Vertex’s nonaddictive painkiller candidate, VX-548, has shown promise to be an alternative to opioids. The drug is currently in late-stage trials, and if shown to be effective, Vertex hopes to get it approved for the treatment of acute pain – a market worth $4 billion. (Bloomberg)

New U.S. cancer drug prices rose 53% over the past five years. This new analysis is a first look at the degree to which cancer drugmakers rely on high launch prices, an area left out of the Medicare pricing limits set out in the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Joe Biden in August. (Reuters)

Unity Biotechnology’s diabetic macular edema drug, UBX1325, led to improved visual acuity in a Phase II trial, and the company called the results a “really important milestone.” As a result, the anti-aging biotech will aim for a pivotal study in September 2023. (Endpoints News)

With a new leadership team, Editas Medicine doubled down on its two CRISPR-based treatments, aiming to provide updates on their clinical efficacy by the end of the year. The announcement comes after the company lost 80% of its value in the last year after its lead genetic disease therapy showed only moderate effects. (STAT News)

The Biden administration is starting its first investigation into a violation of the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, looking into a hospital’s denial of an abortion in a medical emergency. Freeman Hospital West in Missouri reportedly refused to allow doctors to perform an abortion when a woman’s water broke early in her pregnancy. (Kaiser Health News)