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.

SFW Capital Partners closes $345M analytical tools fund

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, 23andMe start building 5,000-person lupus database

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 teams with Epic, cancer centers as healthcare push continues

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 bolsters presence in clinical lab software sector with Cartagenia buyout

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 links its cloud platform to Apple's ResearchKit

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.

Buzz: Apple plans to add 23andMe-style spit kits to ResearchKit studies

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 joins WaferGen's single cell analysis early-access program

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.

Value of lab automation market tipped to top $5B by 2020

The value of the laboratory automation market is set to top $5 billion by 2020, according to market researchers.

California calls for precision medicine pilot proposals

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.

Apple Watch's data-gathering functions fall short of expectations

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.

GSK's social media savvy bags it 2nd place in digital ranking of big British businesses

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.

Congress keeps trial data sharing plan in slimmed-down 21st Century Cures Act

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.

Bayer, Boehringer lead rapid rise in pharma's social media output

Large pharma companies are posting 530% more tweets a week than in 2013, a study by Ogilvy Healthworld found. The healthcare communications group tracked the social media activity of 14 large pharma companies for one week per month over three months.

WuXi invests $15M in DNAnexus to fuel push into China

DNAnexus has snagged $15 million from WuXi PharmaTech in a Series D round. The deal will see DNAnexus bring its cloud-based genomics platform to China and pair it with WuXi NextCODE's offering.