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Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct

A Halifax law firm is preparing to potentially file a class-action lawsuit against a prominent Halifax-area dentist whose licence was suspended this week after several allegations of misconduct.



a man smiling for the camera: The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum's dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.


© Granville Dental
The Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia has announced that they have suspended Dr. Errol Gaum’s dental license indefinitely, effective immediately.

Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct

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MacGillivary Law is accepting stories from former or current patients of Dr. Errol Gaum, a dentist at the Granville Dental clinic in Bedford, N.S.

Misconduct allegations mount against Bedford dentist

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“We’re here to listen to what people have to say and we’re here to help assess any potential claims that they may have,” said Angeli Swinamer, a partner at the firm, in an interview.

More than 150 people have expressed interest in being part of the potential lawsuit to date, she added.

Read more: Bedford, N.S. dentist’s licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The news comes the same day as a number of Gaum’s former patients held a protest in Bedford, outside his most recent place of employment.

“I thought I was going crazy because at the time, no one was listening to me,” said Mary MacDonald, who was treated by Gaum for 13 years, and attended the rally Saturday .

“It’s because of him I’m scared to go to a dentist today. I haven’t been to a dentist since I left him in 1988.”

MacDonald alleged Gaum did not wait for freezing to kick in before beginning an operation on her gums and told her if she kept crying, the freezing “wouldn’t work” and he would have to start over.

She said she would consider joining a class action lawsuit “not for the money,” but to ensure no one else suffers similar treatment.

READ MORE: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S. dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

At the protest, many told Global News they suffered in silence for years, believing they were alone.

“I didn’t tell (my mother) until years later, because I thought I was bad, and I got a slap for being a bad girl for not opening,” said Christine Shupe, who was treated by Gaum at the age of five.

“It left me with a lot of anxiety over the years and trust issues towards men.”

Misconduct allegations mount against Bedford dentist

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Marcia Olsen, another former patient, said Gaum’s rough treatment left bruising on her face and neck as a child.

He or his staff, she added, then threatened to blame it on her mother’s daycare business if she complained to the provincial dental board.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Read more: Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

The youngest protester on Saturday was just seven years old.

“He told me to shut up and he put his hand on my mouth,” said Azaryiah

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dentist

Halifax law firm preps for potential class-action against dentist accused of misconduct – Halifax

A Halifax law firm is preparing to potentially file a class-action lawsuit against a prominent Halifax-area dentist who has had his licence suspended after several allegations of misconduct.

McGillivary Law has begun to accept stories from former or current patients of Dr. Errol Gaum, a dentist at Granville Dental in Bedford, N.S.

“If you are inquiring about our pending class action in relation to Dr. Errol Gaum please complete this form and submit. We will be in touch within 48 hours,” a form on the law firm’s website reads.

The firm did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Read more:
Bedford, N.S. dentist’s licence suspended following numerous misconduct allegations

The news of a potential lawsuit comes the same day as a planned protest at the Granville Dental clinic on Saturday.

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The goal, according to a Facebook event for the Broken Trust Protest, is to raise awareness for the “victims of Dr.Errold Gaum.”

Several patients and former patients came forward to accuse Gaum of professional malpractice by using excessive force on children in his dentist chair.

One account was from Ryan Binder, a parent from Glace Bay, N.S., whose six-year-old daughter was referred to Granville Dental to get a tooth removed.

Binder claimed Gaum “wasn’t letting his daughter breathe” because he was holding her nose during the treatment. He also claimed Gaum told his daughter to “shut up” during the appointment.


Click to play video 'Quispamsis calls for change as police officer in misconduct hearing retires'



Quispamsis calls for change as police officer in misconduct hearing retires


Quispamsis calls for change as police officer in misconduct hearing retires – Oct 28, 2020

Gaum’s licence to practice dentistry in Nova Scotia was suspended indefinitely this week by the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia.

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Dr. Curtis Gregoire, the deputy registrar of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia, told Global News in a statement on Thursday that the decision came after the board’s complaints committee held an emergency meeting to consider a number of complaints against Guam.

After reviewing the complaints, Gaum’s license was suspended.

On Saturday, Dr. Don Moors, speaking on behalf of the dental board, said the investigation remains ongoing but that they could not provide specific details on the investigation in order to protect patient confidentiality.

Halifax Regional Police have also confirmed to Global News that they’ve received at least four complaints about a man who was working as a dentist at 1083 Bedford Hwy. in Bedford.

They are investigating the complaints, Const. John MacLeod, a spokesperson for the police force said. No charges have been laid.

Read more:
Parents accuse Bedford, N.S., dentist of malpractice, call for licence to be revoked

Dr. Gaum’s attorney Joel Pink has declined repeated attempts for an interview, only saying Dr. Gaum will not be commenting until the Provincial Dental Board of

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health

New vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease shows potential in mice

A preclinical study has tested a new vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers found that the vaccine, which targets the beta-amyloid protein, was safe and effective in mice.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurological condition and the most common cause of dementia.

According to the latest estimates from the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 10 people over the age of 65 years in the U.S. have Alzheimer’s disease, and experts expect the number of people with the condition to increase as the population ages. By 2050, projections show that 13.8 million people aged 65 years and over will have Alzheimer’s disease in the U.S.

While groups around the world are working to find an effective treatment for the condition, an alternative approach is to develop a vaccine. Although they are more commonly associated with infectious diseases, vaccines can also prime the body to defend itself against other, noninfectious molecules.

In Alzheimer’s disease, scientists believe that two processes drive the progression of the disease: the buildup of plaques comprising beta-amyloid proteins between neurons in the brain and tangled knots of the tau protein within neurons.

Since the general understanding is that beta-amyloid initiates the disease process, scientists have tried to develop a vaccine against it. The hope is that the immune system recognizes and destroys the beta-amyloid before it can aggravate the cell damage that the tau protein causes.

Although scientists have developed several vaccines, translating the findings from murine models into humans while ensuring safety is notoriously challenging, and the authorities have not yet approved any vaccines for use.

Researchers need to overcome the fact that as people age, their immune system becomes less responsive. As a result, without help, they will have a lower response to a vaccine.

Scientists usually overcome this problem by adding adjuvants that kickstart and enhance the immune response. However, a potential problem is that the adjuvants overstimulate the immune system, leading to inflammation.

A new study that the University of South Florida Health (USF Health) led describes a novel therapeutic vaccine for Alzheimer’s disease, which uses the body’s own immune cells to target beta-amyloid. The study found that this approach avoided the overstimulation of the immune system that can occur due to chemical adjuvants.

The study showed effective antibody production and memory improvements in vaccinated mice, and the findings appear in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The new vaccine uses dendritic cells, which communicate with other immune cells, such as B cells and T cells, to guide the immune response.

“This therapeutic vaccine uses the body’s own immune cells to target the toxic [beta-amyloid] molecules that accumulate harmfully in the brain,” explains the senior author of the paper, Dr. Chuanhai Cao.

The dendritic cells are loaded with a modified version of beta-amyloid so that the body can detect and destroy the real thing.

“Because we use dendritic cells to generate antibodies, this vaccine can coordinate both innate and acquired immunity to potentially overcome age-related impairments of the immune system,” adds Dr. Cao.

In the

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health

As rich countries hoard potential coronavirus vaccine doses, rest of world could go without

As a result, relatively wealthy nations will likely be able to vaccinate their entire populations, with billions of others relegated to the back of the line. People in low-income countries could be waiting until 2024.

These deals between countries and drug manufacturers, known as advance purchase agreements, are undermining a World Health Organization-linked initiative to equitably distribute vaccines, the study suggests.

“Where we are headed is a situation where high-income countries have enough, and low-income countries just don’t,” said Andrea Taylor, the lead researcher.

Since the vaccine race got underway, experts have warned of the dangers of “vaccine nationalism” and calling for a cooperative approach to vaccine development and distribution.

More than 150 countries, representing a large share of the world’s population, have signed on to participate in the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or Covax, which aims to develop and equitably distribute $2 billion in doses of a vaccine by the end of next year.

Under the plan, both rich and poor countries pool money to offer manufacturers volume guarantees for potential vaccines. The idea is to discourage hoarding and focus on vaccinating high-risk people in every participating country first.

Many wealthy players, including the European Union, Canada and Japan, joined the initiative. But most are backing Covax while also cutting deals directly with manufacturers.

The researchers found that Canada and the United Kingdom have already reserved more than enough potential vaccines to cover their entire populations. The E.U. has also secured hundreds of millions of doses.

These deals make sense from a country perspective, but they undermine cooperative efforts to secure enough doses, particularly for low-income countries, experts said.

“The more that countries hedge their bets and work outside of Covax, the harder it is for Covax to actually deliver on its promises,” said Suerie Moon, co-director of the Global Health Center at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Rich countries, she said, “are eating up all the supply before Covax can take a nibble.”

The United States did not join Covax, in part because the Trump administration did not want to work with the WHO. The Duke analysis found that the U.S. already has agreements to buy enough doses to cover 139 percent of its population — and could eventually control 1.8 billion doses, or roughly a quarter of the world’s “near-term” supply.

Middle-income countries are also reserving doses. Brazil and India already have secured the rights to enough vaccines to cover about half of their populations, the study noted.

Most low-income countries, by contrast, have little choice but to rely on Covax, which must compete with big players to secure access to vaccines.

Taylor, the lead researcher, stressed that the study offers a “snapshot” of where things stand, not a definitive prediction. Access to vaccines depends in large part on which vaccines prove safe and effective — and that is still very much up in the air.

Another critical question is capacity: How many coronavirus vaccines can the world make in a

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health

More Potential Help for Chronic Hand Eczema

Two different Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors, one systemic and the other topical, showed activity in preliminary clinical trials of difficult-to-treat chronic hand eczema.

The oral multitargeted drug gusacitinib reduced the target lesion symptom score (TLSS) by as much as 70% at 16 weeks, and almost a third of patients treated with the higher of two doses achieved Physician Global Assessment (PGA) of 0-1 (clear/nearly clear) at the same time point. Adverse events across the range of doses evaluated were mostly sporadic and mild or moderate in severity, reported Howard Sofen, MD, of Dermatology Research Associates in Los Angeles, during the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Virtual Congress.

“Gusacitinib showed rapid efficacy in moderate to severe chronic hand eczema,” said Sofen. “The 80-mg dose met the primary endpoint of percent reduction in the modified TLSS at week 16. Rapid and significant improvement in PGA 0-1 was observed versus placebo with 80 mg. There was dose-dependent and rapid improvement in pruritus. Gusacitinib was well tolerated, and the safety has been consistent across studies involving more than 350 patients.”

In another study, as many as 37% of patients treated with topical delgocitinib met criteria for Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) of treatment success at 16 weeks. Patients treated with the two highest concentrations had statistically greater improvement at 4 to 6 weeks and maintained the difference to the end of the study, reported Margitta Worm, MD, of Charite Hospital in Berlin.

Multitargeted Oral Drug

Chronic hand eczema is a complex disease that affects about 7 million people in the U.S. The disease has a multifactorial etiology and pathogenesis that includes genetics, atopy, contact allergens, and irritating substances, said Sofen. Gusacitinib inhibits JAK1, JAK2, JAK3, TYK2, and SYK to target TH1 and TH2 pathways, TH17 and TH22 pathways, and SYK-mediated interleukin-17 signaling in keratinocytes.

Sofen reported findings from the first part of a phase IIb trial involving 105 patients with chronic hand eczema. The patients were randomized to placebo or one of two doses of gusacitinib. Randomized treatment continued for 16 weeks, at which point placebo-treated patients could switch to the higher dose of gusacitinib for continued treatment. The primary endpoint was percent change in the modified TLSS.

The study population had a mean baseline mTLSS of 13 and a mean baseline hand eczema severity index (HECSI) score of 63; 39% of the patients had a baseline PGA score of 3.

The 16-week results showed that patients allocated to the higher dose (80 mg) of gusacitinib had a 69.5% reduction in mTLSS, as compared with 49% of patients in the 40-mg group, and 33.5% of those assigned to placebo. Both gusacitinib groups had significantly greater improvement in mTLSS compared with placebo by week 2 (P<0.005), and patients in the higher-dose arm maintained that difference to 16 weeks.

The proportion of patients who achieved PGA 0-1 status by week 16 was 31.3% in the gusacitinib 80-mg arm, 21.25% in the 40-mg arm, and 6.3% in the placebo group. Significantly more patients in both

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health

U.S. strikes deal with Lilly for potential COVID-19 antibody drug

(Reuters) – The U.S. government will pay as much as $1.19 billion to Eli Lilly and Co to secure nearly 1 million doses of its experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment, a drug similar to a treatment that U.S. President Donald Trump received.

Lilly will start delivering 300,000 doses of the treatment, for which it is being paid $375 million, within two months of receiving an emergency use authorization from the U.S. health regulator, the company said.

After that, the government has an option to buy an additional 650,000 vials for $812.5 million, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

The price per dose amounts to $1,250 as per the contract, but the vials purchased by the government will be free to the American public.

The U.S. has also signed deals with AstraZeneca and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for their antibody therapies, under Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program.

The deal with Regeneron covers the cost of manufacturing, while the deal with AstraZeneca also includes support for development.

While vaccines are seen critical to ending the pandemic, governments are increasingly looking at other effective treatments to slow the spread of the virus and kick-start economic activity.

The company submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month for emergency use authorization of the drug to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The drug had a recent setback after it failed to show benefits in hospitalized patients.

In addition, Reuters reported that U.S. drug inspectors uncovered serious quality control problems at an Eli Lilly plant that is ramping up to make its antibody therapy.

The antibody therapy is similar to a drug from Regeneron that was given to Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection.

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health

U.S. signs deal with Lilly for supply of potential COVID-19 antibody drug

FILE PHOTO: Eli Lilly logo is shown on one of the company’s offices in San Diego, California, U.S., September 17, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) – The U.S. Government has awarded an initial $375 million contract to drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co LLY.N to secure 300,000 doses of its potential experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment, a drug that has been touted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lilly will start delivering the treatment within two months of receiving an emergency use authorization from the U.S. health regulator, the company said.

The U.S. government also has the option to purchase up to an additional 650,000 vials for $812.5 million, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

While vaccines are seen critical to ending the pandemic, governments are increasingly looking at effective treatment options to slow the spread of the disease and kick-start economic activity.

The company submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month for emergency use authorization of the drug to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

The U.S. government has committed that patients will have no out-of-pocket costs for the medicine, although healthcare facilities may charge a fee for the product’s administration, Lilly said.

The antibody therapy is similar to a drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals REGN.O that was given to Trump during his bout with COVID-19.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection. Lilly’s antibody was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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health

Fauci says findings on a potential coronavirus vaccine are expected by early December

Dr. Anthony Fauci

“We will know whether a vaccine is safe and effective by the end of November, beginning of December,” the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said. “The amount of doses that will be available in December will not certainly be enough to vaccinate everybody — you’ll have to wait several months into 2021.”

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Fauci added that the vaccination of a “substantial proportion of the population” so there could be a “significant impact on the dynamics of the outbreak” may not be possible until the second or third quarter of 2021.

Pence adviser Marty Obst tests positive for coronavirus

“What I do foresee is that with a successful vaccine and the continuation of some form of public health measures, as we go and progress through the months of 2021, getting towards the third and fourth quarter, we will see a considerable approach towards some form of normality,” Fauci told Marr.

Pressed on whether he believes US President Donald Trump is correct in saying that the United States is “rounding the corner” in the course of the pandemic, Fauci said he believes this is untrue.

“The data speak for themselves,” Fauci said.

“Unfortunately, I am sorry to see what I’m viewing from a distance, what I’m seeing in the UK … after getting hit pretty badly the way we did, you went down to a pretty low level, but now you’re starting to escalate in the same manner that we are here,” he added.

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health

Roche announces collaboration with Atea Pharmaceuticals to develop a potential oral treatment for COVID-19 patients

  • Roche and Atea partner to jointly develop AT-527, an orally administered direct-acting antiviral (DAA) currently in Phase 2 clinical trials

  • AT-527 has the potential to be the first novel oral antiviral to treat COVID-19 patients outside the hospital setting as well as in the hospital and may also be used in post-exposure prophylactic settings

  • Oral, small-molecule DAAs for COVID-19 patients allow for large-scale manufacturing and facilitate broad patient access

  • If approved, Atea will distribute AT-527 in the United States and Roche will be responsible for global manufacturing and distribution outside the United States

Basel, 22 October 2020 – Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Atea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that they are joining forces in the fight against COVID-19 to develop, manufacture and distribute AT-527, Atea’s investigational oral direct-acting antiviral, to people around the globe. AT-527 acts by blocking the viral RNA polymerase enzyme needed for viral replication, and is currently being studied in a Phase 2 clinical trial for hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19. A Phase 3 clinical trial, expected to start in Q1 2021, will explore the potential use in patients outside of the hospital setting. In addition, AT-527 may be developed for post-exposure prophylactic settings.

AT-527, while being a potential oral treatment option for hospitalised patients, also holds the potential to be the first oral treatment option for COVID-19 patients that are not hospitalised.  Additionally, the manufacturing process of small-molecule DAAs allows the ability to produce large quantities of a much needed treatment. If successful, AT-527 could help treat patients early, reduce the progression of the infection, and contribute to decreasing the overall burden on health systems.

The collaboration aims to accelerate the clinical development and manufacturing of AT-527, to investigate its safety and efficacy, and to provide this potential treatment option to patients around the world as quickly as possible. If AT-527 proves safe and effective in clinical trials and regulatory approvals are granted, Atea will be responsible for distributing this treatment option in the U.S, with the option to request Genentech’s support, and Roche will be responsible for distribution outside the United States.

“The ongoing complexities of COVID-19 require multiple lines of defence. By joining forces with Atea, we hope to offer an additional treatment option for hospitalised and non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients, and to ease the burden on hospitals during a global pandemic.” said Bill Anderson, Chief Executive Officer of Roche Pharmaceuticals. “In jointly developing and manufacturing AT-527 at scale, we seek to make this treatment option available to as many people around the world as we possibly can.”

“Roche shares our passion for delivering innovative new medicines to address great unmet medical needs. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for a novel, oral antiviral to treat this highly infectious and often deadly virus,” said Jean-Pierre Sommadossi, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Atea Pharmaceuticals. “AT-527 is expected to be ideally suited to combat COVID-19 as it inhibits viral replication by interfering with viral RNA polymerase, a key component in the

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