Here are some of the top stories from MedCity News this week:
- Two researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Masonic Cancer Center will receive $26 million in renewed grants from the National Cancer Institute to boost stem cell therapies that treat blood and bone cancers, as well as other disorders. Dr. Philip McGlave and Dr. Jeffrey Miller want to increase the availability, safety and effectiveness of hematopoietic stem cell transplants and cell therapies to improve treatment and survival for thousand of patients diagnosed each year with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and other blood and bone marrow disorders.
- When you’re the richest kid on the block, it’s easy to make friends. For Medtronic Inc., those friends happen to be investment bankers and venture capitalists. The world’s largest medical device maker, based in Fridley, Minnesota, has been on an acquisition tear of late, using its considerable cash hoard to buy nine companies since 2009.
- Athersys Inc.’s stem cell therapy showed positive results in an early preclinical investigation of its effects in treating traumatic brain injury. The early results from animal testing are the first to demonstrate that Athersys’ MultiStem adult stem call therapy could boost neurological protection. The field of neurology could represent a new avenue of commercialization for MultiStem, but years of testing will be necessary to further evaluate the therapy’s effectiveness in treating brain injuries and disorders.
- Arterial Remodeling Technologies, a French company whose technology was developed in part by the Cleveland Clinic, has raised $8.5 million in venture capital funding to further develop its biodegradable stents. Fred Cornhill, former chairman of the Clinic’s department of biomedical engineering, worked with researchers at two French institutions to develop the device. Cleveland Clinic maintains an equity stake in the company.
- Tim Moran hopes to put himself out of business. The serial technology entrepreneur started nonprofit PediaWorks to develop pediatric medical devices because the children’s market has been largely ignored by big device makers, which see it as too small and unprofitable. Moran spoke with MedCity News about how his group’s first spinoff, PediaCath, came together, his plans for PediaWorks’ next spinoff, and why it’s so tough to find cash to develop pediatric medial devices.
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