President Biden signed the CHIPS and Science Act (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America Act) into law last week, opening access to more than $50 billion in research and manufacturing of semiconductor chips. The bill, which was passed by lawmakers in late July, will help the country regain a leading position in chip manufacturing by bringing more facilities back to the United States, which will help lower costs and prevent supply disruptions. The signing of the bill comes as dozens of companies across medtech such as Vicarious Surgical have seen chip shortages weigh on earnings.
In a story that evokes feelings of Theranos déjà vu, a Silicon Valley medtech executive is on trial this week for allegedly making false claims about his company's blood testing technology. A California federal jury heard opening statements last week in the criminal fraud trial of Mark Schena, president of Sunnyvale, CA-based Arrayit. Schena is facing nine counts of fraud and conspiracy for allegedly lying about the development of a COVID-19 blood test. He has served as president and chief science officer at Arrayit since 2008 and is married to the company's CEO, Rene Schena, according to a complaint filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
And in case you missed our last Medtech in a Minute report...
Pear Therapeutics is having to prune its workforce and other expenses in order to preserve and extend its cash runway. The digital therapeutics firm disclosed in a regulatory filing that it has restrcutred its operations to narrow its near-term business focus and reduce its workforce due to the current macroeconomic environment. About 25 Pear employees will be layed off, which represents about 9% of the company's full-time workforce as of July 25. The restructuring efforts are expected to reduce operating expenses by about $28 million over the next 18 months.
Deepak Nath had his work cut out for him when he took the helm of Smith & Nephew in April. Nath succeeded Roland Diggelmann, who stepped down "by mutual agreement," the company announced in late February. "There are more opportunities than challenges with Smith & Nephew," Nath told investors Thursday during the company's second-quarter earnings call. "This is a great company with a great outlook, and I believe we're not far away from showing this externally in all aspects of our business." But it was the challenges more than the opportunities that investors focused on during the day's trading. The company's stock plunged about 10% to $26.46 at market close Thursday and fell another 3% in pre-market trading Friday.