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Brainstorm Health: Editas CEO Departure, J&J Settlement, Smart Toilet

Happy Tuesday, readers! I hope you had a wonderful long weekend.

Publicly traded CRISPR gene editing-focused companies had a rough return to the markets this week on a pair of bearish news bits: The sudden departure of Editas Medicine CEO Katrine Bosley and a pessimistic report on another company, Crispr Therapeutics, from Citi analyst Yigal Nochomovitz, regarding the timeline of its early-stage clinical trial results.

Editas shares closed down 20% Tuesday; other CRISPR firms like Crispr Therapeutics and Intellia Therapeutics fell 11% and 7%, respectively. All of those drops significantly outweighed dips in broader biotech indices.

Bosley’s departure, as well as her resignation from the Editas board, caught life sciences investors by surprise. The company’s efforts to downplay the move as a “personal decision” that came at a “natural transition point” didn’t appear to soothe markets. Bosley did say she will remain as an adviser to the company in the short term to ensure a smooth transition.

Besides that, we don’t have a whole lot of details on what inspired the exodus. Stay tuned.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


The smart toilet. A group of New York researchers have released new data from a study of a, well, “smart toilet.” If your first inclination is to scoff at the very idea, take a pause – the purpose of this toilet is to measure biometric data assessing cardiovascular health for heart patients. The data collected was found to be clinical grade, raising the possibility that such sensor-equipped devices could reduce the need for patients to go into hospitals for these sorts of tests. (MobiHealthNews)


Johnson & Johnson settles hip implant suits for $120 million. Drug giant Johnson & Johnson has settled claims of improper marketing for its metal hip implants for $120 million with 46 states. DePuy, the J&J unit involved in the case, did not admit to liability for misleading marketing (claims which centered on how long these products would last before failing). (Reuters)


The military really doesn’t spend much on transgender Americans’ medical expenses. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration’s controversial ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military go into effect. It’s an issue that’s fraught with intensely personal debate; but, at the outset of the Trump administration efforts, the president claimed it was simply a financial decision. Medical procedures for transgender troops would simply be too expensive, said Trump at the time. That claim, the empirical data show, doesn’t line up with reality: “[A] 2016 study by the RAND Corporation found that the Department of Defense’s overall health care costs might rise “between 0.005% to 0.017%” following integration of transgender service members. (The Washington Post adds that the military actually spends five times as much on Viagra as it does on transgender medical costs.)” (Fortune)


The World’s Most Admired Companies, by Fortune Staff

10% of TSA Agents Called Out of Shifts Last Weekend Because of the Shutdown, by Emily Price

Supreme Court to Hear First Gun Rights Case In Nearly a Decade, by Renae Reints

Artificial Intelligence: Separating the Hype from the Reality, by Adam Lashinsky

Produced by Sy Mukherjee

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