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Healthcare Costs Sap Biotech VC

The Washington Post's Christopher Weaver says that, "over the past two decades, venture capitalists helped make possible striking advances in health care, including robotic surgery, cancer vaccines, and genomics." But US healthcare spending is "forecasted to grow in an unaffordable way for the country," says John Doerr from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers -- a situation making more VCs focus on supporting companies that could help cut those costs, according to Weaver. "The share of venture dollars flowing to seed and early-stage investments in biotechnology and medical devices has plummeted since 2007," Weaver says, adding that "biotechnology faces its own set of problems." Chief among them, RBC Capital Markets' Michael Yee tells the Post, is that the industry "is cognizant of the fact that the health system is moving towards a more cost-conscious system." For Highland Capital Partners' Bob Higgins, who teaches a healthcare entrepreneurship class at Harvard Business School, "a few years ago, the 'classic' prospective employer for his students was an emerging biotech firm," Weaver says. "But few of those companies are now hiring."

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.