Can Botox make Big Pharma attractive? What qualifies as a “cabal”? And will the CRISPR patent fight outlive us all?

We discuss all that and more on the latest episode of “The Readout LOUD,” STAT’s biotech podcast. First, we pick apart the proposed merger of AbbVie and Allergan, a pharmaceutical marriage of convenience with vast implications for the drug business. Second, STAT’s Sharon Begley joins us to discuss her story on how scientific dogma thwarted new ideas in Alzheimer’s disease research. Then we dig into a curious bit of biotech marketing that left some key facts unstated. Finally, we embark on a lightning round, featuring CRISPR patents, Democratic candidates, and a pugilistic federal agency.

For more on what we cover, here’s the story on Allergan’s CEO; here’s a deep dive into amyloid; here’s the news on that stem cell trial; here’s the latest on CRISPR patents; and here’s a recap of the first Democratic presidential debate.

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We’ll be back next Thursday evening — and every Thursday evening — so be sure to sign up on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

And if you have any feedback for us — topics to cover, guests to invite, vocal tics to cease — you can email readoutloud@statnews.com.

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