PatientsLikeMe has lured Jason Johnson away from Merck. Johnson is leaving Merck after 14 years at the Big Pharma to head up R&D at PatientsLikeMe, a role which gives him responsibility for efforts to extract insights from patient-reported data.
Israel has become the latest country to disclose plans to create a population-scale database of linked genetic and clinical records. The current plan is reminiscent of the United Kingdom's 100,000 Genomes Project, with Israel considering working with tech firms to create a database of patients with rare genetic diseases.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is lobbying for the exome sequencing database it is building with Geisinger Health System to become the linchpin of President Obama's Precision Medicine program.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released an online database of neuron cell types, building blocks it thinks will lead to the creation of computer models of healthy brains. Publication of the free database marks an important, early milestone for the research program triggered by a $300 million donation from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2012.
J. Craig Venter's Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) has struck a deal with the Cleveland Clinic to access blood samples. The initial focus of the deal is on the sequencing and analysis of samples in Cleveland Clinic's GeneBank.
GenomeDx Biosciences is making its pool of clinically annotated data on the genomics of urological cancers available to Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.
AstraZeneca is digging through the genomes of 80,000 people in search of genes linked to cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The project is a collaboration with the Montreal Heart Institute, which will genotype 80,000 samples from AstraZeneca's biobank of blood and tissue samples.
The FDA has challenged developers to create algorithms that identify spikes in adverse event data automatically. The challenge is one of several posted by the regulator to encourage developers to use the data made available through the openFDA initiative and share their work on Reddit.
SFW Capital Partners has closed its second analytical tool investment fund. The fund hit its hard cap after 6 months of fundraising, giving SFW a $345 million kitty to invest in analytical tools companies.
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.
IBM has continued its push into healthcare and research by striking deals with electronic health record software provider Epic, Mayo Clinic and 14 cancer institutes.
Agilent Technologies has struck a deal to acquire Cartagenia. The buyout will give Agilent software to interpret clinical genomics data, an asset it plans to offer to its molecular oncology customers.
Medidata has connected its Clinical Cloud to Apple's ResearchKit. The link means researchers can feed data gathered by ResearchKit apps into Medidata's cloud platform, where the information can be integrated with other sources of clinical trial results.
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.
Genentech has joined an early-access program for WaferGen Bio-systems' single cell sequencing technology. The alliance builds on proof-of-concept studies with the Broad Institute and BGI with a view to validating the use of the technology in industrial drug discovery.
The value of the laboratory automation market is set to top $5 billion by 2020, according to market researchers.
The University of California (UC) has begun accepting proposals for the first phase of the state's precision medicine initiative. UC has $2.4 million in state funding to dole out to two projects and is looking for programs that will yield immediate benefits and develop long-term resources.
Early reviews of Apple's much-discussed smartwatch suggest that anyone wanting to make the device a cornerstone of their health or research programs will need to wait for later versions. The grumbles mainly relate to the accuracy and reliability of Apple Watch's heart rate monitor.
GlaxoSmithKline has shone in a ranking of the social media savvy of the 100 largest publicly traded firms in the United Kingdom. The Big Pharma ranked second on the list, an outcome that suggests at least some drugmakers compare favorably to their peers in other industries.
Legislation that would mandate the creation of a system to share de-identified clinical trial data has moved a step closer to coming into force. The text is included in the latest draft of the 21st Century Cures Act, which is almost 200 pages shorter than the original proposal.