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.
Google continued to reveal pieces of its expansion into life sciences this week, with a typically ambitious plan to map the characteristics of a healthy human the latest project to go public. The initiative is underpinned by Google's standard building blocks: data and computing horsepower.
Researchers have developed a computational cancer model to predict how a drug will perform in humans, VentureBeat reports.
With the European Parliament's summer break causing progress on new General Data Protection Regulations to stop, cancer experts have taken the opportunity to criticize the proposal. Opponents of the changes warn they could make it practically impossible for researchers to access patient data for cancer research.
With IT playing a bigger and bigger role across the R&D process, market research shop Grand View Research has tipped the computational biology market to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.1% over the next six years. And that trajectory will result in the value of the sector topping $4.2 billion by 2020.
The psychiatric sector received a big boost this week when the Broad Institute was given $650 million to investigate the genetic causes of mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. And the impact of the work is set to extend far beyond Cambridge, with Broad making the data available to researchers around the world.
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After Sarepta Therapeutics' former head scientist blamed his swift ouster on "serious disagreements" with CEO Chris Garabedian, the company has moved to limit its chief executive's power, according to a report, especially when it comes to meetings with the FDA over the biotech's much-scrutinized lead drug.
Bracing for an expensive round of late-stage studies and potential drug launches as it ramps up work on a slate of new biosimilars, Amgen reported Tuesday evening that it plans to trim up to 15% of the company's workforce, shutting down facilities in Colorado and Washington state as it slashes up to 2,900 staffers.