Medtronic gets FDA panel date for minimally invasive lower back spinal stabilization; Novocure releases positive second-line combo data;

@FierceMedDev: ICYMI Friday: Bard to buy Liberator for $181M to improve access to home care market. Article | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: Boston Scientific earns CE mark for second-gen Watchman implant to prevent stroke. More | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: ICYMI Friday: Cancer diagnostics company closes up shop after 6-year FTC investigation. Article | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> The FDA has given Medtronic a Feb. 19 advisory panel date to review its PMA for DIAM Spinal Stabilization System to treat lower back pain due to moderate lumbar degenerative disc disease. More

> Startup B-Temia has started a pivotal U.S. trial for its powered assistive Demoskeleton technology called Keeogo exoskeleton to improve mobility. It plans to submit for FDA clearance next year. More

> Novocure ($NVCR) has disclosed positive combination second-line data for its Optune as a second-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy to treat first recurrence of glioblastoma. More

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: With Pfizer and Allergan set for a $160B megamerger, what becomes of R&D? Report | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: So Ian Read remains CEO. Gets $AGN at a pretty decent price, Gets his Irish domicile. Looking for $2B in cuts. Read must be pretty chuffed. | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: I thought Ian Read would be taller. Item | Follow @DamianFierce

> Roche's blockbuster-hopeful immunotherapy shows promise in skin cancer. Report

> ObsEva taps A-list investors for $60M as pipeline nears late-phase trials. Article

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: CBN: Multinational drugmakers face uphill battle in China. FiercePharmaAsia story | Follow @FiercePharma

@CarlyHFierce: UPDATED: Pfizer finally gets its inversion with $160B Allergan megamerger agreement. Article | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Takeda's Velcade successor gets quick FDA approval. Item

> Amgen's Repatha scores an exclusive with CVS. Story

> Novartis scores new approvals for Cosentyx in Europe. Article

Animal Health News

> Virginia Tech preps dog trial of new method to improve glioblastoma treatment. Report

> Zoetis ups the ante in prevention with new flu vaccine and flea fighter for dogs. More

> Oasmia chairman is optimistic about animal health despite downsized IPO. Story

> Kuddly joins herd of veterinary apps with $1.5M seed round. Item

> Taco Bell joins fast food peers with cage-free egg pledge. Article

Biotech IT News

> Molecular Health raises $27M to advance data-crunching tech. News

> Illumina to make 5,000-genome autism database available through BaseSpace. Report

> Amazon shares landmark cancer genome data sets on cloud platform. Story

> FDA gives scientists freedom to tweet in long-awaited social media policy. Item

> AstraZeneca inks deal to install robots at new R&D facility. Article

Pharma Marketing News

> Amgen nabs another PCSK9 exclusive, this time with giant CVS. Report

> Better together? Savvy e-patients may make pharma marketing smarter. Story

> Teva goes for laughs in new social media campaign for COPD. Item

> AstraZeneca aims at a 'broader' target with services-based lung cancer effort. Article

> Healthcare ad and media agencies break into annual 'best workplaces' ranking. More