MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Alzheimer’s imaging drug passes FDA panel on certain conditions. A panel of medical experts enlisted by the Food & Drug Administration to review a medical imaging chemical designed to dye the brain plaques related to Alzheimer’s disease passed the drug, but want more information from its developer, Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE:LLY), reports the Associated Press.
Scientists find genes related to living with pacreatic cancer. Researchers identified new genes that, when mutated in a certain way, appear to cause a relatively less harmful form of pancreatic cancer. Patients with these mutations lived twice as long as those whose tumors carried other mutations, the team at Johns Hopkins University reported in the journal Science, reports Reuters.
MoneyTree’s good and bad news. Good news: Venture capitalists invested 19 percent more in 2010 than last year — the highest since 2007, according to the MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), based on data from Thomson Reuters.
But the money, it seems, is going away from key medical sectors.
- Overall, biotech investing increased by only 3 percent ($3.7 billion) and deals were up only 8 percent (460). In the fourth quarter investing declined 24 percent and deals were down 15 percent compared to the third quarter.
- Medical device investing for the year fell 9 percent ($2.3 billion) and deals were essentially the same (324) compared to 2009. In the fourth quarter, device investing dropped 31 percent and there were 15 percent fewer deals compared to the previous quarter.
- Life Sciences used to account for one-third of all venture dollars invested. That’s down to 28 percent.
- It was a mixed bag for key medical markets: Philadelphia and Cleveland were promising. But Minnesota and the Northwest struggled.
A couple caveats. Biotech and device are No. 2 and No. 3 in the amount of money invested (software is a runaway first). Also, health services increased dramatically this year, fueled in part by a 128 million third quarter that was larger than all of 2009 combined.
Early analysis says the slow resurrection of IPOs is funneling some later-stage life science companies away from the venture capital markets, which means the decrease in such an up year wouldn’t be so ominous. Others, though, see high growth markets like cleantech as the new favorite.
Healthcare M & A report. There was a 3 percent decrease in mergers and acquisition transactions compared to 2009 and an 11 percent decrease in money to finance those deals. Prediction: “Going forward in 2011, the big pharma companies will continue to focus on biotechnology companies for new, hard-to-copy products, and their potentially blockbuster sales.”
Home health v. hospitals. American saved $25 billion in hospital payroll in 2008 because they used home health services. “The findings suggest that the quickly growing population of senior citizens will not necessarily lead to an expanded hospital market.”
The Securities & Exchange Commission late last week settled one case and brought another against the executives of two medtech companies.
CytoCore Inc. (OTC:CYOE) CEO Robert McCullough agreed to pay a $100,000 fine to settle insider trading allegations that he collaborated with the Chicago-based company’s former chairman to entice people to buy CYOE shares and to improperly collect fees for selling the stock, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
The SEC on Jan. 14 sued former executives of bankrupt MediCor Ltd., alleging that they helped the Las Vegas-based medical device startup’s former chairman — who is now in jail — fraudulently take millions of dollars out of a real estate investment firm to fund the company, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
And if you haven’t read the headlines yet, a California woman regained her voice with a larynx transplant after not being able to speak without the help of an electronic voice box for 11 years. It was the second successful surgery of its kind ever documented. Watch a video on the news from ITN news:
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.