Results of a UK NEQAS proficiency testing exercise


Effects of Emicizumab on APTT, FVIII assays and FVIII Inhibitor assays using different reagents: Results of a UK NEQAS proficiency testing exercise


Introduction: Emicizumab (Hemlibra: Roche Switzerland) is a, humanized, bi-specific monoclonal modified immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) which binds human FX, FIX and activated FIX (FIXa) to mimic activated FVIII activity.


Aim: Evaluate the effects of emicizumab on the APTT, surrogate FVIII activity and FVIII inhibitor results.


Methods: Two samples were provided, one obtained from an emicizumab treated severe haemophilia A patient with FVIII inhibitors and one constructed by in vitro addition of emicizumab using plasma from a severe haemophilia A patient without FVIII inhibitors. An APTT screen, surrogate FVIII and FVIII inhibitor tests were performed on both samples by participating centres.


Results: APTT results were below the lower limit of normal range. Chromogenic FVIII assay results with the Hyphen/Biophen human component-based assay gave higher than expected coefficient of variation (CV) results, 38%-40%. The modified one-stage FVIII assay with emicizumab calibrators showed similar results regardless of the APTT reagent. Inhibitor assay median results for sample S18:23 = 1.43 BU (range 0.9-3.0 BU/ml, CV 38%). S18:24 was classified as below the lower limit of detection.


Conclusion: APTT screens showed a consistent shortening. Unmodified one-stage Factor VIII assay results were remarkably high. APTT-based assays are unsuitable for measurement of coagulation factors or inhibitors in patients treated with emicizumab. Bovine origin chromogenic assays are insensitive to emicizumab and should be used to monitor FVIII levels/FVIII inhibitors in emicizumab treated patients. Product-specific calibrators should be implemented to reduce result variability.



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Identification of Immunohistochemical Reagents for In Situ Protein Expression Analysis of Coronavirus-associated Changes in Human Tissues

We studied the suitability of commercially available monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) for the immunohistochemical (IHC) detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) in standard archival specimens. Antibodies were screened on HEK293 cells transfected with viral nucleoprotein, S1 subunit and S2 subunit of spike protein and on untransfected cells, as well as a panel of normal tissue.


Lung tissue with presence of SARS-CoV2 confirmed by in situ hybridization (ISH) was also used. A total of 7 mAbs were tested: (1) mAb 001 (Sino Biological, 40143-R001), (2) mAb 007 (Sino Biological, 40150-R007), (3) mAb 019 (Sino Biological, 40143-R019), (4) mAb 1A9 (GeneTex, GTX632604), (5) mAb ABM19C9 (Abeomics, 10-10007), (6) FIPV3-70 (Santa Cruz, SC-65653), and (7) mAb 6F10 (BioVision, A2060). Only 2 mAbs, clone 001 to the nucleoprotein and clone 1A9 to the S2 subunit spike protein displayed specific immunoreactivity.


Both clones showed strong staining in the acute phase of COVID-19 pneumonia, mostly in areas of acute diffuse alveolar damage, but were not completely congruent. Viral protein was also found in kidney tubules, endothelia of multiple organs and a nasal swab of a patient with persistent SARS-CoV2 infection.


The other tested reagents were either poorly reactive or demonstrated nonspecific staining in tissues and lesions not infected by SARS-CoV2. Our study demonstrates that rigid specificity testing is mandatory for the evaluation of mAbs to SARS-CoV2 and that clones 001 to nucleoprotein and 1A9 to S2 subunit spike protein are useful for the in situ detection of SARS-CoV2.

An Improved Protocol for the Synthesis and Purification of Yariv Reagents


Yariv reagents are glycoconjugate tris-azo dyes widely used in plant biology. These reagents are synthesized by diazo coupling between phloroglucinol and a para-diazophenyl glycoside. Despite their synthetic accessibility, well-defined protocols for obtaining pure Yariv reagents, and their complete compound characterization data, have not been reported.

We report here optimized protocols used to synthesize, purify, and characterize a panel of six Yariv reagents and suggest approaches that could be valuable for the purification and characterization of other glycoconjugates as well.

Evaluation of STA-NeoPTimal, an extraction thromboplastin reagent with ISI close to 1

Introduction: The prothrombin time (PT) is the most requested test to investigate patients with congenital or acquired coagulopathies or to monitor oral anticoagulant therapy. However, thromboplastins can show markedly different responsiveness to the defects induced by vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy and are thus characterized by their ISI (International Sensitivity Index). INR results are optimal for patients under VKA but for patients screened for other reasons expressing PT results as ratio can be more appropriate. As it is very difficult to define the PT results reporting unit from the PT testing request, it would be ideal to use a thromboplastin with ISI = 1. The study aims to compare our reference PT reagent with two candidate thromboplastins with ISI close to 1.


Methods: We compared 3 different thromplastins: two rabbit brain extracted based reagents (STA-Neoplastine CI Plus, with ISI = 1.26, routinely used in our laboratory and STA-NeoPTimal with ISI = 1.01) and a recombinant thromboplastin (STA-Neoplastine R with ISI = 0.97). The comparison was done on 175 samples: 75 from individuals without coagulation defects and 100 from patients under VKA.


Results: STA-NeoPTimal and STA-Neoplastine R well correlate to our reference, STA-Neoplastine CI Plus: regression equations are y = 1.186x-0.1351, r2 = .9454 and y = 1.1432x-0.1554, r2 = .9951, respectively. The lowest bias on INR results was obtained with STA-NeoPTimal reagent (interval: -0.7/+0.4).


Conclusion: We conclude that STA-NeoPTimal can be used in the laboratory as it gives results comparable to those obtained with STA-Neoplastine CI Plus. Besides, thanks to its ISI = 1, it guarantees reporting a PT ratio equal to INR which avoids errors.

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Development of α,α-Disubstituted Crotylboronate Reagents and Stereoselective Crotylation via Brønsted or Lewis Acid Catalysis


The development of α,α-disubstituted crotylboronate reagents is reported. Chiral Brønsted acid-catalyzed asymmetric aldehyde addition with the developed E-crotylboron reagent gave (E)-anti-1,2-oxaborinan-3-enes with excellent enantioselectivities and E-selectivities. With BF3·OEt2 catalysis, the stereoselectivity is reversed, and (Z)-δ-boryl-anti-homoallylic alcohols are obtained with excellent Z-selectivities from the same E-crotylboron reagent.

The Z-crotylboron reagent also participates in BF3·OEt2-catalyzed crotylation to furnish (Z)-δ-boryl-syn-homoallylic alcohols with good Z-selectivities. DFT computations establish the origins of observed enantio- and stereoselectivities of chiral Brønsted acid-catalyzed asymmetric allylation. Stereochemical models for BF3·OEt2-catalyzed reactions are proposed to rationalize the Z-selective allyl additions. These reactions generate highly valuable homoallylic alcohol products with a stereodefined trisubstituted alkene unit. The synthetic utility is further demonstrated by the total syntheses of salinipyrones A and B.

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