News

Pfizer strikes tech-enabled drug discovery deal with X-Chem

X-Chem has notched up some notable achievements in its first few years, including investment by CRO PPD, deals with AstraZeneca and Roche and the growth of its compound library to 100 billion small molecules. Now it has added another to the list by striking a drug discovery deal with Pfizer.

Google inks deal with Autism Speaks, commits to housing 10,000 whole genomes

In the months since Google unveiled its cloud-based genomics platform, the only public sign of the project's evolution has been the frequent updates to its underlying code on GitHub. That changed this week when Google Genomics signed up a customer: Autism Speaks.

AstraZeneca sponsors diabetes patient registry

The emergence of electronic health records has made it possible to build a more complete picture of the health of populations. To realize this vision for diabetes patients, AstraZeneca has signed up to sponsor a registry that gathers data from primary care physicians and specialists in other fields.

BRAIN working group details role of modeling in $4.5B neuroscience plan

The importance of computing power to the BRAIN Initiative has been clear since President Obama unveiled the plan last year. Each update since then has reiterated the role of technology, with the latest document from the BRAIN working group giving a more detailed picture of how computer modeling could enable the project.

CamCog adds iPad trial tech for cognitive safety, abuse potential

Cambridge Cognition has introduced two iPad-based products for use in clinical trials.

Venter Institute wins $25M NIH grant to apply sequencing tech to infectious diseases

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has committed $25 million to better understanding infectious diseases, awarding the cash to the J. Craig Venter Institute, which will apply its sequencing and bioinformatics skills to tackling the field.

EU ombudsman probes link between AbbVie case and trial transparency U-turn

With days to go until the European Medicines Agency meets to finalize its clinical trial data policy, the region's ombudsman has confirmed she is probing a possible link between a settlement with AbbVie and a shift in the transparency plans.

FDA opens adverse-event data to app developers in first wave of openFDA

Every year the FDA receives hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests from biopharma companies for adverse-event data, while others take equally laborious steps to access the information. Now the FDA is opening up its adverse-event data through an application programming interface.

Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer join with Broad Institute for bioinformatics challenge

A clutch of Big Pharma companies is backing a competition to create predictive models that could lead to new targets for cancer drugs. Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer are among the data funders of the competition, which calls for the development of models that show how essential a gene is to the survival of a cancer cell.

Roche makes $350M move for DNA sequencing business

After failing to buy Illumina in 2012 and deciding to close its 454 Life Sciences sequencing unit last year, Roche has been looking for technologies to strengthen its diagnostic business.

Sequoia raises $530M to invest in Indian tech and health startups

Having backed biotech IT businesses like Comprehend Systems and SV Bio in the U.S., high-profile venture firm Sequoia Capital has turned its attention to India. And with a $530 million fund to fuel its ambitions, the California-based VC shop could kick-start the tech and healthcare startup ecosystem in India and across Southeast Asia.

Chinese upstart takes aim at Illumina with homegrown DNA sequencer

Having seen off Roche's 454 Life Sciences and established a big lead over its remaining rivals, Illumina now faces a new challenger for the DNA sequencing market.

Investigator database looking for new members after adding Novartis and Pfizer to ranks

Having made the big decisions about how their database of clinical trial investigators will work, collaborators Eli Lilly, Merck and Johnson & Johnson are looking to add more members to a roster already swelled by the arrival of Novartis and Pfizer.

Report: Pharma more vulnerable than other industries to hackers

Data gathered by cybersecurity ratings company Bitsight suggests the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors have fared even worse than retail.

FDA to explore mobile apps in its tech-heavy regulatory roadmap for 2014

The use of computer-driven approaches from the very first steps in drug discovery through to marketing and the supply chain is reflected in the list of research areas in which the FDA wants to invest in 2014, which is littered with references to in silico modeling, omics and mobile applications.

Medidata, Parexel jostle for position in risk-based monitoring market

The potential cost savings generated by risk-based monitoring of clinical trials has led some to tip it as a way to significantly streamline pharma's flabby studies. And that potential has lured tech providers, with Medidata and Parexel both advancing their claims on the market this week.

Broad moves into new digs designed to encourage serendipitous discoveries

Broad Institute Director Eric Lander has emphasized the importance of open labs and shared spaces. Yet as Broad expanded, hundreds of scientists ended up spread across four sites. Now Broad has reignited its original vision with the opening of new digs.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube targeted in fake drug crackdown

Authorities removed more than 19,000 ads on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that promoted the illegal sale of medicines.

Pharma's cloud doubts prompt tech firms to add local alternatives

While service providers talk up the convenience and flexibility of moving to the cloud, pharma execs are as likely to flag up the litany of privacy, security and technical risks created by the transition.

Takeda strikes $400M IT services deal with Wipro

Wipro has won a $400 million contract to manage Takeda's infrastructure. Takeda inked the deal to consolidate its operations, with Wipro becoming its primary provider of IT infrastructure management services.