LONDON – The COVID-19 outbreak appears to be sliding toward pandemic status, with the virus spreading to four more countries and confirmed cases and deaths mounting in infection hotspots in Italy, Iran and South Korea. Parts of northern Italy are in lockdown, with 200-plus cases and seven deaths. Austria and Switzerland are reported to be considering closing their borders with Italy, and the EU has responded with a €232 million (US$252 million) package of aid, including €90 million for development of a vaccine and €10 million for therapeutics and diagnostics.
LONDON – The COVID-19 outbreak appears to be sliding toward pandemic status, with the virus spreading to four more countries and confirmed cases and deaths mounting in infection hotspots in Italy, Iran and South Korea.
TORONTO – A total of $1.4 million in capital funding from 12 U.S., Canadian and European angel investors will help Toronto-based Cohesys Inc. complete preclinical animal studies, with an eye toward gaining approval for its nontoxic, adhesive tape for rebuilding facial bones.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken action to tamp down on False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuits. However, according to attorneys with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the courts have come to different conclusions as to whether federal attorneys have appropriately dismissed FCA cases, a development that opens a new area of concern for drug and device makers.
Medtronic plc, of Dublin, has had a busy week. On Tuesday, it reported that it had received breakthrough device designation from the U.S. FDA for its Valiant TAAA stent graft system for the minimally invasive repair of thoracoabdominal aortic aneurysm (TAAA).
The U.S. FDA has given Pq Bypass Inc. the greenlight to conduct a pivotal trial aimed at assessing its Torus stent graft in the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in the superficial femoral artery. The TORUS-2 study is the Milpitas, Calif.-based startup's second IDE approval in less than two years and the first pivotal IDE for an SFA stent graft since W.L. Gore & Associates Inc.'s Viabahn device, which notched an initial PMA approval in 2005.
The device industry is quite familiar with whistleblower lawsuits, but Cisco Systems Inc., of San Jose, Calif., was recently forced to pay more than $8 million in connection with a qui tam lawsuit over cybersecurity lapses for video surveillance equipment sold to state and federal government agencies. The case suggests device makers will have to be up to speed on cybersecurity if they wish to avoid suffering a similar fate, particularly given a recent warning the FDA posted regarding a widespread cybersecurity vulnerability.
Wednesday's House subcommittee hearing on H.R. 3, which tasks Medicare with directly negotiating prescription drug prices in the U.S., may have been an exercise in futility. Although both Republicans and Democrats in Congress still agree that something has to be done to lower drug prices, they are beyond compromise on key aspects of H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act.