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Morning Read: GSK nears approval of curative gene therapy for “bubble boy” disease

Also, Facebook engineering chief leaving to pursue low-cost MRI technology, Sanofi puts pressure on Medivation and Cerner rakes in the cash.


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GlaxoSmithKline is thisclose to winning European approval for the first gene-replacement therapy to cure severe combined immunodeficiency, a deadly disease that leaves newborns unable to fight off infections. The condition is also referred to as the “bubble boy” disease, based on the case of a boy who lived inside a protected plastic shield.   — MIT Technology Review

Mary Lou Jepsen is stepping down as Facebook’s engineering chief to concentrate developing an MRI device that doctor’s office can afford. — Engadget

CRISPR technology developer Intellia Therapeutics raised $108 million in its IPO, pricing at the top end of its projected $16-$18 share price range. — Xconomy


Sanofi is threatening to try to oust Medivation board members if the latter company doesn’t start negotiating a takeover deal. — The Wall Street Journal

Pfizer has made an investment in biotech company Wave Life Sciences that could be worth $911 million if Wave successfully commercializes all five of its therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. — Boston Globe

ViewPoint Therapeutics has raised $4 million in a Series A round to support the development of therapeutics targeting faulty proteins to prevent or treat cataracts. — BioCentury

New Valeant CEO Joseph Papa has formed a committee to oversee drug-pricing decisions. — Reuters

venBio raised $315 million for its Global Strategic Fund II.  Among the investors are Amgen, Merck, and Baxalta. — BioCentury

David Martin, former CEO of Cardiovascular Systems, has died at just 51 years old, following a battle with stomach cancer. — MassDevice


Two-thirds of healthcare professionals in the U.S. and Europe believe that personalized medicine already is affecting patient outcomes, according to a new survey. — Healthcare IT News

UPMC is in talks to take over Susquehanna Health, a four-hospital system in north central Pennsylvania. — Pittsburgh Business Times

Thursday was World Hand Hygiene Day (for real), and the CDC launched a campaign for clinicians and patients alike called “Clean Hands Count.” — PR Newswire


Cerner made $150.4 million in the first quarter on revenues of $1.14 billion, both far above the year-earlier period. — Kansas City Business Journal

Somnoware, a startup making sleep management software, has raised $9 million — MobiHealthNews

An eyeglasses-mounted experimental device that marries a mini camera with OCR technology can help legally blind people “read.” —


The FDA finalized a major rule to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars and other non-cigarette tobacco products. Of particular note, every different flavor and nicotine level of e-cigs would require separate regulatory approval, and each application could run more than $1 million. — USA Today, STAT

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held a rare en banc session Thursday to hear whether a small pharma firm, The Medicines Co., had rights to a drug it hired a contract manufacturer for three years before filing its patents. — STAT

Who didn’t see this one coming? Planned Parenthood has sued the state of Kansas to prevent being cut off from Medicaid funding next week. — Reuters


Three words guaranteed to raise the hackles of cardiologists and endocrinologists everywhere: Dessert French fries. — Business Insider

Photo: Getty Images