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Morning Read: Members of Congress using medical research funding to press for FDA reform

Also, Oncobiologics will go public today and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh’s health sciences schools are backing a $5 million Center for Medicine and the Microbiome.

Capitol Hill by Flickr user Will PalmerTOP STORIES

Congress is tying more funding for medical research for the National Institutes of Health in exchange for lowering the bar on drug and device approvals. Former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler called it “a deal with the devil.”  — The Wall Street Journal

Speaking of the FDA, it will start requiring warnings on the risk of disabling side effects of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. The side effects can include damage to tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system. —The Wall Street Journal

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Harvard Medical School is easing up on some conflict-of-interest rules that currently prevent research scientists from doing work on clinical trials for companies in which they have a financial interest in some situations. It is raising thresholds on how much income or equity they have in a public company before they are barred from doing clinical research. It continues to prevent faculty from holding equity in a privately held company if they want to do clinical trials for that company’s product. — STAT


Oncobiologics has priced its initial public offering at $6.00, half its initial $11-$13 range to raise $35 million. — PR Newswire, Seeking Alpha

BGI and UW Medicine inked a precision medicine deal that will involve collaborating on the generation, storage, sharing and analysis of genetic data. — Fierce Biotech

Medical device business EndoStim has raised $25 million in a Series D round to support neurostimulation therapy for gastroesophageal reflux disease. — PR Newswire


Dr Redonda Miller will become the first female president of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the institution’s 127-year history. — Baltimore Sun

Call it a transparency backlash. ProPublica has discovered that some people are using its report on physicians more likely to prescribe opioids to obtain those drugs. — ProPublica

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and University of Pittsburgh’s health sciences schools are backing a $5 million Center for Medicine and the Microbiome. The center was announced at the White House as part of its national microbiome initiative. The research center will be designed to spur collaboration between different science disciplines, will provide lab and workspace. — Pittsburgh Business Times


It’s come so far yet has so much further to go. That’s a reference to the use of electronic health records in post-acute care settings and challenges that lie ahead. One is the lack of full clinical information system enterprises to populate an EHR is an obstacle. “The lack of clinical information systems, such as laboratory, pharmacy and radiology reduce the capability of the EHRs to provide clinical or diagnostic value,” said Hal Tierney, director of technology for Boston-based Sapient. —  Healthcare IT News

Sensoria launched an app that helps people monitor their recovery from surgery or from a stroke with sensors embedded in its Smart Socks. — MobiHealthNews


A federal judge’s ruling that the way some Obamacare payments are funded is illegal , offering lawmakers opposed to ACA a small victory, is expected to have little effect in the short-term because the judge stayed the ruling as it’s going to be appealed. — The Hill


Dry scalp sufferers have a new source to blame for dandruff: the bacteria in their scalp. — New Scientist

Photo:  Flickr user Will Palmer