What Steve Jobs would have invented if he had lived longer

September 17, 2014- Charlie Rose asked Apple CEO Tim Cook what they plan to do after the Internet and cell phones are all played out, and he had no idea. He might want to read our story, below, from 2011. Read more »

The Weekly Summary

goodell riceSeptember 8th – September 14th

In the general news, President Obama delivered a speech to the nation about his new policy to attack ISIS in Syria, as a third beheading video was released. In the U.S., a virulent deadly form of RSV is killing young children. On Wall Street, convicted insider trader Martoma was sentenced to 9-years. In sports, the NFL’s domestic abuse epidemic amongst players dominated the news, with Ray Rice’s wife beating and Adrienne Peterson’s arrest for bearing his 4-year-old son.

In healthcare news, the news was slow. Auxilium (AUX) cut 30% of the workforce.

On the data front, Exelixis (EXEL) drug cabozantinib failed in prostate cancer. Also, Roche abandoned the Fragile X Program when RG7090 (mGluR5 therapy) failed in Phase 2 trials.

From the FDA, Orexigen (OREX) won approval finally for Contrave to treat obesity. In other regulatory news, the FTC sued AbbVie (ABBV) for scheming to delay generic versions of its Androgel.

The bionic pancreas data

July 2, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the early clinical data on the “bionic pancreas” being developed by engineers at Boston University and medical doctors at Massachusetts General hospital. We interviewed Ed Damiano, PhD, the lead biomedical engineer, and Steven Russell, MD PhD, the lead endocrinologist. In Part 1, they review the clinical data.

The research was funded by the NIH and not a medical device or drug company. The researchers selected the components based on merit. They chose the Dexcom G4 Platinum continuous glucose sensor and a Tandem Diabetes t:slim pump, and used software that ran on a standard Apple iPhone 4S.

In Part 2, the team discusses the details of the pivotal study, that could be concluded by 2016, allowing for an FDA approval by 2017. Industry partners yet to be determined would be involved. However, the final marketed product will not require any particular smartphone to be used by the patient.


The Weekly Summary

Obama at NATOSeptember 2nd – September 7th

In the general news, President Obama attended a meeting on NATO in Estonia to show solidarity against Russia. In the U.S., job growth for August was surprisingly low.

In healthcare business news, the Labor Day holiday was stretched into a full week. the news was slow.

From the FDA, Merck (MRK) received approval for PD-1 blocker Keytruda to treat melanoma. Keryx (KERX) won approval for Ferric Citrate to treat hyperphosphatemia in renal disease, but unexpected warning labels sent shares down. Prana (PRAN) won orphan status for PBT2 to treat Huntington’s Disease. Lastly, Acadia (ACAD) was awarded “Breakthrough” status for Nuplazid to treat Parkinson’s psychosis.

The Daltrey Townshend teenage and young adult cancer center at UCLA

More than 20 years ago, Roger Daltrey began forming special cancer units in the UK to treat patients in their teenage and young adult years. Now, with the other member of the legendary rock band The Who, Pete Townshend, they have formed the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend cancer center and are planning more in the united states. We had the honor to be granted a rare interview with Mr. Daltrey.

Senator Angus King discusses his bill to make medical device pricing transparent to the public

July 9, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Senator Angus King from Maine has proposed a a bill that would make the pricing of medical devices more transparent. Currently, hospitals are required to sign confidentiality agreements, and the market is entirely in the dark. If such a law were passed, it would turn the medical device industry on its head.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat AK’s

September 2, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Gayatri Patel, MD MPH discusses her JAMA paper comparing the effectiveness of photodynamic therapy (PDT) versus liquid nitrogen cryotherapy to treat actinic keratosis of the face.


The weekly Summary

The art installation Embrace burns during the Burning Man 2014 "Caravansary" arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of NevadaAugust 25th – September 1st

In the general news, Russia has now officially invaded Eastern Ukraine. In the U.S., there is growing bilateral support for a more aggressive approach toward ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, Labor day passed without incident.

In healthcare business news, Roche acquired InterMune (ITMN) for its pirfenidone to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Also, JNJ is selling the Cordis interventional cardiology unit, now that it no longer sells stents.

On the data front, the ESC meeting hyped the Novartis (NVS) trial results for LCZ696 to treat heart failure, despite the fact that the trial was stopped half-way through the scheduled 43-weeks, thus generating artificially high efficacy (a previous trial failed). Also, Glaxo’s (GSK) darapladib failed in the ACS indication.

From the FDA, Amgen’s (AMGN) ivabradine won priority review status.

Interview with MannKind’s CEO, Al Mann, and CFO, Matt Pfeffer.

October 23, 2013- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

The Healthcare Channel interviewed the CEO of MannKind, Al Mann, and the CFO, Matt Pfeffer. Topics discussed include the latest clinical trial data on inhaled insulin Afrezza and the cash situation. We also discuss Mr. Mann’s other company, Second Sight, which has a Medicare and FDA-approved bionic eye to treat diseases that damage the nerves in the retina.

Super rapid acting insulin and inhaled insulin

Interview with Dexcom’s CEO Terry Gregg

August 11, 2014- Interviewed by Steven E. Greer, MD

Above, in Part 1 of our interview with the CEO of Dexcom, Terry Gregg, we review the business model and products. Mr. Gregg explains how continuous glucose monitoring is safer than finger-stock monitoring.

In Part 2 of the interview, we discuss the bionic pancreas programs underway in academia, and why the Dexcom CGM is the chosen device in most of them.

In Part 3 of the interview, we discuss the financial status of Dexcom. We also go over in more detail the pipeline, and how Apple Computer will be a major partner for Dexcom.

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