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Morning Read: Theranos may be drowning, but it’s hiring for a planned expansion

Also, ACLU sues Myriad Genetics for access to full genetic testing reports, Verizon offers real-time pharma supply-chain monitoring and Oklahoma gets closer to criminalizing abortion.

Der Untergang der Titanic

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From the Department of Wishful Thinking comes news that Theranos is “planning a bold expansion.”

Yep, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that the emperor has no clothes, the formerly high-flying unicorn is currently advertising nearly 200 job openings — including some at a planned new laboratory in Pennsylvania. A company spokeswoman reportedly said the jobs primarily are for growth, not to replace people jumping ship.

As STAT put it:

Among the open positions being advertised: two assistants to CEO Elizabeth Holmes, one personal and one executive assistant. Candidates are expected to exercise “a high degree of discretion and confidentiality.”

Well, sure, when most of your promises to the outside world have turned out to be hollow and when you’re under federal investigation, it’s best to keep a lid on things. But expansion? As one Facebook comment I saw Thursday put it, “Thelma and Louise floor it.” — STAT

LIFE SCIENCES

The ACLU is suing Myriad Genetics, saying that the company is violating HIPAA by withholding full genetic testing results from patients. — STAT

A major British governmental report on antibiotic resistance recommended rewards of $1 billion or more for developing new antimicrobial drugs, and stiff fines for not investing in antibiotics R&D. — FierceBiotech

A new report from BIO said that 2015 was the best year so far for biotech venture funding. — Business Wire

Crown Bioscience has introduced HuScreen, a translational oncology service platform based on the HuPrime portfolio of patient-derived xenograft models. — PR Newswire

Here’s an interesting career move: Gene-editing startup Recombinetics has hired a former General Mills executive as its new CEO. — Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

Medical University of South Carolina Health has signed an eight-year, $36 million deal with Philips to improve patient monitoring for more than 1 million people a year. — Business Wire

Dr. Mohan Suntha will become CEO of University of Maryland Medical Center in September. — Baltimore Business Journal

An internist wonders why a “complete” physical exam doesn’t include the pelvic area. — The New York Times

TECHNOLOGY

Verizon has teamed with life science-focused security company rfXcel to introduce Verizon Intelligent Track and Trace, offering pharma companies real-time monitoring of the pharmaceutical supply chain. — rfXcel

Athenahealth CFO is Kristi Matus is leaving at the end of the month, and will be replaced by current VP and Controller Karl Stubelis. — Globe Newswire via The Wall Street Transcript

CareCloud has introduced a cloud-based system for medical practices to process credit card payments. — PR Newswire

Startup ONVI has launched what it says is the world’s first video toothbrush to help people track and improve oral hygiene. — Business Wire

POLITICS

Oklahoma lawmakers have passed a bill that would make it a felony for a physician to perform an abortion. Expect a prompt legal challenge if anti-abortion Gov. Mary Fallin signs it into law. — Reuters

A bill now on the desk of Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin would require pharma companies to justify price hikes. — STAT

Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) and John Thune (R-South Dakota) want to reform the Indian Health Service. — Reuters

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

This story is tragically symptomatic of America’s dysfunctional healthcare industry. — The New York Times

 

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