MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Minntech Corp. president & CEO Roy Malkin was seriously injured when his private single-jet airplane crashed Saturday evening.
Malkin was in critical but stable condition according to a Monday statement from Minntech parent corporation Cantel Medical Corp. (NYSE:CMN).
Unconfirmed records from the Federal Aviation Administration indicate an accident took place in Crystal, Minn., on Saturday when an aircraft "crashed off the end of the runway" during takeoff. The report states that there was a passenger on the plane, but no names were provided.
The Plymouth, Minn.-based kidney dialysis device company’s VP Paul Helms will oversee day-to-day operations while Malkin is recovering., Twin Cities Business reported.
InVivo announces major patent expansion
InVivo Therapeutics Holdings Corp. (OTC:NVIV) announced a major expansion to the "Field of Use" of its existing patent license, which applies to 10 U.S. patents, 67 international patents and 37 pending patents co-owned by Harvard Children’s Hospital.
The license, which previously covered a range of biopolymers to treat spinal cord injuries, now includes parts of the peripheral nervous system, the cavernous nerve surrounding the prostate, the brain, the retina and cranial nerves.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based company plans to apply the new patents to treatment options for peripheral nerve injuries, epidural injections, cavernous nerve repair following prostate surgery, retina repair, spinal cord tumors, and for applications in the brain, according to the release.
Debt talks come back to health care
In an email sent to House Republicans, House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) revealed that debt discussions with Vice President Joe Biden are moving toward healthcare.
Cantor wrote that he was "cautiously optimistic" that the talks will result in spending cuts greater than the amount of the increase to the debt ceiling, a goal endorsed by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"Together, we have been going through all the major spending areas of the federal budget, beginning with non-health care mandatory programs and continuing with discussion on the health care entitlement programs," he said.
The email didn’t specify whether the talks touched on Medicare or the voucher program endorsed by the GOP budget, nor did it mention tax increases, Healthwatch reported.
Senate Democrats recently put forward a strong message to Republicans, insisting that Medicare be left out of any discussions regarding the debt ceiling.
"Our message is simply: Take Medicare off the table. Let’s solve the default crisis. And let’s talk about fixing the system so that our middle class has a little bit better shape," Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said during a conference call with reporters.
Republicans have been similarly adamant against tax increases, which Democrats have demanded.
The Vice President’s discussions will continue on Thursday. Biden has said the talks are on track to produce $1 trillion in spending cuts, Healthwatch reported.
Teenage diabetes impairs heart function
Diabetes may be causing heart problems in people as early as adolescence, according to a new study from Dalhousie University IWK Health Centre in Canada.
The study looked at 13 patients with Type 2 diabetes, 27 overweight or obese subjects who did not have diabetes and 19 non-diabetic and non-obese control subjects, all aged 12 to 20. The subjects performed an exercise test on a stationary bicycle.
MRI scans showed that the hearts of subjects with Type 2 diabetes did not expand and fill up with blood between heart beats as well as the hearts of subjects in the other two groups, according to the study.
"Past studies in adults with Type 2 diabetes show that their heart and blood vessels’ ability to adapt to exercise may be impaired. Our study shows that these changes in heart function may begin to happen very early after Type 2 diabetes occurs," said lead author Dr. Teresa Pinto.
FDA official says GOP "hard science" amendment puts food safety at risk
Republican-sponsored amendments that seek to restrict the FDA’s decision-making process could hurt the agency’s ability protect public health, said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods.
The amendment, which cleared the House Appropriations Committee last week, restricts FDA funding to activities that are based on “hard science” and cost-benefit analyses.
"We deal with scientific uncertainty all the time," Taylor said during a Food Policy Lecture Series at the public relations firm Ogilvy. "And I think if we waited until the last science was in, I think the public would find that unacceptable because you’d be waiting until people are hurt."