October 26, 2012 | News and product briefs from the life sciences.
Thomson Reuters has published a white paper detailing a drug repositioning case study using its Life Sciences consulting service. The company’s novel informatics approach can reduce trial and error laboratory testing and shorten the development cycle utilizing proprietary information combined with scientific expertise to develop repositioning schemes. "We've created an information environment and unique algorithms that our analysts use to perform systematic evaluation of small and large molecule drug candidates across thousands of diseases in refined patient segments," said Chris McKenna, vice president of Thomson Reuters Life Sciences Professional Services, in a press release. In the case study, Thomson Reuters searched for drugs that could be repositioned for use against two diseases by comparing drug structures to existing active therapeutics; evaluating drug targets’ relevance to the diseases; and by analyzing related omics data and disease-specific pathways. The goal is “incremental blockbusters”, John Arrowsmith, Thomson Reuters’ pharmaceutical executive advisor, said of drug repositioning. “Instead of getting a blockbuster from the get-go, you’re building it up over a number of years… Repositioning is starting to become part of the mainstream R&D strategy. It plays with personalizing of medicine, looking at disease subgroups. It’s becoming more and more the way in which companies will conduct business.” White Paper [PDF]
The Broad Institute has released the latest version of GenePattern (v3.4). Some of the major features of this latest release include: more than 200 analysis tools, including GISTIC 2.0, a suite of RNA-seq analysis, QC, and preprocessing tools, and a suite of flow cytometry analysis tools; the option to run in the cloud via user’s own Amazon-based GenePattern server; data exchange with a number of other bioinformatics tools via GenomeSpace, a software environment that enables data transfer, format conversion, and shared storage among bioinformatics tools. The GenePattern team has also made it easier to create analytic workflows and incorporate new modules into a GenePattern server via redesigned pipeline and module editors. Users of the public server can now upload datasets much faster through addition of Aspera-based file transfer. More information about this release can be found in the release notes.
iNova Pharmaceuticals will be relocating their regional headquarters from Sydney, Australia to Singapore as part of their Asia Pacific reorganization at the end of 2012. iNova is a regional pharmaceutical company with leading consumer health care and specialty prescription brands in over 15 countries across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. To support this enhanced functionality at the new HQ in Singapore, iNova will be establishing its supply chain and technical operations hub in Singapore that will effectively manage relationships with customers, suppliers and distributors around the region. The Singapore supply chain center will facilitate activities with its network of suppliers within and outside of iNova’s operating region as well as enhance support to its third party distributors and customers in the region.