Neuralink Moving Closer To Human Trials Of Implanted Brain Chips
Elon Musk's human-computer interface medical tech company has begun hiring for a clinical trial director. In other news, CVS Caremark settled a PBM fee issue with the Oklahoma Insurance Department; questions over GSK's chief science officer; and biotech stocks are a "dumpster fire."
Elon Musk's Neuralink Set To Begin Implanting Chips In Human Brains
Elon Musk's Neuralink has begun recruiting for a clinical trial director, bringing it one step closer to developing technology that could connect the human mind directly to devices. Neuralink's goal is to build something called a "brain computer interface" that allows people to transmit and receive information between their brain and a computer wirelessly, according to Neuralink's website. (Shen, 1/23)
In other pharmaceutical and biotech news —
CVS Caremark Agrees To Settlement Over Transaction Fees
The Oklahoma Insurance Department has entered into a settlement agreement with CVS Caremark over transaction fees the pharmacy benefit manager charges pharmacists to process Medicare Part D and group health plan claims, the agency announced Thursday. The CVS Health subsidiary will pay $4.8 million to settle the alleged violations of the state's Patient's Right to Pharmacy Choice Act. CVS Caremark will pay $2.3 million in restitution to drugstores and $2.5 million in penalties to the state. (Devereaux, 1/21)
Did Veteran Drug Developer Hal Barron Accomplish His Mission At GSK?
So here’s the big question for Hal Barron as he departs GlaxoSmithKline: Did he accomplish his mission? The mission, put simply, was to turn around GSK’s labs when he was hired as chief scientific officer four years ago. At the time, the British drug maker was struggling to develop new medicines, its pipeline not exactly flush. Now, Barron is leaving, having announced Wednesday he is taking a job as CEO of a new company called Altos Labs, backed with a stunning $3 billion in investor commitments and focused on “cellular rejuvenation programming.” So what of GSK? (Herper, 1/24)
Biotech Stocks Are A Dumpster Fire. An Analyst Explains What's Going On
In the midst of a pandemic that proved that the biotech industry has the power to help save the world, one can be excused for not realizing the industry is actually having kind of a rough time on Wall Street. The value of a widely followed biotech stock index fund, the IBB, is down 23% over the last year. But that doesn’t even tell the whole story because it’s dominated by bigger companies like Moderna, whose stock is benefiting, of course, mightily from its Covid vaccine. Another index fund, the XBI, which tracks smaller and mid-sized biotech companies, has lost almost 43% in the past year. (Feuerstein, Tirrell and Garde, 1/24)