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Morning Read: Theranos returns fire (and promises an even bigger defense)

UW Medicine gets funding for heart regeneration; Gilead testing Ebola drug; Michigan and Illinois take Medicaid to the cloud.


Theranos will release a 16-page point-by-point rebuttal of The Wall Street Journal story that questioned the accuracy of its blood tests. At The Wall Street Journal’s own WSJ.DLive conference, founder Elizabeth Holmes told the crowd “a few people who want to say bad things about us.”

Ms. Holmes has complained that critics are out to get her company because it threatens the traditional lab industry.

But the company, which is highly secretive about its technology, has not announced any new policies in response to the criticism.

The New York Times & WIRED


Neogenomics announced it is acquiring Clarient, the cancer diagnostic testing unit of GE Healthcare. – Motley Fool

Does Roche have a Valeant problem? Its CEO says no: “Roche is focused exclusively on highly innovative, differentiated medicines. As a result, we are less exposed to price pressure as society will be willing to pay a premium for medicines that make a difference.” – Financial Times

Dimension made about $71.5 million on its IPO, though it was hoping for a higher per-share price (the Martin Shkreli Effect is getting the blame for the drop). – Xconomy

Gilead Sciences confirmed that it is developing an experimental Ebola drug. — Dow Jones Business News via Nasdaq

Novartis has fortified its immuno-oncology pipeline by acquiring Admune Therapeutics and licensing two other drugs. — Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Biogen is cutting 11 percent of its workforce and abandoning some research while doubling down on Alzheimer’s R&D. — FierceBiotech

A federal judge has ruled that Medtronic did not violate a patent for a surgical dilator held by NuVasive. — MassDevice


University of Washington Medicine has received a $10 million grant to fund research into regenerating heart cells after a heart attack. The new cells would be injected into the heart wall to prevent heart attacks from progressing to heart failure. “Basically, we think we have a way we can grow people’s hearts back,” Dr. Chuck Murry, interim director of the UW Medicine Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, said. — Puget Sound Business Journal

Pediatric skilled nursing company Epic Health Services — not the EHR vendor Epic Systems — has acquired medical supplier Medco. — Houston Business Journal

Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee has thought way outside the box in hiring a new VP of brand engagement. — Milwaukee Business Journal

Acquisitions involving physician medical groups slowed in the third quarter, Irving Levin Associates reported. — Business Wire

Michigan and Illinois have jointly launched what they call the first cloud-based Medicaid management information system. — PR Newswire


Qualcomm Life subsidiary Capsule has received FDA 510(k) clearance for SmartLinx Vitals Plus, combining vitals monitoring and clinical documentation for low-acuity settings. — PR Newswire

PatientSafe Solutions has bought fellow care coordination software company Vree Health from Merck. — Business Wire

Wearables maker Misfit has released Shine 2, the second iteration of its fitness and sleep monitor. — Business Wire


Opinions vary widely on whether Medicare ACOs are working. — Kaiser Health News

Specialty pharmacies continue to get government scrutiny and pharma companies stepped up their defense. – Wall Street Journal

Hillary Clinton questions payer mergers, then Humana’s stock tumbles. — Louisville Business First

Healthcare CIOs, or at least the ones Politico interviewed, presumably at last week’s CHIME conference, think the federal government still doesn’t get health IT. — Politico

Are people giving up insurance purchased from Obamacare exchanges because of price increases, or did they simply land new jobs with health benefits? — Covering Health

Libertarian think tank National Center for Policy Analysis is — surprise — predicting doom and gloom for Medicare. — PR Newswire

The Medical Board of California has started a PR campaign to educate the public about a state physician disciplinary database. — San Francisco Business Times


Yes, there’s telemedicine for pets, too. Vet On Demand, a Santa Monica, California-based startup, has added a subscription plan for boarders, dog walkers and customers with multiple pets. Unlike human telemedicine, the service is available nationwide because the animals do not have to be located in the same state as the remote veterinarian. — Business Wire