The rising popularity of a more expensive varicose vein treatment. Growing in popularity are lasers and radiofrequency ablation to destroy veins, which cost $2,500 to $3,000 per procedure, compared with about $1,200 to $1,500 for surgical stripping, according to the American American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, reports The Wall Street Journal‘s Health Blog.
Killing cancer by taking out hardier cells. Scientists have identified in recent years a subset of cells in a variety of cancers that appear resistant to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. A growing number of researchers believe these hard-to-kill cells are a major reason why cancer treatments often fail, according to The Wall Street Journal.
White House posts standards for scientific integrity in government agencies. The executive branch issued a memorandum to the heads of departments and agencies, such as the Food & Drug Administration, that provides further guidance to executive branch leaders as they implement administration policies on scientific integrity. The new memorandum describes the minimum standards expected as departments and agencies craft scientific integrity rules appropriate for their particular missions and cultures, including a clear prohibition on political interference in scientific processes and expanded assurances of transparency, according to The White House Blog.
Sanofi to buy Avila Therapeutics for $800M. The dealmaking machine that is Sanofi-Aventis is at it again, signing an oncology drug pact with Avila Therapeutics in Waltham, Mass. worth $40 million up front and up to $154 million in milestone payments per program. Overall, the deal is valued at $800 million, according to FierceBiotech.
Budget could starve health reform. Here’s the problem with funding 2011’s government using 2010’s budget: Funding the government at 2010 levels means starving some signature accomplishments — like healthcare reform — of implementation funds, according to the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein.
More biotech M&A for Gilead. Gilead Sciences (NSDQ:GILD), the Foster City, Calif.-based biotech company, has agreed to acquire Arresto Biosciences, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company whose lead drug candidate is an antibody for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, for $225 million plus future milestone payments based on product sale levels, according to Xconomy San Francisco.
Nurses plan HCA strike in California. Hundreds of nurses plan to strike five hospitals in Southern California owned by for-profit hospital giant HCA Inc. over the Christmas holiday to protest stalled contract talks, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Neuronetrix goes to trials with Alzheimer’s detector. Neuronetrix in Louisville, Kentucky, has begun a multi-center clinical trial of its COGNISION system, a headset that measures electrical field potentials of the brain while a sound pattern is played to the subject, for early detection of Alzheimer’s, according to the medGadget blog.
Silence… for $20.7M. Former Pfizer CEO Jeff Kindler had to sign a vow of silence that prevents him from saying certain “truthful statements” about the company in order to receive his $20.7 million severance package, according to an SEC disclosure, BNET reports.
Virtual beagle tests pharmaceuticals. Studies on beagle dogs can be used by scientists to gauge the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) properties of a medicine, prior to testing on humans. Simcyp Ltd. announced that it extended the capabilities of its animal Simulator allowing modeling and simulation studies involving the administration and testing of medicines to be performed in the virtual beagle dog, the company said.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.