MASSDEVICE ON CALL — The FDA licensed a stem cell transplant product derived from umbilical cord blood for the first time in approval for the New York Blood Center’s Hemacord.
Hemacord can be transplanted into patients with disorders affecting blood cells. The product’s license includes use with children.
Umbilical cord blood is one of few sources of hematopoietic progenitor cells, stem cells that can turn into any type of blood cell. The stem cells are transplanted into patients, where they mature in the bone marrow.
The stem cells can boost blood cell function in the body, including aiding in treatment of bone marrow failure and immune system deficiencies, according to a press release.
Mobile drug test can detect substances in sweat
U.K. technology company Intelligent Fingerprinting launched the world’s first prototype of a hand-held test that analyzes sweat contained in fingerprints for illegal drugs and other substances in a matter of minutes, according to a press release.
"There has already been considerable worldwide interest in the use of the technology for testing within a wide range of applications, including criminal justice forensic science, homeland security, and institutional testing such as prisons and workplaces," company business development manager Paul Yates said in prepared remarks.
Venture capitalists shift away from health companies
Scale Venture Partners announced plans to move investment away from health care companies, a growing trend among investors who blame the shift on the FDA, Xconomy reported.
Pricing panels for hospital costs
Massachusetts officials accepted a recommendation to force hospitals to justify "above-norm" health prices before a state panel when conflicts arise with insurance companies, Healthwatch reported.
The Institute of Medicine calls for a health IT oversight body
A new investigation by the Institute of Medicine called for the creation of an independent oversight entity to to investigate adverse events associated with switching to electronic medical records and other IT products, the Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog reported.