Apple has designs on the DNA sequencing sector. The tech giant is reportedly working with researchers to make 23andMe-style DNA sequencing spit kits part of ResearchKit, the platform that turned every iPhone user into a potential study participant.
Apple just gained a powerful ally in its push to make ResearchKit a core component of the health research toolkit. The Silicon Valley tech giant has tapped IBM ($IBM) for access to Watson, the data-mining and predictive analytics capabilities of which will be applied to health research. Read more >>
The fight for top bioinformatics talent is heating up. With 23andMe poaching Robert Gentleman from Genentech, the Roche-owned Big Biotech now finds itself competing with the likes of Google's Calico in its hunt for a replacement. 23andMe broke the news of its latest coup on April 2, by which time Genentech had already been advertising for a replacement for one week. Genentech is searching for someone with at least a 15-year track record in bioinformatics, experience of large-scale scientific software projects and a strong history of developing computational analyses. The stringent requirements leave Genentech picking from a fairly small and hotly contested pool of candidates. Read more >>
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Pfizer and 23andMe have begun enrolling people in their lupus study. The partners aim to recruit 5,000 people into the study of the genetics of lupus over the next 12 months, in part by asking existing 23andMe customers to participate.
A team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has found biomarkers for ovarian tumors by mining two National Institutes of Health-sponsored databases. The bioinformatics-enabled research program has raised expectations that earlier diagnoses of ovarian cancer can be made, an advance that could improve outcomes in a tough therapeutic indication.
CRISPR Therapeutics has joined the hunt for bioinformatics talent. Fresh from a $64 million VC round, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing startup is advertising for a head of bioinformatics, putting it in competition with multiple other biotechs that are trying to bolster their ranks of computational biologists.
The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has given the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center $5.6 million to build out its bioinformatics capabilities. Gaudenz Danuser, a professor UT Southwestern lured away from Harvard Medical School last year, is leading the initiative.
Genomics England has run into teething problems in the first few months of its massive genome sequencing initiative. About half of tumor samples sequenced to date have yielded substandard data, a shortcoming Genomics England is trying to overcome by trialing new processes and working with hospitals to incorporate the practices into their day-to-day tasks.
Trialbee has raised $5 million to expand its clinical trial recruitment business in the U.S.
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Bristol-Myers Squibb and rival Merck started off the big annual scientific meeting of ASCO with a bang, rolling out a slate of new studies spotlighting the growing body of evidence that their new immuno-oncology drugs will play a key role fighting a range of cancers.
Danish enzyme maker Novozymes is answering the call for alternatives to animal antibiotics by entering the market for probiotics--the so-called good bacteria that are believed to boost growth and prevent the buildup of bad bugs in animals' guts.