More than a year after Cerus gained FDA approval--now the American Red Cross has bought into its technology with a multi-year deal for its Intercept Blood System for pathogen reduction in platelets and plasma. It's responsible for about 40% of the U.S. blood products, delivering 1.1 million plasma and 780,000 platelet units last year to almost 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers.
Cambridge, MA, startup Synlogic signed its first major pharma partnership, teaming up with AbbVie in a multiyear collaboration in hopes of developing new treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.
Medtronic signaled its interest in abdominal aortic aneurysm repair last year with the $110 million acquisition of Aptus Endosystems and investment in Arsenal AAA in return for an option to acquire the company. Now Medtronic says the first patient was treated in its trial of the Valiant TAAA Stent Graft System for thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm.
French drug delivery specialist MedinCell is teaming up with Novartis' generic division Sandoz to develop controlled-release drugs with a focus on cancer.
Struggling injection device specialist Unilife said in an SEC filing that it needs an additional week to negotiate a deal with potential savior Amgen, which would involve the big biotech purchasing up to 19.9% of the company's stock in return for a much-needed cash infusion. If the grand alliance pans out, Amgen would also gain the preferred right of access to new drug delivery platforms and enter into a manufacturing arrangement with Unilife.
The U.K.'s National Health Service hasn't exactly earned high marks so far for its efforts on the digital health front. Its prior efforts to convert to electronic medical records have failed. But the health program is redoubling its efforts now by committing £4.2 billion ($6 billion) to a variety of digital health initiatives. That news comes on the heels of the agency announcing a series of 7 med tech-focused trials with major technology partners including Alphabet's Verily, Royal Philips and Accenture.
Biogen has signed up with a GlaxoSmithKline-founded effort to better understand the underlying biology of disease, hoping to map out better targets for future therapies by collaborating on early-stage research.
Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Cue to develop a portable, inexpensive and internet-enabled HIV viral load test that would enable physicians in poor countries to more easily determine if a particular drug regimen is effective or not.
Nikon has made an undisclosed investment in hand-held X-ray tech company Tribogenics. The focus right now is to use the technology for industrial uses, but medical applications are also on the horizon. A sub-$10K hand-held, medical X-ray machine would have obvious and widespread implications, particularly in the developing world where there's little existing medical imaging infrastructure.
Paris-based Cellnovo Group has partnered with TypeZero Technologies to be part of a previously announced clinical trial of an artificial pancreas that's being backed by a $12.8 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Cellnovo's connected insulin patch pump will be used in conjunction with TypeZero's inControl AP software and a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to form the whole of the artificial pancreas system being tested.