Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

Search results for: Kloboves-Prevodnik Veronika

29 On the Way to the European Research Area: Programmes of the European Union as Factor of the Innovation Development the Scientific Organization in Ukraine

Authors: Yuri Nikitin, Veronika Rukas

Abstract:

Within the framework of the FP7 project "START" the cooperation with European research centres has had a positive impact on raising the level of innovation researches and the introduction of innovations Institute for Super hard Materials of the National Academy of Sciences (ISM NAS) of Ukraine in the economy of Europe and Ukraine, which in turn permits to speeds up the way for Ukrainian science to the European research area through the creation in Ukraine the scientific organizations of innovative type.

Keywords: programs of the EU, innovative scientific results, innovation competence of the staff, commercialization in business of industry of the Europe and Ukraine

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28 Discursivity and Creativity: Implementing Pigrum's Multi-Mode Transitional Practices in Upper Division Creative Production Courses

Authors: Michael Filimowicz, Veronika Tzankova

Abstract:

This paper discusses the practical implementation of Derek Pigrum’s multi-mode model of transitional practices in the context of upper division production courses in an interaction design curriculum. The notion of teaching creativity directly was connected to a general notion of “discursivity” by which is meant students’ overall ability to discuss, describe, and engage in dialogue about their creative work. We present a study of how Pigrum’s transitional modes can be mapped onto a variety of course activities, and discuss challenges and outcomes of directly engaging student discursivity in their creative output.

Keywords: teaching creativity, multi-mode transitional practices, discursivity, rich dialogue, art and design education, pedagogy

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27 Early Warning Signals: Role and Status of Risk Management in Small and Medium Enterprises

Authors: Alexander Kelíšek, Denisa Janasová, Veronika Mitašová

Abstract:

Weak signals using is often associated with early warning. It is possible to find a link between early warning, respectively early problems detection and risk management. The idea of early warning is very important in the context of crisis management because of the risk prevention possibility. Weak signals are likened to risk symptoms. Nowadays, their usefulness as a tool of proactive problems solving is emphasized. Based on it, it is possible to use weak signals not only in strategic planning, project management, or early warning system, but also as a subsidiary element in risk management. The main question is how to effectively integrate weak signals into risk management. The main aim of the paper is to point out the possibilities of weak signals using in small and medium enterprises risk management.

Keywords: early warning system, weak signals, risk management, small and medium enterprises (SMEs)

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26 Peculiarities of Comprehending the Subjective Well-Being by Student with High and Low Level of Emotional Intelligent

Authors: Veronika Pivkina, Alla Kim, Khon Nataliya

Abstract:

Actuality of the present study is defined first of all the role of subjective well-being problem in modern psychology and the comprehending of subjective well-being by current students. Purpose of this research is to educe peculiarities of comprehending of subjective well-being by students with various levels of emotional intelligent. Methods of research are adapted Russian-Language questionnaire of K. Riff 'The scales of psychological well-being'; emotional intelligent questionnaire of D. V. Lusin. The research involved 72 student from different universities and disciplines aged between 18 and 24. Analyzing the results of the studies, it can be concluded that the understanding of happiness in different groups of students with high and low levels of overall emotional intelligence is different, as well as differentiated by gender. Students with higher level of happiness possess more capacity and higher need to control their emotions, to cause and maintain the desired emotions and control something undesirable.

Keywords: subjective well-being, emotional intelligent, psychology of comprehending, students

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25 Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

Authors: Veronika Antoniou, Rene Carraz, Yiorgos Hadjichristou

Abstract:

The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Keywords: bottom-up initiatives, creativity, public space, social innovation, urban environments

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24 Perception of Authorities in Social Support by Students under the Conditions of Inclusive Education

Authors: Jarmila Zolnova, Lucia Hrebenarova, Veronika Palkova

Abstract:

The interconnections between supportive sources of authorities at school and students have been proved. Lacking research in this field in Slovakia translates into absenting perception of social support by students with special educational needs. The aim of this paper (presented by the poster) is to reveal and interpret the perception of frequency and importance of authorities at school from students' perspective. The sample included 718 students aged 10 years and 1 month on average. Eighty nine students of this count were students with special educational needs. Data were obtained from the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS) for students. Mutual relations between teachers acting as the source of support and students were not significant. Neither was significant the support of other school employees. Both groups of students assessed the frequency and importance of social support from teachers more positively than the support from other school employees.

Keywords: intact student, pedagogue, pupil with special education needs, school employee, social support

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23 Modelling of Composite Steel and Concrete Beam with the Lightweight Concrete Slab

Authors: Veronika Přivřelová

Abstract:

Well-designed composite steel and concrete structures highlight the good material properties and lower the deficiencies of steel and concrete, in particular they make use of high tensile strength of steel and high stiffness of concrete. The most common composite steel and concrete structure is a simply supported beam, which concrete slab transferring the slab load to a beam is connected to the steel cross-section. The aim of this paper is to find the most adequate numerical model of a simply supported composite beam with the cross-sectional and material parameters based on the results of a processed parametric study and numerical analysis. The paper also evaluates the suitability of using compact concrete with the lightweight aggregates for composite steel and concrete beams. The most adequate numerical model will be used in the resent future to compare the results of laboratory tests.

Keywords: composite beams, high-performance concrete, high-strength steel, lightweight concrete slab, modeling

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22 Methods for Distinction of Cattle Using Supervised Learning

Authors: Radoslav Židek, Veronika Šidlová, Radovan Kasarda, Birgit Fuerst-Waltl

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Machine learning represents a set of topics dealing with the creation and evaluation of algorithms that facilitate pattern recognition, classification, and prediction, based on models derived from existing data. The data can present identification patterns which are used to classify into groups. The result of the analysis is the pattern which can be used for identification of data set without the need to obtain input data used for creation of this pattern. An important requirement in this process is careful data preparation validation of model used and its suitable interpretation. For breeders, it is important to know the origin of animals from the point of the genetic diversity. In case of missing pedigree information, other methods can be used for traceability of animal´s origin. Genetic diversity written in genetic data is holding relatively useful information to identify animals originated from individual countries. We can conclude that the application of data mining for molecular genetic data using supervised learning is an appropriate tool for hypothesis testing and identifying an individual.

Keywords: genetic data, Pinzgau cattle, supervised learning, machine learning

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21 Perception of the Frequency and Importance of Peer Social Support by Students with Special Educational Needs in Inclusive Education

Authors: Lucia Hrebeňárová, Jarmila Žolnová, Veronika Palková

Abstract:

Inclusive education of students with special educational needs has been on the increase in the Slovak Republic, facing many challenges. Preparedness of teachers for inclusive education is one of the most frequent issues; teachers lack skills when it comes to the use of effective instruction depending on the individual needs of students, improvement of classroom management and social skills, and support of inclusion within the classroom. Social support is crucial for the school success of students within inclusive settings. The aim of the paper is to analyse perception of the frequency and importance of peer social support by students with special educational needs in inclusive education. The data collection tool used was the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (CASSS). The research sample consisted of 953 fourth grade students – 141 students with special educational needs educated in an inclusive setting and 812 students of the standard population. No significant differences were found between the students with special educational needs and the students without special educational needs in an inclusive setting when it comes to the perception of frequency and importance of social support of schoolmates and friends. However, the perception of frequency and importance of a friend’s social support was higher than the perception of frequency and importance of a classmate’s social support in both groups of students.

Keywords: inclusive education, peer social support, peer, student with special eEducational needs

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20 Environmental Policy Instruments and Greenhouse Gas Emissions: VAR Analysis

Authors: Veronika Solilová, Danuše Nerudová

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The paper examines the interaction between the environmental taxation, size of government spending on environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption. The aim is to analyze the effects of environmental taxation and government spending on environmental protection as an environmental policy instruments on greenhouse gas emissions and gross inland energy consumption in the EU15. The empirical study is performed using a VAR approach with the application of aggregated data of EU15 over the period 1995 to 2012. The results provide the evidence that the reactions of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption to the shocks of environmental policy instruments are strong, mainly in the short term and decay to zero after about 8 years. Further, the reactions of the environmental policy instruments to the shocks of greenhouse gas emission and gross inland energy consumption are also strong in the short term, however with the deferred effects. In addition, the results show that government spending on environmental protection together with gross inland energy consumption has stronger effect on greenhouse gas emissions than environmental taxes in EU15 over the examined period.

Keywords: VAR analysis, greenhouse gas emissions, environmental taxation, government spending

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19 Identification of Common Indicators of Family Environment of Pupils of Alternative Schools

Authors: Yveta Pohnětalová, Veronika Nováková, Lucie Hrašová

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The paper presents the results of research in which we were looking for common characteristics of the family environment of students alternative and innovative education systems. Topicality comes from the fact that nowadays in the Czech Republic there are several civic and parental initiatives held with the aim to establish schools for their children. The goal of our research was to reveal key aspects of these families and to identify their common indicators. Among other things, we were interested what reasons lead parents to decide to enroll their child into different education than standard (common). The survey was qualitative and there were eighteen respondents of parents of alternative schools´ pupils. The reason to implement qualitative design was the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the essence of phenomena and to obtain detailed information, which would become the basis for subsequent quantitative research. There have been semi structured interviews done with the respondents which had been recorded and transcribed. By an analysis of gained data (categorization and by coding), we found out that common indicator of our respondents is higher education and higher economic level. This issue should be at the forefront of the researches because there is lack of analysis which would provide a comparison of common and alternative schools in the Czech Republic especially with regard to quality of education. Based on results, we consider questions whether approaches of these parents towards standard education come from their own experience or from the lack of knowledge of current goals and objectives of education policy of the Czech Republic.

Keywords: alternative schools, family environment, quality of education, parents´ approach

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18 Expression Profiling and Immunohistochemical Analysis of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck (Tumor, Transition Zone, Normal) by Whole Genome Scale Sequencing

Authors: Veronika Zivicova, Petr Broz, Zdenek Fik, Alzbeta Mifkova, Jan Plzak, Zdenek Cada, Herbert Kaltner, Jana Fialova Kucerova, Hans-Joachim Gabius, Karel Smetana Jr.

Abstract:

The possibility to determine genome-wide expression profiles of cells and tissues opens a new level of analysis in the quest to define dysregulation in malignancy and thus identify new tumor markers. Toward this long-term aim, we here address two issues on this level for head and neck cancer specimen: i) defining profiles in different regions, i.e. the tumor, the transition zone and normal control and ii) comparing complete data sets for seven individual patients. Special focus in the flanking immunohistochemical part is given to adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins that upregulate chemo- and cytokine expression in an NF-κB-dependent manner, to these regulators and to markers of differentiation, i.e. keratins. The detailed listing of up- and down-regulations, also available in printed form (1), not only served to unveil new candidates for testing as marker but also let the impact of the tumor in the transition zone become apparent. The extent of interindividual variation raises a strong cautionary note on assuming uniformity of regulatory events, to be noted when considering therapeutic implications. Thus, a combination of test targets (and a network analysis for galectins and their downstream effectors) is (are) advised prior to reaching conclusions on further perspectives.

Keywords: galectins, genome scale sequencing, squamous cell carcinoma, transition zone

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17 Building Information Management in Context of Urban Spaces, Analysis of Current Use and Possibilities

Authors: Lucie Jirotková, Daniel Macek, Andrea Palazzo, Veronika Malinová

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Currently, the implementation of 3D models in the construction industry is gaining popularity. Countries around the world are developing their own modelling standards and implement the use of 3D models into their individual permitting processes. Another theme that needs to be addressed are public building spaces and their subsequent maintenance, where the usage of BIM methodology is directly offered. The significant benefit of the implementation of Building Information Management is the information transfer. The 3D model contains not only the spatial representation of the item shapes but also various parameters that are assigned to the individual elements, which are easily traceable, mainly because they are all stored in one place in the BIM model. However, it is important to keep the data in the models up to date to achieve useability of the model throughout the life cycle of the building. It is now becoming standard practice to use BIM models in the construction of buildings, however, the building environment is very often neglected. Especially in large-scale development projects, the public space of buildings is often forwarded to municipalities, which obtains the ownership and are in charge of its maintenance. A 3D model of the building surroundings would include both the above-ground visible elements of the development as well as the underground parts, such as the technological facilities of water features, electricity lines for public lighting, etc. The paper shows the possibilities of a model in the field of information for the handover of premises, the following maintenance and decision making. The attributes and spatial representation of the individual elements make the model a reliable foundation for the creation of "Smart Cities". The paper analyses the current use of the BIM methodology and presents the state-of-the-art possibilities of development.

Keywords: BIM model, urban space, BIM methodology, facility management

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16 The Hallmarks of War Propaganda: The Case of Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Authors: Veronika Solopova, Oana-Iuliana Popescu, Tim Landgraf, Christoph Benzmüller

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Beginning in 2014, slowly building geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe led to a full-blown conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine that generated an unprecedented amount of news articles and data from social media data, reflecting the opposing ideologies and narratives as a background and the essence of the ongoing war. These polarized informational campaigns have led to countless mutual accusations of misinformation and fake news, shaping an atmosphere of confusion and mistrust for many readers all over the world. In this study, we analyzed scraped news articles from Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian and English-speaking news outlets, on the eve of 24th of February 2022, compared to day five of the conflict (28th of February), to see how the media influenced and mirrored the changes in public opinion. We also contrast the sources opposing and supporting the stands of the Russian government in Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian media spaces. In a data-driven way, we describe how the narratives are spread throughout Eastern and Central Europe. We present predictive linguistic features surrounding war propaganda. Our results indicate that there are strong similarities in terms of rhetoric strategies in the pro-Kremlin media in both Ukraine and Russia, which, while being relatively neutral according to surface structure, use aggressive vocabulary. This suggests that automatic propaganda identification systems have to be tailored for each new case, as they have to rely on situationally specific words. Both Ukrainian and Russian outlets lean towards strongly opinionated news, pointing towards the use of war propaganda in order to achieve strategic goals.

Keywords: linguistic, news, propaganda, Russia, ukraine

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15 Development of Hierarchically Structured Tablets with 3D Printed Inclusions for Controlled Drug Release

Authors: Veronika Lesáková, Silvia Slezáková, František Štěpánek

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Drug dosage forms consisting of multi-unit particle systems (MUPS) for modified drug release provide a promising route for overcoming the limitation of conventional tablets. Despite the conventional use of pellets as units for MUP systems, 3D printed polymers loaded with a drug seem like an interesting candidate due to the control over dosing that 3D printing mechanisms offer. Further, 3D printing offers high flexibility and control over the spatial structuring of a printed object. The final MUPS tablets include PVP and HPC as granulate with other excipients, enabling the compaction process of this mixture with 3D printed inclusions, also termed minitablets. In this study, we have developed the multi-step production process for MUPS tablets, including the 3D printing technology. The MUPS tablets with incorporated 3D printed minitablets are a complex system for drug delivery, providing modified drug release. Such structured tablets promise to reduce drug fluctuations in blood, risk of local toxicity, and increase bioavailability, resulting in an improved therapeutic effect due to the fast transfer into the small intestine, where particles are evenly distributed. Drug loaded 3D printed minitablets were compacted into the excipient mixture, influencing drug release through varying parameters, such as minitablets size, matrix composition, and compaction parameters. Further, the mechanical properties and morphology of the final MUPS tablets were analyzed as many properties, such as plasticity and elasticity, can significantly influence the dissolution profile of the drug.

Keywords: 3D printing, dissolution kinetics, drug delivery, hot-melt extrusion

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14 3D Printing of Dual Tablets: Modified Multiple Release Profiles for Personalized Medicine

Authors: Veronika Lesáková, Silvia Slezáková, František Štěpánek

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Additive manufacturing technologies producing drug dosage forms aimed at personalized medicine applications are promising strategies with several advantages over the conventional production methods. One of the emerging technologies is 3D printing which reduces manufacturing steps and thus allows a significant drop in expenses. A decrease in material consumption is also a highly impactful benefit as the tested drugs are frequently expensive substances. In addition, 3D printed dosage forms enable increased patient compliance and prevent misdosing as the dosage forms are carefully designed according to the patient’s needs. The incorporation of multiple drugs into a single dosage form further increases the degree of personalization. Our research focuses on the development of 3D printed tablets incorporating multiple drugs (candesartan, losartan) and thermoplastic polymers (e.g., KlucelTM HPC EF). The filaments, an essential feed material for 3D printing,wereproduced via hot-melt extrusion. Subsequently, the extruded filaments of various formulations were 3D printed into tablets using an FDM 3D printer. Then, we have assessed the influence of the internal structure of 3D printed tablets and formulation on dissolution behaviour by obtaining the dissolution profiles of drugs present in the 3D printed tablets. In conclusion, we have developed tablets containing multiple drugs providing modified release profiles. The 3D printing experiments demonstrate the high tunability of 3D printing as each tablet compartment is constructed with a different formulation. Overall, the results suggest that the 3D printing technology is a promising manufacturing approach to dual tablet preparation for personalized medicine.

Keywords: 3D printing, drug delivery, hot-melt extrusion, dissolution kinetics

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13 Levels of Selected Adipokines in Women with Gestational Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes, Their Relationship to Metabolic Parameters

Authors: David Karasek, Veronika Kubickova, Ondrej Krystynik, Dominika Goldmannova, Lubica Cibickova, Jan Schovanek

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Introduction: Adiponectin, adipocyte-fatty acid-binding protein (A-FABP), and Wnt1 inducible signaling pathway protein-1 (WISP-1) are adipokines particularly associated with insulin resistance. The aim of the study was to compare their levels in women with gestational diabetes (GDM), type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and healthy controls and determine their relation with metabolic parameters. Methods: Fifty women with GDM, 50 women with T2DM, and 35 healthy women were included in the study. In addition to adipokines, anthropometric, lipid parameters, and markers, insulin resistance, and glucose control were assessed in all participants. Results: Compared to healthy controls only significantly lower levels of adiponectin were detected in women with GDM, whereas lower levels of adiponectin, higher levels of A-FABP and of WISP-1 were present in women with T2DM. Women with T2DM had also lower levels of adiponectin and higher levels of A-FABP compared to women with GDM. In women with GDM or T2DM adiponectin correlated negatively with body mass index (BMI), triglycerides (TG), C-peptide and positively with HDL-cholesterol; A-FABP positively correlated with BMI, TG, waist, and C-peptide. Moreover, there was a positive correlation between WISP-1 and C-peptide in women with T2DM. Conclusion: Adverse adipokines production detecting dysfunctional fat tissue is in women with GDM less presented than in women with T2DM, but more expressed compared to healthy women. Acknowledgment: Supported by AZV NV18-01-00139 and MH CZ DRO (FNOl, 00098892).

Keywords: adiponectin, adipocyte-fatty acid binding protein, wnt1 inducible signaling pathway protein-1, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes mellitus

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12 How to Support the Rise of 3D Printing in Construction

Authors: Andrea Palazzo, Daniel Macek, Veronika Malinova, Lucie Jirotkova

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Contour crafting is a new challenge that architects and engineers will face in the future. The enormous advantages in terms of design, low cost, low waste, and short timing make this new generation of buildings one of the greatest potentials for the future of architecture and construction. Contour crafting is useful in a wide range of circumstances, from helping poor communities in undeveloped countries- applying it in case of future pandemics like the one we recently experienced -to being used by NASA for projects on other planets. The prices for real estate are constantly increasing, and the lack of availability of construction materials as well as the speculation that has been created around it in 2021, is bringing prices to such a level that in the future real estate developers risk not being able to find customers for these ultra-expensive homes. Hence, this paper starts with the introduction of the 3D printing, which now has the potential to gain an important position in the market, becoming a valid alternative to the classic construction. This technology is not only beneficial from an economic point of view, but it is also a great opportunity to have an impact on the environment reducing CO2 emissions. Further on in the article, we will also understand if, after the COP 26 (2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference), world governments could also push towards building technologies that reduce the waste materials to be disposed of and at the same time reduce emissions with the contribution of governmental funds. This paper will give us insight on the multiple benefits of 3D printing and emphasize the importance for authorities around the globe to establish new regulations supporting this way of constructing to enable the rise and development of this technology in Europe and in the rest of the world on actual housing projects and not only on prototypes.

Keywords: additive manufacturing, contour crafting, development, green construction, new regulation

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11 Collective Redress in Consumer Protection in South East Europe: Cross-National Comparisons, Issues of Commonality and Difference

Authors: Veronika Efremova

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In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.

Keywords: collective redress mechanism, consumer protection, commonality and difference, South East Europe

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10 Phylogenetic Relationships between the Whole Sets of Individual Flow Sorted U, M, S and C Chromosomes of Aegilops and Wheat as Revealed by COS Markers

Authors: András Farkas, István Molnár, Jan Vrána, Veronika Burešová, Petr Cápal, András Cseh, Márta Molnár-Láng, Jaroslav Doležel

Abstract:

Species of Aegilops played a central role in the evolution of wheat and are sources of traits related to yield quality and tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. These wild genes and alleles are desirable to use in crop improvement programs via introgressive hybridization. However, the success of chromosome mediated gene transfer to wheat are hampered by the pour knowledge on the genome structure of Aegilops relative to wheat and by the low number of cost-effective molecular markers specific for Aegilops chromosomes. The COS markers specific for genes conserved throughout evolution in both sequence and copy number between Triticeae/Aegilops taxa and define orthologous regions, thus enabling the comparison of regions on the chromosomes of related species. The present study compared individual chromosomes of Aegilops umbellulata (UU), Ae. comosa (MM), Ae. speltoides (SS) and Ae. caudata (CC) purified by flourescent labelling with oligonucleotid SSR repeats and biparametric flow cytometry with wheat by identifying orthologous chromosomal regions by COS markers. The linear order of bin-mapped COS markers along the wheat D chromosomes was identified by the use of chromosome-specific sequence data and virtual gene order. Syntenic regions of wheat identifying genome rearrangements differentiating the U, M, S or C genomes from the D genome of wheat were detected. The conserved orthologous set markers assigned to Aegilops chromosomes promise to accelerate gene introgression by facilitating the identification of alien chromatin. The syntenic relationships between the Aegilops species and wheat will facilitate the targeted development of new markers specific for U, M, S and C genomic regions and will contribute to the understanding of molecular processes related to the evolution of Aegilops.

Keywords: Aegilops, cos-markers, flow-sorting, wheat

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9 Prevalence of Pretreatment Drug HIV-1 Mutations in Moscow, Russia

Authors: Daria Zabolotnaya, Svetlana Degtyareva, Veronika Kanestri, Danila Konnov

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An adequate choice of the initial antiretroviral treatment determines the treatment efficacy. In the clinical guidelines in Russia non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are still considered to be an option for first-line treatment while pretreatment drug resistance (PDR) testing is not routinely performed. We conducted a cohort retrospective study in HIV-positive treatment naïve patients of the H-clinic (Moscow, Russia) who performed PDR testing from July 2017 to November 2021. All the information was obtained from the medical records anonymously. We analyzed the mutations in reverse transcriptase and protease genes. RT-sequences were obtained by AmpliSens HIV-Resist-Seq kit. Drug resistance was defined using the HIVdb Program v. 8.9-1. PDR was estimated using the Stanford algorithm. Descriptive statistics were performed in Excel (Microsoft Office, 2019). A total of 261 HIV-1 infected patients were enrolled in the study including 197 (75.5%) male and 64 (24.5%) female. The mean age was 34.6±8.3 years. The median CD4 count – 521 cells/µl (IQR 367-687 cells/µl). Data on risk factors of HIV-infection were scarce. The total quantity of strains containing mutations in the reverse transcriptase gene was 75 (28.7%). From these 5 (1.9%) mutations were associated with PDR to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and 30 (11.5%) – with PDR to NNRTIs. The number of strains with mutations in protease gene was 43 (16.5%), from these only 3 (1.1%) mutations were associated with resistance to protease inhibitors. For NNRTIs the most prevalent PDR mutations were E138A, V106I. Most of the HIV variants exhibited a single PDR mutation, 2 were found in 3 samples. Most of HIV variants with PDR mutation displayed a single drug class resistance mutation. 2/37 (5.4%) strains had both NRTIs and NNRTIs mutations. There were no strains identified with PDR mutations to all three drug classes. Though earlier data demonstrated a lower level of PDR in HIV treatment naïve population in Russia and our cohort can be not fully representative as it is taken from the private clinic, it reflects the trend of increasing PDR especially to NNRTIs. Therefore, we consider either pretreatment testing or giving the priority to other drugs as first-line treatment necessary.

Keywords: HIV, resistance, mutations, treatment

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8 Microscopic Analysis of Interfacial Transition Zone of Cementitious Composites Prepared by Various Mixing Procedures

Authors: Josef Fládr, Jiří Němeček, Veronika Koudelková, Petr Bílý

Abstract:

Mechanical parameters of cementitious composites differ quite significantly based on the composition of cement matrix. They are also influenced by mixing times and procedure. The research presented in this paper was aimed at identification of differences in microstructure of normal strength (NSC) and differently mixed high strength (HSC) cementitious composites. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) investigation together with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) phase analysis of NSC and HSC samples was conducted. Evaluation of interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between the aggregate and cement matrix was performed. Volume share, thickness, porosity and composition of ITZ were studied. In case of HSC, samples obtained by several different mixing procedures were compared in order to find the most suitable procedure. In case of NSC, ITZ was identified around 40-50% of aggregate grains and its thickness typically ranged between 10 and 40 µm. Higher porosity and lower share of clinker was observed in this area as a result of increased water-to-cement ratio (w/c) and the lack of fine particles improving the grading curve of the aggregate. Typical ITZ with lower content of Ca was observed only in one HSC sample, where it was developed around less than 15% of aggregate grains. The typical thickness of ITZ in this sample was similar to ITZ in NSC (between 5 and 40 µm). In the remaining four HSC samples, no ITZ was observed. In general, the share of ITZ in HSC samples was found to be significantly smaller than in NSC samples. As ITZ is the weakest part of the material, this result explains to large extent the improved mechanical properties of HSC compared to NSC. Based on the comparison of characteristics of ITZ in HSC samples prepared by different mixing procedures, the most suitable mixing procedure from the point of view of properties of ITZ was identified.

Keywords: electron diffraction spectroscopy, high strength concrete, interfacial transition zone, normal strength concrete, scanning electron microscopy

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7 Formulation of Hybrid Nanopowder-Molecular Ink for Fabricating Critical Material-Free Cu₂ZnSnS₄ Thin Film Solar Absorber

Authors: Anies Mutiari, Neha Bansal, Martin Artner, Veronika Mayer, Juergen Roth, Mathias Weil, Rachmat Adhi Wibowo

Abstract:

Cu₂ZnSnS₄ (CZTS) compound (mineral name kesterite) has attracted considerable interests for photovoltaic application owing to its optoelectrical properties. Moreover, its elemental abundance in Earth’s crust offers a comparative advantage for envisaged large-scale photovoltaic deployment without any material shortage issues. In this contribution, we present an innovative route to prepare CZTS solar absorber layer for photovoltaic application from low-cost and up-scalable process. CZTS layers were spin coated on the Molybdenum-coated glass from two inks composed of different solvents; dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and ultrapure water. Into each solvent; 0.57M CuCl₂, 0.39M ZnCl₂, 0.53M SnCl₂, and 1.85M Thiourea or Na₂S₂O₃, as well as pre-synthesized CZTS nanopowder, were added as sources of Cu, Zn, Sn and S in the ink. The crystallisation of ink into CZTS dense layers was carried out by firstly annealing the as-deposited CZTS layer in open air at 300°C for 1 minute, followed by sulfurisation at 560–620°C under atmospheric pressure for 120 minutes. Complementary electron microscopy, grazing incidence X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy investigations suggest that both solvents can be used for preparing high quality and device relevant CZTS solar absorber layers. The sulphurisation crystallizes the as-deposited CZTS into highly polycrystalline CZTS layer with tetragonal structure demonstrated by the presence of tetrahedrally-shaped grains with the size of 1 µm. An advancement of the CZTS layer preparation was made by gradual substitution of volatile organic compound solvent of DMSO with ultrapure water. It is revealed that by using similar air annealing and sulphurisation process, dense and compact CZTS layers can also be fabricated from an ink with reduced volatile organic compound content.

Keywords: kesterite, solar ink, spin coating, photovoltaics

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6 Role of Internal and External Factors in Preventing Risky Sexual Behavior, Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Authors: Veronika Sharok

Abstract:

Research relevance on psychological determinants of risky behaviors is caused by high prevalence of such behaviors, particularly among youth. Risky sexual behavior, including unprotected and casual sex, frequent change of sexual partners, drug and alcohol use lead to negative social consequences and contribute to the spread of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. Data were obtained from 302 respondents aged 15-35 which were divided into 3 empirical groups: persons prone to risky sexual behavior, drug users and alcohol users; and 3 control groups: the individuals who are not prone to risky sexual behavior, persons who do not use drugs and the respondents who do not use alcohol. For processing, we used the following methods: Qualitative method for nominative data (Chi-squared test) and quantitative methods for metric data (student's t-test, Fisher's F-test, Pearson's r correlation test). Statistical processing was performed using Statistica 6.0 software. The study identifies two groups of factors that prevent risky behaviors. Internal factors, which include the moral and value attitudes; significance of existential values: love, life, self-actualization and search for the meaning of life; understanding independence as a responsibility for the freedom and ability to get attached to someone or something up to a point when this relationship starts restricting the freedom and becomes vital; awareness of risky behaviors as dangerous for the person and for others; self-acknowledgement. External factors (prevent risky behaviors in case of absence of the internal ones): absence of risky behaviors among friends and relatives; socio-demographic characteristics (middle class, marital status); awareness about the negative consequences of risky behaviors; inaccessibility to psychoactive substances. These factors are common for proneness to each type of risky behavior, because it usually caused by the same reasons. It should be noted that if prevention of risky behavior is based only on elimination of external factors, it is not as effective as it may be if we pay more attention to internal factors. The results obtained in the study can be used to develop training programs and activities for prevention of risky behaviors, for using values preventing such behaviors and promoting healthy lifestyle.

Keywords: existential values, prevention, psychological features, risky behavior

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5 Cytology Is a Promising Tool for the Diagnosis of High-Grade Serous Ovarian Carcinoma from Ascites

Authors: Miceska Simona, Škof Erik, Frković Grazio Snježana, Jeričević Anja, Smrkolj Špela, Cvjetićanin Branko, Novaković Srdjan, Grčar Kuzmanov Biljana, Kloboves-Prevodnik Veronika

Abstract:

Objectives: High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is characterized by the dissemination of the tumor cells (TC) in the peritoneal cavity forming malignant ascites at the time of diagnosis or recurrence. Still, cytology itself has been underutilized as a modality for the diagnosis of HGSOC from ascites, and histological examination from the tumor tissue is yet the only validated method used. The objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of cytology in the diagnosis of HGSOC in relation to the histopathological examination. Methods: The study included 42 patients with histologically confirmed HGSOC, accompanied by malignant ascites. To confirm the malignancy of the TC in the ascites and to define their immunophenotype, immunohistochemical reaction (IHC) of the following antigens: Calretinin, MOC, WT1, PAX8, p53, p16 & Ki-67 was evaluated on ascites cytospins and tissue blocks. For complete cytological determination of HGSOC, BRCA 1/2 gene mutation was determined from ascites, tissue block, and blood. BRCA1/2 mutation from blood was performed to define the type of mutation, somatic vs germline. Results: Among 42 patients, the immunophenotype of HGSOC from ascites was confirmed in 36 cases (86%). For more profound analysis, the patients were divided in 3 groups regarding the number of TC present in the ascites: patients with less than 10% TC, 10% TC, and more than 10% TC. From all included patients, in the group with less than 10% TC, there were 10 cases, and only 5 of them(50%) showed HGSOC phenotype; 12 cases had equally 10% of TC, and 11 cases (92%) showed HGSOC phenotype; 20 cases had more than 10% TC and all of them (100%) confirmed the HGSOC immunophenotype from ascites. Only 33 patients were eligible for further BRCA1/2 analysis. Eleven BRCA1/2 mutations were detected from thetissue block: 6 germline and 5 somatic. In 2 cases with less than 10% TC, BRCA1/2 mutation was not detected; 4 cases had 10% TC, and 2 of them (50%) confirmed the mutation; 4 cases had more than 10% TC, and all showed 100% reliability with the tumor tissue. Conclusions: Cytology is a highly reliable method for determining the immunophenotype of HGSOC and BRCA1/2 mutation if more than 10% of tumor cells are present in the ascites. This may present an additional non-invasive clinical approach for fast and effective diagnose in the future, especially in inoperable conditions or relapses.

Keywords: cytology, ascites, high-grade serous ovarian cancer, immunophenotype, BRCA1/2

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4 Immunocytochemical Stability of Antigens in Cytological Samples Stored in In-house Liquid-Based Medium

Authors: Anamarija Kuhar, Veronika Kloboves Prevodnik, Nataša Nolde, Ulrika Klopčič

Abstract:

The decision for immunocytochemistry (ICC) is usually made in the basis of the findings in Giemsa- and/or Papanicolaou- smears. More demanding diagnostic cases require preparation of additional cytological preparations. Therefore, it is convenient to suspend cytological samples in a liquid based medium (LBM) that preserve antigen and morphological properties. However, the duration of these properties being preserved in the medium is usually unknown. Eventually, cell morphology becomes impaired and altered, as well as antigen properties may be lost or become diffused. In this study, the influence of cytological sample storage length in in-house liquid based medium on antigen properties and cell morphology is evaluated. The question is how long the cytological samples in this medium can be stored so that the results of immunocytochemical reactions are still reliable and can be safely used in routine cytopathological diagnostics. The stability of 6 ICC markers that are most frequently used in everyday routine work were tested; Cytokeratin AE1/AE3, Calretinin, Epithelial specific antigen Ep-CAM (MOC-31), CD 45, Oestrogen receptor (ER), and Melanoma triple cocktail were tested on methanol fixed cytospins prepared from fresh fine needle aspiration biopsies, effusion samples, and disintegrated lymph nodes suspended in in-house cell medium. Cytospins were prepared on the day of the sampling as well as on the second, fourth, fifth, and eight day after sample collection. Next, they were fixed in methanol and immunocytochemically stained. Finally, the percentage of positive stained cells, reaction intensity, counterstaining, and cell morphology were assessed using two assessment methods: the internal assessment and the UK NEQAS ICC scheme assessment. Results show that the antigen properties for Cytokeratin AE1/AE3, MOC-31, CD 45, ER, and Melanoma triple cocktail were preserved even after 8 days of storage in in-house LBM, while the antigen properties for Calretinin remained unchanged only for 4 days. The key parameters for assessing detection of antigen are the proportion of cells with a positive reaction and intensity of staining. Well preserved cell morphology is highly important for reliable interpretation of ICC reaction. Therefore, it would be valuable to perform a similar analysis for other ICC markers to determine the duration in which the antigen and morphological properties are preserved in LBM.

Keywords: cytology samples, cytospins, immunocytochemistry, liquid-based cytology

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3 Reduction of Process of Evidence in Specific Forms of Criminal Proceeding: Problems and Risks

Authors: Filip Ščerba, Veronika Pochylá

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Performing of the acts within criminal proceedings usually takes too long and thus this phenomenon can be regarded as one of the most burning problems which have plagued the criminal justice not only in the Czech Republic but at least all over Europe for the last few decades. This problem obviously has to be dealt with and thus the need to tackle this issue has resulted in the trend which is sometimes called Criminal Justice Rationalization, i.e. introducing and enforcing methods supporting the increase in efficiency of the criminal justice in order to make the criminal proceedings shorter and administrative procedure easier. This resulted in the introduction of institutes such as e.g. diversions in criminal proceedings or other forms of shortened pre-trial proceedings, which may be used primarily for dealing with less serious crimes. But also the institute, which was originally mentioned in connection with the system of criminal law in the countries belonging to the Anglo-Saxon legal order where it is frequently called of plea bargaining, has been introduced into the criminal law of many European countries, and it may be applied also in cases of serious crimes. All these special and shortened forms of criminal proceedings are connected with limited extent of process of evidence; in fact, some of these specific forms of criminal proceedings are designed for the purpose to simplify the process of evidence. That is also the reason, why some of these procedures are conditioned with the defendant’s confession. Main hypothesis: Limited process of evidence represents also a potential conflict with certain fundamental principles upon which the criminal proceeding in the Continental legal system is based. (A conflict with principle of material truth may be considered as the most important problem. This principle states that the bodies in criminal proceedings must clarify the facts of the case beyond reasonable doubt to such extent that a decision can be made; the defendant’s confession does not mean that these bodies are freed from the duty to review all the circumstances and facts of the case. Such principle is typical for criminal law in Central European region.) Basic methodologies: The paper is going to analyze such a problem of weakening of the principle of material truth in modern criminal law. Such analysis will be provided primarily on the base of the Czech criminal law, but also other legal regulations will be taken into consideration, and its result may have some relevance for all legal regulations belonging to the Continental legal system, so the paper offers also a comparison with legal systems of other Central European countries.

Keywords: burden of proof, central European countries, criminal justice rationalization, criminal proceeding, Czech legislation, Czech republic, defendant, diversions, evidence, fundamental principles, plea bargaining, pre-trial proceedings, principle of material truth, process of evidence, process of evidence

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2 Structural Molecular Dynamics Modelling of FH2 Domain of Formin DAAM

Authors: Rauan Sakenov, Peter Bukovics, Peter Gaszler, Veronika Tokacs-Kollar, Beata Bugyi

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FH2 (formin homology-2) domains of several proteins, collectively known as formins, including DAAM, DAAM1 and mDia1, promote G-actin nucleation and elongation. FH2 domains of these formins exist as oligomers. Chain dimerization by ring structure formation serves as a structural basis for actin polymerization function of FH2 domain. Proper single chain configuration and specific interactions between its various regions are necessary for individual chains to form a dimer functional in G-actin nucleation and elongation. FH1 and WH2 domain-containing formins were shown to behave as intrinsically disordered proteins. Thus, the aim of this research was to study structural dynamics of FH2 domain of DAAM. To investigate structural features of FH2 domain of DAAM, molecular dynamics simulation of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM solvated in water box in 50 mM NaCl was conducted at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K, with VMD 1.9.2, NAMD 2.14 and Amber Tools 21 using 2z6e and 1v9d PDB structures of DAAM was obtained on I-TASSER webserver. Calcium and ATP bound G-actin 3hbt PDB structure was used as a reference protein with well-described structural dynamics of denaturation. Topology and parameter information of CHARMM 2012 additive all-atom force fields for proteins, carbohydrate derivatives, water and ions were used in NAMD 2.14 and ff19SB force field for proteins in Amber Tools 21. The systems were energy minimized for the first 1000 steps, equilibrated and produced in NPT ensemble for 1ns using stochastic Langevin dynamics and the particle mesh Ewald method. Our root-mean square deviation (RMSD) analysis of molecular dynamics of chain A of FH2 domains of DAAM revealed similar insignificant changes of total molecular average RMSD values of FH2 domain of these formins at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. In contrast, total molecular average RMSD values of G-actin showed considerable increase at 328K, which corresponds to the denaturation of G-actin molecule at this temperature and its transition from native, ordered, to denatured, disordered, state which is well-described in the literature. RMSD values of lasso and tail regions of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM exhibited higher than total molecular average RMSD at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. These regions are functional in intra- and interchain interactions and contain highly conserved tryptophan residues of lasso region, highly conserved GNYMN sequence of post region and amino acids of the shell of hydrophobic pocket of the salt bridge between Arg171 and Asp321, which are important for structural stability and ordered state of FH2 domain of DAAM and its functions in FH2 domain dimerization. In conclusion, higher than total molecular average RMSD values of lasso and post regions of chain A of FH2 domain of DAAM may explain disordered state of FH2 domain of DAAM at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K. Finally, absence of marked transition, in terms of significant changes in average molecular RMSD values between native and denatured states of FH2 domain of DAAM at temperatures from 293.15 to 353.15K, can make it possible to attribute these formins to the group of intrinsically disordered proteins rather than to the group of intrinsically ordered proteins such as G-actin.

Keywords: FH2 domain, DAAM, formins, molecular modelling, computational biophysics

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1 MANIFEST-2, a Global, Phase 3, Randomized, Double-Blind, Active-Control Study of Pelabresib (CPI-0610) and Ruxolitinib vs. Placebo and Ruxolitinib in JAK Inhibitor-Naïve Myelofibrosis Patients

Authors: Claire Harrison, Raajit K. Rampal, Vikas Gupta, Srdan Verstovsek, Moshe Talpaz, Jean-Jacques Kiladjian, Ruben Mesa, Andrew Kuykendall, Alessandro Vannucchi, Francesca Palandri, Sebastian Grosicki, Timothy Devos, Eric Jourdan, Marielle J. Wondergem, Haifa Kathrin Al-Ali, Veronika Buxhofer-Ausch, Alberto Alvarez-Larrán, Sanjay Akhani, Rafael Muñoz-Carerras, Yury Sheykin, Gozde Colak, Morgan Harris, John Mascarenhas

Abstract:

Myelofibrosis (MF) is characterized by bone marrow fibrosis, anemia, splenomegaly and constitutional symptoms. Progressive bone marrow fibrosis results from aberrant megakaryopoeisis and expression of proinflammatory cytokines, both of which are heavily influenced by bromodomain and extraterminal domain (BET)-mediated gene regulation and lead to myeloproliferation and cytopenias. Pelabresib (CPI-0610) is an oral small-molecule investigational inhibitor of BET protein bromodomains currently being developed for the treatment of patients with MF. It is designed to downregulate BET target genes and modify nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. MANIFEST-2 was initiated based on data from Arm 3 of the ongoing Phase 2 MANIFEST study (NCT02158858), which is evaluating the combination of pelabresib and ruxolitinib in Janus kinase inhibitor (JAKi) treatment-naïve patients with MF. Primary endpoint analyses showed splenic and symptom responses in 68% and 56% of 84 enrolled patients, respectively. MANIFEST-2 (NCT04603495) is a global, Phase 3, randomized, double-blind, active-control study of pelabresib and ruxolitinib versus placebo and ruxolitinib in JAKi treatment-naïve patients with primary MF, post-polycythemia vera MF or post-essential thrombocythemia MF. The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of pelabresib in combination with ruxolitinib. Here we report updates from a recent protocol amendment. The MANIFEST-2 study schema is shown in Figure 1. Key eligibility criteria include a Dynamic International Prognostic Scoring System (DIPSS) score of Intermediate-1 or higher, platelet count ≥100 × 10^9/L, spleen volume ≥450 cc by computerized tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, ≥2 symptoms with an average score ≥3 or a Total Symptom Score (TSS) of ≥10 using the Myelofibrosis Symptom Assessment Form v4.0, peripheral blast count <5% and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≤2. Patient randomization will be stratified by DIPSS risk category (Intermediate-1 vs Intermediate-2 vs High), platelet count (>200 × 10^9/L vs 100–200 × 10^9/L) and spleen volume (≥1800 cm^3 vs <1800 cm^3). Double-blind treatment (pelabresib or matching placebo) will be administered once daily for 14 consecutive days, followed by a 7 day break, which is considered one cycle of treatment. Ruxolitinib will be administered twice daily for all 21 days of the cycle. The primary endpoint is SVR35 response (≥35% reduction in spleen volume from baseline) at Week 24, and the key secondary endpoint is TSS50 response (≥50% reduction in TSS from baseline) at Week 24. Other secondary endpoints include safety, pharmacokinetics, changes in bone marrow fibrosis, duration of SVR35 response, duration of TSS50 response, progression-free survival, overall survival, conversion from transfusion dependence to independence and rate of red blood cell transfusion for the first 24 weeks. Study recruitment is ongoing; 400 patients (200 per arm) from North America, Europe, Asia and Australia will be enrolled. The study opened for enrollment in November 2020. MANIFEST-2 was initiated based on data from the ongoing Phase 2 MANIFEST study with the aim of assessing the efficacy and safety of pelabresib and ruxolitinib in JAKi treatment-naïve patients with MF. MANIFEST-2 is currently open for enrollment.

Keywords: CPI-0610, JAKi treatment-naïve, MANIFEST-2, myelofibrosis, pelabresib

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