Scientists reach new milestone on Alzheimer’s plaques. A new study shows that most people with Alzheimer’s seem to make perfectly normal amounts of amyloid, the protein the comprises the plaques accociated with Alzheimer’s. The problem may be that they can’t get rid of it, reports The New York Times.
Phony doctor fools hospitals for 15 years. William Hamman of Michigan pulled in millions of dollars over 15 years from research grants, consulting fees and salaries at Western Michigan University and Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak directing training hospital staffers, reports The Detroit Free Press.
FDA looks set to approve new weight loss drug. A Food & Drug Adminstration advisory panel voted 13 to 7 to recommend a weight-loss drug called Contrave for approval. The FDA often follows the recommendations of its panels, and is scheduled to make a final decision regarding the potentially game-changing drug by Jan. 31, reports MSNBC.
So much for healthcare reform — for now. So a federal judge — a longtime Republican stalwart who may have a substantial stake in an anti-healthcare consulting firm — has said it is unconstitutional to force the uninsured to buy health insurance.
Pick your punditry poison: the decision either has put healthcare reform legislation on the ropes or will have no impact on reform whatsoever. The administration has said it will continue to enact health reform since the ruling only strikes down the individual mandate due up in 2014. But there are chances now that more states will fight healthcare reform and that the constitutional objections will have more impact on the debate than anyone thought.
But what is now clear is that the challenges from dozens of states to the law’s constitutionality can no longer be dismissed as frivolous, as they were earlier this year by some scholars and Democratic partisans.
‘All the insiders thought it was a slam dunk,’ said Randy E. Barnett, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University who supports the health care challenges. ‘Maybe a slam dunk like weapons of mass destruction were a slam dunk.’
Boston Scientific: The perfect stock? Or not. On a perfect stock scale of 1 to 10, Motley Fool gives Boston Scientific Corp. a 1: “On the whole, Boston Scientific has a lot of work left to do to turn the corner. Until it does, many of its competitors look a lot more like perfect stocks than Boston Scientific does.” Was it as lack of perfection — or a quest for it — that caused Boston Scientific to stop seeking a buyer for its pain management unit? Bloomberg said BSX couldn’t agree on the value of the unit.
Life science still shuns social media. Hospitals continue to move full steam ahead with social media. But fear of Food & Drug Administration blowback makes pharma and other life science companies leery of using social media for business: 41 percent of those queried in a Deloitte survey say their company uses online social networks, 21 percent say their companies plan to and 38 percent have no plans to do so.
Pfizer’s loss is Obama’s loss. As if a setback in healthcare reform isn’t enough, it turns out the loss of Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) chairman and CEO hurts Obama as well: Jeffrey Kindler, who led the lobbying group PhRMA, was a pro-Obama reform who in four years gave $42,800 in political donations to Democrats and Pfizer’s political action committee. PhRMA’s new leader,Christopher Viehbacher of Sanofi-Aventis, has largely backed Republicans.
Dealflow and more. GlaxoSmithKline makes a move into sports nutrition by buying Maxinitrition Group Holdings for $255 million; Baxter is buying back $2.5 billion in stock; Michigan’s Aastrom Biosciences announces $22.5 million IPO to develop its adult stem cell therapy; California’s Estech closed on $8.5 million to continue developing cardiac surgical medical devices; North Carolina’s CeNeRx Pharma closed on a $6 million tranche of the $13 million it raised in August to develop antidepressant drugs; California’s QuantaLife raised $17.2 million to refine gene expression analysis; Michigan’s Armune BioScience wins $500,000 in a business plan competition for its approach to cancer detection.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.