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Posts from the Global Good category

Deep Freeze Arktek Noted in PBS NewsHour Ebola Series

IV’s latest passive vaccine storage device, or Arktek™, as it’s now known, has had a big year so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control tagged the Arktek to help make Ebola vaccine trials in Sierra Leone and Guinea possible.

In the PBS NewsHour segment, “Why testing an Ebola vaccine isn’t so easy,” science correspondent Miles O'Brian reports on the challenges of conducting experimental drug trials in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Deep Freeze Arktek is noted at the 1:30 mark of the video below.

The Arktek is allowing researchers on the ground in Africa to determine the efficacy of Ebola vaccine candidates. An important requirement in keeping the Ebola vaccine effective throughout the trials is keeping the vaccines at appropriate temperatures until being thawed for injection. And these vaccines require unusually low temperatures during storage, transportation, and distribution.

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Behind the Breakthrough: Manan Shukla

This week’s Behind the Breakthrough profiles Manan Shukla, an associate commercialization lead at Global Good. Manan was born in a small village in India and was raised and educated in the United States. He draws on his early years in India as he travels throughout Africa to speak with farmers and improve the products designed for them.

Behind the Breakthrough: Manan Shukla

Prior to Intellectual Ventures, Manan worked as a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington DC, San Diego, and Hawaii. His background in finance and business helps him to look at the viability of the IV Lab’s inventions on a global scale. He finds it gratifying to distribute the next breakthrough to those who need it most.

Here are some of his reflections:

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Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. David Bell

This week’s Behind the Breakthrough profiles Dr. David Bell, IV’s Portfolio Lead in Global Health Technology. Dr. Bell is a public health physician with global experience. Born and educated in Australia, he has worked at various organizations in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Europe, including the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland. His research experience and interest in technology development gives him a unique understanding of potential solutions for the most pressing public health challenges.  

Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. David Bell

Here are some of his reflections:

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A World Free of Malaria?

Medical texts from as early as 2700 B.C. include descriptions of malaria—a disease caused by wily parasites transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Scientists, inventors—even soldiers—have spent centuries searching for remedies and preventions against the disease that today affects nearly 200 million people annually, and is the leading cause of child mortality in the developing world. 

A World Free of Malaria?

Bed nets, antimalarial drugs, and insecticides have all helped to reduce the number of malaria cases, but no one approach has solved the problem. Scroll through some of the malaria interventions used throughout history:

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Staff Spotlight: Shannon Kuyper

Today we’re highlighting Shannon Kuyper, a research program manager at the Intellectual Ventures Laboratory. Shannon’s science roots combined with her business training gives her a unique perspective on the shared challenges and opportunities for many of the lab’s projects.    

Staff Spotlight: Shannon Kuyper

In her spare time, Shannon competes in Olympic weightlifting competitions around the country. If you’d like to learn more about Shannon and her work at the lab, check out the lab’s original interview.

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Ebola’s Grim Reminder

Last summer, I watched with the same horror many felt as reports from West Africa emerged of Ebola’s deadly toll. The virus has devastated families, wreaked havoc on health systems and savaged economies. But to be frank, I’m much more worried that next time – and there will be a next time – it will be far worse.

Ebola’s Grim Reminder

Today, Bill Gates makes the case at both TED and in the New England Journal of Medicine that if Ebola has taught us anything, it is how dangerously unprepared we are to deal with a global epidemic. As he so aptly describes the world’s response to Ebola in the New York Times, “The problem isn’t so much that the system didn’t work well enough. The problem is that we hardly have a system at all.”

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Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. Grace Huynh

Meet Dr. Grace Huynh, a senior research scientist at the Institute for Disease Modeling, part of Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good initiative. Grace focuses on tuberculosis modeling in close collaboration with international philanthropy organizations and government agencies to find novel solutions to fight some of the world’s toughest diseases. Here are some of her reflections:

Behind the Breakthrough: Dr. Grace Huynh

On the impact of her research:

“At the Institute for Disease Modeling, we support policymaking in everything from TB to HIV, malaria, and polio. Our ideas help develop new statistical modeling to monitor how infections and rates of infection change over time.”

“Our research creates opportunities to deliver targeted therapies on an individual level, but also improves healthcare broadly. Healthcare is not the same for everyone, and not all interventions are effective in all countries. One country’s population might need radically different delivery systems than another. So [the Institute for Disease Modeling] works to determine the best solutions by analyzing the entire healthcare ecosystem.”

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Milestones Met for Vaccine Logistics

2015 brings two early and notable milestones for the Global Good and Intellectual Ventures Laboratory teams’ work to commercialize a passive vaccine storage device: a stamp of approval from the World Health Organization and branding transition to our manufacturing partner in China, AUCMA.

Milestones Met for Vaccine Logistics

Despite immunizations being one of the greatest success stories in modern medicine, one in five children worldwide are still not fully protected with even the most basic vaccines. As a result, an estimated 1.5 million children die each year—one every 20 seconds—from vaccine-preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia. Tens of thousands of other children suffer from severe or permanently disabling illnesses. [Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] 

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Global Good & GE Partner on Malaria Diagnostics

The key premise behind Global Good’s work is the concept of “catalytic invention.” Based on the idea that the world has the tools and inventiveness needed to solve some of humanity’s toughest problems, much of that potential remains locked behind technology or market barriers. Our focus is on developing inventions that can help address these barriers and catalyze markets that are sustainable for the long term.

Global Good & GE Partner on Malaria Diagnostics

To do so, we rely heavily on a coalition of commercial, NGO, and government partners with the complementary skillsets needed to translate our inventions into impact. An invention, we believe, is only as good as the life it improves.  

But if there’s any company in the world that knows about the life and market-altering power of invention, it is GE. And we’re thrilled to now call them a partner of Global Good. Today’s GE Report profiles the work Global Good, GE Ventures, and the GE Global Research Center will pursue on an affordable test platform that can be deployed anywhere and detect hidden cases of malaria that the conventional tests do not catch.

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A Cool Way to Combat Ebola

Healthcare professionals who are treating Ebola patients protect themselves from virus exposure by wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including double-layer gloves, coveralls, and boots. Imagine what that must feel like to those who are on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa’s hot temperatures. Changing equipment offers brief relief, but it’s a lengthy process and potentially puts workers at risk of infection each time their skin is exposed.

A Cool Way to Combat Ebola

Ebola virions (PLos Biology, doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0030403.g001)

In an effort to make PPEs more comfortable to wear for longer periods of time – and to keep the risk of exposure at bay – Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good program is partnering with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to identify and evaluate rapidly deployable personal microclimate cooling solutions that can be worn underneath existing PPE.

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