Night Read (Ohio): Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron plans first grant awards

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron plans to award its first six research grants for $100,000 each by mid-February.

News and notes from a day in MedCity, Ohio:

The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron plans to award its first six research grants for $100,000 each by mid-February, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Neoprobe Corp. in Dublin has completed a license amendment with Dow Chemical Co. to use antibodies developed at Dow and National Institutes of Health laboratories in Neoprobe’s RIGS surgical oncology system to target cancers including colon, rectal, breast, bladder, ovarian and endometrial, according to a BusinessWire release.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

A $3.75 million award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases is aimed at helping a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center find new ways to use adult stem cells to speed repair of musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries, according to a university release.

Dr. Daryl Thornton, medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at MetroHealth Medical Center, is concerned about the low rates at which people — specifically minorities — donate organs and is calling for primary-care physicians to jump-start that delicate conversation with their patients, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

Trench warfare over health-care reform in Washington — and bulk shipments — keep Cardinal Health CEO George Barrett up at nights, according to SmartMoney.

Talk about bulk shipments, Cardinal Health said Monday it plans to close its Findlay, Ohio, distribution center in April to reduce its nationwide distribution capacity, putting about 115 employees out of work, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

A HealthGrades study ranked clinical quality at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland among the top 5 percent in the nation, putting the Sisters of Charity Health System member on the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence list, along with 26 other Ohio hospitals, according to HealthGrades.