Nanostring plans for future with nCounter
At a meeting with analysts and investors, members of the senior management team of Nanostring Technologies (New York) have unveiled a strategic plan for the nCounter analysis system and the related product portfolio.
The company introduced its latest developments in 3-D biology, a unique application of the company's optical barcoding technology for allowing measurement of any combination of DNA, RNA, and protein simultaneously on a single system. 3-D Biology applications enable researchers to make entirely new observations about cancer biology while maximizing the data generated from precious samples.
Building on the company's commercial launch of its first RNA:Protein application, the company reported on newly-developed enhancements to the nCounter chemistry that enables measurement of single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, enabling cancer researchers to detect DNA mutations in the same experiment as RNA and protein expression.
Senate passes rural access to therapy services
U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) praised the Senate's passage of their legislation (S. 1461), which would extend through calendar year 2015 a prohibition preventing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing direct supervision policy for outpatient therapeutic services, a harmful regulation that would jeopardize access to therapy services in rural areas.
This extension provides additional time to advance the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services (PARTS) Act (S. 257), which clarifies that general supervision of most outpatient therapeutic services by a physician or non-physician practitioner is sufficient for payment of therapeutic hospital outpatient services.
"Many hospitals find the federal government's supervision requirements for outpatient therapy impossible to meet, which jeopardizes access to this important care," Moran said. "Rural hospitals need reasonable flexibility to staff their facilities so they can provide a full range of services to their communities. I continue to advocate for passage of the Protecting Access to Rural Therapy Services Act – the PARTS Act – bipartisan legislation I introduced to permanently address this outpatient therapy supervision issue. In the meantime, I am pleased we were able to pass S. 1461 in the Senate to continue providing much needed regulatory relief to many hospitals in Kansas and across the country."
SEC fines trio in GE/Clarient deal
The SEC has fined John McEnery III, his son, John McEnery IV, and Michael Rawitser for allegedly committing insider trading in relation to GE's acquisition of cancer diagnostics company Clarient (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) in October 2010 (Medical Device Daily, Oct. 22, 2010).
The agency accused McEnery III of breaching a duty of trust and confidence by trading on a friend's word that Clarient was going to be acquired. The friend worked at one of the companies.
McEnery III apparently told his son about the deal, as well as longtime friend Michael Rawitser. The three of them earned more them $50,000 when Clarient's stock price rose by 33% following the public announcement of GE's impending acquisition, the SEC said.
The trio did not admit to or deny the allegations, but agreed to pay about $170,000 in total to settle the charges filed in federal court in San Jose. The settlement must still be approved by the court.
WELLCARE, INOVALON INK AGREEMENT FOR ANALYTICS
Wellcare Health Plans (Bowie, Md.), a provider of managed care services for government-sponsored health care programs, and Inovalon (Tampa, Fla.), a firm that provides cloud-based data analytics platforms, signed a five-year agreement for Inovalon's technology.
Inovalon's Quality Spectrum Insight is a cloud-based, big-data environment designed to process hundreds of discrete quality measurement analyses across millions of patients at a speed that nears real-time processing.