Over the past few years, Google has expanded into life sciences, with venture capital investments, the creation of Calico and development of "smart" contact lenses giving it multiple beachheads in the industry. But the search giant's co-founders have reservations about getting deep into healthcare, saying regulations make it a "painful" sector in which to work.
Any industry that's undergoing as much change as biopharma is always looking for leadership. Old marketing practices are being blown apart, R&D is being subjected to emergency surgery, drug prices surge ever higher, spurring a growing backlash from payers.
In this constantly shifting panorama you'll find a group of executives who are forging new paths for others to follow. This year, the third for Fierce, we present the men and women whose influence is being felt across the industry.
Influence, of course, isn't always a force for good. But it can be. To be truly influential in an industry, you need to be able to persuasively explain new methods that can exert a powerful hold on colleagues in the same global field. Some of this year's group have excelled in that regard.
We hope you enjoy this year's report. And please offer any suggestions you may have for next year's project on the influentials.
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When the FDA laid out its strategic priorities for 2011 to 2015, the agency listed the modernization of its IT infrastructure as a primary objective. Since then, the FDA has seen another chief information officer pass through its revolving doors and faced criticism from the Government Accountability Office, but is still plugging away with the IT modernization agenda in its next strategic plan.
The deal gives Google a partner with healthcare experience to commercialize the glucose-recording contact lens technology it unveiled earlier this year.
While virtual biotechs and the service providers that support them have been around for years, Transcriptic and rival West Coast startups think they can improve the model through automation. And having raised cash from Google's venture unit and struck deals with some elite academic centers, Transcriptic is now rolling out the next phase of its plan.
The FDA is continuing to push ahead with its openFDA initiative, with this week's rollout of an application programming interface (API) for recall data coming a month after its adverse event system went live. And the regulator plans to maintain the pace throughout the rest of the summer.
Codexis strengthened its ties to small-molecule synthesis this week through a deal with GlaxoSmithKline. The agreement will see GSK pay $6 million upfront and more in milestones to license the platform.
Over the first few months of 2014, Novartis quietly began laying off workers, shedding an estimated 3,000 jobs in four months. Now BioSpace has provided details of where the ax has fallen and why, with development IT teams suffering heavy job losses.
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Another company is having to recall products because of packaging issues which could lead to serious health consequences for patients. This time the mix-up could result in patients getting ibuprofen instead of their scheduled dose of a seizure drug presribed for epilepsy patients.