A COVID-19 & measles connection | Melatonin treatment | Wond’ry adjusts
NAVIGATING THE RECOVERY
Flyover Country fights the pandemic
A special report from:
A vaccine to protect us from COVID-19...and measles?
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay
Scientists all over Flyover Country are contributing to the urgent need to develop vaccines that will protect the population from COVID-19. As evidence of that, two veterinarians at Ohio State University have developed something extraordinary: doctors took a measles vaccine and added the COVID-19 spike protein, creating a vaccine technology that could protect against COVID and measles at the same time.
The vaccine was developed in the labs of Jianrong Li, DVM, PhD and Stefan Niewiesk, DVM, PhD and is now being licensed by Biological E. Limited (BE), a Hyderabad-based Pharmaceuticals & Biologics Company.
“Translating this vaccine platform into the hands of a global vaccine company for further evaluation and development is a critical step and we are excited that Biological E has taken on this role,” said Dr. Patrick Green, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine said in a release.
Researchers study melatonin as potential treatment
Research at The Cleveland Clinic has associated Melatonin (an OTC sleep aid) usage with a 28% reduced likelihood of a positive COVID-19 test. The study, from the clinic's Lerner Research Institute, is focuses on repurposing FDA-approved drugs for new therapeutic uses.
The team used artificial intelligence to compare shared biological targets of host genes and proteins of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They found 34 drugs that could be potential re-purposing candidates, including melatonin.
While excited by the results, researchers say it doesn't mean that people should start taking melatonin without taking to their doctor. Large-scale observational studies and controlled trials are still to come.
With Hive Networks
Hive Networks celebrates wins in a difficult year
John Bostick, Hive Networks Founder
There wasn’t much good news from 2020. But one Cincinnati company – Hive Networks – quietly pushed through the unprecedented year of loss and upheaval to score some important wins.
Hive Networks offers a software platform that helps bring patients, clinicians, and researchers together, in a working community, to improve patient outcomes. It was founded in 2019 as a Cincinnati Children’s spinout with CincyTech backing.
Earlier this month, Hive Networks announced a multi-year partnership with ImproveCareNow (ICN), a working community that seeks to improve the health and care of children and youth with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – collectively called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
More than 70,000 children in the U.S. live with IBD. Through the partnership, Hive’s platform will create capacity for ICN to improve the health outcomes for those children through its shared learning technology. “Hive will enable our community to better cross-pollinate ideas, deliver data more efficiently, and foster improved outcomes for patients,” said ImproveCareNow Executive Director Kristin Howe.
Hive’s mission of helping people is deeply felt, and fervently practiced, by its team. The company was recognized in November by TechOhio as the 2020 Startup Culture Award Winner, but not for the flashier employee perks you usually see in startups. The Hive team was acknowledged for the familial feel of a tight-knit and hardworking staff that is passionate about an important mission.
“We have to embody what we sell, right? So we come at this with humility and curiosity and an excitement about figuring out how we’re going to solve those problems. To do that, you can’t be siloed and you can’t be one guy thinking he always has the answers. You have to have a culture that values and respects everyone’s ideas and is willing to change,” Chris Sauer, Hive’s Systems Architecture Director told TechOhio.
Closing out the year, Hive was just named as one of Cincy Inno’s Greater Cincinnati startups to watch in 2021. The early-stage companies were chosen for their solid traction and innovative approaches to important problems. Hive’s first-of-its-kind technology and the recent partnership with ICN being prime examples of that.
To learn more about Hive Networks’ vision and accomplishments, click here.
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Minneapolis mask maker recognized by Time Magazine
One unexpected byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic is that face masks have become objects of much attention. So much so that Time Magazine has spotlighted some versions of them in their latest issue among the coolest and most significant new products of 2020.
Minneapolis-based Breathe99 led the list with its B2 mask, which combines a soft, face-fitting frame with two small, replaceable filters. Breathe99’s B2 mask is rated for filtration down to 0.1 micron particles (that’s 100 nanometers), much smaller than your average sneeze or piece of dust.
Though not currently approved as a medical device, the mask was designed according to requirements set out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the FDA.
MinneInno reported on the company's fundraising efforts early this year; Breathe99 raised nearly $500,000 for its mask launch, easily clearing its crowdfunding goal, and debuted the product in the summer.
Vandy's Wond'ry adjusts for COVID
Vanderbilt’s Innovation Center, called the Wond'ry, is using its creativity to navigate COVID-19. The director of making at The Wond'ry has adjusted his class on engineering and immersive design to help students create in all environments while making things that help people. One of the adjustments is a maker kit, which allows students to work from anywhere.
Research Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Kevin Galloway says he packed a large shipping box with all of the supplies his students would need if they needed to go into quarantine.
Designs created using computer-aided design (CAD) tools that need to be 3D printed or cut are sent in virtually by the student then printed and mailed back to them.
“I’m teaching students the tools for making along with a human-centered problem-solving approach that empowers them to develop solutions that will have a real impact,” Galloway said in a release.
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