Devices & Diagnostics

Morning Read: Signs of life in the biotech exit market?

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare: Signs of life in the biotech exit market? Well, maybe. Fourteen venture-backed companies have filed IPOs this year, compared with eight all of last year and seven in 2008. Three of those have been biotechs–Aveo, Alimera and Ironwood. Still, that’s not enough to […]

Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of healthcare:

Signs of life in the biotech exit market? Well, maybe. Fourteen venture-backed companies have filed IPOs this year, compared with eight all of last year and seven in 2008. Three of those have been biotechs–Aveo, Alimera and Ironwood. Still, that’s not enough to convince Bryan Roberts, whose Venrock fund has been involved in the three biotech IPOs. “There are some good deals that are coming about but that’s unlikely to move the needle,” Roberts told the Wall Street Journal. “This doesn’t presage a large bubble of [deals].” Damn.

Devices to the rescue: The always-informative CB Insights has posted a graph that shows a surprising trend. Between 1998 and 2009, the number of healthcare venture deals remained virtually flat in nearly every sector, aside from two exceptions: devices and biotech. And while biotech has remained fairly stagnant the last few years, device deals have continued to grow at an impressive clip.

Walgreens backs down on genetic tests: After the FDA raised concerns about a a genetic testing kit that allows consumers to scan their genes for a propensity for Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer and  diabetes, Walgreen has decided not to sell the item. Walgreens had planned to offer the Pathway Genomics test at more than 6,000 stores nationwide beginning Friday, but it reversed course after the FDA questioned whether the test could be sold legally without the agency’s authorization.

The pharma jobs meltdown continues: Takeda Pharmaceuticals plans to cut 1,400 jobs in the U.S., with a substantial chunk coming from the Chicago area. Earlier this week, Pfizer said it’s putting its Manhattan high-rise up for sale and cutting up to 1,400 jobs in New York.

An introduction to the “quantified self”: Internet pioneer Larry Smarr is an early adopter of the lifestyle known as the quantified self.  Every few months, he gives blood and has it analyzed for 30 or 40 measurements, which are stored in a spreadsheet to provide “biofeedback” on his state of wellness, Xconomy reports. Smarr is hopeful that people will follow suit and share the data among friends, creating a positive form of peer pressure, as people will compete with their friends and family to improve their heart rate, blood pressure and triglycerides to a healthy balance.

Waiting for July 1: While July 1 may be the day a certain basketball player says goodbye to a certain sports-tortured city, it’s also the day the Department of Health and Human Services is expected to launch state-centric websites that will help consumers shop for health plans. It’s a day that can’t come soon enough for weary state insurance departments, who are swamped by Americans confused about the health reform law. The sites will have every health plan listed that is authorized by each state, a list of the plans’ network of providers, the services they offer, who is eligible and how to sign up.

Dealflow: San Diego-based diagnostic-tests company Sequenom raised $52 million in a private placement; Massachusetts-based cancer drug developer Novelos filed for a $11 million stock offering (with a number that low, it’s obviously an over-the-counter stock); Connecticut-based drugmaker NanoViricides raised $5 million; New York’s Exosome Diagnostics raked in $20 million for a Series A.

Photo from flickr user pleasantpointinn