Researchers at the University of Michigan are trying to speed toward their goal of enrolling 20,000 people in a study by piggybacking onto Facebook's vast social network. And the genotypic and phenotypic data gathering project is off to a brisk start, with more than 2,000 people signing up in the days after its public launch.
Harvard geneticist George Church has backed Open Humans, an online platform that asks people to openly share their genomes and other personal data. The idea is to marry the underlying principles of the open-source and quantified-self movements to make more data available to more researchers.
Having faced years of criticism for its failure to publish guidelines on how the industry can use social media, the FDA is now being chastised by the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists over its lack of a policy for its staff.
Who knew that China FDA's planned lifting of a ban on online drug sales meant the global pharmaceutical industry could become a subject of a Chinese version of palace intrigue?
Last year the campaign for Chimerix to give an experimental cancer drug to a 7-year-old gave biopharma firms another reason to be wary of the power of social media. Having seen Chimerix be engulfed by the social media maelstrom, BIO is working to equip small biotechs with the skills they will need if they find themselves in a similar situation.
The FDA has released a list of almost 100 draft drug guidance documents it plans to introduce or update in 2015. The documents cover a range of biotech IT-related topics, including electronic informed consent in clinical trials, links to third-party sites in social media adverts and statistical approaches to showing biosimilarity.
AstraZeneca has launched a photo-sharing campaign on Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites to get women talking about their metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
The explosion in online discussions about medicines and the rise of social-listening tools to mine and analyze the data have given drugmakers another way to learn what patients think about their products. But pharma companies aren't the only ones listening. Wall Street has its ear to the digital grapevine, too.
Pharma's social media evangelists have been urging companies to lend an ear to the chatter on Twitter, Facebook, patient forums, physician networking sites and the like. It's a way to engage with patients, monitor doctors' opinions, tailor marketing and spot safety concerns, they say.
The window for commenting on the FDA's draft guidance on pharma's use of Twitter and other social media slammed shut last week, leaving the agency with a stack of feedback to consider. Many of the respondents are unhappy with the draft, which was called unconstitutional and overbroad.