December 2, 2022

Managing Lab Protocols During the Pursuit of a Covid-19 Vaccine

Pursuit of Vaccine and Managing Lab Protocols during the Covid19 Pandemic

On April 22, 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) said, “To be clear, WHO’s advice is to find and test every suspected case, not every person in a population.”

While testing every person is not essential to controlling COVID-19, finding and testing every suspected case is. As the COVID-19 outbreak sweeps across the globe, the world turns to laboratories for answers. Laboratory scientists are responding by providing doctors with ways to diagnose COVID-19 and by pursuing the development of a vaccine that could someday stop the pandemic in its tracks. Until a vaccine is found, social distancing and testing are the best ways to control the spread of the disease.

The 2019 novel coronavirus, now named SARS-CoV-2, has sickened millions of people with COVID-19. By the end of April 2020, the United States had by far the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Testing is the only way to determine the case fatality rate (CFR), which is the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases. Testing is also the best way to assess the overall effectiveness of preventive measures and vaccines. Determining the CFR requires time and reliable data to confirm cases and deaths based on trusted laboratory testing. Strict adherence to proven and accepted laboratory protocols provides the most accurate data possible.

Managing Laboratory Protocols during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Managing laboratory protocols during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak is challenging because, as with the outbreak of any novel virus, researchers are entering uncharted territories. Virologists had a limited understanding of transmission patterns, clinical features, severity, and risk factors for COVID-19 infection at the start of the pandemic. To address those unknowns, WHO established Four Early Investigation Protocols, which are now known as the WHO Unity Studies.

The protocols rapidly and systematically collect and store data that will be critical in refining recommendations for case definition and surveillance, and for characterizing the key epidemiological features of COVID-19. The protocols will also help the medical community gain a greater understanding of the spread, severity and spectrum of the disease, as well as its impact on the community. Information gained from the data will help guide countermeasures, such as case isolation and contact tracing.

Rapid detection of COVID-19 cases is essential for controlling the emergence of this rapidly spreading illness and for understanding the key epidemiological features of the disease, but rapid detection requires wide availability of diagnostic testing.

Within a month of the first outbreak in China, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed a real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) test that can diagnose COVID-19. The CDC provides instructions for the use of real-time rT-PCR assays for the in vitro qualitative detection of coronavirus in sera and respiratory specimens. FIND also maintains a list of SARS-CoV-2 tests in development or commercially available for COVID-19, and WHO maintains a list of COVID-19 in-house PCR protocols assays.

Challenges of managing laboratory protocols

Even with reliable assays, managing laboratory protocols during COVID-19 is challenging. The pandemic has disrupted the supply chain for many laboratories, for example. Personal protection equipment (PPE) is scarce, for example, and there have been shortages of SARS-CoV-2 PCR reagents.

Biosafety is also a major concern, as keeping lab workers safe is a high priority. The CDC has released biosafety guidelines for labs working with Coronavirus: Interim Laboratory Biosafety Guidelines for Handling and Processing Specimens Associated with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). These guidelines include essential information on virus isolation, waste management, and decontamination. The EPA also released an expanded COVID-19 disinfectant list on March 13, 2020, but social distancing is far more effective than disinfection for controlling viral transmission. Unfortunately, social distancing is much more difficult than disinfection in a typical laboratory, where technicians work side by side and in close proximity to specimens.

While the protocols are far from perfect, and disruptions in the supply chain can slow testing, laboratory protocols will continue to play an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is found.

Pursuit of a COVID-19 Vaccine

The best way to defeat COVID-19 is to develop a vaccine, of course, but vaccine development can often take 10 to 15 years. Vaccines for respiratory viruses are also elusive. Two toddlers died in 1966 from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), for example, and vaccines for the parainfluenza viruses (PIVs) and metapneumovirus (MPVs) are still not available.

There are 120 projects working towards a vaccine; only five have received approval for clinical trials in humans. University of Oxford researchers began Phase I human trials of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 in late April. In this trial, half of the roughly 1100 participants receive ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine, while the control group receives the common meningitis vaccine, MenACWY. The first two volunteers, one from the test group and one from the control, received their inoculations on April 23, 2020.

Fast tracking the development of this vaccine or others could potentially save thousands or millions of lives, providing the vaccine undergoes sufficient testing to ensure its safety and efficacy. It is possible to get a licensed vaccine in one and a half to two years, and even possible to get a vaccine into use much sooner. Reliable laboratory testing will help researchers determine if their vaccines are working.

Many of the battles against the COVID-19 outbreak will be fought in laboratories in the United States and around the world. Widespread testing will play an important role in reducing deaths associated with coronavirus and improving the health and well-being of people across the globe.

To View Frank Magliochetti Press Releases Please CLICK HERE

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is GRACE-HEALTH-TECHNOLOGY_Frank-MAgliochetti.jpg

Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

SOURCES:

https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19–22-april-2020

https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19–22-april-2020

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.htmlhttps://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/early-investigations

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/index.htmlhttps://www.finddx.org/covid-19-2/pipeline/

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/whoinhouseassays.pdf?sfvrsn=de3a76aa_2

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/ppe-strategy/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fhcp%2Fhealthcare-supply-ppe.html

https://asm.org/Articles/Policy/2020/March/ASM-Expresses-Concern-about-Test-Reagent-Shortageshttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/lab-biosafety-guidelines.htmlhttps://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2

https://www.labconscious.com/blog/2020/3/17/laboratory-sustainablity-in-the-coronavirus-crisishttps://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/vaccine-development-testing-and-regulation

https://cvi.asm.org/content/23/3/189https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4547785

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-vaccine-covid-19-human-clinical-trial-oxford-england/

http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2020-04-23-oxford-covid-19-vaccine-begins-human-trial-stagehttps://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB15656

Laboratory Management Innovations 2019

The Importance of Laboratory Management Systems

Laboratories have been among the heaviest users of information technology since its inception more than 30 years ago. As places where questions are answered and breakthroughs begin, labs have played a defining role in defining and developing information management systems along the way.

The global laboratory information management systems (LIMS) market is growing rapidly. In fact, the research and consulting group, Acumen, anticipates the LIMS market size will around USD 2.4 billion by 2026, with 9.3% CAGR during the forecast time period. Technical advancements in pharmaceutical labs and the increasing need for laboratory automation will likely be the primary drivers behind this growth.

Biotechnological and pharma organizations are investing in research and development, which rely on sophisticated and scalable laboratory management systems for effective management and security, tracking data, patient demographics, billing, and more. To support the explosive growth of research and development, today’s laboratory management systems will need to evolve and grow.

The Evolution of Laboratory Management Systems
Information technology is the glue that holds the laboratory – and modern medicine – together. IT can compress the time and distance separating the lab from the patients and physicians. Laboratory information systems move information from place to place, seamlessly and instantaneously, to put information in the hands of doctors, patients, and interoperating businesses participating in the care, when they need it the most.

Most clinical labs once used laboratory information systems (LIS) to simplify administration and instrumentation tasks, and use laboratory information management systems to make collection, storage, and distribution of patient test results and other data easier. Many labs are now using full-service integrated systems that combine LIS and LIMS functions.

Simply combining several small lab management programs together will not be enough. Today’s LIMS must have advanced features that reduce or eliminate human error, improve real time tracking and time saving, increased revenue, and reduced workload and stress within the lab.

Tomorrow’s lab management systems will build upon today’s technologies, such as the ability to track samples in real time and unique auto-authorization feature that automatically approves reports with normal values. Modern lab solutions allow labs to manage logistics efficiently; assigning barcodes to samples at the collection station and notifying the processing center of the sample collection allows the lab to allocate resources, reagents and material even before the samples reach the processing center.

The next generation of laboratory management systems must be powerful and flexible enough to keep up with the evolving sophistication and specialization of clinical labs and their demands for advanced IT capabilities. Labs are increasing their use of molecular diagnostics, such as next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems that can create terabytes of patient data and analyses in the blink of an eye and other processes, which require a new approach to IT. Labs are also ratcheting up their ability to handle other emerging technologies, such as digital pathology, which present their own heavy-duty imaging storage and analytical processing challenges. Finally, lab management systems must evolve to handle the oncoming tsunami of data resulting from the push towards personalized medicine.

The rapid evolution of IT in healthcare creates an unparalleled opportunity to develop new, advanced laboratory management systems that can handle more data, save more money, and serve even more laboratory clients. The new systems will evolve to handle assay data management, data mining, data analysis, electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) and more.  Lab management systems that do not evolve may become outdated in their prime.

From introducing groundbreaking products to reducing waste and improving sustainability, laboratories are changing the face of research and clinical medicine. Innovations in laboratory management helps labs maintain their forward momentum in the ever-changing world of medical technology.

To View Frank Magliochetti Press Releases Please CLICK HERE

Frank Magliochetti owes his professional success to his expertise in two areas: medicine and finance. After obtaining a BS in pharmacy from Northeastern University, he stayed on to enroll in the Masters of Toxicology program. He later specialized in corporate finance, receiving an MBA from The Sawyer School of Business at Suffolk University. His educational background includes completion of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School and the General Management Program at Stanford Business School. Frank Magliochetti has held senior positions at Baxter International, Kontron Instruments, Haemonetics Corporation, and Sandoz. Since 2000, he has been a managing partner at Parcae Capital, where he focuses on financial restructuring and interim management services for companies in the healthcare, media, and alternative energy industries. Earlier this year, he was appointed chairman of the board at Grace Health Technology, a company providing an enterprise solution for the laboratory environment.

Mr. Frank Magliochetti MBA
Managing Partner
Parcae Capital

www.parcaecapitalcorp.com
www.frankmagliochetti.com

Source: https://www.acumenresearchandconsulting.com/laboratory-information-management-system-market