News

India crowdsources whistleblowing with website, mobile app

India has given consumers a way to complain about the availability or pricing of drugs. By providing an online portal and mobile app through which consumers can vent their grievances, Indian authorities are trying to turn the country's vast population into a disaggregated army of whistleblowers.

Big Pharma nervously eying Apple and Google's healthcare pitches

The Financial Times has taken a look at the implications of Apple and Google's ever-growing interest in healthcare and life sciences.

FDA under pressure to establish staff social media policy

Having faced years of criticism for its failure to publish guidelines on how the industry can use social media, the FDA is now being chastised by the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists over its lack of a policy for its staff.

Cloud Pharmaceuticals allies with U. of Florida to advance in silico pipeline

Cloud Pharmaceuticals has taken the next step in its push to create a pipeline of drugs discovered using a computer-based design process, hooking up with the University of Florida to transition its computer-discovered drugs into traditional preclinical research.

AstraZeneca taps Assay Depot to create preclinical service hub

The list of IT vendors and service providers that have yet to strike a deal with AstraZeneca in 2015 keeps getting shorter. Assay Depot is the latest name to cross of the list after the scientific services marketplace agreed to create a private research e-commerce platform for AstraZeneca.

Nimbus bags $43M from Big Pharma VCs to test computer-designed drugs

Nimbus Therapeutics is ready to see how the compounds it discovered with the help of Schrödinger's computational chemistry tools fare in the clinic. And the VC units of Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer want to find out, too, prompting each to chip in to Nimbus' $43 million Series B round.

UCB to host epilepsy digital tool hackathon

UCB is hosting a hackathon focused on developing new tools to improve the day-to-day lives of people with epilepsy and their families, PMLiVE reports.

Google adds Tute database to burgeoning Genomics platform

Google has added another publicly available database to its growing Genomics platform. The latest deal sees Google Genomics host Tute Genomics' repository of 8.5 billion annotations of genetic variants, giving users another resource to probe with the tech giant's growing arsenal of data integration tools.

Y Combinator backs cancer drug combo testing service

Y Combinator has unveiled another of its latest batch of biotech startups, Notable Labs. The company is aiming to end the long wait for improved treatments for glioblastoma multiforme by applying data analytics and robotics to the discovery of effective combinations of existing drugs.

Genomics England doles out $12M as sequencing yields early breakthroughs

The 100,000 Genomes Project is up and running in the United Kingdom. And with the population-scale sequencing drive having already made breakthroughs in identifying rare diseases, Genomics England has handed out $12 million to bolster its data analysis capabilities.

Apple turns 700M iPhone users into potential participants in massive virtual trials

Apple is giving researchers the power to turn its 700 million iPhone users into participants in massive virtual trials. And the approach is already proving effective, with an iPhone-powered study of Parkinson's disease smashing the previous enrollment record by recruiting 7,406 participants in six hours.

FDA opens door to a multitude of trial e-consent approaches

The FDA has released draft guidance on electronic informed consent. And the scope is as broad as trial sponsors' imaginations, with the FDA opening the door to the use of podcasts, "biological recognition devices" and any other method that conveys adequate, understandable information and captures informed consent.

Google applies large-scale machine learning to drug discovery

Google has given the world a peek at one of the ways in which it thinks algorithms and huge datasets could reshape drug discovery. The work involves trying to make virtual drug screening more efficient using the same ethos Google applies to most problems: More data, more computing power. 

NIH puts data stitching at top of precision medicine to-do list

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has put the establishment of a way to combine data from different sources at the top of its list of initial priorities for President Obama's precision medicine initiative. Such a system is essential if the NIH is to pull off its plan of making use of data generated by third parties.

Intel-GE joint venture teams with Xavier U. to test health tech

The health-focused joint venture set up by GE Healthcare and Intel has teamed with Xavier University to create a permanent testing laboratory. Intel-GE Care Innovations will use the site to test remote patient monitoring and communication technologies.

Ubisoft creates therapeutic video game to treat lazy eye

French software giant Ubisoft has teamed with healthtech startup Amblyotech to create a video game that treats lazy eye.

Broadly positive reactions roll in for FDA's drug shortages app

The FDA made its first move into the world of smartphone apps this week with a tool to allow users of iOS and Android devices to view information on drug shortages. And the reception to the app was broadly positive, with users praising the tool itself and the FDA for pushing into the mobile sector.

AstraZeneca's rapid-fire IT dealmaking continues with Elixir hookup

AstraZeneca is extending its use of Elixir Software's R&D workflow-management software, in part to support communication while it is moving its focal point in the United Kingdom from Alderley Park to Cambridge.

RainDance files for $60M IPO

RainDance Technologies has taken a step toward completing its long-planned IPO by filing the paperwork for a $60 million offering.

Pfizer: Our IT systems are subject to frequent attacks

Pfizer has updated the risk factors section of its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings to reflect the new normal in cybersecurity. The Big Pharma lays out the situation plainly: "As a global pharmaceutical company, our systems are subject to frequent attacks."