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Cerebral CEO ousted, over a million Covid deaths and liquid biopsy for pregnancy

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KSyle Robertson, the co-founder of mental health startup Cerebral, was ousted from the board this week as the company faces a Justice Department investigation into its prescribing practices for controlled substances, including ADHD drugs. Cerebral said Wednesday Robertson had left “effective immediately” and chief medical officer David Mou would assume the top role. The Wall Street Journal first reported Robertson’s fall last night.

It appears Robertson, who founded the company in January 2020 alongside doctor Ho Anh (who left the company in early 2021), is about to fight. According to a transcript obtained by Bloomberg of remarks made at the board meeting, Robertson called the move illegal: “I plan to use all avenues, legal and otherwise, to defend myself and to highlight the shameful actions the board is taking today.” will take and I expect will last in the future.”

Cerebral has not been charged with any violations of the law, but has confirmed it received a subpoena from the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York relating to “possible violations of the Controlled Substances Act,” a federal law governing drug prescribing Potential for abuse and addiction, like Adderall and Xanax. Former Cerebral vice president Matthew Truebe filed a lawsuit in April alleging he was fired in retaliation for speaking out about unethical business practices, including over-prescribing ADHD drugs, which he says both were directed by both Robertson and Mou. A Cerebral spokesman said the allegations were “untrue and the company denies them in every respect”. As this plays out, there will certainly be plenty of finger pointing, and the key question is who is ultimately responsible for the company’s controlled substance prescription strategy: Robertson, Mou, investors, or a combination of them.

Mirvie raises $60 million for blood test to predict pregnancy complications

This year more than 3.6 million women in the US will give birth. About 4% of them will suffer from a potentially fatal high blood pressure condition known as preeclampsia. Black mothers are three times more likely to be killed than white mothers. And the main tools for determining who is at risk haven’t changed in decades: a checklist of risk factors and a blood pressure cuff. Maneesh Jain and Stephen Quake hope to change that. South San Francisco-based co-founders Mirvie are developing non-invasive diagnostic tools to predict the risk of conditions such as preeclampsia and preterm birth from a blood vial. So far, this technology, known as liquid biopsy, has mainly been used for early cancer detection. Read more here.


Sales of the week

Exclusive cancer drug: Drug engineering platform company BridgeBio announced that it has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Bristol Myers Squibb to develop and commercialize the company’s SHP2 inhibitor cancer drug BBP-398. The deal could net BridgeBio up to $905 million and includes a $90 million upfront payment.

Natural Language Collaboration: Lilly has reached an agreement with AI software company Yseop to create a collaboration aimed at using Yseop’s natural language generation software to speed up the approval process, which Lilly hopes will help speed up the drug approval process can be used.

Free services in case of formula shortage: Telehealth platform SimpliFed, which helps connect parents to baby food services, announced today that it will offer free services to parents to help them cope with the current baby food shortage.


Remarkable

“pharmaceutical brother” Martin Schkrelithe former hedge fund manager who increased the price of an antiparasitic drug by 5,000% has been paroled from his seven-year sentence for securities fraud.

Kintsugi is developing artificial intelligence software that analyzes the human voice to detect depression and anxiety, but clinical trials are needed to validate the findings.

Dental artificial intelligence startup overjet received its second FDA clearance for the detection and imaging of cavities in patient x-rays.

UNICEF warns that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is fueling a ‘catastrophic’ wave of malnutrition among young children.

New study results pollution was responsible for more than 9 million deaths worldwide in 2019.

Coronavirus Updates

AAccording to official estimates from the CDC, as well as estimates from Johns Hopkins University and other organizations that collect public health data, there are now over one million deaths from Covid-19 in the United States. To put that in perspective, seasonal flu caused just 360,000 deaths between 2010 and 2020, and that’s more deaths than the country has seen from HIV. The number accounted for about 16% of Covid deaths worldwide, even though the US accounts for only about 4% of the world’s population. The states with the highest death rates from Covid are Mississippi, Arizona, Oklahoma, Alabama and Tennessee. In 2020 and 2021, Covid was the third leading cause of death in the United States after heart disease and cancer. And with the number of cases picking up again, with a large number of cases forecast in winter, the disease will continue to take its toll in 2022.


Vaccination after infection could reduce the risk of long-term Covid illness, a study says

Vaccinating after being infected with coronavirus could reduce the risk of long-term Covid illness, a possible glimmer of hope for the development of future treatments for the millions of people months or even years after, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal still suffering from symptoms of the virus after contagion. Read more here.

Other coronavirus news

shanghai reached an important milestone in its reopening plan on Tuesday: three consecutive days without new Covid-19 cases outside designated quarantine zones.

The FDA approves a extra dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, expanding access to booster shots to the youngest age group after the agency allowed children aged 12 to 15 to have one earlier this year to get a refresher.

On Wednesday, North Korea claimed the Covid-19 outbreak has taken a “favorable turn” while still reporting more than 200,000 new suspected cases, but the World Health Organization has expressed concern over the lack of adequate data from the country and the risk of uncontrolled spread.

So far, rising Covid-19 cases across the country have not resulted in local ones Mask Obligations Coming back as officials in several Democrat-leaning cities said in recent days they have no plans to bring back Covid-19 restrictions, although they do recommend people to dress up voluntarily.

About Forbes

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What else do we read?

Which COVID hospital numbers are missing (The Atlantic)

Pfizer’s Tight Paxlovid Rein Stymies Drug Combination Research (Bloomberg)

Mozambique explains polio outbreak linked to Pakistan (AP)

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