After suffering a string of late-phase failures in recent years, Merck KGaA is in the middle of restructuring its business and rebuilding its pipeline. This week, the company began working with two potential sources of new drugs when computational biology and antibody discovery startups joined its Israeli bio incubator.
It is now two months since Google sparked speculation by unveiling vague but ambitious plans to enter the biotech sector. Details of what the spinout, called Calico, will do are still limited, but we now know some of the people who will run the show. Unsurprisingly, Google has poached some heavy hitters.
When Google unveiled its antiaging venture Calico, it gave very few details about the nuts and bolts of the company. Now, reports on the questions Calico will look into--and how much cash it will have to answer them--have started to emerge.
Google has played on the fringes of healthcare for years, investing in 23andMe, DNAnexus and other bio startups through its venture capital unit. Now it has set up its own biotech, outlined vague but wildly-ambitious goals, and hired ex-Genentech CEO Art Levinson to lead the company.
Bioinformatics startup InterpretOmics has snagged $1.6 million (Rs 10 crore) from a slate of angel backers, seeking to grow its business of providing cloud-based software for analyzing genomics data, the company said last week. The only named investor was the Singapore-based shipping company Amarante.
Global consulting firm InVentiv Health has struck a partnership with the social analytics startup Medikly, believing that young company's technology gives it an edge in assisting its clients with finding physicians to participate in clinical research.
The endorsement comes as San Francisco-based Rock Health announces a new class of 11 startups for its accelerator program, which provides access to guidance, financing and experts to help the young operations succeed.
Investors have activated a new "crowdfunding" website for life sciences deals. Dubbed VentureHealth, the website aims to expand the number of deep-pocketed players who are actively investing in medical technology startups as some traditional sources wilt.
Later this year, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and genomic software startup GenoSpace plan to launch a massive data project, called the CoMMpass study, which will follow 1,000 multiple myeloma patients over a 5-year period to help scientists understand the molecular changes underpinning the progression of the disease.
By Nick Paul Taylor The Fenwick & West analysis of life science venture capital investment in 2012 is a downbeat read. Equity investments dropped 19% and the number of first round financings fell...