Scientists work towards a botanical-based nasal spray for TBI. Evidence from cell culture and animal models suggests that huperzine A — a moss-derived botanical used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat swelling, fever, inflammation, blood disorders and schizophrenia — might dampen down the body’s physiological response to traumatic brain injury, which causes subsequent damage to the victim’s brain, writes Children’s Hospital Boston’s Vector Blog.
Bird flu is back. Officials in Japan and Hong Kong confirm reports of bird flu in chickens and a human, respectively, reports The Wall Street Journal.
FDA reports record low in new drug applications, approvals down 32 percent. The Food & Drug Administration has said it expects 118 new drug applications by the end of 2010, a new low and down from 140 in 2009. The number of new drugs approved by the agency is down 32 percent from last year, according to amednews.
Merck to buy insulin developer SmartCells. With an eye on remaining one of the leaders in the diabetes field, Merck (NYSE:MRK) has agreed to pay more than $500 million to acquire SmartCells, a Beverly, Mass.-based biotech with some intriguing insulin technology that originated at MIT. The company did not take any venture funding, according to Xconomy Boston.
FDA warns Invisalign maker on improper reporting of side effects. Align Technology disclosed on Nov. 30 that it received a warning letter from the Food & Drug Administration on Nov. 18 and that the company has since provided the watchdog agency with information it believes will resolve the matter, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Who’s living with less? While questioning each other’s money-making techniques, the chiefs of Massachusetts’ most prominent hospital network and private health insurer agreed that controlling soaring healthcare costs begins with a shift in thinking: adjust to a climate of limited resources and learn to live with less, reports MetroWest Daily News.
Hospital perks: Are they worth the cost? As healthcare reform moves forward, we need to decide whether hospital amenities like hotel-style room service, massage therapy and magnificent views are worth their cost, according to a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine.
A pearl of a COPD therapy. Pearl Therapeutics bagged a $69 million venture round last month, and now its clear why. The Redwood City, California, biotech has clinical trial results that show its inhalable drug for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease works better than standard Tiotropium (Spiriva), a $3 billion annual seller for Pfizer and Boehringer Ingelheim, reports Xconomy San Francisco.
M&A the hot ticket in med devices. From Medtronic’s (NYSE:MDT) deal to buy Ardian for $800 million to Stryker’s (NYSE:SYK) agreement to buy Boston Scientific’s (NYSE:BSX) neurovascular business for $1.5 billion, mergers and acquisitions are picking up in the medical device industry, Reuters reports.
Asthmatx device holds $443.5M of promise. And how promising is Asthmatx Inc.’s device to treat patients with severe asthma? Up to $443.5 million-worth, based on how much Boston Scientific is willing to pay for the Sunnyvale, California, company if it hits revenue targets laid out in its acquisition deal, according to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.