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.
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.
Robert Gentleman has shared details of what he wants to achieve as 23andMe's VP of computational biology. And the ex-Genentech bioinformatics chief is looking to turn 23andMe's inexperience in drug discovery into a strength, notably by relying more on computational methods to generate data in early-stage tests.
Celgene has struck a deal with Cypher Genomics to boost its ability to find biomarkers. The agreement gives Celgene access to Cypher's Coral technology, a resource it thinks could help it identify the signatures of novel biomarkers in genomic data.
Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass has outlined how he picks pharma patents to challenge for his new money-spinning project. The project is underpinned by two emerging assets commonly thought of as a potential boon for drug developers: large data sets and algorithms with which to interrogate them.
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Bavarian Nordic has downplayed its interest in becoming the latest European biotech to be scooped up by a deep-pocketed suitor. The vaccine player has regained some of its luster over the past year through deals with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson, but has no desire to cash in on its moment in the limelight.
U.K. CRO Ergomed is expanding its share of the postmarketing services business, buying a medical information firm that fields patient queries for drug companies.