In pandemic-battered Brazil, 3G Capital founders hunt for real estate deals

first_img BrazilCoronavirusDistressed Real Estate Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Sao Carlos CFO Fabio Itikawa. (Getty, YouTube via Levante Investimentos)Firms linked to the billionaire founders of 3G Capital are on the hunt for real estate deals in pandemic-battered Brazil.The companies — tied to Jorge Paulo Lemann, Marcel Telles and Carlos Alberto Sicupira — are looking to buy discount properties, with a focus on strip malls, office space and long-term rental apartments, according to Bloomberg.One of the firms, Sao Carlos, specializes in office flips and has closed two deals worth about $14 million, and has another $125 million available for future acquisitions, according to the report.“The next 18 months will be very challenging for commercial real estate and that’s the time to make purchases, because sellers tend to get more flexible on prices,” said Sao Carlos CFO Fabio Itikawa.ADVERTISEMENTThe Brazilian government has struggled to combat the coronavirus over the last year. Daily cases and deaths are on the rise, with the spread of a Covid-19 variant. Nearly 4,200 deaths were recorded on Tuesday, marking the first day with more than 4,000 deaths in the country of 212 million.Telles and one of Lemann’s children, Jorge Felipe Lemann, are looking for deals in the residential space, and developing rental buildings in some of Sao Paolo’s pricier neighborhoods via JFL Holdings.They aren’t the only ones hoping to capitalize on the pandemic climate. Distressed debts funds raised billions of dollars over the last year, although some have had trouble finding opportunities to deploy that money.Many firms keep collecting funds, however. Cerberus recently raised $2.8 billion for an opportunistic real estate fund, beating its $2 billion target.[Bloomberg] — Dennis Lynch Tagslast_img read more


HOBOKEN BRIEFS

first_imgIt will feature MC Elvis the Elf aka PolkaDot and local chorus’s performing Christmas songs. The tree lighting will take place at City Hall at 94 Washington St. with a special appearance by Santa Claus. For more information call (201) 420-2207.Train derailment at Hoboken TerminalAccording to a statement released by NJ Transit, no one was injured during a train derailment last Sunday Dec. 4. At about 12:30, the fourth and fifth cars of a six-car train from Waldwick derailed as the train entered Hoboken Terminal.“There were no passengers in the cars that derailed, and no injuries to any of the approximately 60 customers and crew on board,” said the statement. the derailment is under investigation but the preliminary findings “have determined that the crew members were not a factor.”The derailment happened only three months since the fatal train crash Sept 29 which killed a Hoboken mother and injured over 100 people.Woman falls from eighth floor balconyAccording to a media release from the Hoboken Police Department, a woman fell from an eighth floor balcony off Marine View Plaza and sustained critical injuries.On Sunday Dec. 4, the Police Department received a call of a female who was reported to have fallen from a balcony of Marine View Plaza at 2:20 p.m.Officers arrived to find an unconscious female on the ground and immediately requested medical personnel to treat the victim’s “substantial” injuries.The 21-year-old was transported to a local trauma center and was still listed in critical condition on Friday.According to the release, the “preliminary investigation has ruled out foul play and mechanical/structural issues as a contributing factor.”Toy drive announced by Hoboken Police DepartmentThe Hoboken Police Department’s PSOA and PBA Unions, in partnership with the Hoboken Fire Department, will be accepting unwrapped gift donations at police headquarters at 106 Hudson St. Toy collection began Wednesday Dec 7 and will end Thursday Dec. 15. On the last day of the toy drive the police department will have a tent with music and hot chocolate.Once the drive is complete the toys will be distributes to those in need.Those interested in donating can do so by dropping off a new unwrapped gift at police headquarters.Coat drive at Hoboken Chiropractic + WellnessHoboken Chiropractic + Wellness is participating in “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” an annual statewide coat drive sponsored by the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC).Chiropractic offices throughout the state are collecting not only coats, but also hats, scarves, gloves and mittens to help those less fortunate as colder weather approaches.Hoboken Chiropractic + Wellness is collecting for Hoboken Homeless Shelter and The Jubilee Center. They will also be collecting new men’s socks and thermal underwear between now and Dec. 31 at Hoboken Business Center Hoboken Chiropractic + Wellness 50 Harrison St. Suite 316 Hoboken, NJ 07030For more information, please call our office, at 201-792-3544 and/or email at [email protected] or the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors at (908) 722-5678.Construction on Washington Street will begin JanuaryAccording to a media release from the city, Construction of the $17 million Washington Street rehabilitation and redesign project is scheduled to begin in early January. In addition to milling, paving and striping Washington Street from Observer Highway to 15th Street, the project also includes: 15 rain gardens, 15 new traffic signals, concrete bump outs and ADA handicap curb ramps, replacement of water mains, bike lanes, dedicated commercial loading zones and more.  The project will not include replacement of sidewalks or street furniture.Starting on Tuesday, Dec. 13, through Thursday, Dec. 15, SUEZ Water will be inspecting water valves along Washington Street and isolating sections of the main to verify that the shutdown will hold during the replacement of the main. There will be a brief interruption in water service for each of the 537 water services along Washington Street for the replacement of the water mains and service lines to the curb. The project engineer and contractor will coordinate with property owners to minimize disruption to businesses and residents.BASF site officially acquired by cityOn Tuesday, Dec 6, The City of Hoboken, entered into a contract to acquire the 6-acre BASF property in northwest Hoboken. The property will be used to create Hoboken’s largest park – a 5-acre “resiliency park” with a 1 million gallon underground stormwater detention system.The project will help alleviate flooding and sewer backups by separating the combined sewer system in the area of the park and divert stormwater runoff to the detention system.The project will also include western Hoboken’s first municipal parking garage on the northernmost lot.Four employee unions reach contract agreements with the cityThe City of Hoboken has settled contract negotiations with four employee unions – the Hoboken Police Benevolent Association (PBA), Hoboken Municipal Employees Association (HMEA), Hoboken Municipal Supervisors Association (HMSA), and Local 108 RWDSU (part-time). The contracts were approved by the City Council on Dec. 7.The contracts extend through 2017 and provide for annual raises of 2 percent. In addition, the City negotiated the elimination of longevity payments for new employees in the agreements with the PBA and both municipal employees unions and the elimination of terminal leave for new employees in the agreements with HMEA and HMSA. “These important concessions by the unions will help keep the City on a fiscally responsible track for the long term.” said the city’s media release.As a result of the agreement with the part-time unions, all employees of the City of Hoboken will earn a minimum of $15 per hour before the expiration of the new contract in 2019. Part-time City employees currently earn on average $10.82 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for City employees will increase to $12 in 2016, $13 in 2017, $14 in 2018, and $15 in 2019.“I thank all the union members who worked together with us to come to an agreement that is fair for everyone,” said Mayor Dawn Zimmer.Jersey City man charged with terroristic threatsOn Thursday Dec. 8 the Hoboken Police Department charged Jersey City resident Antonio Kelly, age 43, with terroristic threats, possession of prescription legend drugs, and unlawful possession of weapons.Officers responded to a call from the Hoboken Shelter on the report of a stabbing and shooting threat.According to the media release, “while waiting in line to enter the shelter to eat the defendant [allegedly] looked at the victims and threatened to shoot them” although no weapons were shown.The police arrested Kelly and searched him, allegedly finding prescription drugs that did not belong to him and a silver box cutter.Cristina Fontanelli sings Italian and Christmas classicsAward-winning singer Cristina Fontanelli, who grew up in Hoboken, will perform her program of Italy’s best-loved songs, arias, Neapolitan and Christmas classics during her 13th annual “Christmas In Italy” show at the Washington Irving Campus Landmark Theater, 40 Irving Place (between 16th and 17th streets), Gramercy Park, New York, on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 3 p.m.  Fontanelli calls her show “a love letter to her Italian heritage and a tribute to her grandparents.”  “I began this beloved annual holiday tradition to preserve Italy’s great classic and popular songs and to teach them and, more importantly, the values they represent, to younger generations,” she says. For this one-day event, she will sing Italian songs such as “Torna a Surriento,” “Mamma” and “O Sole Mio,” plus Christmas songs, and will be accompanied by world-class musicians on piano, mandolins, guitar, and accordion. The Little Language Studio of Brooklyn (Alberta Gulotta, teacher) will sing the traditional Italian Christmas carol “Tu scendidallestelle” (“You came down from the stars”), the children of the Jersey City Ballet will dance to “Dominick the Donkey” and the choir will perform the great choral pieces written by Giuseppe Verdi plus Christmas selections. A portion of the proceeds will benefit a children’s charity.The Ronzoni Company is sponsoring and will give the entire audience a Ronzoni spoon and coupon for a box of free pasta. Tickets and information can be purchased at 1-800-838-3006/Event 2604895 and online at http://christmasinitaly.bpt.me. More information on Fontanelli can be found at www.cristinafontanelli.com, and on “Christmas in Italy” at www.christmas-in-italy.com . Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 14The Hoboken Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will take place Wednesday Dec. 14, at 5 p.m. The Hoboken tradition, which was supposed to take place Tuesday Dec. 6, was postponed due to rain. ×last_img read more


The Flaming Lips Perform ‘The Soft Bulletin’ With An Orchestra At Red Rocks [Watch]

first_imgLast night, The Flaming Lips performed their 1999 album The Soft Bulletin in its entirety with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The idea to collaborate was pitched a few years ago, when CSO’s Vice President Tony Pierce met the Lips long-time manager, Scott Booker, at a music-industry conference in Denver and the two exchanged business cards.The idea progressed after a conversation between Pierce and a German conductor well known for his work with Damon Albarn and Gorillaz. “I mentioned Scott Booker and the Flaming Lips, and the first thing out of André’s mouth was, ‘We’ve got to do The Soft Bulletin,’” Pierce recalls in an interview with Westword.Once a date was confirmed, the Lips were excited to come on board since they hadn’t played Red Rocks since their 2011 Dark Side of the Moon performance. “Red Rocks is just one of those classic American venues,” bandleader Wayne Coyne explained in an “People will go there for anything…they’d go there for Bingo Night if they could.”Since the album’s original string sounds were recorded using synthesizers and samples, they had to come up with entirely new sheet music and orchestral arrangements. Pierce introduced the Lips to Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa, who offered to write the charts. Last night, the dream became a reality and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra performed The Soft Bullet in it’s entirety, then joined the band for a “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1” and “Do You Realize??” encore. The band returned to the stage alone for a second encore, springing David Bowie‘s “Space Oddity,” which they recently released a music video for, and “The W.A.N.D.” Watch some fan-shot videos from the magical night below:Race For The PrizeYoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1The W.A.N.D.The Flaming Lips with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra 5/26/16:The Soft Bulletin: Race for the Prize, A Spoonful Weighs a Ton, The Spark That Bled, The Spiderbite Song, Buggin’, What Is the Light?, The Observer, Waitin’ for a Superman, Suddenly Everything Has Changed, The Gash, Feeling Yourself Disintegrate, Sleeping on the RoofEncore: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1, Do You Realize??Encore 2: Space Oddity (David Bowie cover), The W.A.N.D.last_img read more


Climate change exhibit spotlights need for global preparedness

first_img Read Full Story The Harvard Museum of Natural History (HMNH) announced the new Climate Change exhibit that draws on the latest scientific information about our warming climate, the global and local consequences, and how to both reduce the fossil fuel emissions that cause it and prepare for its effects.Developed in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment and informed by new Harvard research, the exhibit offers visitors the hard facts­­ — the knowns and unknowns — about one of the greatest challenges the world faces.“Climate change is one of the most complicated and challenging problems the world has ever faced,” said Dan Schrag, director of the Harvard Center for the Environment and lead curator of the exhibit. “It is a global problem, and one that requires global action to manage the impacts and minimize the risks. Here at Harvard, we have many researchers who contribute to understanding climate change and working towards solutions. This exhibit is a manifestation of that knowledge, and through our partnership with HMNH, we are able to present some of that to the broader community.”As political leaders like Sen. Edward Markey launch legislation to address climate change, this exhibit highlights the challenges and solutions inherent to the global warming conversation, featuring engaging video simulations, and a “check your knowledge” interactive station.The exhibit reveals that the carbon dioxide concentration in artic ice cores is now measured at an alarming level of 410 ppm, now higher than any time in the last 800,000 years. The west Antarctic ice sheet, comprising 90 percent of all ice on the planet, is predicted to collapse by 2100, raising sea levels three feet or higher.Scientists are working on possible solutions that include renewable forms of energy like solar geoengineering. Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program (SGRP), launched in 2017, is the leading and largest-ever research program to investigate the potential benefits and risks of the cutting-edge aerosol injection technology with a focus on reducing, or even reversing, ozone loss. The interdisciplinary team is dedicated to building data from a wide variety of sources in order to gain world government funding for testing and implementation protocols.The exhibit also offers a dramatic inside look at the revolutionary high-tech Argo float from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, providing real-time data about our changing oceans in a warming world.Harvard Museums of Science and Culture Executive Director Jane Pickering said the museums aim to provide a meeting point for scholars and the public. “The Harvard Museum of Natural History has had an exhibit on climate change since 2004,” said Pickering, “but we felt it was imperative at this time to rethink our display. We wanted to connect visitors to the cutting-edge research going on at the University as they consider their own responses to this unprecedented global challenge.”last_img read more


The Shirt’ unveiling to take place Friday

first_imgEvery year, Notre Dame fans wait with bated breath to see what The Shirt, their uniform on football Saturdays, will look like. The wait is over Friday when The Shirt will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Junior Lauren Couey, The Shirt unveiling coordinator, said many student groups will perform at the event, including Project Fresh, the band, cheerleaders, the bagpipe band and the Glee Club, among others. Former football players will also appear at the event, Couey said. “Robert Hughes, Golden Tate and Allen Pinkett, who will also be our MC for the day, [are coming],” she said. “Having former players will be pretty exciting, along with [Irish coach Brian] Kelly and the [current] players.” Couey said the event will also feature games and food. “There will be inflatables for kids, a corn hole toss tournament, trivia with prizes and free food,” she said. “Jimmy John’s and Hot Box have donated food, so we are pretty excited about that.” Senior Paul Baranay, vice president of The Shirt Committee, said this year’s unveiling will showcase the charitable aspect of The Shirt. Couey said Fr. Tom Doyle, vice-president for student affairs, will appear at the event for the first time to speak about the late Sr. Jean Lenz, one of the founders of The Shirt. Baranay said the event will highlight not only The Shirt’s design but also the charitable efforts made possible by proceeds from The Shirt. According to The Shirt Project website, the profits from The Shirt support student groups on campus and establish memorial awards for particular Notre Dame students. Baranay said the final design has been in place since early February, and while he cannot explicitly reveal anything about The Shirt, he said the format of the event gives a hint. “One thing I can say is that there is a reason we are focusing on players this year,” he said. “[This season] is the 125th anniversary of the football program, and that will be worked into the unveiling as well.” Couey said she is excited to see who turns out for the event. “Since I’ve been setting everything up, doing all the little pieces, it is hard for me to even picture it all together to see it actually all come together,” Couey said. “Seeing everyone there and the excitement is what I am really looking forward [to].” Baranay said he is excited for the student groups to perform. “I’m most excited to see the students and the community turn out. It is always a huge event,” he said.  “As for the program itself, I am actually most excited about the student groups because they are the ones that benefit from The Shirt so it is always great to see them perform.”,Every year, Notre Dame fans wait with bated breath to see what The Shirt, their uniform on football Saturdays, will look like. The wait is over Friday when The Shirt will be unveiled at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Junior Lauren Couey, The Shirt unveiling coordinator, said many student groups will perform at the event, including Project Fresh, the band, cheerleaders, the bagpipe band and the Glee Club, among others. Former football players will also appear at the event, Couey said. “Robert Hughes, Golden Tate and Allen Pinkett, who will also be our MC for the day, [are coming],” she said. “Having former players will be pretty exciting, along with [Irish coach Brian] Kelly and the [current] players.” Couey said the event will also feature games and food. “There will be inflatables for kids, a corn hole toss tournament, trivia with prizes and free food,” she said. “Jimmy John’s and Hot Box have donated food, so we are pretty excited about that.” Senior Paul Baranay, vice president of The Shirt Committee, said this year’s unveiling will showcase the charitable aspect of The Shirt. Couey said Fr. Tom Doyle, vice-president for student affairs, will appear at the event for the first time to speak about the late Sr. Jean Lenz, one of the founders of The Shirt. Baranay said the event will highlight not only The Shirt’s design but also the charitable efforts made possible by proceeds from The Shirt. According to The Shirt Project website, the profits from The Shirt support student groups on campus and establish memorial awards for particular Notre Dame students. Baranay said the final design has been in place since early February, and while he cannot explicitly reveal anything about The Shirt, he said the format of the event gives a hint. “One thing I can say is that there is a reason we are focusing on players this year,” he said. “[This season] is the 125th anniversary of the football program, and that will be worked into the unveiling as well.” Couey said she is excited to see who turns out for the event. “Since I’ve been setting everything up, doing all the little pieces, it is hard for me to even picture it all together to see it actually all come together,” Couey said. “Seeing everyone there and the excitement is what I am really looking forward [to].” Baranay said he is excited for the student groups to perform. “I’m most excited to see the students and the community turn out. It is always a huge event,” he said.  “As for the program itself, I am actually most excited about the student groups because they are the ones that benefit from The Shirt so it is always great to see them perform.”last_img read more


Are you ready for more flexibility, more guidance?

first_imgOn Thursday, the NCUA finalized regulations eliminating the 5% aggregate limit on fixed assets for federal credit unions.  It also established a single time period of six years from the date of a property’s purchase for an FCU to at least partially occupy the premises.  These changes would have been important enough on their own, but there is even more going on here than meets the eye.When NCUA first proposed doing away with its fixed asset rules for FCUs, it proposed replacing them with a requirement that credit unions implement a fixed asset management program (FAM).  Commenters , including the Association, welcomed NCUA’s willingness to do away with the nettlesome fixed asset cap but expressed concern that the FAM requirement would end up being almost as burdensome to credit unions as the existing regulation.In an example of the impact that comment letters can have, particularly when a three-member board is divided, NCUA eventually agreed to not only do away with the fixed asset cap but to eliminate the FAM requirement.  This might sound like incredibly dry stuff, but it is yet another indication that NCUA is fundamentally re-examining its regulatory approach away from prescription towards greater flexibility in complying with safety and soundness mandates.  The preamble states that the amendments reflect the Board’s recognition  that it should give credit unions relief from a prescriptive  limit on fixed assets but it stressed that investments in fixed assets  “are, and will continue to be, subject to supervisory review.” continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more


Southampton will top Premier League table with win over Newcastle – How long since your club was top? | Football News

first_imgCHELSEAImage:Chelsea last topped the table more than two years ago, during Maurizio Sarri’s first months in charge Here, we count down each club’s waiting time in reverse order… Kick off 8:00pm 15. Chelsea (two years, one month, 16 days)Last topped table: Friday, 21 September 2018 4. Burnley (47 years, two months, six days)Last topped table: Friday, 31 August 1973 NEWCASTLE 19. Everton (seven days)Last topped table: Friday, 30 October 2020 2. Wolves (58 years, one month, one day)Last topped table: Friday, 5 October 1962 SOUTHAMPTON - Southampton striker Alan Shearer pictured during a First Division match in 1988. (Photo Simon Bruty/Allsport/Getty Images) Image:Southampton have the opportunity to soar to the top of these rankings on Friday if they beat Newcastle, having last topped the table 32 years ago in 1988 – the year Alan Shearer made his debut for the club – Advertisement – 9. West Ham (14 years, two months, 15 days)Last topped table: Tuesday, 22 August 2006 Last topped table: Friday, 18 September 2020 LEICESTER during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Leicester City at Etihad Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)Image:It has been barely a month since Leicester held top spot and four years since their against-the-odds title-winning season WOLVES - Frank WignallImage:Frank Wignall playing for Wolves in 1962 WEST BROM Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal's third goalImage:Arsenal are the only other team to have topped the Premier League this season Southampton will lead England’s top division for the first time in 32 years if they beat Newcastle this Friday, live on Sky Sports – but which current Premier League club has waited the longest to top the table?The Saints last reached the summit of England’s top division in 1988, the same year Alan Shearer made his debut for the south-coast side. So is that the longest wait for current top-flight clubs?- Advertisement – MAN UTD during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 10, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.Image:Luke Shaw was among the goals as Manchester United beat Leicester on the opening day to top the table back in August 2018 – they have not reclaimed that standing since 11. Aston Villa (nine years, two months, 17 days)Last topped table: Saturday, 20 August 2011 17. Arsenal (49 days)- Advertisement – 18. Leicester City (35 days)Last topped table: Friday, 2 October 2020 20. Liverpool (0 days) EVERTONImage:Merseyside rivals Everton commanded the summit until seven days ago 5. West Brom (41 years, nine months, four days)Last topped table: Friday, 2 February 1979center_img 8. Leeds United (18 years, two months, 11 days)Last topped table: Monday, 26 August 2002 13. Tottenham (six years, two months, eight days)Last topped table: Friday, 29 August 2014 10. Newcastle (13 years, two months, 24 days)Last topped table: Monday, 13 August 2007 BURNLEY - circa 1973: A line up of the Burnley Football team from left to right: Back Row : Nulty, Ingram, Collins, Nodle Centre : Newton, Thompson, Stevenson, Waldron, Hawkin Front : Docherty, Flethcher, Dobson, Casper, and Leyton JamesImage:Circa 1973: A line-up of the Burnley team from left to right. Back Row: Nulty, Ingram, Collins, Noble. Centre: Newton, Thompson, Stevenson, Waldron, Hankin. Front : Docherty, Fletcher, Dobson, Casper, James WEST HAM SHEFF UTD - Tony CurrieImage:Tony Currie was banging in the goals for Sheffield United when they last topped the league back in 1971 LEEDSImage:Leeds returned to the top flight after 16 years in the lower tiers this season – but it has been more than 18 years since they last held the summit 7. Southampton (32 years, one month, 21 days)Last topped table: Friday, 16 September 1988 Last topped table: Friday, 10 August 2018 FULHAMImage:Steve Sidwell helped Fulham last reach the Premier League summit back in 2012 MAN CITYImage:Would you believe it? It has been over a year since Manchester city hit league-topping heights 16. Man City (one year, two months, 21 days)Last topped table: Friday, 16 August 2019 CRYSTAL PALACE 6. Crystal Palace (41 years, one month, one day)Last topped table: Friday, 5 October 1979 Friday 6th November 8:00pm 14. Man Utd (two years, two months, 27 days)- Advertisement – TOTTENHAMImage:There is a considerable jump in waiting time at this stage of the rankings, with Spurs last achieving top spot more than six years ago LIVERPOOLImage:Reigning champions Liverpool are the only team without some form of wait, sitting top of the league on Friday 3. Sheffield Utd (49 years, 29 days)Last topped table: Friday, 8 October 1971 12. Fulham (eight years, two months, 16 days)Last topped table: Tuesday, 21 August 2012 1. Brighton (still waiting)Last topped table: Never BRIGHTONImage:And so the wait continues for Brighton… Aston Villa of Blackburn during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park on August 20, 2011 in Birmingham, England.Image:It is approaching a decade since Aston Villa last topped the tablelast_img read more


NIH starts clinical trial of H5N1 DNA vaccine

first_imgJan 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials have announced the launch of the first clinical trial of an H5N1 avian influenza vaccine made from a piece of the virus’s DNA rather than from the whole virus, an approach that may facilitate faster vaccine production.The trial began Dec 21 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., the NIH reported in a news release yesterday. The vaccine was designed by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the NIH.Conventional flu vaccines use viruses that are grown in chicken eggs and administered in weakened or killed form, the NIH noted. DNA vaccines, in contrast, contain only parts of the virus’s genetic material. “Once inside the body, the DNA instructs human cells to make proteins that act as a vaccine against the virus,” the agency said.The experimental vaccine uses a modified version of the hemagglutinin gene from a recent strain of the deadly H5N1 virus, the NIH reported. It was made in the Vaccine Pilot Plant at the NIAID’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC).VRC Director Gary Nabel, MD, PhD, said the vaccine uses DNA from a 2005 strain of H5N1 from Indonesia. The vaccine is produced by growing bacteria that have been engineered to make the viral DNA, he told CIDRAP News.The NIH said the DNA vaccine was brought “from the research bench into clinical trials in less than 6 months.”The trial will involve 45 volunteers between the ages of 18 and 60. Thirty volunteers will receive three vaccine injections over 2 months and will be followed for a year, while 15 will receive placebo injections.Researchers will measure the volunteers’ immune response to the vaccine, compare its potency with that of more traditional vaccines, and assess its safety, the NIH said.Nabel said the new technique has the potential to speed up flu vaccine production, but he stressed that investigators first must show that the vaccine is immunogenic and safe.He said a batch of the bacteria can be grown in a matter of days, and purification and quality-control steps add a few weeks to the process of making the vaccine. “From start to finish it’s probably a couple of months,” he said, as compared with about 6 to 8 months for the conventional process of growing the vaccine virus in chicken eggs.Approximately the same timeline would apply in using the technique to make a vaccine for a new H5N1 strain, according to Nabel. “You can make new prototypes within days, and then it’s just a matter of getting it into the fermentation and production process,” he said. “Literally it can be just a matter of a couple months to get to a small phase 1 trial.”But he stopped short of suggesting what it would take to scale up production to millions of doses. “Clearly there would be somewhat of a learning curve,” he said. “We need to determine whether the DNA vaccine can work and can generate a sufficient amount of the right type of immunity to protect against influenza infections. That’s really the purpose of the trial.”If the vaccine performs well in trials and if the H5N1 virus evolves into a pandemic strain within the next couple of years, the vaccine could possibly be of some use in combating it, Nabel said.He said DNA vaccines generate some level of cellular immune response, whereas traditional flu vaccines generate only a humoral immune (neutralizing antibody) response. When responding to an emerging pandemic virus, for which no precisely matched vaccine would be immediately available, the cellular immunity conferred by a DNA vaccine might be of some help, he said.Nabel said another possibility is that the DNA vaccine, if it succeeds in clinical trials, could be used in combination with a traditional inactivated vaccine, assuming the traditional vaccine was at least modestly immunogenic. The DNA vaccine could be given first, followed by the traditional vaccine as a booster. (The federal government has a small stockpile of a traditional egg-based vaccine for H5N1, which has generated modest immune responses in trials.)The DNA vaccine contains no infectious material, and the virus was not present during any part of the manufacturing process, Julie E. Martin, DO, leader of the study, said in the news release.Nabel and his colleagues have previously shown the efficacy of DNA flu vaccines in lab animals, including animals exposed to H5N1 viruses and the H1N1 virus that caused the 1918 pandemic, the NIH said. The vaccine now being tested is similar to other DNA vaccines in development, including vaccines for HIV, Ebola, SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), and West Nile virus.”Development of this vaccine technology has the potential to improve our production capacity for vaccines to prevent seasonal influenza and other diseases,” NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, MD, commented in the news release.Nabel said the NIH vaccine is not the same as the H5N1 DNA vaccine being developed by Vical Inc. of San Diego, though the vaccines are analogous. The NIH has been supporting Vical’s research with grants.See also:Jan 3 NIH news releasehttp://www.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/2007/Pages/FluDNAVax.aspxOct 20, 2006, CIDRAP News story “DNA vaccine protects mice from 1918 flu virus”Jun 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Firm gets funds for work on avian flu DNA vaccine”last_img read more


FlixBus and HŽPP: Synergy into the future of sustainable travel

first_imgIn recent years, FlixBus has developed the largest international network of bus lines with over 400.000 daily connections in 30 countries. In cooperation with HŽ Putnički prijevoz, this global network includes an additional 70 destinations from Central Croatia with almost 170 daily departures. This step into the future was confirmed by the first cooperation of the European leader in passenger transport by bus and national rail passenger transport. FlixBus and HŽŽP have networked their advantages and as of today, European destinations such as Vienna, Rome, Paris or Prague are closer to destinations such as Bjelovar, Sisak, Zabok or Koprivnica. Rail transport is the most environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run. Accordingly, HŽ Putnički prijevoz directs its development policy towards business and social goals based on the principles of sustainable development. By adapting to the challenges of mobility and increasing the quality of the service, the HŽPP promotes integrated transport which improves the mobility of the population in order to improve the quality of life of citizens. “From the very beginning, the mission of FlixBus has been to provide everyone with a comfortable and easy journey. Connecting different transport models in a smart way is crucial in carrying out this mission. Cooperation with HŽPP is the next step in the future of integrated travel and the possibility of easy travel for all, pointed out Ante Grbeša, director for FlixBus CEE South region. As integrated transport takes an increasingly important place in the future of sustainable driving and becomes an alternative to the use of passenger cars, more and more transport providers see the future in joint cooperation. Thanks to this collaboration, passengers can now plan their journey to the most desirable European destinations by combining train and bus rides. Those who travel by train from or to Zagreb from Sisak, Bjelovar, Križevci, Koprivnica, Zabok, Krapina and Karlovac and all places through which the train passes can travel directly to 10 European countries with a joint ticket of both carriers such as Germany, Italy or France with a short transfer. from train to bus. Available combined destinations and tickets can be found today on the free mobile application and website of FlixBus and the box office of the Sisak railway station. ˝Introduction of integrated regular transport creates added value and citizens will be able to use one ticket for transport by train and bus, and this transport offer is part of a positive European practice and we believe that we will soon offer it in other major cities. The use of public transport relieves the burden on city roads, so I hope that citizens will be satisfied with this service and use car transport less. “, pointed out Željko Ukić, President of the Management Board of HŽPP.last_img read more


Church of England Pensions Board appoints chief executive

first_imgThe Church of England Pensions Board (CEPB) has appointed John Ball as its new chief executive, starting on 1 July.Ball’s appointment follows the unexpected death of former CEPB chief executive Bernadette Kenny last October.Jonathan Spencer, chair of the CEPB, said: “John brings a wealth of experience and a thorough understanding of the need and challenges faced by many of our key partners, having worked as CEO for one of the Church’s largest and most diverse dioceses.”Ball is currently chief executive and secretary for the diocese of Chelmsford, having joined in 2011. The diocese covers the church’s work in east London and the county of Essex. He gained a degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford before joining London Underground, part of Transport for London. He spent 11 years with the transport organisation, where he became head of strategy and asset management.The CEPB provides pensions for clergy and church workers and its schemes have over 38,000 members.It made a record investment return of 21.2% for the 2016 calendar year on a portfolio currently worth £2.4bn (€2.7bn). Assets are split between return-seeking (80%) and liability-matching (20%) pools.As at 31 December 2017, equities made up 67% of the CEPB’s total portfolio, real estate 10%, fixed income 9% and infrastructure 6%.Pierre Jameson, chief investment officer at CEPB, recently spoke to IPE about the church’s investment strategy.last_img read more