Morning Read: Former Google X Senior VP now CEO of Grail, cancer detection gene sequencing firm

Also, CTI BioPharma Corp said the U.S Food and Drug Administration has put a full clinical hold on the company’s investigational new drug application for pacritinib.

genetic analysis

TOP STORY

Grail, a healthcare firm developing a blood test for early cancer detection, named former Google X Senior Vice President Jeff Huber as its CEO today.

Huber said he wants to apply his experience building large-scale data systems to improve the gene sequencing technology used by Grail to detect cancerous material in patients who show no symptoms of the disease. — Reuters

LIFE SCIENCES

CTI BioPharma Corp said the U.S Food and Drug Administration has put a full clinical hold on the company’s investigational new drug application for pacritinib.Reuters

Infants infected with the Zika virus may be born not only with unusually small heads, but also with eye abnormalities that threaten vision, researchers reported in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology. — The New York Times

Celltrion, a global biopharmaceutical company, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Arthritis Advisory Committee recommended approval of all indications for CT-P13, a proposed biosimilar to Janssen Biotech Inc.’s Remicade (infliximab), by a vote of 21-3. CT-P13 is the first biosimilar monoclonal antibody (mAb) medication to be considered by the FDA. — FierceBiotech

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Ala., has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the calculation used by Medicare to determine disproportionate share payments shortchanged hospitals involved in mergers. — Becker’s Hospital Review

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced a new national designation to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care. — PR Newswire

TECH

Withings has added a new paid software feature to its Health Mate app, an algorithm called Hy-Result that will help patients analyze the blood pressure data they collect from Withings devices. — MobiHealthNews

The Indego Limb Exoskeleton can now be controlled with an app, which lets patients control the device’s configuration and enables session monitoring. The app provides access to standing, walking, and sitting settings. — iMedicalApps

POLITICS

The Senate health committee is looking for a way forward on its medical innovation bill despite disagreements over new research funding and regulatory changes. — The Hill

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

U.S. vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads. Great news or terrifying? — VentureBeat

Photo: Flickr user Libertas Academica