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What Matters August: MedTech News You Need to Know

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August 01, 2018

Overheard at GMM HQ

"When all else fails, cute pics of puppies generally get a lot of likes." - Mia Benenate on how to write kick-ass social media content for life sciences companies.

WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

IT'S ALL GOING TO POT

The first marijuana-derived prescription drug has recently been approved by the FDA. Epidiolex oral solution is a purified formulation of cannabidiol (CBD) approved for the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are both rare forms of epilepsy. 

FAR OUT, MAN

Not really. The FDA notes that drugs derived from marijuana are most appropriately brought to patients through strict clinical trials that assess both safety and efficacy, and then by going through the FDA's stringent drug approval process. So, you know, basically the same way all the other drugs are brought to market.

THE 411

Like any gardener will tell you, you can't stop a weed from growing. The door to marijuana-derived drug research is officially open.

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CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?

Researchers in the UK have achieved the first 3D printing of human corneas that can potentially be used in replacement surgeries, dramatically altering the previous balance of supply and demand. Of corneas.

YOU CAN'T BUY THIS INK CARTRIDGE AT STAPLES

Key to the development is a new bio-ink that provides three key features: It keeps stem cells alive to create a living cornea, it produces a material stiff enough to hold its shape, yet soft enough to be squeezed out the nozzle of a 3D printer. Stakes are high on that "low ink" warning.

THE 411

Easy-to-fabricate corneas pose a huge advancement to patients with corneal blindness in developing countries, which, unlike first-world countries, usually lack banked transplant corneas. It's quite literally a sight for sore eyes.

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HEY! HERE'S A NEW THING TO PANIC ABOUT!

You probably haven't thought much about smallpox in a while, right? That makes sense, since it was eradicated worldwide in 1980. But what if terrorists hack into the small amount of the virus that was saved for research and use it as a biological weapon? Well that's a terrifying thought.

GOOD NEWS THOUGH

Four decades after the virus has posed any real threat, the FDA has approved the first treatment for smallpox, two million treatments of which will be stockpiled by the government in case of just such a biological terrorist attack. What a time to be alive.

THE 411

Sorry to take you on an emotional roller coaster, but now you're all caught up to speed on the existence of a smallpox bioattack, and the US government's plans to fight back should we ever find ourselves in that horrifying James Bay movie.

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GOOD TO KNOW

Don't worry, you're not getting dumber, it's just getting hotter.

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