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Morning Read: Unapproved stem cell tests abound, an artificial pancreas on the horizon

Also, Owlstone has spun out Owlstone Medical to develop a breathalyzer for clinical diagnostics to battle cancer and Pocket DNA sequencers will become ubiquitous, according to Dr. Eric Topol.


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More than 300 companies are selling unapproved stem cell tests and procedures in the U.S., according to a study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. — Reuters

Medtronic has filed for premarket approval for an artificial pancreas that, if approved by the FDA, would mark a watershed moment in the battle against diabetes. The MiniMed 670G is the size of a smartphone and can wirelessly connect an insulin pump and glucose monitor. The external device will function in lieu of the malfunctioning pancreas, which is supposed to naturally produce insulin. — Bloomberg


In a deal that could be worth more than $400 million, Takeda has acquired the ex-U.S. rights to a Crohn’s disease treatment developed by Belgium’s TiGenix. — FierceBiotech

Owlstone, a UK company, announced that it has spun out Owlstone Medical to develop a breathalyzer that can be used in clinical diagnostics and precision medicine to battle cancer as well as inflammatory and infectious diseases. The latter company has closed a $7 million funding round, which will help test the device in clinical trials for lung and colon cancer screening. — Owlstone

AbbVie’s Humira received its 10th U.S. approval that expands the anti-inflammatory drug’s label to treat adults with non-infectious intermediate, posterior and panuveitis. — Medscape.


Massachusetts has issued new rules mandating “fresh air” time for psychiatric patients, but some hospitals seem ready to fight the state. — STAT

Cigna is teaming up with Hill Physicians Medical Group of Northern California in an effort to increase healthcare quality, boost care coordination and also lower costs. — Sonora Weekly


Pocket DNA sequencers will become ubiquitous, declared digital health’s most famous doc — Dr. Eric Topol — at the HFMA annual conference in Las Vegas. Topol painted a picture of a not-too-distant future when, armed with smartphones, consumers will use a myriad of apps to increasingly control their own data, a fundamental shift from the past. — Health Data Management.

In the near future, it may be possible to regrow bones by leveraging a patient’s own stem cells and their CT scans. — Scientific American


Gilead Sciences and the state of Massachusetts have reached an agreement by which the drugmaker will provide rebates to the state for its Hepatitis C drugs. — STAT

Lawmakers are urging Deven McGraw, deputy director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, to provide guidance to provider organizations that are compromised by ransomware attacks. — Healthcare Dive


Obsessed with selfies? You might just develop a medical condition, the “selfie elbow.” That was the diagnosis that greeted NBC’s Hoda Kotb, when she went to visit her orthopedist and complained of pain in her elbow. — Elle

Photo: Flickr user Scott Davidson