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Morning Read: Johnson & Johnson to cut medical devices workforce, saving up to $1 billion

Also, a new fund to help life science startups out of University College of London, some numbers on direct-to-consumer lab revenues, and a U.K. sugar tax policy that could be here soon.

Johnson & JohnsonTOP STORIES

Johnson & Johnson announced this morning it will cut up to 6 percent of its global medical devices workforce over the next two years (about 3,000 workers), saving up to $1 billion by 2018. The job cuts are focused exclusives on JNJ’s orthopedics, cardiovascular and surgery segments. Pharmaceutical and consumer medical devices will be untouched. There is not much on this – yet – but Johnson & Johnson also promised more in-depth details during its earnings conference in a week. – MarketWatch, PRNewswire, JNJ FAQ, Reuters

LIFE SCIENCES

Here’s a nice summary of all the moves cancer biotech Ariad Pharmaceuticals is making to get ready to sell. –Boston Business Journal

Ireland’s HiberGene Diagnostics, which focuses on infectious disease testing through molecular technology, has raised $1.6 million toward a nearly $4 million Series B. – Business Wire

The University College of London has rolled out a more than $70 million fund to support commercialization in the life sciences and other sectors. – PharmaTimes

DRP Biomedical is now HemaFlo Therapeutics to correspond with its focus on ischemia treatments. – PR Newswire

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

Here’s a deeper look at Medscape’s latest lifestyle report, which found 40 percent of doctors have biases toward certain groups of patients (in particular obese, mentally unstable or poor English-speakers). As it says lower in the article, this is probably low. – CNN

Direct-to-consumer laboratory testing was up to $33.1 million in 2015 – four times more than it was in 2010 (I thought it would have been more). – PR Newswrire

TECHNOLOGY

Bingo! “The problem with virtual reality in healthcare is that none of the virtual reality companies are going to focus any of their effort on healthcare.” – EMR & HIPAA

HealthGrid will deploy its patient engagement platform on to Microsoft Azure. – PR Newswire

British remote care company Babylon raised $25 million to an artificial intelligence system that helps users navigate their symptoms and monitor medication adherence. – MobiHealthNews

Will the CHILLED method provide a simple path for health system Internet security? – Physicians Practice

POLITICS

Prediction: This will be copied in the United States very quickly: there is now a 20 percent tax in all National Health Service cafes on sugary drinks. – BBC

This is not a surprise, really. When politicians talks of regulating industries, like pharma, the companies themselves move first hoping to avoid the government from stepping in. If Hillary Clinton wins and gets that Congress she wants, I don’t think that will work. – The New York Times

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

The problem is … the comments. – Reddit Originals

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