Datesand News

Datesand Crossing Continents – SALAS

We’re delighted to be represented now in Singapore and Malaysia by our friends at iDNA Biotechnology. iDNA are a very well established company based in Singapore, with a  strong business and distribution network in South East Asia.

Our photo shows the iDNA stand at the recent SALAS (Singapore Association for Laboratory Animal Science) exhibition in Singapore. We were very excited to see our products and banner stands on display at this important national meeting.



The Stars come out at night for UNICEF

unicef-2As a life-long Manchester United Fan, Jonathon was really delighted to receive an invitation for him and his wife Claire to join players and supporters at the annual  MUFC UNICEF charity dinner held this month. This year’s dinner celebrated 18 years of the partnership between Manchester United and UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.

Hosted by Mark Chapman and Rachel Riley and attended by all of the first team squad and staff, it was a star-studded occasion – topped off with a solo performance by Stormzy!

Jonathon and Claire report that the players were extremely friendly and open to talk and take selfies. Jonathon also mentioned that the only slightly morose looking figure present was, true to form, a certain Mr Mourhino!!

The annual event has helped to raise over £4 million for Unicef over the years. This year’s extravaganza netted over £200,000 for the organisation aimed particularly at its vital work in Thailand supporting education programmes for children with little or no access to schooling.

It was a great evening enjoyed by all – hopefully we’ll be invited again next year!

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AALAS Bulletin from our social affairs correspondent, Ryan Hill

img_9138AALAS really does bring people together from across the globe for science, business and, of course, those highly enjoyable social events.

As the 2017 meeting drew to its close, it was only fitting for us Brits to follow tradition and conclude another fantastic conference with the now legendary Brits Night! Painstakingly organised by our own Nicky Windows, this year’s event saw the coming together of 43 British AALAS delegates.

The  evening was held  at an old school American bar named Buffalo Billiards. Pool and billiard tables were available to enjoy whilst socialising and catching up with fellow colleagues. The venue itself as well as the food and drinks were kindly sponsored by Agenda, Allentown, Datesand, Fuel 3D,  IPS, Rees Scientific, Sychem and Tecniplast.img_9152

Our sincere thanks to all the sponsors. With your support, everyone was able to enjoy yet another really successful Brits night.

The event ended at approximately 9pm. For many of us though, the party continued as we moved on to what had become our regular venue, The Blind Pig. There was music, dancing, lots of chat as well as more memories made and friendships forged.

NHS must drive forward life sciences

NHS must drive forward life sciences strategy, says Lords’ leader

November 28, 2017

lord-patelThe success of the government’s life sciences strategy hinges on the NHS using novel medicines and therapies, according to Lord Patel, the peer leading an inquiry into the sector.

Lord Patel is chair of the Lords Science and Technology Select Committee, which today takes evidence from big US pharma companies, including MSD, which has just announced a major investment in an R&D centre in London.

Representatives of two other big US pharma companies, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, will also give evidence this morning.

Originally trained as an obstetrician, Lord Patel has a strong background in biomedical sciences and is leading the committee’s inquiry into the life sciences strategy, after the sector was one of four that have been given special deals to boost growth.

The other three sectors are construction, automotive and Artificial Intelligence. The life sciences sector deal has been agreed, but more detail will be announced next week.

But Lord Patel is the latest to stress the importance of the NHS, the single largest consumer of health products in the country.

Unfortunately, the NHS has a reputation for slow adoption of the latest drugs and therapies, and the argument is that this must change if the pharma and life sciences sector is to achieve its true potential, as well as ensuring patients get the best possible treatments and outcomes.

He told pharmaphorum in an interview ahead of today’s evidence session that MSD’s announcement is “very important for the UK” and the life sciences sector deal.

The government is already trying to encourage use of novel drugs and therapies, by creating an Accelerated Access Pathway that will select a handful of products, hasten their clinical development, and encourage their use in the NHS.

But this is set against a backdrop of a continued squeeze on funding, and an annual struggle to meet waiting times targets in A&E and cancer each winter because services cannot meet demand.

Although the chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget pledged an extra £2.8 billion in funding to relieve pressures until 2020, critics have said this still falls short

“What this demonstrates is the confidence in life sciences and biomedical life sciences. It is true that biomedical sciences are quite strong. We are well regarded in our biomedical sciences and companies large and small will be interested if we can develop this.”

“What is important is how this will be driven by the NHS. It will only happen with the NHS,” said Lord Patel.

Lord Patel said that a body with oversight of the life sciences strategy will be a key part of the sector deal, and will need to be influential to steer the plan to success.

“There will be a creative council that will report to the government – it is important to see how high a level it is and how much authority it has.”

Labour has criticised the sector deals, saying that the government should be focusing on improving productivity, and pay and conditions, in industries such as hospitality.

In response to this, the crossbench peer said: “What the plan is about is investing over 10 years in life sciences. That does not mean we are not interested in other sectors, or other services.”

Married couples are less likely to get dementia, new study claims

Ella Pickover, 29 November 2017 Sunday Post

BEING married could help stave off dementia, a new study suggests.

married-coupleLevels of social interaction could explain the finding, experts have said, after the research showed that people who are single or widowed are more likely to develop the disease.

Experts conducted an analysis of 15 studies which held data on dementia and marital status involving more than 800,000 people from Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

Their study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, concluded that lifelong singletons have a 42% elevated risk of dementia compared with married couples.

Those who have been widowed had a 20% increased risk compared with married people, they found.

But no elevated risk was found among divorcees compared with those who were still married.

The researchers, led by experts from University College London, said that previous research has shown that married people may adopt healthier lifestyles.

They may also be more likely to be socially engaged than singletons.

Meanwhile, the effect observed in people who have been widowed could be due to stress that comes with bereavement, they added.

Another explanation could be that developing dementia could be related to other underlying cognitive or personality traits.

Commenting on the study, Dr Laura Phipps of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “There is compelling research showing married people generally live longer and enjoy better health, with many different factors likely to be contributing to that link.

“People who are married tend to be financially better off, a factor that is closely interwoven with many aspects of our health.

“Spouses may help to encourage healthy habits, look out for their partner’s health and provide important social support.

“Research suggests that social interaction can help to build cognitive reserve – a mental resilience that allows people to function for longer with a disease like Alzheimer’s before showing symptoms.

“While people who are unmarried or widowed may have fewer opportunities for social engagement as they age, this certainly isn’t always the case. This research points to differences in levels of physical activity and education underlying much of the differences in dementia risk between single, married and widowed people.

“Staying physically, mentally, and socially active are all important aspects of a healthy lifestyle and these are things everyone, regardless of their marital status, can work towards.”

The study was published as Alzheimer’s Research UK launched its Christmas campaign calling for more funds for dementia research.

The Santa Forgot campaign, backed by presenter Stephen Fry, aims to raise awareness of the condition as well as funds for studies examining the brain.

Fry said: “The pace of progress is improving but research funding for dementia still lags behind. As other diseases move within the reach of medical science, we now understand that the great frontier is understanding the human mind.

“Just like aspiring to be a seafarer in the 18th century to discover the world and new continents, the most exciting thing that young students can do today is research into the brain. But scientists need our support, which is why I hope that Santa Forgot will inspire many more people to get behind life-changing dementia research this Christmas.”