News

George Church backs online platform for open sharing of personal data

Harvard geneticist George Church has backed Open Humans, an online platform that asks people to openly share their genomes and other personal data. The idea is to marry the underlying principles of the open-source and quantified-self movements to make more data available to more researchers.

Committee clips the wings of Europe's controversial $1B brain project

An independent committee set up to probe a dispute over Europe's $1 billion Human Brain Project (HBP) has sided with critics of the initiative. The outcome leaves the fate of HBP and its ambitious and much-criticized plan to simulate the brain using a supercomputer in doubt.

100,000 Genomes Project taps Big Pharma dream team for data crunching skills

The United Kingdom has wasted no time getting industry involved with its 100,000 Genomes Project. With just 3% of the sequencing work done, Genomics England has enlisted the help of a who's who of Big Pharma companies to pore over the data in search of new avenues for drug discovery.

Amgen's deCODE lays marker for future of genomics-driven drug discovery

Amgen's deCODE Genetics has released a glimpse of a future in which population-scale genome sequencing forms the basis of drug discovery programs. And while the initiative still has some technical shortcomings and has yet to prove to the outside world it is worth $415 million, it nonetheless sparked excitement in the genomics community.

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.