News

GoBalto eyes Asian expansion after $12M Mitsui-led financing

Study startup specialist goBalto is preparing to up its game in Asia. The San Francisco, CA-based software developer outlined the strategy after raising $12 million from new backers, including Japan's Mitsui Global Investment.

Obama talks up precision meds, cybersecurity in SOTU speech

President Obama has pushed precision medicine and cybersecurity into the national consciousness and toward the top of the legislative agenda. Obama referred to both topics in his State of the Union address, but at this stage more is known about the cybersecurity plan.

$4B VC shop lays out its vision for the future of digital health

Anyone with a passing interest in tech startups is unlikely to be shocked by Silicon Valley VC Andreessen Horowitz listing digital health as one of its top 16 trends. But as one of the organizations with some power over how these trends play out, the reasoning behind Andreessen Horowitz's list makes for interesting reading.

BIO is preparing small biotechs for life in the social media maelstrom

Last year the campaign for Chimerix to give an experimental cancer drug to a 7-year-old gave biopharma firms another reason to be wary of the power of social media. Having seen Chimerix be engulfed by the social media maelstrom, BIO is working to equip small biotechs with the skills they will need if they find themselves in a similar situation.

Novartis teams with Qualcomm on $100M digital health fund

The deal gives Novartis access to the most active digital health VC team--Rock Health reports Qualcomm Ventures has struck 21 deals since 2011--and further strengthens the ties between the two companies.

10X Genomics exits stealth mode with $80M, plan to improve Illumina tech

10X Genomics has exited stealth mode with $80 million in VC funding and a plan to solve a significant sequencing problem without going head to head with Illumina. The Pleasanton, CA-based startup is set to unveil an add-on for Illumina sequencers that improves their ability to map long reads of DNA.

Personalis raises $33M to scale up pharma-facing genomics operation

Personalis has returned to the financing font ahead of a planned scaling up of its operations. The Menlo Park, CA-based genome sequencing and interpretation company has reported interest from pharma companies in its cancer services, a trend that helped persuade investors to give it $33 million in a Series C round.

J&J, IOM provide big boosts to data transparency agenda

The clinical trial data transparency movement was propelled forward by two major developments this week. On the same day, influential national academy the Institute of Medicine called for more systematic sharing of trial results and Johnson & Johnson agreed to extend its transparency initiative to include medical devices and diagnostics.

Genentech teams with Venter's HLI as Roche group continues genomics push

Having given a $60 million boost to 23andMe last week, Genentech has now turned to J. Craig Venter's Human Longevity for help sequencing and analyzing tens of thousands of genomes.

23andMe inks Pfizer deal, eyes 2015 resolution of FDA dispute

Days after unveiling a $60 million deal with Genentech, personal genomics pioneer 23andMe struck a new database-driven collaboration with Pfizer. There is even talk of a possible resolution with the FDA in 2015.

WuXi buys NextCODE for $65M to add analytics platform to genomics strategy

NextCODE has made a sharp exit. Just 15 months after some ex-deCode Genetics executives struck a deal with Amgen to create NextCODE, Chinese CRO WuXi PharmaTech has bought the genomic analysis startup for $65 million in cash.

Novartis picks Qualcomm tech to enable remote collection of trial data

Novartis has added another component to its "Clinical Trials of the Future" program. The latest element of the trial efficiency initiative sees the Swiss Big Pharma team up with computer chip maker Qualcomm to gather data on clinical trial participants between visits to the investigator site.

FDA to publish guidance on social media and clinical trial e-consent in 2015

The FDA has released a list of almost 100 draft drug guidance documents it plans to introduce or update in 2015. The documents cover a range of biotech IT-related topics, including electronic informed consent in clinical trials, links to third-party sites in social media adverts and statistical approaches to showing biosimilarity.

Adaptive buys Sequenta to pool immune sequencing capabilities

Adaptive Biotechnologies is keeping its foot on the gas. Having raised $105 million from VCs in April, the immune sequencing firm has now added a further $94 million and bought Sequenta for an undisclosed sum of cash and stock.

23andMe strikes $60M Genentech deal to continue pivot to database-driven R&D

Genentech has given 23andMe a major boost. The big biotech has reportedly paid $10 million upfront and agreed to $50 million in milestones to access 23andMe's database for target discovery of new drugs for Parkinson's disease.

Biogen Idec inks $30M genetic R&D alliance with Columbia University

Some of the cash will go toward creating a sequencing and analysis center at Columbia to support collaborative research.

Scripps director: Validation needed to unlock the potential of wearables

Scripps Translational Science Institute's digital medicine program director Steven Steinhubl has said validation of wearables is needed to unlock their considerable potential.

Study: Biology-inspired computers rival primate brain at image recognition

While computers have long since surpassed the capabilities of the human brain in certain areas, people have continued to outperform machines at visual object recognition. Now though, computers may be starting to catch up--and the advance has implications for our understanding of the human brain.

FDA outlines industry-focused ambitions as Mini-Sentinel graduates

Having grown to include data from 178 million patients during its 5-year history, the FDA's active safety surveillance system Mini-Sentinel has now graduated into a fully fledged program. And the FDA is already planning future iterations of the technology, including a possible industry-focused offshoot to support drug development and quality improvement.

Analytics and Big Data investments spur bumper year for digital health funding

The likelihood of 2014 being another high-water mark for digital health was clear from the first few months of the year. When digital health seed funder Rock Health tallied up the total last week, it found digital health companies raised $4.1 billion in 2014, almost as much as they pulled in across the three prior years combined.