Spotlight On... Lobbying dollars pay off with medical device tax suspension; FDA clears OTC hearing test; VHG nabs $13M for respiratory equipment; and more...

Money talks. That's the lesson of the two suspensions of the dreaded 2.3% medical device excise tax. Several prior attempts at ending the tax failed, apparently because Congress couldn't find a "pay-for," but the suspension was passed late last year in a comprehensive deal to avoid another government shutdown that contained several corporate tax cuts and lots of spending. Medtronic spent $10 million on lobbying in 2013 and 2014, while St. Jude Medical chipped in $795,000 toward the effort. AdvaMed was the most vocal critic of the tax, and spent more than $4 million in 2014 and 2015. The money spent lobbying against the tax will generate a handsome return on investment. In 2014, Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) paid $180 million in device tax payments, Medtronic ($MDT) paid $112 million, Covidien $60 million, Smith & Nephew ($SNN) $25 million and C.R. Bard ($BCR) $3.5 million. More

@FierceMedDev: NIH backs smartphone-based artificial pancreas trials with almost $13M. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@EmilyWFierce: Pathway Genomics scores $40M in Series E round for genetic test development. Story | Follow @EmilyWFierce

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI: Scottish researchers develop ingestible 'pill camera' that images non-visible light to detect cancer. More | Follow @VarunSaxena2

> Startup iHear Medical got FDA clearance for the first over-the-counter hearing screener, iHearTest, which is based on World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on adult hearing loss. More

> Main Street Capital led a $13 million financing for respiratory durable medical equipment company Valley Healthcare Group. More

> Maquet Medical Systems has launched two new intensive care ventilators, one specifically for neonatal use. Both were cleared by the FDA in December. More

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: The scoop on every new drug approved in 2015. Feature | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Annapurna adds three new gene therapy programs from Ron Crystal's lab at Weill Cornell. Story | Follow @JohnCFierce

@DamianFierce: I cannot prove that OncoCyte got its name from this generator, but I will take credit anyway. Website | Follow @DamianFierce

> Report: Chinese biopharma Jiangsu Hansoh eyes a $3B IPO. Story

> Gilead lines up for a fast FDA OK with its next-gen hep C combo. More

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Roche resolves patent war with India's Glenmark over generic Tarceva. More | Follow @FiercePharma

@EricPFierce: 18 months after the #FDA slapped Cadila with a Form 483, it sends a warning letter. News | Follow @EricPFierce

@CarlyHFierce: ICYMI: Shire could nab Baxalta for $32B this week: Bloomberg. Story | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> Teva and Takeda fill in details on new Japan generics JV. More

> Lilly falls short of analyst forecasts with 2016 guidance on the 'weaker end.' Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

> Cadila to buy Zoetis animal drugs and feed plant in India for $29M. Item

> FDA slaps two Cadila facilities with warning letters. More

> Orchid gets favorable report for its formulation facility near Chennai. Story

> Reuters: J&J shopping its Noramco API unit for up to $800M deal. News

> FDA unveils new pharma manufacturing program as part of draft guidance. More

Drug Delivery News

> Clearside announces positive Phase II results in win for back-of-the-eye drug delivery. Story

> Halozyme picks up $150M credit deal on its Roche, Baxalta royalties. More

> Amgen partners with Unilife on wearable injectors, may buy 20% stake in the struggling company. Article

> UCSB team makes toxic transdermal drugs safer with salt formulation. News

> FDA approves nonalcoholic formulation of cancer drug, eliminating risk of intoxication following treatment. More

Pharma Asia News

> Japan's push on innovative drugs gets a budget boost. More

> India's hep C market sets a global pace on cost, access. Report

> Indonesia pharma investment cap eyed as top firms plan new plants. Story

> Sinovac gets China FDA new drug, production nod for HFMD vaccine. Article

> EU and India set Jan. 18 date for talks on GVK drug ban. Item