Cook CEO asks Senate for device tax repeal; Can hep C be diagnosed remotely?;

 @FierceMedDev: NeuroPace wins FDA panel vote for epilepsy implant. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @MarkHFierce: A blood Dx to determine suicide risk? It's possible, and researchers will have a test ready for trials in a year. Story | Follow @MarkHFierce

 @DamianFierce: J&J has to fork over $3.4M in its first vaginal mesh verdict. Roughly 2,100 more lawsuits to go. Report | Follow @DamianFierce

> Cook Medical CEO Steve Ferguson will testify before the Senate Budget Committee today, planning to make his case for a repeal of the 2.3% medical device tax. Article

> Medtronic ($MDT) is the first devicemaker to take advantage of the FDA's new early feasibility study approval program, getting the agency's signoff on a study of its Native Outflow Tract Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve. More

> More and more evidence suggests that surgical robots offer little clinical benefit but contribute to high medical costs. Story

> German life sciences giant Fresenius ($FRE) is projecting $1 billion in net profit this year, driven largely by its device unit, Kabi. Report

> Diagnostics outfit Aushon Biosystems says it's poised for major growth in 2013, and the company has added former LabCorp ($LH) CEO Thomas Mac Mahon to its board of directors. Release

> Egyptian developers say they've created a device that can remotely diagnose hepatitis C, but scientists are skeptical it can work. Item

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: AstraZeneca claims PhIII sweep for OIC drug as CV concerns linger. News | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @JohnCFierce: Officials prepare to dismantle patent rules that stifle drug R&D. Report | Follow @JohnCFierce

 @RyanMFierce: Miami biotech Brickell revealed $7M B round for dermatology drug development. Florida a good spot for this company? Release | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Sanofi's Zerhouni, analysts warn sequestration could cripple R&D. Article

> Cosmetics group leads $7M round for dermatology upstart Brickell. Story

Pharma News

 @FiercePharma: Teva UK pulls batches of generic Clarinex on impurities in tablets. More | Follow @FiercePharma

 @EricPFierce: Capsule maker Qualicaps expanding in NC as it transitions to new ownership. News | Follow @EricPFierce

 @AlisonBFierce: Dynavax will shoot for a limited approval of hep B vaccine Heplisav. The FDA nixed the product over safety issues. Report | Follow @AlisonBFierce

> Januvia, Byetta double pancreatitis risk, JAMA analysis finds. Story

> With Qsymia sales sputtering, Vivus shares take a dive. News

Biotech Research News

 @EmilyMFierce: Scientists grow liver stem cells in mice. Story | Follow @EmilyMFierce

> Therapeutic could heal wounds faster. Story

> New drug combo stops head and neck cancer in mice. Report

> Facebook, Google founders award $33M to life scientists. Item

> Obama administration plans brain-mapping project. More

Pharma Manufacturing News

> Affymax explores manufacturing for ties to fatal drug reactions. Story

> Qualicaps expanding plant as Mitsubishi takes ownership. News

> Manufacturing continues to undercut Ranbaxy. Article