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Morning Read: Dr. Robert Califf meets Congress, Google’s latest wearable plans revealed

Also, Sean Parker donates $10 million for diabetes, a look at the FDA’s lab-testing regulation plans, the potential for a notable New England healthcare merger, and a CES preview (really? A CES preview in November).


Dr. Robert Califf begins his FDA confirmation hearings today. Expect it to be a chance for members of Congress to bring up Martin Shkreli’s name and do your standard blowhardism (but not much else). – STAT

A new round of wearables are coming from Google (healthcare applications TBD).

People tell us there have been three versions of the head-mounted device in development, although the three may be consolidated into two. One version, targeted at enterprises, has a screen. The others, one of which is targeted at “sport” users, doesn’t and relies on audio. They use bone conduction, like the original Google Glass. In other words, headphones worn on your face.

The Information


Napster co-founder and early Facebook executive Sean Parker has donated $10 million to advance research into genetic modifications to treat diabetes (he’s previously donated money for allergy and cancer research). – Business Insider

The FDA is making its case on regulating more laboratory developed tests. – MassDevice

Mylan decides to buy back $1 billion in stock (and it helps). – MarketWatch

What an ugly day for Clovis Oncology: bad news about data it’s handing to the FDA, a massive drop in its stock, “hooting on twitter” and other uncomfortable exchanges on its conference call. – FierceBiotech

The FDA approved Johnson & Johnson’s multiple myeloma treatment Darzalex. – Reuters

The FDA approved Baxalta’s hemophilia treatment Adynovate, a better version of Advate. – FierceBiotech

Gilead’s late-stage trial of its leukemia treatment Zydelig was unblinded early after independent monitors determined the medicine provided significant benefit in delaying worsening of the disease. – Reuters

Good thoughts to Cardiovascular Systems CEO David L. Martin, who will take a medical leave of absence for three months to focus on his cancer treatment. – Business Wire


A potential merger between Southcoast Health System and Care New England Health System is underway, which would create one of the largest nonprofit health systems in New England. – Boston Business Journal

Here are the latest winners of $10 million worth of CMS Quality Improvement Organization grants. – Government Health IT

HealthPartners Institute for Education and Research has combined with Park Nicollet Institute to create the education and research organization HealthPartners Institute. – Business Wire

Dr. Bobbie Gostout is the new Mayo Clinic vice president overseeing the hospital’s community practice in the Midwest. – Mayo Clinic


These CES previews are too early. It’s like hanging Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. – Xconomy

A gut-shot for computer-assisted therapy for depression: it may not work. – Reuters

Withings new Activite Steel: Now with more masculine!MobiHealthNews


Here’s a rundown of how Medicare will pay for hip and knee replacements. – The Hill


In the debate over bringing Syrian refugees to the United States, I am reminded of a Facebook post a friend – a retired physician – made back in September.

History does repeat itself. In the 30’s with the rise of Nazism and the beginning of the holocaust, Jews fled and sought haven anywhere. In the United States it was denied to them by Breckenridge Long a special assistant secretary of state, who was both a good friend of Roosevelt and an anti-Semite. He could have provided safe haven for well over 100,000 Jews and did not. I have no idea how many of them perished. I am also sure there is a special place in hell for Breckenridge Long.

Today we have a very similar situation with thousands of Syrians fleeing from a cauldron of death. The same arguments being used against the Jews of the 30’s are being used against the Syrians of today. Nothing changes

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