News

Pfizer takes steps to protect itself from BlackBerry's woes

BlackBerry phones are a defining tech of the first decade of the 21st Century, a time when suited Big Pharma execs used the devices to facilitate multi-billion dollar takeovers. At Pfizer, the mega-merger era it helped create is over, and now its relationship with BlackBerry is coming to a close, too.

Validic raises cash to turn mHealth app output into data hose

Rising use of Fitbit wristbands, Withings scales and other self-tracking devices mean individuals have access to a pool of personal health data that in some respects far exceeds what clinical trials gather. Now, Validic has secured funding from Dallas Mavericks-owner Mark Cuban to bring the devices into healthcare.

Pfizer finally takes control of Twitter account

When Pfizer came to set up its Twitter account in 2009, the social network was already a big deal, with users sending 100,000 tweets per hour when Michael Jackson died. Arriving late to the party meant the @Pfizer handle was already taken. Now, four years later, Pfizer has finally claimed the account.

EMA warns of possible delay to final trial data transparency policy

When the European Medicines Agency released its draft policy on clinical trial data disclosure in June, it expected a big response. And it got one, with more than 1,000 comments submitted in the four-month consultation period. Working through this feedback is taking a little longer than expected, though.

Hack of FDA databases raises cybersecurity questions

In the flurry of chatter about the implications of last month's government shutdown, cybersecurity experts tried to get one point across--the furloughing of staff makes us vulnerable. With fewer staff guarding the U.S., the fear was hackers would strike. Now, the experience of FDA shows fears were well founded.

Veeva CEO gives post-IPO interview

Veeva Systems CEO Peter Gassner spoke to Forbes about the company and its plans to expand its products.

Scientists increasingly receptive to life science vendors on social media

Life science vendors face a balancing act when using social media. Giving users the hard sell will bring rejection and reflect badly on the company, but a softly-softly plan might not be noticed at all. Fortunately for vendors, a survey suggests scientists are increasingly accepting of companies on Facebook and Twitter.

Open-access genomics database causes hand-wringing in U.K.

Open and closed systems have divided the tech sector for years, with people taking deeply entrenched positions in Apple versus Android and Linux versus Windows debates. And when this philosophical split is applied to genomics, the stakes ratchet up significantly, as the U.K. found this week.

Catalent creates web-based tool to ease drug delivery tech selection

With researchers estimating that as many as 70% of new chemical entities (NCEs) are poorly soluble in water, service providers have scrambled to offer drug delivery technologies that improve bioavailability. But which is right for your active ingredient? Catalent has created software to help answer this question.

BioDatomics pitches open-source, freemium bioinformatics package

Open-source software developers have long stood on the shoulders of giants, incorporating existing tools where possible so they can focus resources on improving other areas. And with the proliferation of open-source genomics programs, Biodatomics is betting on the model working for bioinformatics.

Advocacy groups crowdsourcing patient views on risk-benefit of drugs

The reauthorization of PDUFA committed the FDA to giving patients a stronger voice in regulatory decisions, particularly when assessing the benefits and risks of new drugs. The FDA is planning a series of meetings, and Genetic Alliance thinks it's found a way to accelerate the gathering of patient feedback--crowdsourcing.

NuMedii taps Thomson Reuters for data to power digital discovery model

Over the past year, the "digital" development model pioneered by NuMedii has begun to deliver, with a Phase IIa trial of a computationally found drug-disease match now underway. The next clinical candidates are in databases awaiting discovery, and this week NuMedii inked a deal to increase its chances of finding them.

GoBalto rolls out version 2.0 of Tracker software

GoBalto has introduced version 2.0 of Tracker, its software-as-a-service platform designed to streamline clinical trial startup.

Rhenovia creates simulation of epilepsy biology

The software is the result of a three-year effort by Rhenovia and its collaborators to develop a computer model for epilepsy that is validated by laboratory experiments. Having created the software, Rhenovia is looking to market it to biopharma companies. The platform could help identify new therapeutic candidates--or reposition existing molecules--and assess their toxicology and safety profiles.

Rare disease dictionary gives bioinformatics databases a shared language

While bioinformatics lies at the leading edge of biological research, it is still underpinned by one of the oldest tools available to humanity: communication. Recognizing this, researchers are trying to standardize terminology through the creation of a rare genetic disease dictionary.

FDA working on drug shortages smartphone app

The FDA has moved tentatively into the world of smartphones and social media, with its guidance often lagging behind industry expectations and its own activities being grown carefully. These in-house initiatives are now due to gain a new component. The FDA is working on a drug shortages smartphone app.

Illumina to buy bioinformatics business NextBio

NextBio was set up to solve a problem partly created by Illumina's success in next-generation sequencing--how to make Big Data accessible and useful to researchers. Now, Illumina is to offer its own solution by acquiring NextBio and combining it with its BaseSpace cloud computing environment.

Oxford Nanopore readying for user tests of handheld sequencing device

The sequencing world congregated in Boston last week for the American Society of Human Genetics. At the show, Oxford Nanopore gave attendees a look at the latest iteration of its handheld MinION sequencer and revealed when and how researchers can finally get their hands on the device.

VCs tap Amgen-acquired genomics database to power startup

Arch and Polaris have founded NextCODE Health in a $15 million Series A round and inked a five-year exclusive license for the genomics platform developed by deCode.

Broad Institute to offer sequencing services after receiving CLIA nod

Offering the service positions Broad to benefit from NIH requests for CLIA-certified sequencing in its research grants.