Republicans unveil healthcare reform repeal. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the repeal on Jan. 12 and it is likely to pass given the Republican majority. The bill is largely symbolic, however, as Democrats still control the Senate and President Obama would vetoe the bill, reports the BBC.
Colonoscopies more effective than doctors previously believed. Avoiding that colonoscopy is getting harder. The colorectal cancer screening does not appear to have a blind spot, as was previously thought by doctors, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
Novartis and Mass. personalized medicince firm collaborate. Cambridge, MA-based personalized cancer medicine firm Foundation Medicine said it will conduct a pilot collaboration with pharmaceutical company Novartis (NYSE:NVS). The goal is to optimize Foundation’s cancer genome panel to fit Novartis’s needs, reports to Xconomy Boston.
MIT researchers develop drug/device combo for bladder disease. Mass. Institute of Technology scientists Michael Cima and Heejin Lee developed a drug-delivery device to help treat bladder disease interstitial cystitis, according to MIT News. Lexington, Mass.-based Taris Biomedical, which Cima co-founded, finished the first phase of trials of its Liris drug-device combination a year ago.
Yellow fever kills 45 in Uganda. The disease, transmitted by infected mosquitoes, was last recorded in Uganda almost 40 years ago, officials say, according to the BBC.
Safety slows FDA drug approvals. The Food & Drug Administration’s 21 approvals last year were fewer than in 2009 (25) or 2008 (24), though far from the 18 in 2007. Dendreon’s cancer prostate drug, Novartis’ and Acorda Therapeutics’ multiple sclerosis drugs, and Watson Therapeutics’ emergency contraceptive all won FDA approvals this year. But diabetes and weight-loss drugs were not approved.
Few, including Pharmalot’s Ed Silverman, were stunned by the FDA approvals decline: “Given the ongoing talk at the FDA about placing greater emphasis on safety, no one should be shocked that the pace of drug approvals remains modest.”
Drug developments (or lackthereof). A promising cystic fibrosis drug from Inspire Pharmaceuticals “failed to significantly improve breathing.” Meanwhile, Repros Therapeutics will commence with a Phase IIb study of its treatment for low testosterone in men.
GSK responds to 60 Minutes report. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) says the 60 Minutes piece was unfair: “The FDA; the US Department of Justice; and Neil Getnick, Cheryl Eckard’s attorney, all stated there was no indication that patients were harmed as a result of the production issues at Cidra. Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz herself stated: ‘We did not uncover any evidence that patients were harmed from these adulterated batches.’ ”
The latest US healthcare reform lawsuit… will come from Wisconsin.
Dealflow and more. Vivo Ventures is raising a seventh fund worth $350 million; cardiac stem cell therapy company Capricor raised $2 million; Healthcare Trust of America paid $28 million for the Medical Park of Cary in North Carolina; cancer therapy company Genesis Biopharma raised $845,000; age-related macular degeneration company PanOpitca raises $30 million to develop a topical treatment; vaccine startup Genocea Biosciences has raised $35 million; cancer medical device company Augmenix has raised $3 million; sleep tracking company Zeo raised $12.3 million; and drug developer Compugen raised $5 million.
There’s a Viagra-like gene therapy in here somewhere. An overheated media goes bonkers over evidence of a gene variant whose owners were likely to have “uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of .”
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.