Listen: The latest mask debate, FDA in limbo, & gene therapy’s uncertain upside

When can we stop wearing masks outside? Are we ever getting a permanent FDA commissioner? And is curing disease a good business? We cover all that and more this week on “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, Northwestern University epidemiologist Mercedes Carnethon joins us to weigh on the nation’s latest Covid-19 debate: Is it […]

In mouse experiments, scientists unlock the key to scar-free skin healing

Scars. Like memories, we all have them. When you look at a scar you might see a tumble, a fight, an operation, a reminder of that time you succumbed to youthful stupidity, survived a traumatic incident, cheated death. But these marks aren’t just cosmetic keepsakes. Scar tissue is what happens when skin heals but it […]

STAT+: ‘There are no alternatives’: As Pfizer discontinues an old glaucoma drug, a small group of patients struggles to cope

Next month, an eye drop that Carol Vaghar has taken for the past few years to manage a rare form of glaucoma will no longer be available, leaving her little choice but to consider potentially risky surgery to maintain the pressure in her eyes. The 62-year-old real estate agent developed cataracts in both eyes many […]

Opinion: Academic medical centers need to go beyond statements condemning racism

As predictable as mushrooms popping up after rain, condemnation of racism from leaders at academic medical centers and acknowledging it as a public health crisis began emerging almost moments after a Minneapolis jury found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd on Tuesday. There’s no doubt that speaking out against racism is […]

STAT+: Pharmalittle: Europe looks to sue AstraZeneca over Covid-19 vaccine shortfalls; FDA skewers Emergent vaccine facility

Hello, everyone, and how are you today? Cold winds are whipping about the Pharmalot campus, where things have settled down now that the short person is hovering over the laptop once again and the official mascot has assumed his formal snoozing position. As for us, we are dutifully concocting a few needed cups of stimulation […]

STAT+: With $12 million in new funding, data-syncing platform Seqster takes aim at health records

If health tech challenges were mountains, patient medical records would be a kind of Everest, with the gear of tech giants and digital health startups alike lying abandoned along its precipitous path. Now, a new contender is making the climb. The company, called Seqster (pronounced “seek-ster”), on Thursday raised its first public funding, a $12 […]

STAT+: Bluebird’s withdrawal of therapy from Germany could chill talks over gene therapy prices across Europe

When Bluebird Bio secured European approval for its gene therapy to treat beta thalassemia in 2019, the biotech entered pricing negotiations confident that a “shared risk” plan could convince governments to pay $1.8 million per patient for the one-time, potentially curative treatment. But two years later, Bluebird is pulling its gene therapy, called Zynteglo, from […]

A new crop of medical devices are trying to hack the vagus nerve to treat disease

The vagus nerve, also known as the “wandering nerve,” winds a path all around your torso, intersecting with everything from the heart to the lungs to the digestive tract. That makes it a natural target for a wide range of therapeutic interventions: In the late ’90s, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the first surgically […]

STAT+: More surveillance is coming to the operating room. Surgeons warn that’s risky

Much of what happens in the operating room is shrouded in mystery: The patient goes to sleep, the surgeon goes to work, and things go as planned — or sometimes they don’t. Though hospitals track patient outcomes for surgeons, most of today’s reporting and analysis falls short of the insights that could be possible with […]

Opinion: Climate change and human immunity: invest now or pay more later

World leaders, beckoned by President Biden, are assembling on Earth Day, April 22, to create greater urgency to fight climate change. The summit is taking place during the worst infectious disease pandemic in a century. World leaders need to pay heed to the climate change warning signs that have been flashing for decades. Scientists and […]

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