Is your nail polish toxic-free?

Agencies
October 11, 2018

Washington D.C, Oct 11: Turns out, nail polishes with 'n-free' labels are not necessarily free of toxic compounds.

Consumers are growing more knowledgeable about the potential health effects of nail polish, and manufacturers have taken action. They have started removing potentially toxic ingredients and labeling their products as being free of those substances.
However, these labels aren't always accurate, and reformulated products aren't necessarily safer.

Plasticizers improve flexibility and chip resistance in nail polish. In the 2000s, concerns grew about the use of the plasticizer di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP), a reproductive and developmental toxicant. In response, nail polish manufacturers began switching to other plasticizers.

The trend spread, and labels now tout the absence of as many as 13 different chemicals, though there's little standardization about which chemicals are excluded.

But recent evidence shows that some substitute ingredients, such as the plasticizer triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), also may be harmful. This raises the concern that one toxic chemical is being replaced by others, a practice known as "regrettable substitution."

To give producers, consumers and nail salons guidance in designing and selecting safer nail polish, Anna Young and colleagues studied DnBP substitutes in polish and evaluated the types and accuracy of plasticizer labelling.

The scientists examined 40 different nail polishes and found that manufacturers have generally removed DnBP and are reducing the amount of TPHP they use. The researchers also found that polishes with labels that promote fewer ingredients don't necessarily have a reduced toxicity.

The full findings appeared in Environmental Science & Technology.

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Agencies
September 12,2020

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Vaccine maker Bharat Biotech on Friday announced that the animal trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin were successful. It said the results demonstrated the protective efficacy of the vaccine in a live viral challenge model.

"Bharat Biotech proudly announces the animal study results of COVAXIN - These results demonstrate the protective efficacy in a live viral challenge model," tweeted the Hyderabad-based firm.

It said the data from the study on primates substantiate the immunogenicity of the vaccine candidate.

According to a detailed statement attached to the tweet, Bharat Biotech developed and assessed the protective efficacy and immunogenicity of an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (BBV152) or Covaxin in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulata). Twenty macaques were divided into four groups of five animals each.

"One group was administered a placebo while three groups were immunised with three different vaccine candidates at 0 and 14 days. All the macaques were challenged with SARS-CoV-2 14 days after the second dose. The protective response was observed with increasing SARS-CoV-2 specific IgG and neutralising antibody titres from third week post-immunisation," it said.

"Viral clearance was observed from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, nasal swab, throat swab, and lung tissues at 7 days post-infection in the vaccinated groups. No evidence of pneumonia was observed by histopathological examination in vaccinated groups, unlike the placebo group which showed features of interstitial pneumonia and localisation of viral antigen in the alveolar epithelium and macrophages by immunohistochemistry."

"To summarize, the vaccine candidate was found to generate robust immune responses. Thus, preventing infection and disease in the primates upon high amounts of exposure to live SARS-CoV-2 virus," it added.

The vaccine is being evaluated in Phase-I clinical trials in India.

The vaccine maker early this month received approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation to conduct the Phase-II trials.

Bharat Biotech had announced on June 29 that it successfully developed Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV).

The SARS-CoV-2 strain was isolated in NIV, Pune and transferred to Bharat Biotech. The indigenous, inactivated vaccine candidate has been developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech's high containment facility located in Genome Valley, Hyderabad.

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Agencies
September 18,2020

London, Sept 18: Researchers have created a 90-minute high speed COVID-19 test which does not require a laboratory and can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone with high accuracy.

The study, published in the journal The Lancet Microbe, revealed that the Lab-in-Cartridge rapid testing device, which can be performed at a patient's bedside, was shown to have over 94 per cent sensitivity and 100 per cent specificity,

It means that it had a high level of accuracy and produced very few false negatives and no false positives.

To perform the test, a paediatric-sized nose swab from a patient is inserted into the device, which then looks for traces of genetic material belonging to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

A result is available within 90 minutes, compared to conventional COVID-19 testing which delivers a result in 24 hours.

"These results suggest the test, which can be performed at a patient's bedside without the need to handle any sample material, has comparable accuracy to standard laboratory testing," said study researcher Graham Cooke from the Kings College London in the UK.

According to the study, the device was used on 280 NHS staff members with suspected COVID-19, 15 patients in accident & emergency department with suspected COVID-19, and 91 hospital in-patients.

The samples from all individuals in the study were analysed on both the rapid-testing device, called the COVIDNudge test, and standard hospital laboratory equipment - and then the results compared.

The research team assessed sensitivity and specificity.

Sensitivity is a measure of how well a test gives a positive result for people who have disease, and is an indication of how likely a test will produce false negative results.

Specificity, on the other hand, is a measure of a test's ability to give a negative result for people who don't have the disease, and is an indication of the likelihood of false positive results.

The percentage of those found to be positive for COVID-19 was 18 per cent.

The results showed 67 samples tested positive on the COVID Nudge test, compared with 71 positive results against a range of standard laboratory machines, which represents the value of 94 per cent sensitivity.

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Agencies
September 10,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 10: The Serum Institute of India (SII), which was conducting the India trials for the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University, on Thursday paused the clinical trials of the vaccine in India.

In a statement, the Serum Institute of India said: "We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts the trials. We are following DCGI's instructions and will not be able to comment further on trials."

The declaration by the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer came a day after the Drug Control General of India (DCGI), V.G. Somani, issued a show-cause notice to them asking for an explanation as to why the institute decided to go ahead with the clinical trial of Covid-19 vaccine candidate while doubts about patient safety are yet unclear.

The notice was issued in the wake of an advert incident where one of the participants in the UK reported a suspected severe adverse reaction when administered a booster dose of Covishield, a vaccine candidate developed jointly by pharma giant AstraZeneca and University of Oxford, on Tuesday.

"Whereas, Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, Pune, till now has not informed the Central licensing authority regarding pausing the clinical trial carried out by AstraZeneca in other countries and also not submitted casualty analysis of the reported serious adverse event with the investigational vaccine for the continuation of phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the subject vaccine in the country in light of the safety concerns," the notice by DGCI read.

The DGCI further asked the institute why the authority does not suspend the permission given to the SII for the clinical trials of Covishield.

"In view of the above, I, Dr V G Somani, Drugs Controller General of India and Central Licensing Authority hereby give you an opportunity to show cause as provided under rule 30 of the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019, why the permission granted to you August 2 shall not be suspended till patient safety is established," the notice further said.

SII is the partner of the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute's to conduct the vaccine trials. SII is currently progressing the second and third phase study of the vaccine candidate at 17 trial sites across India.

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