This week we look at the President’s State of the Union Address and his support to reduce drug prices, a concerning drug shortage in European countries, and a new brain-computer interface company that raised $41 million. We also review the recent acquisition of Cardiovascular Systems by Abbott. Finally, the Food and Drug Administration provides clearance for an artificial intelligence software system that gives real-time feedback for cardiac ultrasounds.
Each week we highlight five things affecting the life sciences industry. Here’s the latest.
In his State of the Union address, President Biden stated his opposition to repeal a component of the Inflation Reduction Act that impacts the pharmaceutical industry. The law, which was passed last year, allows Medicare to negotiate pricing on certain drugs and caps per patient Medicare spending on pharmaceuticals. Biden also advocated for a cap on insulin for diabetes patients. Pharmaceutical trade organizations expressed concern with these pricing restrictions, arguing that they could be detrimental to innovation.
Many European countries are reporting shortages of prescription drugs, particularly antibiotics. A combination of increased volume of respiratory infections, government restrictions on pricing of generic drugs and increased production costs are contributing to this problem. Many pharmaceutical companies are reporting that they cannot generate enough profit to justify the production of antibiotics. The European Commission continues to explore solutions to these issues.
Precision Neuroscience successfully closed its Series B funding round, raising $41 million. Its implant, known as the Layer 7 Cortical Interface, is a flexible film-like device that is placed on the surface of the brain in a minimally invasive procedure. It consists of more than 1,000 electrodes that can collect and emit pulses. The goal of the company is to treat neurological conditions like epilepsy and stroke. The funding will support development and clinical trials of their device.
This acquisition will add new and complementary technologies to Abbott’s existing platform of cardiovascular offerings. The purchase also adds a pipeline of products including kidney stone removal, drug-coated balloons and mechanical circulatory support for high-risk coronary procedures.
DiA Imaging Analysis received 510(k) clearance for their LVivo IQS AI-powered image quality feedback system. As clinicians perform ultrasound scanning, the software system generates colors and numerical scoring to provide real-time assessment of image quality. The FDA approval adds to LVivo’s existing suite of solutions that provide automated AI-based analysis to support ultrasound users with varying levels of experience, resulting in reduced variability and increased efficiency and accuracy throughout the analysis process.
For more on the life sciences industry, check out our outlook.