Ex-BGI CEO sets up AI-enabled health data mining operation

The former CEO of Chinese sequencing giant BGI has started his new venture, iCarbonX. As expected, iCarbonX will build a deep, broad pool of health data and develop an artificial intelligence platform to dig into the resource for insights into how to treat diseases.

FDA seeks industry feedback on virtual and BYOD clinical trials

The FDA is trying to learn more about virtual clinical trials, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model of provisioning and other aspects of today's tech-enabled research environment. The regulator has set up a docket to gather feedback on how researchers are using technology and what barriers are stopping more widespread adoption.

Y Combinator graduate bags $4M for algorithm-enabled drug discovery

Verge Genomics has raised $4 million to finance a computer-based drug discovery program targeting neurological disorders. The plan is to map all the genes implicated in a disease, using technology that Verge compares to Google's search engine, and find drugs that can hit each of the targets simultaneously.

Big Pharma follows cash-strapped seniors onto the darknet

The existence of an ever-present pool of people who struggle to afford medicines and online bazaars that can meet their needs has brought two new groups to the hidden underbelly of the internet: Big Pharma and cash-strapped seniors.

Dovetail Genomics makes pitch for genome assembly market

Dovetail Genomics has started offering a de novo whole genome assembly service.

Silicon Valley's thrust into biotech sparks scramble for data scientists

The search at Apple, Google and other members of the tech elite for new business opportunities is pushing them to recruit from outside of their core fields. And whether the sector being targeted is artificial intelligence, self-driving cars or life sciences, the result is the same: a tug-of-war with incumbents for talent.

Genentech deal continues big 2015 for in silico specialist Nimbus

This year is shaping up to be a pivotal one for Nimbus Therapeutics. Having pocketed $43 million from a clutch of big-name backers in March, the computational chemistry specialist has persuaded Roche's Genentech to license an interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 inhibitor program.

Novartis, Qualcomm joint venture backs $6.5M Series A round for Science 37

The joint venture set up by Novartis and Qualcomm has teamed up with Lux Capital to funnel $6.5 million into Science 37. Los Angeles, CA-based Science 37 will use the cash to step up the expansion of its virtual, tech-enabled model of clinical trial services.

J&J inks deal to access Nuevolution's informatics-enabled discovery platform

Johnson & Johnson has added another company to its ever-growing network of third-party drug discovery allies. The latest deal sees J&J subsidiary Janssen Biotech follow GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis and others by hooking up with Nuevolution to get a look at its drug discovery platform.

Scripps teams up to apply genomics to stem cell quality control

The Scripps Research Institute has teamed up with two German research centers to improve the quality of induced pluripotent stem cells. Researchers at Scripps and its collaborators will apply next-generation sequencing to the task of analyzing iPSCs that could improve the accuracy of preclinical disease and toxicity models.

Simulations Plus introduces clinical trial data analysis software

The software, called PKPlus, is seen by Simulations Plus as a way to step up competition in the market for noncompartmental analysis software.

EU consortium creates large toxin database for drug discovery

A European consortium has created what it claims is the world's largest database of toxins. The resource, which is the result of a large sampling and bioinformatic analysis program, is now set to be applied to the discovery of drugs against cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.

LabKey lands data-management deal with 100,000 Genomes Project

Genomics England is to work with LabKey Software to develop a data-management platform that meets the needs of the 100,000 Genomes Project. The deal puts the open-source LabKey Server platform at the center of the infrastructure the massive sequencing project will use to integrate and share data.

Venter's Human Longevity starts $50,000 health testing service

J. Craig Venter has unveiled the scope of the Health Nucleus testing service being offered by Human Longevity Inc. For $50,000, HLI will perform a battery of sequencing, imaging and laboratory tests to build a picture of the health of an individual--while adding a wealth of information to its burgeoning database.

23andMe raises $115M as investors buy into data-driven drug discovery vision

23andMe has bounced back from a difficult couple of years with a $115 million fundraising round that values the company at $1.1 billion. The cash will enable 23andMe to set up new lab space to fire up its nascent in-house drug discovery program and invest in a next-generation sequencing facility.

WuXi NextCODE plans MA hiring spree after landing Qatari deal

WuXi NextCODE has added another country to its growing list of large-scale sequencing projects. Sidra Medical and Research Center, which is involved with the Qatar Genome Project, has turned to WuXi NextCODE for help.

UBiome taps Apple ecosystem to broaden microbiome data-gathering drive

UBiome has become the first for-profit organization to roll out an app for Apple ResearchKit, the tech giant's open-source study platform. The program is combining a ResearchKit-enabled app with uBiome's microbiome test to generate data that may one day support biopharma R&D.

ResearchKit-enabled project sets out to track real-world effectiveness of hep C drugs

When Gilead's Sovaldi and AbbVie's Viekira Pak came to market, physicians had little real-world evidence for either drug on which to base their prescribing decisions. In an attempt to fill this gap and find out what happens to hepatitis C patients between physician visits, Boston Children's Hospital has created an app for Apple ResearchKit.

GSK finds 21M mentions of its drugs in trawl of social media

GlaxoSmithKline has provided a glimpse at just how much information about the real-world use of drugs is online. In a trawl of Facebook and Twitter, the Big Pharma found 21 million mentions of its products--and the data have already led to the recall of a GSK product.

NIH gives UCSF $10M to build mobile data collection platform

The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) has snagged $9.75 million to build a platform for the remote collection of research data. UCSF will use the cash to build out its mobile data gathering toolkit, giving it the capabilities to support large-scale, geographically-dispersed research programs.