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Brainstorm Health: 40 Under 40 in Health Care, Aetna CEO Slams Trump, Color Genomics Funding

August 17, 2017, 4:26 PM UTC

Good morning, readers! This is Sy.

Fortune is out with its latest 40 Under 40 list, our annual ranking of young entrepreneurs and influential people from across the globe. The 2017 list includes artists, athletes, businesspeople, world leaders, and more. Who takes the number one spot? You can find out right here.

As for health care—the two enterprising men behind Guardant Health, a company focused on “liquid biopsies” seeking to replace invasive tissue biopsies with simple blood tests, and the duo leading digital health firm Outcome Health (already valued at more than $5 billion after a monster financing round earlier this year) made the cut.

Check out the full rankings, and read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


Color Genomics in the midst of $80 million funding round. Genetic testing stratup Color Genomics is raising $80 million in a Series C funding round (with $52 million raised as of Wednesday, the company told Fortune after an initial report from Axios). Color is one of a slew of genomics-focused firms attempting to provide patients with information about their risks for various diseases. The company recently branched out from its cancer focus to heart disease, announcing a new test that can detect the genetic mutation behind Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), which leads to high levels of "bad" cholesterol.


Novartis bags respected UCSF scientist. Pharma giant Novartis has picked up a leading cardiovascular scientist, University of California at San Francisco's Shaun Coughlin, to run its own cardiovascular unit at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research. Coughlin served as the head of UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Center. As big money and exciting new therapeutic spaces have opened up in biopharma, companies have vied to grab star scientific talent. (Endpoints News)


Aetna CEO has harsh words for Trump on Charlottesville. Health insurance giant Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini issued a sharp rebuke to President Trump's reaction to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville (Trump has doubled down on his position that "both sides" are to blame for the incident) in a memo to employees. Bertolini said that he was"ashamed of our President's behavior and comments" and urged colleagues to think hard about how they could live up to American values of diversity and inclusion. (Fortune)

Administration to continue insurer payments for at least one more month. The Trump administration will continue to make cost-sharing reduction subsidies to Obamacare insurers in the month of August, holding off on following through on President Trump's repeated threats to cut off the funding. That's cause for relief for insurers—for now. The question is what the administration will do in the coming months. (Fortune)


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Produced by Sy Mukherjee

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