Top Story

FDA greenlights trial of BCG vaccine for Type 1 diabetes, Shire aiming for Actelion? (Morning Read)

The five year study of 150 people will be led by Massachusetts General clinician Denise Faustman


Massachusetts General Hospital Immunobiology Laboratory Director Denise Faustman will head up a five-year Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate whether a tuberculosis vaccine could be used to treat adults 18-60 with Type 1 diabetes. The study, which the FDA greenlighted, was announced at the American Diabetes Scientific Sessions over the weekend.

“We have learned a lot since the early studies in mice — not just about how BCG works but also about its potential therapeutic benefits, similar to what are being seen in trials against other autoimmune diseases,” said Faustman. “We are so grateful to all of the donors, large and small, who have made this trial possible — especially the Iacocca Foundation, which has believed in us and has been a supporter since our early days. Our goal is to complete enrollment and also to raise the remaining funds needed for the trial by the end of this year.”

Shire is interested in acquiring Actelion for $18.3 billion (£12 billion), according to a report in The Sunday Times.


A paper test that could flag up counterfeit drugs is being evaluated in Kenya.Each of the paper cards contains 12 separate strips which react with a drug and reveal information about the chemical content.

Cardinal Health will acquire over the counter drug and generic pharmaceuticals distributor Harvard Drug for $1.1 billion. It follows a move to buy Johnson & Johnson business Cordis for $1.9 billion earlier this year.


Could gaming be an effective way for primary care physicians to learn about insulin therapy?

Startups have honed in on health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. More than 50 percent of early stage technology companies developed tools for the healthcare industry, according to data from CB Insights.

A HIStalk poll showed that when it comes to the lack of patient data sharing between providers, people allocate an equal amount of blame to electronic health record vendors and health systems.


Taking as its premise anything that can happen will happen, here are a few data center worst case scenarios and what can be done to prepare for them.

Hawaii will shut down its health insurance exchange and switch over to the Healthcare.Gov after it invested $130 million.


CMS extended its deadline for state health insurance marketplaces to get  Small Business Health Options exchange enrollment systems online to 2017.

The South Korean government said it would use mobile phones to track people with MERS to stem further outbreaks of the respiratory condition. As of Sunday, more than 2,300 people in South Korea were under quarantine.


A new website wants to keep track of failed startups called It includes the company’s concept, reason for failure, blog entries with “the full story” behind the company’s decline and the twitter handle of the founder. So far, no sign that healthcare startups were included, but it’s only a matter of time.

Photo: Flickr user Matt Cam Easarat