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Controversial brain tissue research, obesity drug sales, and Novartis’ M&A drama

The removal of small amounts of brain tissue from desperately ill patients, done as part of a Mount Sinai research project, triggered alarm bells at the Food and Drug Administration and has raised broader questions about the scientific and ethical justification for live-brain research. Journalist and STAT contributor Katherine Eban joins “The Readout LOUD” podcast to discuss the results of a two-year investigation.

Also on this week’s episode, we discuss Novartis’ effort to acquire MorphoSys, and the latest news on Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk’s blockbuster obesity drugs with Elaine Chen, the newest member of STAT’s biotech reporting team.

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For more on what we cover, here’s STAT’s investigation into the Mount Sinai brain-tissue research project; here’s exclusive reporting on the MorphoSys drug at the center of the Novartis acquisition, and Adam Feuerstein’s take on where it might run off the rails; and here’s STAT’s reporting on Novo Nordisk and its weight loss drug Wegovy.

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And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email [email protected].

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