Life Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
8/16/2019

CMS said it will consider expanding Medicare coverage for Abbott's MitraClip transcatheter mitral valve repair device for secondary mitral regurgitation caused by left ventricular dysfunction. The device is already covered for procedures involving degenerative or primary mitral regurgitation.

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MassDevice (Boston)
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Abbott, ventricular dysfunction
8/16/2019

A CRISPR interference-based platform, developed by scientists at the NIH and the University of California, San Francisco, can be used for genetic screening of human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells. Three genetic screening trials showed "robust and durable knockdown" of endogenous genes in the iPSC-derived neurons.

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NIH, University of California
8/16/2019

The FDA has designated breakthrough device status to Ascyrus Medical's AMDS stent graft, which is designed for the treatment of acute Type A abdominal aortic dissections.

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MassDevice (Boston)
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FDA, Ascyrus Medical
8/16/2019

European regulators granted CE mark approval to Restoration Robotics' ARTAS iX robotic hair restoration system. The device uses artificial intelligence to assist surgeons with certain parts of the procedure.

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Seeking Alpha
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Restoration Robotics, EU
8/16/2019

Emily Drabant Conley began running 23andMe's neuroscience research in 2010 after graduating from Stanford University with a PhD in neuroscience and was promoted to vice president of business development in 2015 after telling CEO Anne Wojcicki that she was already doing the job and should have the title and autonomy. Conley found mentors at the company including Wojcicki and former chief business officer Ashley Dombkowski, and says to consider the company's best interest when making the case for a promotion.

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Business Insider
8/16/2019

Researchers at the new Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco will study the evolution of the human microbiome and its long-term health effects. Director Susan Lynch says microbiome research is "at a watershed moment," and the goal is to understand how specific microbes affect health at different life stages.

8/16/2019

Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old activist who began an international school strike, will attend the UN climate change summit in New York. Thunberg set sail for the US from Plymouth, England, aboard a sailing yacht powered by solar panels and underwater turbines.

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Reuters
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UN, Greta Thunberg
8/15/2019

Okanagan Specialty Fruits has introduced its biotech, non-browning Arctic apples recently during a Produce Marketing Association event. The apples have a 28-day shelf life, much longer than the standard 18- to 21-day shelf life of apples commonly found in the market. Gene silencing of the biotech fruit results in the reduction of polyphenol oxidase, the enzyme that causes browning when apples are bitten, bruised or sliced.

8/15/2019

A panel of three judges from the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a prior court decision and reinstated a 2017 rule that requires payments from Medicare and private health insurance providers to be included in the calculation of Medicaid disproportionate share hospital reimbursement limits. Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson said the decision aligns with the objective of the Medicaid Act, and it will ensure "that DSH payments will go to hospitals that have been compensated least and are thus most in need."

8/15/2019

Temple University spinout Renovacor gained $11 million from a Series A funding round, which the company will use to advance development of a novel gene replacement therapy targeting a subset of patients with heart failure who have dilated cardiomyopathy.