Spotlight On... NFL concussion research flawed, delaying onset of research funding: NYT; Frazier closes $525M healthcare buyout fund; FDA clears miniature neurostim pain implant; and more...

An investigation by The New York Times reveals that brain injury research emanating from a concussion committee in 1994 suffered from numerous flaws. Some papers about the topic used incomplete data that omitted more than 100 concussions suffered by NFL players between 1996 and 2001, including star quarterbacks Troy Aikman and Steve Young. The NFL has belatedly recognized the extent of the problem, and a senior NFL official publicly acknowledged the link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy for the first time earlier this month. As awareness of the seriousness of head trauma has grown, research into its effects on other athletes, civilians and soldiers has surged, creating an opportunity for innovative device and diagnostics companies. Though some questions about its objectivity remain, the NFL has funded some of the latest research through partnerships with companies like GE Healthcare ($GE), which recently described its ongoing brain imaging study at an FDA meeting. But the league's prior obfuscation delayed the onset of that much-needed R&D into a serious public health problem that affects many more people than just NFL players. Some compare its dishonest attempt to downplay the problem to the cigarette research suppression committed by Big Tobacco. More

@FierceMedDev: Dx Digest: Quanterix reels in $46M for international expansion and more. More | Follow @FierceMedDev

@VarunSaxena2: ICYMI yesterday: Medtronic to stop manufacturing some devices in Colorado in pursuit of $850M in promised synergies. Article | Follow @VarunSaxena2

@EmilyWFierce: ICYMI from FiercePharma: NICE gives initial thumbs-down to Vertex's CF combo med Orkambi, citing costs. Story | Follow @EmilyWFierce

> Frazier Healthcare Partners has closed its Growth Buyout Fund at $525 million. The fund will focus entirely on lower, middle-market, profitable healthcare companies. The firm invests in the life sciences, healthcare services and medical products. More

> The FDA has cleared StimQ Peripheral Nerve Stimulator (PNS) System for the relief of severe intractable chronic pain of peripheral origin from Fort Lauderdale, FL-based startup Stimwave. The tiny implant is placed via a needle-sized cannula next to peripheral nerve locations where pain is originating. More

> Intersect ENT ($XENT) has received an expanded indication for its Propel mini steroid-releasing sinus implant to treat patients undergoing frontal sinus surgery from the FDA. It was previously just indicated for placement just behind the bridge of the nose. More

Biotech News

@FierceBiotech: From Chutes & Laddrers: Valeant CEO Mike Pearson out as embattled drugmaker seeks new leadership. More | Follow @FierceBiotech

@JohnCFierce: Bayer looks to protect blockbuster Eylea franchise with $130M Regeneron pact. News | Follow @JohnCFierce

> PTC Therapeutics to cull its ranks after FDA spurns Duchenne drug. Story

> The 'Uber for experiments' group Science Exchange raises $25M. News

> Portola plunges as PhIII blood thinner misses key goal in head-to-head comparison study. Article

> Atlantic Healthcare plots opening of NC office as influence of ex-Salix team grows. More

Pharma News

@FiercePharma: Roslin turns to business with new animal health venture. FierceAnimalHealth article | Follow @FiercePharma

@CarlyHFierce: Lilly's new psoriasis med Taltz sets up head-to-head with Novartis' Cosentyx. More from FiercePharmaMarketing | Follow @CarlyHFierce

> With Cinqair nod, Teva squares off with GSK in severe asthma. News

> Novartis wraps up China bribery probe with $25M payment to SEC. Report

> GSK chief Witty may be leaving, but he hopes his strategy sticks around. Article

CRO News

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> BioPharmaSpec plots Asian expansion with a focus on biosimilars. Article

Pharma Manufacturing News

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> Vetter's building binge continues with ground-breaking for another Schuetzenstrasse facility. More

> China, in typical fashion, arrests dozens as drug oversight draws attention. Story

> First FDA-approved 3-D manufactured drug hits the market. Item

> Cadila faces new regulatory problems as WHO piles on the pain. More

Pharma Asia News

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> Ally Bridge keeps cash flowing in $155M private placement in Tesaro. Report

> Taiwan's OBI trial results dispute snares top science research executive. More

> Novartis settlement with U.S. SEC on China bribes one in a string. Story

> China in overdrive on illegal vaccine sales probe. Article