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Morning Read: Actelion working on $2.5B deal to acquire ZS Pharma

Actelion is considering a move to acquire ZS Pharma in a deal valued at $2.5 billion.


Actelion is considering a move to acquire ZS Pharma in a deal valued at $2.5 billion. ZS Pharma, doesn’t generate revenue yet, but its leading drug candidate ZS-9, a treatment for a life-threatening condition called hyperkalemia was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May. It is one of a few acquisitions to the drugmaker is considering as its drug Tracleer, which accounted for most of the company’s revenue last year, nears the end of its patent protection.

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The FDA has approved Merck’s drug Emend to prevent nausea and vomiting for children undergoing chemotherapy. The NK1 receptor antagonist is intended to prevent acute and delayed chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in children aged 12 to 17 or for children under 12 years old who weigh at least 66 pounds. — FDA News


Metamark Genetics, Inc., a leader in commercializing high value urologic oncology products, named Kenneth E. Weg as the new president and CEO. He’ll also keep his chairman of the Board of Directors role.

The company also secured $10 million in financing to fund an expansion of its clinical testing products and services in the U.S. and beyond. The funding will also allow Metamark to complete onboarding for new urologic assay products.

Morning Star


Horizon BCBSNJ, six New Jersey health systems and a large physician group have joined together to create the Omnia Health Alliance, which has a goal of “radically altering” how health care is financed and delivered in New Jersey.

Philadelphia Business Journal

Partners HealthCare, founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and Health Catalyst have established a strategic collaboration to accelerate adoption of population health management strategies and practices. The $30 million initiative will help the development and testing of innovative PHM strategies and facilitate the transfer of the knowledge generated to other healthcare providers. PRNewswire


IBM Watson Health offers a lot for the life science community, providers and health IT companies but one piece that has not been directly included in its initiatives so far — patient centeredness. — Chilmark Research

A study offering a five-year outlook on telemedicine sees a need by provider organizations to use telemedicine solutions and services to expand the level of specialties they offer and to improve real-time communication across organizations. — HIMSS Analytics

Klick Health has confirmed that its Co-founder and CEO Leerom Segal has been appointed to the Google Health Advisory Board.  Business Wire

Is the newly-designed Physicians Desk Reference app mobile PDR worth checking out? It’s devoted to medications without the extras you’d find on say, Medscape or ePocrates. It simplifies the user interface and is underscored by its start-up help screens. iMedicalApps


Karen DeSalvo, National Coordinator for Health IT, appointed Rebecca Freeman, to lead nursing outreach and help shape its clinical informatics activities. She will also lead initiatives for health IT enabled nursing practice and research. Freeman comes to the ONC via Hospital Corporation of America where she led the planning and coordination of enterprise-wide Epic deployment.

Healthcare IT News

The FDA took one of the most significant steps in decades to prevent foodborne illness by finalizing the first two of seven major rules under the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“Today’s announcement sets us on the path to a modern food safety system that will prevent illnesses and continue to build confidence in the safety of the food served to our families every day,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, acting FDA commissioner. — FDA


Turns out Mercury is spinning nine seconds faster than we thought. Sounds insignificant, but it could actually be pretty telling about the way this planet works in our solar system.

The scientists think the reason might not be the Sun, but Jupiter. The gas giant completes an orbit around the Sun every 12 years, and it’s thought it may be causing a slight libration – or wobble – in Mercury’s rotation, with a 12-year cycle. This is just one theory though; it’s hoped that ESA’s upcoming BepiColombo mission, due to launch in 2017, could shed further light on what’s happening.