyond us, but I would still spare him, in the hope that he may find it.” But Saruman’s pride, like Trump’s, prevents conversion. “All my hopes are ruined,” he tells Galadriel in an earlier chapter, “but I would not share yours.” And Frodo has no compunctions about driving him and his henchmen out of town—as we must have none about driving out the recalcitrant Trump and his goons if they refuse to go in peace.  When first apprised of Sauron’s fall and the success of the Quest, Sam wonders, “Is everything sad going to come untrue?” In “The Scouring of the Shire,” Tolkien has Sam provide his own answer: “I shan’t call it the end,” he says, “till we’ve cleared up the mess. And that’ll take a lot of time and work.” That work is now our work. To quote Joe Biden, “The work of making this vision real is the task of our time.”  – Advertisement – Nor have we rid ourselves of the scourge of Trumpism. On the contrary, Trumpists still occupy the top positions in government and have not acceded to the lawful transfer of power. High-level elected officials remain complicit. Trump loyalists have been installed in our judiciary and our career civil service. Armed militias threaten violence. And millions of our fellow citizens have thrown their lot in with the corrupt and immoral Trump regime.  Tolkien understood that the aftermath of evil is not sudden good, but rather a long, hard, unglamorous slog towards normalcy and decency. And he understood that even this menial work would face resistance from the spiteful vanquished. “I have already done much that you will find it hard to mend or undo,” smirks Sharkey/Saruman to Frodo upon realizing he is defeated. Compare this to Mitch McConnell upon the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court: “A lot of what we’ve done over the last four years will be undone sooner or later by the next election. They won’t be able to do much about this for a long time to come.”    – Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Stock futures rise after Monday’s record-setting session

first_img“Value and smaller companies typically have more leverage to economic recoveries so a vaccine that would remove the weight of COVID-19 off the economy is a distinct positive,” wrote Bill Stone, chief investment officer at Stone Investment Partners. “Time will tell if this reversal in trends proves durable or starts “makin’ the tears rain down like a monsoon” for value proponents like the many recent false starts.”The recent outperformance in value stocks comes even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to increase, dampening the country’s near-term economic outlook.More than 1 million cases were confirmed in less than a week in the U.S., bring the country’s total to more than 11 million, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Data from The Covid Tracking Project also showed U.S. coronavirus-related hospitalizations have risen to nearly 70,000.“The near-term COVID backdrop remains bleak with exploding cases, rising hospitalizations, and additional mitigation measures,” wrote Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge. “But the broader tape is willing to overlook all this for the time being.”Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world. – Advertisement – Earlier in the day, the Dow and S&P 500 posted all-time closing highs. The Dow also notched an intraday record. Those gains came after Moderna released trial data showing its coronavirus vaccine was more than 94% effective, further raising expectations of a sharp economic recovery.That marked the second positive announcement related to a coronavirus vaccine in a week. Pfizer and BioNTech said Nov. 9 that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective among participants in a late-stage trial.Value stocks led the advance on Monday, building on their strong gains from last week. The iShares Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) jumped 1.9%, while its growth counterpart closed higher by just 0.5%.- Advertisement – Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.Source: NYSEcenter_img – Advertisement – U.S. stock futures opened slightly higher on Monday night after two of the three major market benchmarks closed at record levels.Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up marginally and S&P 500 futures gained 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures outperformed, rising 0.6%.Tesla shares jumped more than 10% after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the electric car maker would join the S&P 500 index, effective Dec. 21.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Pandemic preparedness road show begins in Minnesota

first_imgDec 14, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – National health officials came to Minnesota today to launch what was billed as the first of 50 state pandemic influenza planning meetings around the nation, emphasizing the key roles of state and local governments as partners with the federal government.The general theme of the half-day conference was that much, if not most, of the real work of preparing for a pandemic must be done at the local and state levels.An audience that nearly packed the auditorium at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul heard that pandemic preparedness consists of much more than a plan on paper or an intention to stockpile antiviral drugs.”Hope is not a plan,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty.Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael O. Leavitt said, “A plan represents our aspiration; being prepared is what we’ve demonstrated in the context of an exercise.”Accordingly, he said HHS and Minnesota officials will conduct a joint tabletop pandemic preparedness exercise sometime in the next 6 months.State and local health officials made clear the need for preparations. In a pandemic, 260,000 people in the Twin Cities might be sick at the same time, and 10,000 may need to be hospitalized—far more than the area’s current surge capacity of 2,500 to 3,500 hospital beds, said Mark Lappe, metropolitan regional hospital resources coordinator.Federal officials came to listenLeavitt highlighted the mission of this and subsequent state-level meetings with three points: pandemics happen; they are difficult to discuss and anticipate; and the federal officials didn’t come to Minnesota to “impose” their ideas.”Any state, any community, or for that matter any citizen that failed to prepare, assuming the federal government will take care of them in a pandemic, they’re wrong,” Leavitt said.Leavitt tailored his presentation to Minnesota. He described historical accounts of the 1918 pandemic in his childhood home of Cedar City, Utah, as well as the spread of pandemic flu in Minnesota, where, he said, the virus sickened more than 75,000 people and killed nearly 12,000.”There is no rational reason to believe that things will be biologically different today than they were in 1918,” he said. It’s important for states to contemplate the cascading consequences of pandemic response now: for example, school closures will affect workplaces, movement restrictions will affect trade, and shortages of supplies will mean setting priorities.The federal government’s preparations and funding are a step toward the federal fulfillment of its role, Leavitt said. In 5 years, the nation could have new cell-based flu vaccines, end shortages of annual flu vaccine, and develop stockpiles of other medications and supplies.But he said the federal government cannot handle a flu pandemic alone. He illustrated his point with a computer model of a pandemic beginning in Thailand. The model showed it would spread to the United States in 30 days and become widespread in the country over 6 weeks.”A pandemic could be unfolding in every community in a nation, simultaneously. . . . We would likely be managing it on not just hundreds but thousands of fronts at the same time,” Leavitt said. “A response to a pandemic absolutely must be at a state and local level.”DHS emphasizes partnershipsJeff Runge, MD, chief medical officer for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), likened pandemic initiatives to increasing seatbelt use and decreasing drunk driving–federal efforts that succeeded only because of effective local actions.He also emphasized the role of partnerships among federal agencies and between federal, state, and local agencies.”It will take Homeland Security and public health working together as one” to respond effectively, Runge said. He likened the partnership to a three-legged race, in which agencies link up and develop the proper pace to cross the finish line.Runge also emphasized the importance of developing relationships now. “As we learned from Hurricane Katrina, catastrophic planning cannot take place in the midst of a disaster,” he said. He urged local and state officials to collaborate with DHS’s office of state and local government coordination.Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty said today’s event was an opportunity to “bring our best together to prepare for the worst.” He added that the invitees included representatives from faith and tribal communities, poultry growers, and others, while emphasizing the importance of nongovernmental preparations as well.”Dealing with a pandemic means every institution in society has a role to play,” Pawlenty said. “This is not just the government’s responsibility alone.”Julie Gerberding, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), described the threat posed by the H5N1 avian flu virus, now widespread in Asia. The virus has infected 138 people and killed 71 but has not found a way to spread easily from person to person. The virus’s acquisition of that ability would probably bring a pandemic.If that event happens in a relatively isolated rural area, Gerberding said, “There is a good chance that we could quench it.” But if it happens in an urban area, containment won’t be possible, she predicted.Vaccine and antiviral suppliesGerberding sketched HHS’s preparations involving vaccines and antiviral drugs. The goal is to amass enough of the prototype H5N1 vaccine to protect 20 million people—a tall order, given that it takes a much bigger dose of this vaccine than of ordinary flu vaccine to provide protection.HHS hopes to acquire 81 million treatment courses of antiviral drugs, mainly Tamiflu (oseltamivir), but has only about 4.3 million courses on hand now, Gerberding said.Later, Leavitt cautioned people not to pin too much hope on antivirals. “People have begun to equate preparedness with antivirals, and that’s a misnomer,” he said. “It’s not a certainty that Tamiflu or any antiviral will be a cure or be the key to prevention. . . . It’ll shorten the symptoms, but it’s not a solution.”He explained that HHS intends to allocate 50 million of the projected 81 million courses of antivirals to the states. A small part of the remainder (previously listed as 6 million doses) will be kept as an emergency reserve to keep the government running. The rest (pegged at 25 million courses) will be distributed to states that are willing to pay 75% of the cost.”If Minnesota decided its share [of the 50 million courses] wasn’t enough, we would be prepared to help them buy more antivirals and to subsidize it to the tune of 25%,” Leavitt explained.In a backgrounder on avian flu viruses, John Clifford, DVM, of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) explained that not all H5N1 viruses are to be feared. “Every H5N1 virus is not the same,” he said. “There’s an H5N1 virus in North America that’s low-pathogenic and that’s not the same as H5N1 in Asia.” The H and the N refer to just two of the flu virus’s eight genes, he said.If the dangerous H5N1 virus in Asia is going to reach North America, it will most likely travel in birds following the Alaska flyway, said Clifford, chief veterinarian for the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.Wildlife officials have taken 12,000 samples from birds in Alaska in the past 7 years and have not seen the virus, Clifford said. Birds using the Atlantic flyway are also being tested, he added.If the Asian strain of H5N1 reaches US shores, the USDA’s goal will be to eradicate it, Clifford said. The agency has a stockpile of 40 million doses of avian flu vaccines for poultry, including 20 million doses that are effective against the H5N1 Asian strain, he added.Minnesota’s pandemic planMinnesota Health Commissioner Dianne Mandernach said Minnesota was one of the first states to develop a pandemic plan, starting in 1999. She outlined a variety of measures under way or envisioned in the plan:For surveillance, the state has 27 hospitals and clinics that routinely report flu cases to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), which is closely linked to the CDC, she said.The state legislature recently clarified state laws on isolation and quarantine.The MDH is working with local agencies around the state to make sure that people who would be isolated or quarantined in a pandemic would have access to essential services.The state would close or cancel public venues and events if necessary, including even church services. “We would discontinue church services, and that would be very, very difficult for many people,” Mandernach said.The MDH has a program to provide health information to the roughly 11% of Minnesotans who don’t understand or speak English. Called Emergency and Community Health Outreach (ECHO), the program provides messages in six languages.The state is tracking hospital resources and considering options for setting up and staffing overflow facilities.Last week state officials practiced how they would distribute a shipment of medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, a task that requires multiple approaches.One concern is a shortage of mechanical ventilators. “We do not have and will not have enough ventilators in Minnesota,” Mandernach said. “So it’s really going to be a matter of planning for and maximizing the use of resources.”She also called for individuals to prepare for a pandemic by taking steps such as stockpiling some water and food. “A two-way radio should be on our Christmas list this year,” she said.In conclusion, Mandernach said, “We are in a marathon, and there is no finish line. The day that we think we’re prepared is the day that we’ve lost the race.”Hospital infection control to be crucialLappe, the Minneapolis–St. Paul region’s hospital resource coordinator, was one of a long succession of local officials who spoke on their pandemic preparations. He said rigorous infection-control practices in hospitals will be an important part of coping with a pandemic. That means providing the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff members and making sure they use it.Lappe predicted very heavy use of PPE in a pandemic. For example, he estimated that a hospital with 88 nurses who changed their gloves about every 10 minutes would go through 16,000 boxes of gloves in 8 weeks.He also said hospital staff members will need to make their own personal and family preparations for a pandemic. He estimated that only about 1% of the 4,500 employees at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis have begun preparing. “I feel we need to make it mandatory for staff to do something” to prepare for a pandemic, he said.George Gerlach, administrator of Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor in southwestern Minnesota, said the pandemic planning goal for expanding hospital surge capacity in his rural area seems nearly impossible.A few years ago, he said, hospitals in his 16-county region were advised to develop a surge capacity of 500 beds. That seemed “insurmountable” at first, but the region has made progress.”In contrast to the 500-patient surge capacity we’ve prepared for . . . the numbers for pandemic flu are overwhelming,” he said. “We’ve been advised to prepare for three to five times our current surge capacity” and to be able to maintain that level for several months.In other comments at the meeting, Gov. Pawlenty said Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of CIDRAP, which publishes this Web site, is organizing a “national business summit” on pandemic preparedness.David Olson, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, said the business summit will be “a 2-day session in February where we’ll walk small, medium, and large companies through what they can do to prepare for this.”last_img read more

Sanofi says H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant may go further

first_imgEditor’s note: The title and first two paragraphs of this story were revised Dec 16 to correct a statement in the original that gave a more positive reflection of the trial results described below than may be warranted. The original version said that Sanofi Pasteur had described the trial results as “promising,” but the company actually said only that the results were “a sign of progress.”Dec 15, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Sanofi Pasteur today announced preliminary trial results suggesting that using an additive to boost the immune response may help to stretch the supply of a vaccine for H5N1 avian influenza by a modest amount.Previous results had indicated that an H5N1 vaccine without an immune-boosting adjuvant would have to contain 12 times as much antigen (active ingredient) as seasonal flu vaccines do. In the results announced today, it took four times as much antigen as in a seasonal flu vaccine to induce an adequate immune response—an improvement, but far from what is needed to remedy the global shortage of vaccine production capacity.Sanofi tested an H5N1 vaccine it is making for the French government on 300 volunteers, using three different doses: 7.5, 15, and 30 micrograms. The volunteers were divided into six groups, and each group received two doses of vaccine with or without alum, an adjuvant used in many vaccines, according to Len Lavenda, US spokesman for Sanofi. The shots were given 3 weeks apart.”A 30-microgram dose with an adjuvant in a two-dose regimen demonstrated an immune response at levels consistent with requirements of regulatory agencies for licensure of seasonal influenza vaccine,” the company said in a news release.The two 30-microgram doses of vaccine containing alum induced an immune response in line with what the European Agency for Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) requires for flu vaccines, Lavenda told CIDRAP News.”We saw responses in all six groups, but the two-30-microgram-dose adjuvant group was the only one within the range of EMEA approval,” he said.”The 7.5- and 15-microgram studies provided results that were not as high as the 30, but we are continuing to study that data and we expect to publish the full set within a few months,” Lavenda said.Seasonal flu vaccines typically contain 15 micrograms of antigen, the active ingredient, for each viral strain covered. The amount that proved adequate in the Sanofi trial was 60 micrograms (two 30-microgram doses), four times as much.However, 60 micrograms is a much smaller amount than what was found to be adequate in a trial of an H5N1 vaccine that Sanofi is producing for the US government, according to results announced in August. In that trial, which didn’t involve an adjuvant, the regimen that looked most promising was two 90-microgram doses, a total of 180 micrograms.H5N1 vaccines are being developed in the hope that they will be protective if the H5N1 virus evolves into a pandemic strain. But even if the current experimental vaccines turn out be effective, the world’s current production capacity is far too small to provide enough vaccine for more than a small fraction of the population, according to disease experts. Researchers hope that dose-sparing tools such as adjuvants will help stretch the supply.Sanofi called the new trial results “a sign of progress” that will help guide further development of a pandemic flu vaccine. “Subsequent trials will explore different dosages, which may be helpful in answering questions about dose-sparing strategies,” the company said.The vaccine used in the latest trial is being developed to provide a stockpile for the French government, the company said. It comes from a different human isolate of H5N1 virus than the one used in the vaccine Sanofi is making for the United States, according to Lavenda.See also:Aug 8, 2005, CIDRAP News story “Hopeful news on human H5N1 vaccine, but production concerns considerable”last_img read more

Firm wins $65 million contract for botulism treatments

first_img The contract is the third one that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded Xoma to develop botulism antitoxins, the company said in a Sep 9 statement. In 2005 Xoma was among the first companies to receive a contract through Project BioShield, according to a previous report. Xoma reported that  its NIAID contracts cover the development of human monoclonal antibody products targeting the three most toxic serotypes of botulinum toxin, types A, B,and E. The company also said these human antibody products are expected to be safer than existing animal-derived antibodies, which it said cause serious immune reactions in some patients and vary unpredictably in their efficacy. See also: Sep 11, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Xoma Ltd., a Berkeley, Calif., pharmaceutical company, recently announced that it received a $65 million multiyear federal contract to fund work on botulinum antitoxins, one of which it hopes to put through safety and efficacy tests starting in 2009. Clostridium botulinum, which produces botulinum toxin, a nerve poison, is among the category A agents that experts say bioterrorists would most likely try to use. However, most botulism cases are caused by tainted food or contaminated wounds. Sep 9 Xoma press release Steven Engle, Xoma’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in the statement that the contract shows the US government’s support of novel therapies that address natural, accidental, or intentional infections from pathogens and their toxins. “Since initiating its biodefense program in 2005, Xoma has used its innovative antibody technology to develop better and safe solutions,” he said. “We plan to continue working with the government’s biodefense development efforts toward future stockpiling initiatives.” Xoma said if studies show that the company’s first botulism antitoxin candidate is safe and effective and government funding continues, it would file the paperwork needed to produce the treatment for the Strategic National Stockpile. The new NIAID contract will cover the next 6 years of botulism antitoxin development, the company said. May 10, 2005, CIDRAP News story “NIAID awards first Project BioShield grants”last_img read more