Trending News Today: iPhone Update Seeks to Address Organ Donor Shortage

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

An Apple software update, set for limited release this month, will allow iPhone users to register as organ donors to help curb the longstanding donor shortage, reported The New York Times. A new button within the iPhone’s Health app will provide individuals with the option to register with Donate Life America, and the software is expected to become available to all United States-based iPhones this fall, once Apple releases the next major update to iOS 10. The issue of organ donor shortage became personal for Apple CEO Tim Cook after co-founder Steve Jobs had to wait an excruciating amount of time for a liver transplant in 2009. “Watching and seeing him every day, waiting and not knowing — it stuck with me and left an impression that I’ll never forget,” Cook said in The New York Times report.

On Tuesday, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said they had acquired Cormorant Pharmaceuticals for up to $520 million, giving them the rights to the Swedish firm’s immunotherapy treatment, reported The Wall Street Journal. HuMax-IL8 harnesses the patient’s own immune system to attack cancerous tumors. The deal will require Bristol-Myers to pay $95 million in upfront and near-term payments to Cormorant, as well as up to $425 million in potential milestone payments.

The FDA approved Insys Therapeutics Inc’s oral solution dronabinol (Syndros) nearly 2 years after rejecting an earlier application for the drug, reported The Wall Street Journal. Syndros is an orally-administered liquid formulation of dronabinol approved to treat certain conditions related to AIDS and cancer, such as anorexia associated with weight loss in AIDS patients, as well as nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy in cancer patients. “We expect that Syndros’ attractive profile will enable rapid market conversion and expansion, making for significant long-term commercial opportunity for Insys,” John N. Kapoor, chairman and chief executive of Insys, said in the report.

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