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Sidero Bioscience Announces Agreement with SRS Life Sciences for Commercialization of BioFe for Iron Deficiency

Sidero Bioscience, LLC, (Hershey, PA) a clinical stage biotechnology company targeting human digestive health, today announces the execution of a term sheet agreement with SRS Life Sciences PTE. LTD, (Singapore) a leading life sciences company. The agreement provides SRS exclusive rights for sales, marketing, and distribution of Sidero’s patented biologic iron, BioFeTM, for the management of iron deficiency and related disorders in India and Southeast Asia.

“This agreement illustrates the excellent partners and licensing opportunities available for our robust and intuitive BioFe technology,” noted Darren Wolfe, Ph.D., President & CEO, Sidero, adding “Iron Deficiency remains a massive global unmet medical need, one that BioFe addresses with natural biology instead of chemicals. We are encouraged by the eagerness of the SRS team to work with us and expect a binding agreement in the near term.”

“At SRS Life Sciences, we exist to change what’s possible for the health of the 6 billion people living in emerging nations. We continuously identify the most pressing unmet healthcare needs so we can be first to deliver products and solutions that lessen the burden of disease,” states Suchet Rastogi, CEO, SRS Life Sciences. Mr. Rastogi continues, “With BioFe, our initial target is to move the needle on the 468 million women suffering from anemia.”

Iron Deficiency (ID), the most common and widespread global nutritional disorder, affects over 2 billion people and causes about 1 million deaths/year (predominantly in Africa/Southeast Asia). The WHO estimates a staggering $2 trillion annual global economic cost due to micronutrient deficiencies, with iron being the most common. ID, which frequently progresses to Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA), is associated with numerous medical conditions and symptoms, affecting all ages – prenatal to elderly. In the young, ID impedes motor and mental development leading to lifelong physical and cognitive deficiencies. In adults, ID causes fatigue, reduced work capacity, and reduced quality of life among many other symptoms. Iron deficiency is also linked to restless leg syndrome (RLS), hearing deficits, and heart failure and kidney disease morbidity. Significantly, even mild Iron Deficiency leads to decreased physical/athletic performance and also decreased intellectual/cognitive performance.

James Connor, Ph.D., Founder and Chairman of the Sidero Board, states, “In partnership with SRS, we strive to provide a safe, effective, and cost-efficient treatment option for iron deficiency. The SRS health team understands the global impact of ID/IDA and are experts in launching transformational technologies, like BioFe, to fill significant unmet medical needs.”

About Sidero Bioscience

Sidero is advancing disruptive technologies utilizing the patented SiderosorbTM platform that employs nutritional Baker’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, to provide therapeutic proteins/complexes to improve human health. BioFeTM is a nutritional yeast strain expressing very high levels of H-Ferritin, FTH1, a natural iron transport and storage protein. An illustrative example of the natural biology of the Ferritin/Iron complex is its presence in human breast milk, providing nursing infants the readily adsorbed iron required for growth and development without gastrointestinal upset. Sidero is currently preparing manuscripts detailing the preclinical and clinical development

Tennessee doctors removed a man’s heart to save his life

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – In an extraordinary operation, a Mississippi man’s heart was removed and replaced with what Baptist Memorial Hospital doctors call a “total artificial heart” — battery-charged electromechanical devices that will keep the 41-year-old man’s blood pumping until a heart transplant can be arranged.



a person wearing a hat: Heart patient Brian Pedigo sits on a hospital bed at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Pedigo's heart was replaced with two ventricular assist devices and a breast implant.


© Ariel Cobbert/The Commercial Appeal
Heart patient Brian Pedigo sits on a hospital bed at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Pedigo’s heart was replaced with two ventricular assist devices and a breast implant.

Wearing a surgical-style mask decorated with an American flag and the motto “United We Stand,” artificial heart recipient Brian Pedigosaid Wednesday that his life since his first heart attack —which came “11 days before my 33rd birthday” — had been a constant struggle with heart disease, including a “massive” 2017 heart attack and the almost complete bodily shutdown that led to his Sept. 3 surgery at Baptist.

“I was close to giving up,” said Pedigo, who lives in Booneville, about 115 miles southeast off Memphis, with his wife, Amy Pedigo, their two dogs, Remington and Angel, and a pot-bellied pig named Sassy Mae, nicknamed Sassy Pants. (“She talks back to Brian, that’s why I call her Sassy Pants,” Amy explained.)

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Fortunately, the artificial heart — essentially, a pair of pumps that replace the removed ventricles of the heart  — has given Pedigo a new lease on life, literally.

“I feel great,” said Pedigo, sitting on the edge of a hospital bed. Unsurprisingly, he looked thin and sounded hoarse. “For the last eight years, I’ve fought, gone down and come back,” he said.



a man wearing glasses posing for the camera: Dr. Dmitry Yaranov, Pedigo's primary cardiologist at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.


© Ariel Cobbert/ The Commercial Appeal
Dr. Dmitry Yaranov, Pedigo’s primary cardiologist at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.

Dr. Dmitry Yaranov, Pedigo’s primary cardiologist at Baptist, said only about 15 operations of the type that saved Pedigo have been performed in history.

“This is the most complex, the rarest and the highest-risk operation a heart patient can go through,” he said. 

Also, “the most technically challenging,” said Dr. Rachel Harrison, the surgeon who performed the operation with Dr. Martin Strueber, Baptist chief of cardiac surgery and thoracic transplantation.

“It’s a very unconventional approach,” said Michelle Lorenz, administrative director of transplant services at Baptist. “But we had to do it to save his life.”

Pedigo had been receiving treatment in Corinth, Mississippi, before doctors there sent him to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. From there, he came to Memphis, where his failing health called for extreme measures. 



a person sitting on a table: Dr. Rachel Harrison, the surgeon who performed the operation with Dr. Martin Strueber, goes over a diagram of heart patient Brian Pedigo's surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Pedigo's heart was replaced with two ventricular assist devices and a breast implant.


© Ariel Cobbert/ The Commercial Appeal
Dr. Rachel Harrison, the surgeon who performed the operation with Dr. Martin Strueber, goes over a diagram of heart patient Brian Pedigo’s surgery at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. Pedigo’s heart was replaced with two ventricular assist devices and a breast implant.

“His lungs were no longer oxygenating his blood,” Harrison said. “His liver was

Having a baby later in life may increase longevity, study suggests

Women who have kids later on in life may live longer, according to the findings of a recent study.

Following the birth of a woman’s last child, certain measurements may be linked with her projected lifespan, according to a study published Wednesday in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

More specifically, leukocyte telomere length – telomeres “are repeating DNA-protein complexes that protect the ends of chromosomes and have proven to be critical for maintaining genomic stability,” per a news release on the findings – may play a role in a woman’s longevity. A woman’s age at the birth of her last child may affect telomere length, ultimately impacting long-term health, the researchers said.

Longer telomeres are thought to be beneficial for long-term health, while shorter ones can signify “various chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, some neurologic conditions, and various cancers,” past studies have suggested, according to the news release.

CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AT VERMONT APPLE ORCHARD SICKENS DOZENS OF MIGRANT WORKERS

At least one previous study has suggested that a woman’s age at the birth of her last child affected telomere length, said researchers. The study published Wednesday was larger, including more than 1,200 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women of “various ethnicities and backgrounds.”

“In addition, unlike previous studies, this study took into consideration sociodemographic factors related to childbearing patterns and health decisions,” per the release.

The researchers who conducted the new study found that a woman’s age at the birth of her final child “is positively associated with telomere length, meaning that women who delivered their last child later in life were likely to have longer telomeres, a biomarker of long-term health and longevity.”

THE CORONAVIRUS CAN SURVIVE ON SKIN FOR THIS MANY HOURS, STUDY SUGGESTS

However, “more research is needed to determine whether older maternal age at last birth causes telomeres to lengthen or whether telomere length serves as a proxy for general health and corresponds with a woman’s ability to have a child at a later age,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director, in a statement.

The findings were also limited to women who had one or two live births or those who had used birth control orally, they said.

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Where You Live at 50 Could Determine Life Expectancy


One explanation: “Counties with a higher percentage of residents of color could also have a higher number of segregated neighborhoods and communities,” and segregated communities can concentrate poverty, the report points out, further restricting access to quality schools, safe parks, good jobs, and banks and capital for business development. Chronic stress from systemic racism and discrimination in health care have also put predominantly Black communities at a disadvantage when it comes to life expectancy.

“Evidence is clear that counties with more Black residents are having worse outcomes, and it’s incumbent on all of us to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live a longer and healthier life,” Tan says.

“Those extra years are another anniversary, potentially another grandchild — that’s what people are missing out on.”

The coronavirus pandemic and life expectancy

Though the data in the report predates the coronavirus pandemic, Tan says COVID-19 — which has taken an especially heavy toll on adults 50 and older — has the potential to further exacerbate life expectancy disparities at midlife.

For example, COVID-19 hospitalization rates for Black, Hispanic and Native Americans is nearly five times as high as for white Americans, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Blacks are also over twice as likely to die from a coronavirus infection as whites.


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Readers Share Their Fitness Transformations: ‘It Has Changed My Life’

A Wall Street Journal article about reporter Anne Marie Chaker’s journey into midlife bodybuilding described a physical transformation that led to an emotional one as well. Readers wrote in to share their own experiences in setting fitness goals that helped them overcome challenges. Below is a selection of reader responses, which have been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Bodybuilding changed my life. I discovered it late myself; I was 48 for my first competition. I competed again at 50. Even though I placed second through fourth, it was never about placing for me but about feeling strong and putting in the effort day in and day out. It’s hard physical training and the mental work is even more difficult. Success is staying the course and just doing it.

—Jerri Henry

Meridian, Idaho

At the beginning of March, I discovered strength training and it has changed my life. I feel more confident in my mind/body/skin than I have ever experienced in my 37 years. As a working wife and mom, I always exercised but I never imagined it being something I would be so passionate about.

—Lamees Kelley

Sherborn, Mass.

At 66 I’ve been lifting weights most of my life but I could never build muscle mass. But I still work out hard. While many people think this is a narcissistic adventure, people like us know it is something different altogether. And if nothing else, it means we are in control of our bodies and health.

—Joseph DeRose

Bel Air, Md.

I recently underwent 10 rounds of chemo and started lifting weights to get back in shape after six months of just sleeping, getting poison in my veins and throwing up. I never thought about bodybuilding. But your story planted a seed.

—Orest Mandzy

Doylestown, Pa.

As a professional bodybuilder myself, I can relate to the regimen. We are often forced to find our way in the most turbulent times of our lives. Some of us step up and into making ourselves better people in all aspects. Many decide not to act.

—KJ Lavan

Houston, Texas

I am myself on a new workout routine; I know the sacrifices of counting calories, watching your three macronutrients, taking progress pictures, and challenging yourself every day. Not easy.

I am 53 years old and my goal is to regain the muscle mass that I lost over time by focusing too much on my career. I don’t want to be that guy getting old, seeing his body decline and say, “If only I had done something.” After 12 weeks of intense efforts I see the first subtle benefits of my hard work. It keeps me going.

—Gilles Georges

Mason, Ohio

Reminded me of the importance of right motivation, a settled confidence in one’s path, and the importance of navigating through the “tyranny of others’ expectations.” We all have the seeds of wrong motive within us; pushing past the shiny objects of “cheap and easy” to reach for the worthy goals is a rare accomplishment.

Last-ditch life support system saving COVID-19 patients, study shows

A life support technique called ECMO has saved the lives of many critically ill COVID-19 patients, a new study shows.

The ECMO — extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — machine takes over the function of the lungs and heart. Blood is pumped from the body into equipment that adds oxygen to the blood before it’s returned to the body.

This technique has saved lives in previous epidemics of lung-damaging viruses, but small studies published early in the coronavirus pandemic questioned its effectiveness.

This international study included 1,035 COVID-19 patients at high risk of death because ventilators and other types of care couldn’t support their lungs.

After being placed on ECMO, the death rate among these patients was less than 40%, according to the study authors.

“These results from hospitals experienced in providing ECMO are similar to past reports of ECMO-supported patients, with other forms of acute respiratory distress syndrome or viral pneumonia,” said co-author Dr. Ryan Barbaro, of the University of Michigan.

“The results support recommendations to consider ECMO in COVID-19 if the ventilator is failing. We hope these findings help hospitals make decisions about this resource-intensive option,” Barbaro said in a university news release.

Most centers in this study did not need to use ECMO for COVID-19 very often, said study co-author Graeme MacLaren, of the National University Health System in Singapore.

“By bringing data from over 200 international centers together into the same study, [it] has deepened our knowledge about the use of ECMO for COVID-19 in a way that would be impossible for individual centers to learn on their own,” MacLaren said in the release.

While the study reveals that ECMO can save the lives of COVID-19 patients who show signs of requiring advanced life support, it should be provided at hospitals with experienced ECMO teams, the researchers said. Hospitals shouldn’t try to add ECMO capability in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they added.

The results were published recently in The Lancet medical journal.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Physicians Misjudge a Terminal Patient’s Life Span: Is It Fraud?

Can physicians always tell when a patient has less than 6 months to live? And if they misjudge, is that fraud?

A registered nurse and three nonclinicians filed a federal False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit against Care Alternatives, a for-profit hospice in Cranford, New Jersey, claiming the hospice illegally admitted at least 16 patients who were not in their last 6 months of life and so did not qualify for Medicare hospice coverage.



The whistleblowers’ medical expert, Robert Jayes, MD, testified that the patients’ medical records did not back up the hospice medical director’s prognosis of imminent death and thus did not support a certification of need for hospice care. The hospice’s medical expert disagreed, testifying that a physician could reasonably have determined that the life expectancy of each of those patients was 6 months or less. The whistleblowers were all former staffers.

A federal district judge held that a “mere difference of opinion between physicians, without more, is not enough” to show that the hospice filed false claims to Medicare under the law. But in March, the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, finding that “a difference of medical opinion is enough evidence to create a triable dispute of fact regarding FCA falsity.”

Attorneys for Care Alternatives, including famed Supreme Court advocate Paul Clement, asked the justices in September to resolve the question of “whether a physician’s honestly held clinical judgment regarding hospice certification can be ‘false’ under the False Claims Act based solely on a reasonable difference of opinion among physicians.”

The justices may take the case because there is direct conflict between the circuits on this question. In September 2019, an 11th Circuit panel held that a hospice medical director’s finding of terminal illness cannot be deemed false for the purposes of the FCA “when there is only a reasonable disagreement between medical experts as to the accuracy of that conclusion, with no other evidence to prove the falsity of the assessment.”

So what does it take for whistleblowers and the government to prove a physician’s clinical determination that a patient has 6 months or less to live was false? Conversely, what does it take for hospices and their physicians to make their certifications legally bulletproof?

Such clinical determinations are required to certify that Medicare patients are eligible for hospice benefits, and such patients must be recertified at regular intervals. But if a second physician testifies that the hospice medical director was wrong, is that disagreement enough to defeat a motion for summary judgment and send a FCA fraud lawsuit to a jury?

One key factor is that there is a degree of subjectivity regarding criteria for hospice care. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not created clinical benchmarks that must be satisfied to certify a patient as terminally ill   certify a patient as terminally ill. Medicaid administrative contractors offer hospices written guidance on how to determine whether specific medical conditions carry a 6-month prognosis. But that determination still requires a

Physician Prescribes a Life in Medicine; Marvin J. Stone, MD, MACP, FRCP writes book to inspire the next generation of doctors

The future of medicine is exciting. Marvin J. Stone, MD, MACP, FRCP, draws from a lifetime of practicing medicine with a passion to inspire and convey to anyone interested in a medical career the excitement and fascination intrinsic to becoming and serving as a physician in his book “When to Act and When to Refrain: A Lifetime of Learning the Science and Art of Medicine” (Revised and Updated, 2020). He invites students, young doctors, experienced physicians, and lay persons with interest in medical science and health care to an eye-opening look inside his journey through the last half-century in medicine: becoming a physician, acquiring intense training in patient care and research, and teaching at all levels.

DALLAS, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — “Martin Stone is a classical triple-threat medical academic: accomplished in biomedical research, expert in his clinical field, and revered teacher. He has written a book of immense value.”
Jeremiah A. Barondess, MD, William T. Foley Distinguished Professor in Clinical Medicine, Weill-Cornell Medical College

“No other profession is like medicine. The future of medicine is exciting,” says Marvin J. Stone, MD, MACP, FRCP of Dallas, Texas, chief emeritus, hematology and oncology at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, a professor of internal medicine at Texas A&M College of Medicine and clinical professor of humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. Advances in medical science are developing in dizzying speed. Despite the myriad challenges facing students and new doctors, it is reassuring to note that the number of applicants for medical schools in the United States remains high.

With the release of his book “When to Act and When to Refrain: A Lifetime of Learning the Science and Art of Medicine” (Revised and Updated, 2020). Dr. Stone draws from a lifetime of practicing medicine with a passion to inspire and convey to anyone interested in a medical career the excitement and fascination intrinsic to becoming and serving as a physician. He invites students, young doctors, experienced physicians, and lay persons with interest in medical science and health care to an eye-opening look inside his journey through the last half-century in medicine: becoming a physician, acquiring intense training in patient care and research, and teaching at all levels.

A warm and engaging autobiography, Stone says, “Looking back over my career, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to teach, do research, and care for patients while continuing to learn the science and art of medicine. To see your students excel, to perform an experiment that yields new scientific knowledge, and especially to help some seriously ill patients recover so they can see their children and grandchildren grow up––what more could one ask?”

As we turn towards the future and our goals for 2050, he emphasizes the importance of maintaining core values. He says, “We must always bear in mind the three pillars of medicine: Competence, Caring, and Compassion. Further adding, “These core values in medicine and science are crucial to fulfilling our goals: to