Hannah supports advocacy and communications activities and member coordination for GHTC. Her role includes developing and disseminating digital communications, tracking member and policy news, engaging coalition members, and organizing meetings and events.
Prior to joining GHTC, she received her BA in International Relations and Community Health from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. During her time at Tufts, she interned with Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, TB, and Malaria; GBCHealth; and the Center for Women’s Health and Human Rights at Suffolk University. On campus, she was involved in political and social advocacy groups. In her free time, Hannah enjoys cooking with friends and supporting live music.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. The Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) last week announced $467,000 in funding to GlyProVac to develop a maternal vaccine that targets Escherichia coli, the bacteria mainly responsible for neonatal sepsis, which is the leading cause of death among infants and a particular challenge in low- and middle-income countries. The funding will specifically support the development of the vaccine candidate GPV02, which offers protection to newborns through the antibodies passed on by vaccinated expectant mothers in utero and through breast milk after birth. GPV02 uses a unique approach compared to other attempted protein-based bacterial vaccines because it involves previously undiscovered natural sugar modifications and uses BEMAP technology to allow the vaccine to imitate E. coli, preparing the immune system to recognize the bacterium in the case of future infection.Last week, the Advisory Group on Immunization Practices at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended Valneva’s Ixchiq chikungunya vaccine for some travelers and laboratory researchers at risk of contracting the mosquito-borne virus. The United States records about 100 to 200 chikungunya cases a year in people infected abroad by the virus, which is mainly found in parts of Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. The vaccine was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration last fall for adults—the first vaccine approved for chikungunya. CDC has indicated that it may later expand the recommendation for people living in US territories where the virus may spread.A new extensive, long-term analysis from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that COVID-19 vaccines induce long-lasting antibody responses, debunking previous claims that mRNA-based vaccine immunity wanes quickly. The researchers examined in over 8,000 samples collected over three years in New York City how antibody responses changed after infections, during the first series of vaccinations, during booster vaccinations, and during breakthrough infections. They concluded that the major reason for breakthrough infections is the virus evolving to evade immunity rather than waning immunity. The results will, hopefully, not only encourage people to continue to get vaccine boosters but also to continue research into new vaccines and viral variants.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. Last Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the prequalification of a novel typhoid conjugate vaccine, developed through a global public-private partnership between SK bioscience and the International Vaccine Institute. Clinical trials in the Philippines and Nepal showed that the vaccine was safe to administer in infants and children as young at 6 months to two years and offered long-term protection with a single dose. As the rising global threats of climate change and antimicrobial resistance amplify the risk of typhoid, which causes between 120,000 and 160,000 deaths globally every year, this vaccine could help grow the global supply of typhoid conjugate vaccines and improve access in low- and middle-income countries through public procurement markets.Researchers have discovered a potent antibody, 95Mat5, that can neutralize a key type of neurotoxin produced by four deadly snake species in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Currently, the standard treatment for snake bites, which kill an estimated 81,000 to 138,000 people globally every year and primarily occur in low- and middle-income countries, is antivenoms that consist of a variety of animal-harvested antibodies. These antivenoms can vary in efficacy and can also cause adverse immune reactions because the antibodies they use come from animals. Continued development of 95Mat5, which was synthetically created, could lead to a new antivenom that could be used to treat bites from the world's most dangerous venomous snakes and would be less likely to cause side effects because the antibody is human-derived.FHI 360 is leading a Phase 1 clinical trial of the biodegradable contraceptive implant Casea S, the first trial for a biodegradable contraceptive implant in more than 20 years. Casea S is implanted in the arm and works by releasing a synthetic hormone to prevent pregnancy for 18 to 24 months before dissolving. If proven successful in future trials, Casea S could serve as an alternative contraceptive option in the growing toolkit of products necessary to address the diverse needs and lifestyles of contraceptive users. Currently available implants are highly effective and safe and increasingly popular. Casea S could be an even better option, especially in low- and middle-income countries where users can face barriers to receiving care, because it dissolves by itself, eliminating the need for a removal procedure by a trained medical provider.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. Last week, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced that it will give up to $14.9 million in funding for a new four-year project led by FIND to identify the most reliable tests to detect Lassa and Nipah virus infections, two zoonotic diseases that have, respectively, led to outbreaks in West Africa and South and Southeast Asia. The hope is the initiative will lead to the licensing and widespread availability of tests to help identify and contain future outbreaks early on, reducing cases and deaths of these serious diseases. This project will contribute to CEPI’s broader 100 Days Mission of rapidly developing tools against pandemic threats, as both diseases are among CEPI's priority pathogens.Researchers have developed a new synthetic antimicrobial compound, cresomycin, which can target many strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. Many antibiotics work by binding to components of the bacteria that make proteins and disrupting them, but some bacteria have adapted resistance mechanisms to prevent this effect; cresomycin has improved binding ability. The researchers hope future studies will show that cresomycin and other compounds like it are safe for use in humans and effective against a variety of deadly resistant bacteria, paving the way for new solutions to stem the rising threat of antimicrobial resistance.A new study shows that Merck’s Ervebo Ebola vaccine was able to substantially lower the risk of people dying if they still developed the disease compared to those who were unvaccinated, even if they received the vaccine after they had already been infected. It is the first study to show that in addition to preventing infections, the vaccine can also save the lives of people who are already sick. The study, which looked at data from the 2018-2020 Ebola Zaire outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, found the fatality rate was halved among those vaccinated two or fewer days prior to illness compared to those who were unvaccinated. In addition to confirming the effectiveness of post-exposure use of Ervebo, the study also combated concerns that there might be interference between Ebola antibody treatments and the vaccine by showing that people who developed Ebola after being vaccinated were treated as effectively with antibody products as those who had not been vaccinated.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. Two new reports from the AMR Industry Alliance, a coalition of companies and trade unions in industries working to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR), highlight both progress and setbacks in the field of antimicrobial resistance research and antibiotic development, as the threat of AMR rises globally. A survey of members demonstrated positive findings, including many industry members having implemented measures to support antimicrobial stewardship and efforts to increase antibiotic access in lower-resource countries, as well as having invested in AMR-relevant R&D. On the other hand, there has been a decline in AMR researchers over the last few decades, leading to less published research on AMR and fewer patents on new antibiotics, the decline particularly acute when compared to cancer and HIV/AIDS. The findings highlight the need for government and private sector incentives to provide adequate funding and investment for AMR research and novel antibiotic development, as well as for efforts to introduce young scientists to the field.The Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator (CARB-X) recently announced $1.8 million in funding to biotechnology company Visby Medical to develop a portable rapid diagnostic test that detects Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the pathogen that causes gonorrhea, as well as its susceptibility to ciprofloxacin, an oral antibiotic that was formerly a go-to treatment, which can no longer treat resistant forms of the pathogen. The test would allow health care providers to rapidly test and refer patients to the right treatment while hopefully ensuring that ceftriaxone, the only remaining effective antibiotic against resistant N. gonorrhea, is properly managed. The funding will also support the development of a test for N. gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and Trichomonas vaginalis in men based on urine samples.The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will provide up to $2 million in funding to German biotech company LenioBio GmbH for a preclinical proof-of-concept for using its commercially available, plant-based, and cell-free technology to produce proteins for use in clinical trials testing vaccines against epidemic and pandemic threats in 20 to 40 days. If proven successful, this approach could greatly reduce the time it traditionally takes to manufacture vaccine proteins using other methods, which would be a major boon to CEPI’s 100 Days Mission to develop vaccines against novel pathogens with pandemic potential within 100 days of identification. The easy-to-use technology could also be rolled out for use in remote or low-resource settings, allowing greater availability of and access to future vaccines in those settings.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. Last Wednesday, the World Health Organization and the Medicines Patent Pool announced a new nonexclusive license agreement with SD Biosensor for the firm’s rapid diagnostic testing technology, which, through a phased technology transfer plan, will allow sublicensees to manufacture the technology, with additional benefits for the broader effort of manufacturing capacity-building in low- and middle-income countries. The agreement was negotiated under the COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), which was launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it includes a broad range of diseases, including HIV, malaria, and syphilis. The rapid testing technology is the basis of SD Biosensor’s COVID-19 antigen test and is ideal for low- and middle-income countries because it has no equipment requirements and is easy to use with high sensitivity. The announcement also coincided with the unveiling of a new business model, the Health Technology Access Pool, which will succeed C-TAP and address other priority health issues beyond COVID-19.A new project—FLAVIVACCINE—from a diverse consortium of partners aims to increase the European Union’s ability to combat epidemic and viral threats in Europe and globally by supporting the development of a pan-flavivirus vaccine candidate that could protect against multiple flaviviruses, such as dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and West Nile. Beyond seeking a vaccine candidate, the project also aims to provide support across the R&D value chain, offering a boost to the broader global pandemic preparedness and response capability. The project is being organized by public and private institutions, including universities, research institutions, and a vaccine developer, spanning seven countries in Europe and the United States.A new grant to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will support the development of innovative new drugs for sleeping sickness and river blindness. Specifically, the $20 million grant spanning until 2027 will support a single-dose cure for sleeping sickness and a short-course new treatment for river blindness, both diseases with a major footprint in sub-Saharan Africa and for which new tools are urgently needed to accelerate progress toward elimination, despite enormous progress in controlling them in recent years. These investments build on earlier-stage research also supported by the Gates Foundation.
Interested in more global health innovation news? Every week GHTC scours media reports worldwide to deliver essential global health R&D news and content to your inbox. Sign up now to receive our weekly R&D News Roundup email. The Genomic Surveillance Unit at the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation at Stellenbosch University are partnering to advance the practice of genomic surveillance, which has been around for decades but really came to the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic and has the potential to improve global efforts against other infectious diseases, including malaria and cholera. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was huge global investment in genomic surveillance infrastructure, with the Stellenbosch lab being the first to confirm the discovery of the Beta and Omicron variants. In the last year alone, the work of the two labs has contributed to doubling the number of sequences available for dengue, chikungunya, and malaria parasites. Genomic surveillance uses sequencing to get data about the genetic material of a pathogen, which is then used to track how the pathogen is changing or spreading.Researchers from the Health and Medical Research Institute at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have developed a bioluminescent assay that could serve as a rapid, low-cost, and convenient test to complement laboratory testing for COVID-19. The test uses a bioluminescent molecule found in some small crustaceans that glows when it reacts with the virus that causes COVID-19 in a saliva sample and can be used with commercially available handheld luminometers at the point-of-care. The research team is planning for initial commercialization in the Japanese and US markets.ProteinLogic and Stellenbosch University will use a $1.35 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine whether an immunoassay technology being developed by ProteinLogic can be used to monitor treatment response to tuberculosis (TB) antimicrobial chemotherapy in patients. ProteinLogic's ImmiPrint testing technology is a protein-based test based on predictive models developed through machine learning that aims to offer rapid, efficient, and cost-effective discovery of diagnostic biomarkers across multiple diseases. Its new partner, Stellenbosch University, has been leading clinical trials on TB diagnostic biomarkers. In the face of the growing threat of drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, there is an urgent need for new technologies to monitor the effectiveness of current treatments, in addition to the need for novel treatments and prevention methods for TB.