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Biotechnology News: IntraPace's New Drug Stops You From Excessive Eating


Plus, Pfizer brings cloud service to its supply chain.

This column highlights the most useful and interesting business news in biotechnology from around the Web.

Bloomberg Businessweek
Link: IntraPace's Fat-Zapping Implant, Abiliti
"Katrin Falb, a 33-year-old dietitian in Nuremberg, Germany, has struggled with her weight since her early teens. She's tried everything from Weight Watchers to acupuncture to keep off the pounds. Now Falb may have found the answer to her woes with a device implanted near her stomach.

"Made by IntraPace of Mountain View, Calif., the implant, called Abiliti, is the size of a half-inch stack of business cards and sends electrical pulses to the stomach to make people feel full with smaller meals. It also sends signals to the brain to discourage snacking between meals and late at night. Developed with investments from U.S. medical device makers Boston Scientific (BSX), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and others, it has helped Falb lose 51 pounds since her surgery in March 2011. 'I work in a hospital kitchen,' says Falb. 'If you have food in your sight eight hours a day, you eat a little piece of this, and a piece of that, all day. Nobody controls me. Abiliti is my coach.'"

Financial Times
Link: Pfizer Moves Supply Chain to Cloud
"Over the past 18 months, Pfizer (PFE), the global pharmaceuticals giant, has completely re-engineered its complex supply chain, moving it into the cloud and introducing a new virtualised layer that delivers common information to all the participants.

"Instead of operating their own systems and proprietary data, Pfizer and its external providers now use the same platform to manage the supply chain network using performance monitoring, network analysis and other tools."

"Jim Cafone, Pfizer's vice president of supply network services, says the virtualisation of the supply chain enables Pfizer to respond much faster to unexpected events that might otherwise disrupt its complex supply chain as well as everyday market pressures and provides Pfizer and its partners with 'a single version of the truth against which all stakeholders operate.'"

Property Mentor
Link: The Biotechnology Industry Now Needs New Ways to Maintain Success
"Technology is playing a key role in changing the world, and the bioscience and healthcare industries are no omission, according to a biotechnology supporter and venture capitalist who spoke in a conference held in Madison yesterday. G. Steven Burrill, who is a UW-Madison graduate and was among the featured speakers at the daylong 2012 Bioscience Vision Summit at Monona Terrace, said that would mean today's biotechnology companies are required to find new ways to continue performing well.

"In a widespread discussion that took into account the high cost of health care, the rising demand for biofuels in China and the prospect of European economic situation, Burrill said new industry players will have to adopt creativity because financial support is limited and regulators are slow to move."

Link: Medtronic Sees Revenue Growth Despite Unaddressed Quality Concerns
"Medtronic Inc. (MDT), the world's largest medical device maker, this week reported first-quarter financial results for fiscal year 2013: $4 billion in global revenue – a 5% increase over the same period last year - driven by rising sales of stents and a firmer foothold in emerging markets. But the positive report, which matched Wall Street expectations, comes on the heels of a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration that reprimands the company for failing to correct a longstanding defect in one of its drug infusion pumps.

"The letter, dated July 17, describes a crucial flaw in Medtronic's SynchroMed II infusion pump, which causes the motor to corrode, stall, and stop the delivery of drugs. The device is implantable under the skin near the spinal cord, programmable by a clinician, and used to deliver medications for the treatment of severe chronic pain due to nerve injuries and cancer."
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