Target Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark L. Horn, MD, MPH as Sr. Medical Director. Dr. Horn is a Board Certified Rheumatologist with over 20 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry. At Pfizer, Inc., Mark oversaw development programs in multiple clinical disciplines, among them arthritis & inflammation, as well as cardiovascular, neurologic, and infectious diseases. In addition, he led teams in Licensing & Development and Medical Marketing. Most recently, Mark was leader of the Worldwide Medical Policy and Evidence Based Medicine/Health Technology Assessment Teams. These groups were responsible for analyzing trends and crafting strategies to address the increasingly complex, cost driven global requirements for clinical and economic data to justify reimbursement of prescription medicines by public and private payers. An additional major responsibility was developing strategies to respond effectively to the broad array of potential health reform initiatives in the United States. Mark is on the clinical faculty of the Mount Sinai Hospital and School of Medicine (NYC), is a current member of the US Pharmacopoeia Safe Medication Use Expert Committee. He also served on the US Pharmacopoeia Medicare Model Guidelines Expert Committee which, by Congressional statute, determined the categories and classes of medicines reimbursable under the Medicare Part D drug benefit. In addition to his MD (New York University) and undergraduate (Brown) degrees, Mark holds an MPH degree in Health Policy and Management (Columbia).

For more information about Target Health or any of its software tools for paperless clinical trials, please contact Dr. Jules T. Mitchel or Ms. Joyce Hays. Target Health’s software tools are designed to partner with both CROs and Sponsors. Please visit the Target Health Website

Nucleic acid is the common name for the large chemical compounds that make up the genetic material in living cells. The FDA approved the cobas TaqScreen MPX Test, the first nucleic acid test that screens for the presence of two divergent types of HIV in donated blood plasma and tissue. The new FDA-approved test detects nucleic acid from HIV-2 and from HIV-1 Group O. HIV-2 infections and HIV-1 Group O infections are predominantly found on the African continent. Some cases of infection with these two types of viruses have also been detected in the United States. According to Jesse L. Goodman, M.D., M.P.H., director of the FDAs Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, With the MPX test, blood donor testing laboratories will be able to use nucleic acid technology to screen for additional HIV strains, further assuring that donated blood and tissue are free from infection and providing better protection for patients. In addition to HIV-2 and HIV-1 Group O, the MPX test simultaneously detects nucleic acid from the most common form of HIV, HIV-1 Group M, as well as the Hepatitis C Virus and the Hepatitis B Virus. The MPX test is designed for use with plasma specimens from human donors of whole blood and blood components, but not for testing donated source plasma. Donated source plasma is considered plasma intended for further manufacturing. The test is also intended for screening tissue specimens obtained while the donors heart is still beating. It is not intended for use on specimens from donors whose heart no longer functions. The cobas TaqScreen MPX Test runs on the fully-automated cobas s 201 System. It is manufactured by Roche Molecular Systems Inc., Pleasanton, California..

For more information about our expertise in Regulatory Affairs, please contact Dr. Jules T. Mitchel or Dr. Glen Park.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Dentistry have discovered that the nerve cells controlling heart rate and blood pressure synthesize a 1) ___ known to be critically important for proper nervous system growth. The finding could someday play a significant role in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and high blood pressure. According to the National Institutes of Health, SIDS is the leading cause of 2) ___ in children between 1 month and 1 year of age. About one in three adults in the US has high blood pressure. The new discovery was published in the January 2008 issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry. The discovery sheds light on how the nerve supply to the cardiovascular system is established during development. Someday, this discovery may help us to better understand 3) ___ developmental disorders such as SIDS. Changes in blood pressure are signaled to the 4) ___ by nerve cells called baroreceptors. The OHSU study shows that baroreceptors make a molecule called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which belongs to the family of neurotrophins that play a critical role in the development and plasticity of other 5) ___ cells. Studies suggest that developmental abnormalities in nerve pathways that control the cardiovascular and respiratory system may result in SIDS. The research team found that the stimulation of baroreceptors, as experienced during an increase in blood 6) ___, leads to the release of BDNF. The study also discovered that BDNF is present at the central end of baroreceptors in the brainstem. In fact, BDNF is likely to play the most important role at the central end of baroreceptors, where they connect to second-order neurons in the blood-pressure control pathway. BDNF has previously been shown to play an important role in establishing neuronal connections in other parts of the 7) ___ system, but this is the first time it has been considered a factor in the blood pressure control system. Studies under way, indicate that levels of BDNF in cardiorespiratory nerve cells increase dramatically when blood pressure rises. This suggests a direct role of BDNF in 8) ___ of blood pressure.

ANSWERS: 1) molecule; 2) death; 3) cardiorespiratory; 4) brain; 5) nerve; 6) pressure; 7) nervous; 8) regulation