News

Saama raises $35M to fuel push into life science data analytics

After being in business for 18 years and growing its headcount toward 700, Saama Technologies has decided now is the time to do a Series A round. The analytics specialist has raised $35 million from Carrick Capital Partners to bankroll development of industry-specific tools for life sciences and other sectors.

UPDATED: U.K. picks interpretation providers for 100K Genomes Project, asks Illumina not to tender

Genomics England has named the four companies it wants to work with on the interpretation of the first 8,000 genomes from its massive sequencing effort. The list of successful bidders is lacking some big-name applicants, with Illumina and Qiagen among the companies to miss out.

Artificial intelligence tops Google VC's list of high-potential life sci techs

Google Ventures President Bill Maris has put artificial intelligence at the top of a list of 8 technologies he sees as having the potential to revolutionize life sciences. The technologies are part of what Maris calls life science's "transistor moment," a trigger that will enable healthcare to advance at a rate comparable to the rapid rise of computing in recent decades.

AstraZeneca's Definiens rolls out biomarker data service

Definiens introduced a suite of services to help companies gather data from tissue samples and use the resource to identify potential companion diagnostics.

Bioinformatics leads UCSD team to ovarian cancer biomarkers

A team at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), has found biomarkers for ovarian tumors by mining two National Institutes of Health-sponsored databases. The bioinformatics-enabled research program has raised expectations that earlier diagnoses of ovarian cancer can be made, an advance that could improve outcomes in a tough therapeutic indication.

CRISPR Therapeutics starts search for a bioinformatics chief

CRISPR Therapeutics has joined the hunt for bioinformatics talent. Fresh from a $64 million VC round, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing startup is advertising for a head of bioinformatics, putting it in competition with multiple other biotechs that are trying to bolster their ranks of computational biologists.

UT Southwestern snags $5.6M grant to boost bioinformatics operation

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has given the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center $5.6 million to build out its bioinformatics capabilities. Gaudenz Danuser, a professor UT Southwestern lured away from Harvard Medical School last year, is leading the initiative.

Genomics England searches for tumor sample processing improvements to boost data quality

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 raises $5M to mount U.S. expansion of online trial enrollment business

Trialbee has raised $5 million to expand its clinical trial recruitment business in the U.S.

Gentleman aims to use 23andMe's R&D blank slate to tip in vivo-in silico testing balance

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 taps Cypher Genomics to spot biomarkers in data sets

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 aims algorithms at pharma patents to sink stocks

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.

PatientsLikeMe nabs Merck informatics veteran to lead R&D

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 mulls setting up a population-scale genetic database

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 lobbying for its database to be the linchpin of Obama's Precision Medicine program

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.

Allen Institute advances brain-mapping ambitions with cell-type database

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.

Venter's HLI scoops samples from Cleveland Clinic as data-generating drive continues

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 shares 7 years of cancer testing data with medical center

GenomeDx Biosciences is making its pool of clinically annotated data on the genomics of urological cancers available to Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

AstraZeneca dives into genetics of 80,000 samples in search of CV, diabetes insights

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.

FDA creates openFDA developer challenge

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.