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receive frequent blood transfusions to stave off anemia. Thus far, 15 of 22 patients are transfusion-free after a median of 26 months—and as long as three and a half years—with no worrisome side effects. Here’s more on the Bluebird gene therapy, LentiGlobin, which is currently in late stage testing.
—A study published by Columbia University scientists found that mice in New York City carry drug-resistant bacteria responsible for potentially deadly gastroenteritis.
—Sangamo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SGMO) of Brisbane, CA, revealed that one of its executives was victim of an extended email hack, and the hackers gained access to confidential, sensitive information from the company “and other entities.”
NEW MONEY, NEW MARKETS
—Cancer diagnostics developer Grail aims to raise another $1 billion in private cash before it goes public in Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported. The Menlo Park, CA-based firm backed by Seattle moguls Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates wants to make a test to detect early stages of cancer in otherwise healthy people.
—Tmunity Therapeutics, the cell-therapy startup based on the work of University of Pennsylvania CAR-T pioneer Carl June, added $35 million to the $100 million Series A round it first announced in January.
POLITICS AND POLICY
—The Senate HELP committee chairs Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) debuted bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid crisis.
—A new group advocating and fundraising for lower drug prices made its first-ever political endorsement: a Republican House member running for re-election in Virginia.
—Axios scooped that President Trump will make a speech about drug prices on April 26, but it’s unclear if he will propose anything beyond what was offered in the White House budget proposal in February. The outlet also reported that the White House is reviewing a Health and Human Services proposal to “lower prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs,” but it did not report details.
—HHS secretary Alex Azar returned to the hospital to treat a gastrointestinal infection called diverticulitis. He was first hospitalized briefly over the weekend.