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Morning Read: Obama to sit down with biopharma CEOs to talk Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Also, CytomX Therapeutics brings in $80 million, Vertera Spine won FDA 510(k) clearance and John Boehner is stalling on a deal that could potentially create massive increases in Medicare premiums.


Chairman and CEO Kenneth Frazier of Merck, CEO George Scangos of Biogen and other biopharma CEOs will meet with President Obama today to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. They also picked up an important ally against the TPP: traditional pro-pharma politician Hillary ClintonBioCentury, Time

It’s going to be an Era of Strange Bedfellows as biopharma opposes the TPP, if these letters to the editor are any indication. – The New York Times


CytomX Therapeutics, the South San Francisco, CA-based drug maker raised $80 million in its initial public offering – despite not having any drugs in clinical trials currently. Xconomy

A media makerover is coming for Martin Shkreli. “Every media advisor is on our payroll.” And from a KevinMD post, maybe it’s already working? – Reuters & KevinMD

U.S. venture firms are still on track for one of the best fund-raising years since 2008 (thank you biotech!) – Reuters

Eli Lilly got the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation for breast cancer treatment abemaciclib. – Eli Lilly

Vertera Spine won FDA 510(k) clearance for its porous PEEK Cohere cervical interbody fusion device. Mass Device

Currently CMS employs a staff of 30 people to evaluate some 30,000 molecular tests. The agency’s director suggests that the FDA should regulate lab-developed tests (as it does diagnostic test kits) using the traditional medical device 510(k) and PMA pathways to ease the load of work.FierceMedicalDevices


Here’s one way to fight expensive drugs: doctors won’t prescribe them. – Reuters

People who undergo surgery for weight loss are 50 percent more likely to attempt suicide after the operation than before it, in a study published in JAMA Surgery. – The Wall Street Journal

ConnectiCare a leading Connecticut-based health plan, will utilize Boston-based Wellframe’s Intelligent Care Management Platform to empower individuals to take control over their chronic health conditions by delivering a daily, customized care plan directly to members through an application on their mobile phones. Market Wired

The California Association of Health Information Exchanges (CAHIE) and the National Association for Trusted Exchange (NATE) are pleased to announce their collaboration to more effectively enable health information among providers and between providers and consumers. — NATE


People say digital tools are important yet few use them. 8 percent of employees used telehealth services in their wellness plans. – MobiHealthNews

CareSync raises $18 million for its mobile-enabled care coordination platform. MobiHealthNews


Top Democrats are accusing  John Boehner of stalling a deal that would stave off massive increases in Medicare premiums for some beneficiaries next year. The Hill


Autonomous vehicles are looking like they could legitimately and safely join the rest of us on the roads – even a giant bus created in China handled 26 traffic signals, several lane changes and at least one passing maneuver during a 20-mile drive between Zhengzhou and Kaifeng. Wired

Photo: Getty