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Zika Virus and Plasma Protein Therapies
"Recent ZIKV infection has also been associated with an increased incidence of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS). PPTA is aware that persons who use plasma protein therapies are understandably concerned about whether these therapies remain safe with respect to the ZIKV. ZIKV is a Flavivirus that is primarily transmitted by infected Aedes mosquitoes (5), however, transmission may also occur by sexual contact, from a pregnant woman to her unborn child during pregnancy or during birth, or by transfusion of infected blood."
- From PPTA Press Release
FDA Recommends All Donated Blood Be Tested for Zika
"The FDA has issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated whole blood and blood components for Zika virus in the United States and its territories.
In February, the FDA had recommended that only areas with active Zika virus transmission screen donated blood for Zika virus but with the increase number of Zika cases – mostly travel related – throughout the country, the FDA recommends all blood be tested.
According to the FDA, testing of donated blood is already underway in Florida and Puerto Rico and it has shown to be beneficial."
- James Radke, PhD. Rare Disease Report.
Rigel's bleeding disorder drug clears first of two key trials
"The drug, fostamatinib, is being studied to treat chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) in which the immune system attacks and destroys the body's own blood platelets.
About 18 percent of the 76 adult patients who were treated with fostamatinib achieved a stable platelet response in the study, compared with none on placebo.
Patients typically had an increase in platelet counts to a level above 50,000/uL within the initial weeks of treatment."
- From Reuters Health News
Low-level laser therapy may improve treatment of dangerous bleeding disorder
"A low-intensity type of laser treatment may offer a non-invasive, drug-free treatment for thrombocytopenia – a potentially life-threatening shortage of the blood cells called platelets that are essential to blood clotting. In their paper appearing in Science Translational Medicine, a research team from the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reports that low-level laser therapy increased the generation of platelets from precursor cells called megakaryocytes (MKs) and had the same effect in several mouse models of the condition. They also identified the probable mechanism underlying this effect."
- From Mass. General Hospital press release
FDA Request to Cease Blood Collection in Florida
"PPTA is aware of the recent request by the FDA that blood establishments in Dade and Broward counties in the State of Florida cease blood collection. This request has been made as a “prudent measure” because State health officials are investigating a number of Zika infections that are not associated with travel to Zika-affected areas and may represent local transmission of the Zika virus."
- From PPTA Press Release
FDA Issues Final Guidance Documents for Expanded Access Program
"The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for finalizing its efforts to streamline the process used by patients and their physicians seeking expanded access to investigational new drugs and biologics.
Their release of the final Individual Patient Expanded Access Investigational New Drug Application - Form FDA 3926 - can be used by physicians to request expanded access, often referred to as “compassionate use,” for patients suffering from serious or immediately life-threatening diseases and for whom no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy is available. The shortened form reduces the time to completion from hours to only 45 minutes; a drastic improvement in alleviating the burden on patients and their physicians.
- From NORD Press Release.
"Making the world of ITP a more manageable place to be"
The Platelet Disorder Support Association is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and other platelet disorders through:
Education • Advocacy • Research • Support
Comprehensive information on conventional therapies usually prescribed for ITP as well as therapies outside of the usual medical mainstream that some patients with ITP have used successfully.
Advocacy helps build awareness and support for ITP and other platelet disorders. Everyone interested in having more people know about ITP, having greater access to treatment, and getting more funding ITP and related diseases can help.
ITP Conference DVDs, free booklets and pamphlets, diet and lifestyle information, PDSA newsletters, journal articles and abstracts, PDSA E-News.