At Andaz luxury hotel in the exclusive central T

first_imgAt Andaz’ luxury hotel, in the exclusive central Toranomon area of Tokyo, one knew there would be innovation. Yes, the view from corner suite 4836 is the same – looking down to the so-near Imperial Palace Gardens. But room supplies now include a Sony Life Space UX glass sound speaker, that (for US$799 or the nearest online price) apparently gives you 360-degree sound. And light; individual son et lumière is certainly a first in the hotel world, but then Andaz – from its initial brand as a conversion of Sir Terence Conran’s Great Eastern Hotel in London – has always offered firsts.In London, there was no formal check-in area. You were greeted, around a large table, by youngsters holding tablets with registration information. Here, in Tokyo, the tables are three gigantic shapes of Hokkaido walnut and people sit around them, day long, helping themselves to coffee, tea and soft drinks. More innovation, here, is the conversion of an outdoor space on the rooftop of the 52-floor building. There was always a wedding chapel here, and now there is also an eight-seat SUSHI restaurant. Two chefs serve four diners each. Our meal started with 52 Sake, specially for the hotel, and named not only for our location but also because apparently the rice has been polished 52 times.I am sure a sashimi and sushi dinner is very good for the system – occasionally – just as I am sure that the Biologique Recherche treatment in the hotel’s spa is very good for the face – occasionally – and more innovation is coming in the spa, where the reception-area Apothecary will have its waiting space turned into something more useful.At breakfast in the gorgeous Andaz Tavern, I looked around for innovation, but all Hyatt family breakfast venues in Asia-Pacific offer so much food, and generally in a ‘come right into the kitchen’ setting. However, I do not think I have come across Nutella-filled brioches with vanilla sauce and cinnamon-roasted apples before.There is innovation galore on the ground floor of this 164-room luxury hotel, where a burger and drinks bar flows out to a sunny conservatory, and to the pavement in summer. Ross Cooper, the New Zealander who now runs this hotel, showed it to me, and told me about the regular monthly runs – last Friday of every month, 8-9am – for guests and staff. He then introduced me to yet more innovation: pop-up stores that the Mori company is putting up on public streets all around. Since the end of February, there are brilliant pop-up eating stalls within a few yards’ walk of the hotel and also an Isetan boutique that solves all your Christmas list needs in one fell swoop. And what with lots of planted trees, and main traffic already diverted underground in a tunnel, this area of Toranomon Hills will soon be as pedestrian-friendly as Champs-Elysées in Paris.Mary Gostelow travels over 300 days a year, doing one-night stands in top hotels around the world. Read her daily travelogue, www.girlahead.comlast_img read more

Phase 2 study of dexpramipexole in hypereosinophilic syndromes meets its coprimary endpoints

first_imgMay 10 2018Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced the publication of a report in the journal Blood that a Phase 2 study of dexpramipexole in hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES) met its co-primary endpoints.A team of investigators led by Dr. Amy Klion at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), undertook the open-label study of dexpramipexole as a steroid-sparing agent in subjects with HES. Dexpramipexole had been observed to produce a significant, targeted reduction of peripheral blood eosinophils in earlier clinical trials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Subjects with HES on glucocorticoid therapy were eligible for the study if they required ≥10 mg prednisone or equivalent for control of symptoms and eosinophilia. Prior to study treatment, subjects underwent a standardized glucocorticoid taper to determine their minimally effective glucocorticoid dose (MED). Subjects for whom the MED had been determined within the past year or with an eosinophil count ≥1000/µL at the time of enrollment were eligible to proceed directly to dexpramipexole treatment at the discretion of the principal investigator. After 12 weeks of oral dexpramipexole treatment (150 mg twice daily) on a stable glucocorticoid dose, a glucocorticoid taper was attempted and the MED on dexpramipexole (MEDD) was determined.The trial enrolled 10 subjects and met the co-primary endpoints of: 1) percentage of subjects experiencing a ≥50% reduction in MED and 2) reduction of glucocorticoid requirement among all subjects. Notably, three of the four responders meeting the primary endpoint exhibited complete hematological responses (eosinophil count of zero or near-zero) and were able to discontinue prednisone completely. These subjects have remained symptom-free, eosinophil-free, and steroid-free for 13-32 months while continuing dexpramipexole treatment, as reported in the article.Related StoriesDon’t ignore diastolic blood pressure values, say researchersMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocksThe investigators also reported that three of four responders who underwent biopsies had complete resolution of eosinophilia in affected skin or gastrointestinal tissue. Delayed and partial hematological responses were also noted in the trial.Dexpramipexole was well tolerated, with no adverse events leading to drug interruption or discontinuation.The article concluded, “Well-tolerated and with a dosing schedule convenient for routine outpatient treatment, dexpramipexole shows great promise as a novel oral therapy for HES.”Michael Bozik, M.D., President and CEO of Knopp Biosciences, said, “The Blood publication demonstrates that dexpramipexole merits Phase 3 development in HES, a rare hematological disease with significant morbidity and limited treatment options. We are grateful for our collaboration with Dr. Klion and her NIH colleagues, and we look forward to initiating the Phase 3 study later this year.”HES comprises a heterogeneous group of rare disorders characterized by peripheral eosinophilia and eosinophil-related end organ damage. The NIH trial enrolled subjects with the FIP1L1-PGDFRA-negative form of the disease, which accounts for 85-90% of all HES. Although glucocorticoid therapy is the first-line treatment for patients with FIP1L1-PGDFRA-negative HES, many patients develop serious side effects or resistance over time.The Phase 2 study was conducted as part of an agreement between Knopp Biosciences and NIAID, demonstrating industry-government collaboration in the field of rare disease drug development.Source: read more