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Always Something to Worry About

Biotech CEOs are now more concerned about insurers than the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory process, reports Luke Zimmerman at Xconomy, drawing on a new survey put out by BayBio, the California Healthcare Institute, and PwC of 157 biotech CEOs in California.

"Getting FDA approval is now one step in the process," Gail Maderis, BayBio's CEO, tells him. "We're seeing a shift in concern from the FDA to insurance coverage. From a company's very early days, corporate partners and venture capitalists now want to know that if a product gets to the market, will it be reimbursed?"

Zimmerman notes that the shift comes at a time of high numbers of new product approvals by FDA, but also at a time of closer scrutiny of rising healthcare costs by insurers. Additionally, the upholding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 by the Supreme Court, and the subsequent re-election of President Barack Obama "dashed whatever hopes biotech executives may have had for a return to the days of virtually unlimited product pricing power," he adds.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.