News

Record year at PLOS ONE creates new challenges for data scientists

In 2013, open-access journal PLOS ONE again posted a record year for new publications, with 31,500 scientific articles added to the site. The haul took the journal past the 100,000 article mark but also created new challenges.

Regeneron to sequence 100K exomes and link data to EHRs to speed drug discovery

New York-based biopharma Regeneron will sequence DNA from 100,000 patients at Geisinger Health Systems, a healthcare network that serves 3 million people in Pennsylvania.

BioClinica to go through second merger since being taken private last year

The merger expands the range of medical imaging services BioClinica can offer while also moving it into new areas, notably clinical trial services and patient recruitment.

European Union makes $40M available for development of bioinformatics tools

As part of Horizon 2020, the European Union's $100 billion initiative to secure the competitiveness of the region through investment in innovative projects, the EU is setting aside an initial $40 million for companies that can turn data into discoveries.

Illumina hits the $1,000 genome mark with a big-data 'cannonball'

At the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week, Illumina unveiled a system to kick-start the era of low-cost, industrial-scale sequencing of human genomes.

FDA publishes a slice of social media guidance as the deadline for a full policy nears

With the deadline for publication of long-awaited FDA guidance on online drug promotion now just 6 months away, the FDA has got the ball rolling early, posting an unexpected document outlining its views on how and when companies should submit online promotional materials for review.

Early Google investor picks Maverix from the genome data analysis crowd

Standing out in the congested genomics data analysis market is a challenge for startups, with each month bringing news of rivals' fresh investments and products. Maverix Biomics is one of many companies trying to gain a foothold in the sector, but it can boast a differentiating factor--one of Google's original angel investors has contributed funding.

Analyst: CROs like Covance and Icon will take the lead on IT and genomics

With the spiraling amount of time and money needed to bring a drug to market weighing heavy on their Big Pharma clients, CROs have invested in efficiency boosting technology to gain a competitive edge. And the trend is tipped to continue, with an analyst predicting CROs will be at the forefront of developments in IT and genomics in 2014.

Merck invests in an FDA-cleared mobile diabetes management business

Since setting up shop in 2006, WellDoc has financed development of its mobile diabetes management tool through debt and angel investment, snagging itself the input of pharma veterans in the process. Now, it has landed its first round of institutional investment, with Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and others committing $20 million.

Merge wipes $15M from backlog after discovering ex-employee faked contracts

The past year was tough for Merge Healthcare. An anticipated private equity takeover never happened and in August disastrous results prompted a 46% fall in its stock. Now Merge faces fresh misery after an investigation revealed an ex-employee falsified deals worth more than $15 million.

Pfizer trialing video game designed to diagnose Alzheimer's

The game attempts to assess whether someone has Alzheimer's by evaluating how well they respond to distractions and interruptions.

New York Genome Center taps U. of Buffalo for computing horsepower

In its short history, the New York Genome Center has bulked up quickly to compete with the established genomics powerhouses, advancing from pilot labs at The Rockefeller University to its own 16,000-square-meter site. Now, it is tapping the University of Buffalo for the computing might needed to handle Big Data storage and complex analytics.

IMS Health files for IPO after making string of tech takeovers

The IPO could raise up to $100 million as TPG Capital Funds and other investors look to cash in on the business they took private in 2010 in a $5.2 billion deal.

Days after Big Pharma trumpets data sharing plans, U.K. politicians push for more transparency

The new year began with Sanofi and PhRMA trumpeting their commitment to sharing clinical trial data, but the self-congratulation was followed swiftly by fresh criticism of industry practices.

FDA plans raft of IT guidance documents to further GDUFA goals

The FDA has made an uneasy transition to the digital era. Congress' watchdog has cataloged its failings, taking potshots at incomplete databases, slow-moving modernization efforts and the lack of a clear IT strategy in recent years. Now, the FDA has moved to clarify its thinking by publishing a 5-year IT investment plan.

NIH puts improved data handling at top of BRAIN Initiative wish list

President Obama's BRAIN Initiative has begun to take shape over the past 6 months as vague goals have been developed into definite priorities. The process continued recently when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) revealed the 6 projects on which it will invest its first $40 million of BRAIN Initiative funding.

Google VC commits to $15M round to advance DNAnexus' data hub ambitions

The venture capital wing of Google has once again backed DNAnexus, joining with other existing investors and newcomer Claremont Creek Ventures to commit $15 million.

Spun out of George Church's lab, Curoverse gets $1.5M for open-source bio Big Data

Open-source companies have had a big impact on parts of IT. The model is being used by Rackspace in cloud computing, Acquia in content management and Red Hat in operating systems. Now a startup out of Harvard Medical School is applying the model to bio Big Data and has raised $1.5 million to advance its ambitions.

NIH names its first associate director of data science

Philip Bourne joins NIH from UC San Diego where he uses data mining in pharmacology. He is known to support the free exchange of scientific data.

BGI is building a huge genome database to drive drug discovery

When struggling Complete Genomics went up for sale last year, it sparked a fight between rival sequencing superpowers BGI and Illumina that touched on national security and a host of other big issues. BGI ultimately won and has now begun to outline its plans for its $119 million acquisition.