News

The rise of the Silicon Valley biocomputing startup

The growing need for computer-enabled capabilities in drug development has led to the creation of biotech-focused software startups. And the obvious base for these startups is the one part of the U.S. where biotech and tech hubs are co-located: San Francisco.

FDA informatics chief: NGS is an immediate priority for the agency

This week FDA officially introduced its push to open up its data to the public and particularly app developers. The unveiling went over the goals of openFDA, but also detailed some other areas in which the agency is investing. FDA is pushing hard into NGS and cloud-based genomics.

Google-backed genomics alliance details data interoperability plans

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health was thrust into the headlines last week when Google joined its ranks. This week it met for the first time to discuss its goals. Development of an open-source public application programming interface (API) for sequencing reads and genetic variants is high on the agenda.

Scripps shares genetic sequences of healthy elderly to boost Alzheimer's and cancer research

The use of genomics to understand aging has become a high-profile field in recent months, with J. Craig Venter's Human Longevity and Google's Calico both researching the topic. Now Scripps has given the rest of the sector a new resource--whole genome sequences of 454 healthy elderly people.

Eli Lilly begins sharing photos on Instagram

The account--elilillyco--has posted old photographs of Lilly's facilities and researchers alongside pictures of what its current staff are doing.

Report: Big Data, social media and mobile double their share of biopharma marketing mix

Over the past decade a plethora of digital formats have begun competing with print, television, radio and conferences for biopharma marketeers' budgets. And while initial uptake was slow, a survey has now found Big Data, social media and mobile have doubled their share of the marketing mix since 2012.

Illumina backs Venter's plan to create world's largest human genome sequencing center

The company J. Craig Venter founded in 1998 to challenge the Human Genome Project ran a data center with 70 terabytes of storage. Venter's latest scheme--creating the world's largest sequencing center--will fill that in less than one week.

U.K. begins trying to rebuild trust in patient database after months of 'confusion, suspicion and anxiety'

The United Kingdom's long history of public healthcare gives it an enviable trove of patient data. Yet this resource, which is perhaps the one true competitive edge possessed by U.K. biopharma, is at risk of being squandered as the project continues to buried by mismanagement and a blizzard of negative publicity.

FDA defends itself against accusations its email snooping broke whistleblower laws

During a week in which The Guardian revealed that Britain intercepted and stored webcam images from millions of people, the FDA email snooping revealed in 2012 looks relatively innocent. But Republicans investigating the program think the regulator may have violated whistleblower laws by monitoring employees' emails.

NIH adds genetic data from Kaiser, UCSF to online resource

The information comes from Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging (GERA), a cohort of more than 100,000 adults with an average age of 63 years old.

Google joins genomics alliance as it prepares industry-focused cloud services

Over the past year Google has increasingly extended its tendrils into healthcare, with the creation of Calico and development of smart contact lenses following on from earlier investments in DNAnexus and 23andMe.

George Washington University to trial 40-Gbps genomics data transfers with NIH

George Washington University and the National Institutes of Health this week took high-speed Internet connections to the next level. The organizations are using their new 100-Gbps links to the Internet2 Network to trial 40-Gbps transfers of genomics data.

Novartis' pitch to join trial data sharing bandwagon gets frosty reception

Johnson & Johnson was cautiously lauded for its clinical trial data-sharing initiative, but Roche's project was pilloried. Now Novartis has joined its Swiss peer in rolling out an underwhelming transparency program.

Pfizer CEO begins contributing to LinkedIn's publishing platform

Pfizer CEO Ian Read has become the first pharma executive to contribute an article to LinkedIn's publishing platform.

Buzz: BGI is preparing for a $400M Hong Kong IPO in Q4

It is months since the chatter around Chinese sequencing giant BGI's initial public offering advanced from "will it happen?" to "when, where and how much?" Now Bloomberg has some answers. A $400 million IPO in Hong Kong is reportedly penciled in for the fourth quarter.

U.K. delays patient database project following public backlash

Over the past few months, even independent advocates of plans to digitize and commercialize U.K. health records have admitted that the government has bungled aspects of the implementation. Now the government is paying the price for its missteps.

Roche mulls sharing Avastin trial data to clear up possible statistical quirk

The BMJ and others spent years trying to get Roche to release Tamiflu data, and the criticism continued even after the Swiss pharma put in a new results-sharing policy. Now, Roche is facing a situation where sharing trial data may be the best way to clear up the effect of Avastin on brain cancer.

Merge prepares to defend itself against fake contract lawsuits

Merge Healthcare shareholders got a nasty shock at the start of the year after the discovery of falsified contracts prompted the company to wipe $15 million off its eClinical backlog. A string of press releases discussing potential legal action followed, but Merge has dismissed the criticisms as meritless

U.S. team taps supercomputer to accelerate genome data analysis

As the cost of sequencing a whole human genome has edged downward toward the fabled $1,000 mark, some observers have become increasingly concerned about how much time and money it will take to analyze the data. To clear the potential bottleneck, U.S. researchers have applied a supercomputer to the task.

CamNtech gets an FDA nod as wearable devices advance into clinical trials

Clinical trial data collection has evolved slowly over the past two decades from site visits and paper questionnaires to telemedicine and electronic patient reported outcomes. The transition is far from complete though, with the likes of CamNtech and Medidata now looking to bring wearable computers to clinical trials.