Device zaps nerves to treat high blood pressure. Mountain View, Calif.-based Ardian Inc. designed its radio wave emmitting Symplicity Catheter System to zap nerves near the kidneys that cause high blood pressure, according to The Associated Press. Through a study, the company was able to demonstrate (PDF) that its device reduces high blood pressure more than drugs indicated for the same treatment.
Reproductive rights group says FDA in contempt of court. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a motion in U.S. District Court in New York asking to find the Food & Drug Administration in contempt for failing to make Plan B, the so-called “morning-after pill,” available to women of all ages without a prescription. according to The Washington Post.
Obama administration announces initiative to boost the quality of medical care. The 10-year, $10-billion effort lays a foundation for what experts believe could be one of the most far-reaching benefits of healthcare reform. The initiative is intended to reduce hospital-acquired infections, help ensure seniors take their medications, and more, according to the LA Times.
Four Loko to remove caffeine from drinks. Phusion Projects, which creates the caffeinated alcholic energy drink Four Loko, said it will remove the stimulant from its beverage, according to ABC News.
Healthcare CEOs earn big bucks. Healthcare company chief executives took home the biggest paychecks — a median of $10 million — of any industry covered by the recent Wall Street Journal CEO compensation report. CEOs from Thermo Fisher Scientific, Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson were among the top 20 in the list. UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley got the biggest raise last year.
Pfizer relaunches global innovation centers network. Drug giant Pfizer has once again cast its eyes on academia as part of its R&D strategy, signing an $85-million deal with the University of California that marks the first under its newborn Global Centers for Therapeutic Innovation network, according to PharmaTimes.
New lupus drug Benlysta endorsed. An FDA advisory panel overwhelmingly endorsed Benlysta, developed by Human Genome Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline, as the first new drug to treat lupus in more than a half century after weighing what some members called marginal effectiveness against the desperate needs of lupus patients, the New York Times reports.
Building better biologics. South San Francisco-based Sutro Biopharma is the latest startup to cash in on the “bio-better” craze, raising $36.5 million in a Series C venture round led by Skyline Ventures for making better biologic drugs that don’t rely on incubating strands of DNA inside living cells, according to Xconomy San Francisco.
Roche cutting jobs to stay competitive. Roche is to cut 4,800 jobs — 6 per cent of its workforce — to save $2.41 billion a year as the Swiss pharmaceuticals group became the latest drugs company to react to a tougher market, reports the Financial Times.
Pharma’s electronic record audit delayed. An FDA plan to audit the growing use of electronic records by the pharmaceutical industry has been delayed by at least several months by bureaucratic snags, according to the Pharmalot blog.
Cancer therapies get investment. Maryland biopharmaceutical company Micromet has raised $70.5 million for its antibody-based therapies to treat cancer.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.