Business briefs: Roche, Doximity and Bayer

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Roche is trimming costs by slashing jobs. The Swiss drug maker said it will be cutting a total of 170 jobs spread between sites in the US and Germany and that the company is shutting its Applied Sciences division, which accounts for about 7% of its diagnostics sales. The company plans to move the Applied Sciences products into other areas within its diagnostics unit. Roche said the fallout will be distributed as follows: 110 jobs in Penzburg, Germany, 60 in Bradford, CT.

Doximity and the American Society for Clinical Investigation are launching a HIPPA-compliant network for collaboration for the society's members. The platform mirrors those Doximity has created for other clients, including the Stanford, USCF and University of Pennsylvania medical schools.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy may be associated with autism, according to a study summarized by The New York Times. The Times drew comparisons between the Swedish study to one done in California two years ago that appears to show a link between the use of anti-depressants and the developmental condition. As the newspaper notes, researchers were cautious about using an if-then approach to the results, which included making allowances that depression, instead of the treatments, could also be a possible cause. But interview subject Dr. Adam Urato was not so circumspect in suggesting a possible link: “Why should it surprise us that medications that can change brain chemistry and function might alter the development of brain and behavior?” the assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts told the Times.

Britain's drug price watchdog NICE has recommended the country expand the approved uses of Bayer's Xarelto to include blood clot prevention, reported PMLive, which said the agency said the drug is safer and easier to use than warfarin. PMLive notes that an approval could edge out Boehringer IngelheimI's Pradaxa and BMS/Pfizer's Eliquis which do not yet have NICE support for this indication.

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