Device tax may finally be killed off as part of bipartisan budget deal; Bacterin allies with Canadian distributor for bone graft materials;

@FierceMedDev: Medtronic kicks off another renal denervation trial as competitors lag behind. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

@MarkHFierce: Find out how Dx developer Xagenix attracted a robust Series B despite the tough VC funding environment. Article from FierceDiagnostics | Follow @MarkHFierce

@MichaelGFierce: Artificial cells made en masse offer insight into delivery across membrane. News | Follow @MichaelGFierce

@GalenMoore: Medtronic plans a $6M expansion in Puerto Rico. Takeaway: I get to write about Puerto Rico after I shovel snow. More | Follow @GalenMoore

> Bacterin International ($BONE) now has a Canadian distributor for its bone graft materials and coatings. Item

> The 2.3% medical device tax may finally be repealed as part of the bipartisan budget deal now being debated in the U.S. Senate. Item

> Paragonix Technologies in Braintree, MA, raised $1.1 million in convertible debt to fuel continued development of its Sherpa Organ Transport device. Item

> Boston startup Vittamed said its non-invasive intracranial pressure measurement device may also benefit astronauts, and a new study will explore this option through the monitoring of neurological patients. Item

> Aerocrine will use Denmark's Intramedic AB to distribute its airway inflammation monitor and test kit in Sweden. Item

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: After a Phase III flop, Acucela plots a $120M Japanese IPO. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Gilead races to the FDA with stellar PhIII results for breakthrough hep C combo. Story | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: Transcept: "Retrophin never presented any credible evidence of ability to finance purchase of our stock." Release | Follow @DamianFierce

@EmilyMFierce: Last issue of FierceBiotech Research until 2014: Newsletter. Until then, read us on the web: | Follow @EmilyMFierce

> Onconova tanks as its lead candidate flunks PhIII for pancreatic cancer. News

> Genentech's ex-R&D boss takes the reins at the Gates Foundation. Story

> Merck partners up with GlaxoSmithKline on its prize cancer immunotherapy. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Best-read this morning: GSK scraps doc payments, sales rep quotas in global marketing revamp. More | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: FDA, EMA to share "information on inspections of bioequivalence studies" on generics. News | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: A U.S. competitor to AstraZeneca's Nexium is here. Release | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> AstraZeneca's Nexium gets a Korean competitor to chase it over the patent cliff. Story

> Pfizer head-scratcher: Schulman was toasted on Thursday, toast by Tuesday. Article

> Pfizer gives Teva a lift with deal for Viagra generic launch in 2017. Report

Drug Delivery News

> Magnetic sperm-driven micro-robots swim to deliver drugs. More

> Artificial cells made en masse offer insight into delivery across membrane. Article

> Austrian team improves RNAi 'hairpin' structures for more efficient delivery. Story

> 'Walking' DNA motor on nanotube tracks could someday deliver drugs. Piece

> Belgian Cardio3 BioSciences corrals $5.5M for stem cell delivery tech trial. News

> Alnylam begins PhII trial for amyloidosis RNAi treatment. Item

Diagnostics News

> FDA warning: Avoid using test vs. mammography as cancer Dx screening tool. News

> Cynvenio, CollabRx will use data to personalize the cancer Dx process. More

> In tough funding times, Xagenic's detailed Dx work drew plenty of VC. Piece

> Natera finds Hong Kong berth for prenatal screening test. Story

> Navidea wants the FDA to approve a wider use of its injectable cancer imaging agent. Article

> Sundance Diagnostics is linking with Max Planck Institute on a suicide-risk blood test. More

> University of Cambridge finds one test now possible for most blood cancers. Item