Amgen's deCODE Genetics has released a glimpse of a future in which population-scale genome sequencing forms the basis of drug discovery programs. And while the initiative still has some technical shortcomings and has yet to prove to the outside world it is worth $415 million, it nonetheless sparked excitement in the genomics community.
The Google X lab that spawned smart contact lenses and self-driving cars is teaming up with Biogen Idec to unravel patient-to-patient variation in the progression of multiple sclerosis.
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.
The Nvidia Foundation has awarded $400,000 to computational cancer projects at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Stanford University. Nvidia backed the two projects--which took an equal split of the funding--as part of an initiative to finance programs that use parallel computing to advance cancer research.
Bioinformatics has taken another step toward cementing itself in the life sciences mainstream. The latest validation of the importance of informatics comes from the Association for Molecular Pathology, which has established a subdivision focused on the field.
Increased reliance on software to support aspects of drug development has simplified many tasks but created the possibility that an IT glitch could have far-reaching implications. Now, the European Medicines Agency is to discuss whether this situation has already happened.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a clutch of big-name academic centers funding to create a database for studying motor neuron disorders. By embarking on a large-scale data generation drive and analyzing the resulting information, the collaborators hope to build profiles for Lou Gehrig's disease and other neuromuscular conditions.
Takeda Pharmaceutical's United Kingdom subsidiary has begun working with C4X Discovery to improve its lead discovery and hit identification. The agreement is centered on C4XD's 3D drug technology, a nuclear magnetic resonance-based method of viewing the structure of a molecule.
IBM has opened up its Watson supercomputer to drug researchers through a new cloud-based service. And Big Pharma companies are already on board, with Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi among the early adopters of the technology.
With its big claims about how artificial intelligence can slash drug development timelines and a lead candidate based on a coenzyme best known as a dietary supplement, Berg is always likely to provoke skepticism. But the company is sticking to its guns, with President and CTO Niven Narain pointing to early drug discovery successes as evidence of its legitimacy.