VCs, private equity funds struggle in Q3 (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including venture capital funds and private equity funds struggle in Q3, Roche Alzheimer’s drug shows promise in early study, and biotechnology booms in California.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

VCs, private equity funds struggle in Q3. Early-stage VC funds raised about 40 percent less in the first three quarters of 2011 than they did in 2010, says Dow Jones LP Source. Private equity fundraising also slipped 27 percent in the third quarter. Economic instability and a weak market for initial public stock offerings are likely culprits for the slump.

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug removes plaque from brain. An experimental Alzheimer’s drug from Roche Holding AG showed promise in removing amyloid plaques, which some researchers think cause the disease, from the brain in a small study of Alzheimer’s patients. The next step is to determine whether removal of the plaques leads to better clinical outcomes.

Booming biotech in CA. Employment in the biotech sector spiked more than 600 percent over the last five years in the state of California, according to a study from two industry organizations and a consulting firm. More than 170 biotech firms employed workers in other states, too.

A wireless, mobile ultrasound. It received FDA clearance back in February, but Mobisante’s hand-held mobile ultrasound system is finally ready to be launched, after the company spent several months working on addressing quality standards and other FDA protocols.

Clinical informatics added to list of possible credentials for docs. Following a six-year campaign by the American Medical Informatics Association, the American Board of Medical Specialties finally approved “clinical informatics” as a medical subspecialty for physicians.