News

U.K. and Canadian governments back bioinformatics, omics research projects

British government funding groups are looking for startups that will sustain the resurgence in the country's economy. And that means more money for bioinformatics businesses, with the Technology Strategy Board accepting applications for new funding from next month.

NCI plans database of patients who experience miraculous recoveries

Every clinical trial has its outliers. Some patients respond far better to the treatment than the rest, but the focus on efficacy across the study population means these results--and their implications--are lost in the shuffle. The National Cancer Institute is trying to change this by improving the tracking of data on these "exceptional responders."

Pharma continues to grapple with trial participants' use of social media

While it is years now since clinical trial participants started talking about their experiences online, the industry is still searching for the best way to approach the phenomenon. And with pharma needing to improve the clinical trial process, the onus is on the industry to find systems that not only manage the negative implications of social media, but tap into its power, too.

Cancer foundation aiming to build a database of 50,000 human genomes

The parents of a teenage boy who died of glioblastoma multiforme are trying to build a database of 50,000 human genomes.

Cheminformatics skills shortage threatens Indian drug discovery program

The Open Source Drug Discovery program India set up in 2008 promised to disrupt the current model and deliver new treatments for neglected diseases. Six years later, OSDD is still working towards these goals, but has run up against shortages in two age-old areas: Money and skills.

Big Pharma companies open up cancer trial comparator arm data

A lot has changed in clinical trial transparency since Project Data Sphere outlined plans to share cancer results in 2012, with the European law voted in last week then still a distant threat. Even so, Pfizer, Sanofi and the other groups behind the initiative think it still offers something different now that it has belatedly launched.

PatientsLikeMe inks 5-year deal with Genentech

Genentech has a long history of incorporating real-world data into its business, with the myocardial infarction registry it helped set up in the 1990s showing how to achieve better patient outcomes using its drug Activase. And the big biotech has now teamed with PatientsLikeMe to access patient-focused data and research tools.

Europe to create public clinical trial results database after passing law

The European campaign for greater clinical trial data transparency faced a big test this week when the region's politicians voted on legislation. More than 95% voted in favor of the regulations, paving the way for the creation of a publicly-accessible database of clinical trial results.

IMS Health stock jumps after second biggest U.S. IPO of 2014

The IPO was priced at $20 a share--above the midpoint of the range--and rose when trading began on Friday.

Merck vaccine plant taps R&D's Big Data platform to solve yield conundrum

Having invested in data analytics platforms in recent years, pharma R&D labs are working to develop the drugs that will justify their spending. But the experience of Merck suggests the costs can be spread across the business, with manufacturing teams finding the data analytics tools as useful as their peers in R&D do.

Billionaire-backed startup puts Big Data, AI at the heart of drug discovery

The features of Berg Pharma's discovery platform read like a bingo card of hyped approaches, with Big Data sitting alongside genomics and artificial intelligence. Berg has tried to push expectations higher still by claiming it can halve drug development time and costs, but to date the claims--like some of the technologies on which they are based--remain unproven.

Tufts survey shows social media still on fringes of clinical trials

It is almost four years since Facebook passed 500 million users. And while the role of it and other social media in clinical trials has generated lots of media coverage and conference chatter, the industry is yet to fully embrace the tools. Survey data published this week show just how there is to go.

Merck KGaA and Pfizer tap into Broad Institute's data skills for lupus project

Last month Pfizer and the Broad Institute published details of their work to find diabetes drug targets in genome data. Now Pfizer has teamed with Merck KGaA to give the institute another pot of cash to investigate lupus.

NIH looking to research community for data and metadata standards

Over the past 18 months the National Institutes of Health has taken multiple steps to get a grip on spiraling Big Data challenges, but the initiatives are still taking shape. And the agency is seeking the input of the genomics, bioinformatics and broader medical communities to help finalize its plans.

Duke setting up precision medicine center in Genome Institute reshuffle

Duke is setting up an applied genomics and precision medicine center as part of the reshuffle.

Illumina CEO sees bioinformatics as key to completing sequencing puzzle

The expansion of whole-genome sequencing into clinical care has intensified discussions about the limitations of the technology. Illumina CEO Jay Flatley this week acknowledged sequencing still has some weaknesses and identified what he sees as the solution--improved bioinformatics.

GSK teams up to apply Big Data to target validation

The combination of genomics and bioinformatics expertise now needed for target validation has led drugmakers to look outside their walls for skills, with Pfizer teaming with the Broad Institute on such a project. Now GlaxoSmithKline has set up its own initiative and called for its Big Pharma peers to get involved.

Busy week at Intel bolsters its presence in life sciences

Falling sales of personal computers have chipped away at one of the cornerstones of Intel's business over the past few years. The chipmaker has responded by diversifying and this week made three such moves, each of which has implications for the life sciences sector.

Report: IMS Health aiming to raise $1.4B in upcoming IPO

While the red-hot biotech initial public offering (IPO) market has grabbed headlines over the past year, tech companies that service these businesses have also cashed in. IMS Health signaled its intent to hop aboard the bandwagon at the start of the year, and it is now reportedly weeks away from going public.

J&J collaboration with San Diego Supercomputer Center speeds genome analysis

Rheumatoid arthritis has become a key therapeutic area for Johnson & Johnson, with Remicade and Simponi generating sales of $7.6 billion by treating the disease and other autoimmune disorders last year. To maintain its position, J&J subsidiary Janssen is working with the San Diego Supercomputer Center on whole genome sequence analysis.