Former BD CEO backs Velano Vascular in $3.5M for needle-free blood draw device

Velano Vascular roped in $3.5 million in a round backed by a former Becton Dickinson CEO, adding fuel to the company's fire as it strives to gain market share for its needle-free blood draw device.

NHS slated to test Stanford suicide prevention app

A National Health Service mental health trust, Liverpool-based Merseycare, is slated to test a suicide prevention app from Stanford University, according to a report by the BBC News.

J&J partners with San Diego startup Cue to develop portable HIV viral load Dx

Johnson & Johnson has partnered with Cue to develop a portable, inexpensive and internet-enabled HIV viral load test that would enable physicians in poor countries to more easily determine if a particular drug regimen is effective or not.

Nikon makes strategic investment in Thiel-backed cheap, safe handheld X-ray startup

Nikon has made an undisclosed investment in hand-held X-ray tech company Tribogenics. The focus right now is to use the technology for industrial uses, but medical applications are also on the horizon. A sub-$10K hand-held, medical X-ray machine would have obvious and widespread implications, particularly in the developing world where there's little existing medical imaging infrastructure.

What does Alphabet want? To 'take over CMS,' Biogen exec says

Alphabet, née Google, has achieved more than a few milestones during the past year, striking deals with med tech and pharma heavyweights to expand its reach in the life sciences industry. Next up on the company's to-do list? Taking over the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Cellnovo partners with TypeZero in major NIH-backed artificial pancreas trial in Type 1 diabetics

Paris-based Cellnovo Group has partnered with TypeZero Technologies to be part of a previously announced clinical trial of an artificial pancreas that's being backed by a $12.8 million grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Cellnovo's connected insulin patch pump will be used in conjunction with TypeZero's inControl AP software and a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to form the whole of the artificial pancreas system being tested.

Scientists call for development of quick Zika tests as epidemic rages on

As the Zika epidemic rages on, health experts are calling for the development of blood tests that can quickly and accurately pinpoint the virus and shed light on an associated condition in infants.

Study: Smart contact lens offers continuous monitoring of glaucoma progression

Researchers have found that smart contact lenses that emit patterns of electrical signals can be used to detect the rate of glaucoma. The smart contact lens system, known as Triggerfish, is from Swiss startup Sensimed and is designed as a diagnostic. It offers an automated, continuous recording of ocular dimensional changes when worn over a 24-hour period.

FDA lists difficult-to-use devices that will be subject to human factors validation testing

The FDA just released a draft list of devices whose applications for marketing approval should include human factors data to ensure usability is considered during the design and regulatory process. It also finalized a guidance from 2000, providing updated information on the methods by which companies should collect and submit human factors data.

Google-backed Zephyr Health helping device and drug companies hit sales targets with Big Data

San Francisco's Zephyr Health is attracting lots of attention thanks to its software for ranking doctors' influence on others, a valuable metric when deciding whom the sales team should visit, or whom to invite to a conference. And it has branched into the device world.

Pear nabs $20M to woo FDA, launch prescribable apps for substance abuse, medication adherence

Biopharmas may be able to command hundreds of dollars a month for prescription medications, but it can be tough to get payers to cough up even a few bucks for an app that may offer comparable levels of benefit. So, one startup, Pear Therapeutics, has adopted the language of biopharma and it is looking to work tightly in tandem with drug companies with medication adherence apps.

FDA OKs use of Medtronic's CoreValve TAVR on end-stage renal disease patients

Medtronic announced an improved FDA indication for its CoreValve TAVR franchise, saying the agency has revised the labeling for the device to make it eligible for use on patients with end-stage renal disease and those with low flow, low grade aortic stenosis.

San Diego startup gets $2.5M+ Series A for remote navigation assistance for the blind

Aira.IO is working to give the blind and others with low vision greater freedom and mobility by using wearable devices to offer real-time, guided navigation assistance from a human agent based on that information. Following fast on the heels of an $800,000 seed round in October, the startup now has raised an additional more than $2.5 million in a Series A financing.

Abbott snags CE mark for continuous glucose monitor with no finger sticks for kids

Abbott has already made strides with its finger-stick free glucose monitoring system, snagging a CE mark for the product in 2014. Now the company is building on that success after the device recently won European approval for use in children, a feather in the company's cap as it aims for similar regulatory blessings in the U.S.

ViaCyte acquires J&J IP to further its quest to treat diabetes using implanted pancreatic cells

ViaCyte, the developer of an implant for the delivery of insulin-producing cells that could someday functionally cure Type 1 diabetes, has acquired the exclusive rights to intellectual property possessed by Johnson & Johnson's Janssen BetaLogics drug R&D unit.

Dx Digest: Illumina inks four genetic research deals; Trovagene makes moves in liquid biopsy with additional coverage for tests

In this week's Dx Digest, Illumina inked four biobanking deals to spur genetic research, liquid biopsy player Trovagene nabbed a coverage agreement for its cancer diagnostics, and diagnostics heavyweight Qiagen joined forces with genomics firm CosmosID to launch a metagenomics and microbiome analysis tool.

Roche reportedly pursuing buyout of genomics company Pacific Biosciences of California

Shares of Menlo Park's Pacific Biosciences of California are up 25% on a report that Big Pharma (and diagnostics) player Roche is interested in acquiring the provider of gene sequencing technology.

Boston startup gets $4M Series B to develop point-of-care TBI biomarker test

Boston-based BioDirection has raised a $4 million Series B round to back its point-of-care traumatic brain injury test Tbit. The financing is expected to enable the startup to finalize development and to start commercial planning for the test.

Big data, genetics and telemedicine well represented in Google Venture's $800M healthcare portfolio

While traditional medical device startups are struggling to find financiers, digital health companies are not. The space earned $5.8 billion in VC money last year, up from $4.3 billion in 2014, according to CB Insights.

Next 'blow up' for Theranos? The company's latest legal hire: NYT

Theranos, which has been facing growing pushback for its proprietary testing technology, has hired hot-shot litigator David Boies to see it through the eye of the storm. But Boies will not only be proffering legal advice; he is also acting as a Theranos director, which could present a conflict further down the road as the company struggles for redemption.