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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Pfizer and 23andMe have teamed up to identify genetic factors linked to inflammatory bowel disease. And with 23andMe trumpeting the fact that people can participate without leaving their homes, the study represents a continuation of Pfizer's interest in virtual trials.
Clinverse and Comprehend have raised a total of $30.1 million in separate Series C and B financing rounds, giving both companies the cash to push ahead with their expansion plans.
Digital health investor Rock Health has added 8 startups to its portfolio, bringing the number of active companies in its network up to 55. And with one of the startups focusing on life science R&D and Abbott among its new corporate partners, the incubator has strengthened its ties to drug development.
With scholarly social network ResearchGate now adding 10,000 users a day to its network of 4.5 million researchers, the idea of a "Facebook for science" has finally taken off. But these numbers say nothing about whether people actually use the site and why, a shortcoming Nature has tried to fix by surveying thousands of researchers about their social media habits.
With Oxford Nanopore's oversubscribed offering pulling in $59 million (£35 million), the British startup has the money to scale up production of its sequencer while developing new uses for the underlying technology.
Intel has spent the past year adding tools for gathering and analyzing data, notably by taking a stake in Cloudera and buying Basis. And the strategy now has a major test case, with the Michael J. Fox Foundation teaming up with Intel to remotely monitor people with Parkinson's disease.
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MSD Animal Health, known as Merck Animal Health in the U.S. and Canada, released a new fish vaccine on Aug. 18 that is intended to protect tilapia from a dangerous strain of Streptococcus agalactiae. Tilapia, a popular farmed food fish feeding a global demand, is especially vulnerable to the strain of strep in Thailand and Malaysia.
Kinavet CA-1 drew FDA ire last month for bogus marketing claims, but the canine cancer drug, intended to treat mast cell tumors, has gone ahead to a Phase III clinical trial in Florida.