Medtronic eyes spinal layoffs; Testimony: Intuitive targeted inexperienced surgeons with da Vinci;

 @FierceMedDev: Hamburg: FDA is a bargain for taxpayers. Story | Follow @FierceMedDev

 @DamianFierce: LabCorp is slimming down and diversifying to stay profitable in a tough testing market. More | Follow @DamianFierce

> Medtronic ($MDT) is on the verge of laying off employees in its spinal division, Memphis Business Journal reports, but the company is so far mum on how many jobs it will cut. Article

> Intuitive Surgical ($ISRG) targeted surgeons with "basic or limited" skill sets while marketing its much-scrutinized da Vinci robots, a company executive testified. Story

> Diagnostics company Good Start Genetics is touting data showing its carrier screening platform can detect pathogenic mutations missed by conventional technologies. Release

> Consumers Union is urging the FDA to follow through on its plan to require PMA-quality safety data on all-metal hip implants already on the market. Item

> Johns Hopkins has partnered with DKBmed to launch an app designed to facilitate HIV screening. More

Biotech News

 @FierceBiotech: Hear from top execs at Janssen talk about drug R&D, industry's drug pipeline efforts. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

 @RyanMFierce: Biotech rattled as Q1 first-time VC deals plunge to 18-year low. News | Follow @RyanMFierce

> Pharma giants' oral EPO alternatives could cater to dopers. More

> Vertex skyrockets on positive Ph2 combo study in cystic fibrosis. Story

> Epizyme hits the biotech IPO queue with rapid R&D plan for cancer drugs. Report

Pharma News

 @FiercePharma: U.K. likely to pay for Avastin despite another NICE rejection. More | Follow @FiercePharma

 @EricPFierce: Some popular drugs like Pradaxa, Prolia to be put through despised German price shredding formula. Story | Follow @EricPFierce

> Russia tells Abbott no-go on buyout of partner Petrovax. Article

> U.K. goes after GSK for decade-old pay-for-delay deal. Story

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