News

Biogen Idec inks $30M genetic R&D alliance with Columbia University

Some of the cash will go toward creating a sequencing and analysis center at Columbia to support collaborative research.

Scripps director: Validation needed to unlock the potential of wearables

Scripps Translational Science Institute's digital medicine program director Steven Steinhubl has said validation of wearables is needed to unlock their considerable potential.

Study: Biology-inspired computers rival primate brain at image recognition

While computers have long since surpassed the capabilities of the human brain in certain areas, people have continued to outperform machines at visual object recognition. Now though, computers may be starting to catch up--and the advance has implications for our understanding of the human brain.

FDA outlines industry-focused ambitions as Mini-Sentinel graduates

Having grown to include data from 178 million patients during its 5-year history, the FDA's active safety surveillance system Mini-Sentinel has now graduated into a fully fledged program. And the FDA is already planning future iterations of the technology, including a possible industry-focused offshoot to support drug development and quality improvement.

Analytics and Big Data investments spur bumper year for digital health funding

The likelihood of 2014 being another high-water mark for digital health was clear from the first few months of the year. When digital health seed funder Rock Health tallied up the total last week, it found digital health companies raised $4.1 billion in 2014, almost as much as they pulled in across the three prior years combined.

NHS England picks 100,000 Genomes Project sites ahead of February start date

NHS England has selected the 11 centers that will form the backbone of the 100,000 Genomes Project. Each of the centers will begin recruiting patients with cancer and rare diseases on Feb. 2 and send the samples they gather to Illumina for sequencing and analysis.

Roche buys Bina to add informatics piece to its genomics resurgence

Having started 2014 with major doubts hanging over its genomics operations, Roche closed the year with a renewed focus on the sector. The latest step in its plan was completed just before the holidays, when Roche agreed to buy Bina Technologies for its next-generation sequencing data analysis platform.

Pfizer turns to app to overcome rare disease enrollment bottleneck

Pfizer is experimenting with a mobile app to enroll rare disease patients in a study. The trial is comparing the DNA of people with congenital analgesia to unaffected family members.

Early Medidata backer plans $150M digital-health fund

Milestone Venture Partners is readying a digital-health investment fund. The VC shop is aiming to raise $150 million from biopharma companies and others to invest in up to 20 early-stage digital health companies.

Autism Speaks to make Google-underpinned genomics database freely available

Autism Speaks has released details of the genome sequencing database it is building on Google's cloud platform. The plan is to sequence the whole genomes of 10,000 people in families affected by autism and make the resulting database freely available to researchers.

Transcriptic offers Y Combinator biotechs $20,000 credit for its robotic labs

The 10 biotechs in the latest batch of Y Combinator startups--as well as those that have already graduated from the incubator--will receive $20,000 to spend at Transcriptic's automated life science laboratory.

Flatiron maintains dealmaking pace with patient-reported outcome data hookup

One week after striking a deal with Foundation Medicine, Google Ventures-backed cancer analytics firm Flatiron Health has hooked up with Vector Oncology to advance its clinical research and real-world evidence activities.

Paul Allen donates $100M to create cell science institute

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has once again dipped into his personal fortune to advance science. The latest venture sees Allen donate $100 million to create a cell science center with a heavy reliance on IT.

Documents reveal FDA's use of computer forensics to uncover data falsification

In 2011, a Sun Pharma technician gave into temptation, hit the delete key and generated new, positive data from another sample within the same batch. In 2013, the FDA uncovered what had happened and tasked its computer forensics experts with finding other such events. The team discovered 5,301 more deleted chromatography results from the same facility.

Ex-Pfizer SVP named CEO of BioClinica

BioClinica has named John Hubbard as its new CEO. Hubbard joins the company from Pfizer, where he worked as senior vice president and worldwide head of development operations.

Flatiron Health teams with Foundation Medicine to develop oncology platform

Flatiron Health has revealed part of how it plans to develop into the disruptive force in cancer drug R&D that investors envisaged when they gave it $130 million in May. The latest piece of the plan is a deal with testing firm Foundation Medicine, which will contribute genomic profiling data to a cancer analytics platform.

Hackers use Wall Street know-how to steal stock-moving biotech info

Biotech IT security teams were just presented with another headache. A team of Western, Wall Street insiders is believed to be breaking into biopharma company emails in pursuit of information on drug development results, takeovers and other events likely to affect share prices.

23andMe gets regulatory thumbs-up to sell DNA tests in U.K.

23andMe has found regulators in the United Kingdom more amenable to its personal genomics service than the U.S. FDA. The U.K. Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has given cautious backing to the company's spit test, which has a CE mark clearing it for sale in Europe.

Google's Calico begins search for a head of bioinformatics

A choice bioinformatics position just opened up at Calico. The secretive, Google-backed anti-aging biotech is recruiting a head of bioinformatics to lead the creation of infrastructure and tools for acquiring and processing sequence data.

Humana agrees to contribute information to PearlDiver's database

Humana has opened up another way for healthcare researchers to access its vault of data. The insurance giant has agreed to add its information to PearlDiver's database, a resource that at the last count contained 1.1 billion HIPAA-compliant patient records.