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November News Briefs

Thomson Reuters announced a strategic initiative with NuMedii, a biotech company dedicated to changing drug discovery, to identify new treatments for areas of unmet medical need. The partnership, which pairs NuMedii’s technology with the hand-curated drug and disease data and systems biology expertise of Thomson Reuters, will create a repository of content and methodologies to systematically identify new applications for existing drug compounds. NuMedii will use Thomson Reuters MetaCore and Integrity content, in conjunction with its Big Data technology and databases, to find FDA-approved drugs or discontinued development compounds that are appropriate for repurposing. The companies will leverage this collection of high-quality data, knowledge and predictive technologies to identify therapeutic candidates with the greatest probability for clinical success, supporting NuMedii’s mission to discover and de-risk drugs that target new pathologies. Thomson Reuters also announced a collaboration with Orion Bionetworks to further the understanding of multiple sclerosis and advance the development of new therapies by generating predictive models of patient stratification and drug targets. Press release 

A bicoastal group of scientists at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute was awarded a three‑year grant from the U.S. Department of the Air Force to assess the potential toxicity of large collections of chemicals using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The goal of the project is to provide an early and relevant assessment of potential toxicities in a rapid, cost-effective manner. For these chemical screens, the Sanford‑Burnham scientists will analyze iPSC‑derived cells exposed to toxins, to assess mitochondrial function and identify subsets that demonstrate a potential for toxic effects. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 new chemicals for which little to no risk assessment has been performed. The current approach to assessing the health risks of chemical exposure relies extensively on data from animal models, but with iPSCs, this research group can observe damage in actual human cells. Press release 

The UNC School of Medicine and business software leader SAS have joined forces on a multi-year collaboration to help providers personalize care delivery approaches for patients with type 2 diabetes. The project will leverage UNC's patient data with third-party data commonly used in other industries to better understand customer needs and behaviors. The software will be used to stratify patients according to risk and customize interventions based on patient preferences, interests, motivations, and lifestyle. SAS and UNC have teamed up before and are working on another product to improve patient care for cancer patients. Press release 

Evotec AG announced an integrated research collaboration with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Evotec will support selected programs and principal investigators with resources for high-throughput screening and optimization of small molecules into drug-like compounds, supporting one of LLS’s Screen-to-Lead Programs. Press release 

DrugDev, an interactive network and data sharing platform for over 80,000 clinical trial doctors in 93 countries, announced its acquisition of CFS Clinical (CFS), a provider focused on the business and financial management activities for clinical trials. DrugDev and CFS’ combined infrastructure gives sponsors the ability to garner real-time feedback from investigators during the feasibility stages of a trial and rapidly select the investigators who are best suited to run the trial. The acquisition is the first in a series that aims to bring a standardized, collaborative environment to the clinical trials process, making it easier for doctors and drug developers to engage with each other virtually. Press release 

CollabRx, Inc., a data analytics company focused on informing clinical decision making in molecular medicine, announced a multi-year, non-exclusive agreement with Quest Diagnostics related to medical annotation for new next-generation sequencing test services for cancer. The annotated content may help physicians better understand, through the database, the clinical significance of test results indicating the presence of one or more gene mutations. Under the agreement, Quest Diagnostics has the right to incorporate medical content, such as scientific literature, medical guidelines and published therapeutic protocols, into clinical test reports for its next-generation sequencing cancer tests. Press release 

Agilent Technologies announced it is collaborating with Baylor College of Medicine’s Medical Genetics Laboratories to provide customized CGH (comparative genomics hybridization) microarrays to researchers worldwide. Six new microarray designs unite Baylor’s data-rich experience in genetics research with Agilent’s microarray manufacturing capabilities to enable discoveries in cancer and cytogenetics research. Press release 

Novus Biologicals announced the acquisition of San Diego-based Imgenex Corporation.  Imgenex is a provider of specialized reagents for life science research with particular strength in the areas of innate and adaptive immunity, apoptosis and cancer.  The acquisition of Imgenex expands Novus Biologicals’ product catalogue, which includes more than 200,000 unique life sciences products. Users of Imgenex products will also have access to Novus’ website and technical support network. Press release 

Triumph Consultancy Services formed a partnership with Mendix to leverage the Mendix App Platform to quickly deliver clinical trial optimization solutions. Mendix gives Triumph the ability to build point solutions where there are gaps in a client’s process coverage, or complete systems where a client has a key functional gap or is looking to replace legacy systems. Through the partnership, a team of non-technical users built their first Clinical Trial Management System module in one week, compared to several weeks or months estimated for other custom development methods. Press release 

Comprehend named life sciences and technology veterans Lee Black and Ben McGraw to its executive team to support adoption of cloud-based clinical data insights software. Black and McGraw will lead the company’s sales and marketing strategy targeting pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies and contract research organizations. Black previously served as director of sales engineering at Meraki, and McGraw served as director of life science industry solutions at TIBCO Software, Inc. Earlier this year, Comprehend delivered the industry’s first quick-access solution for clinical- and operational-data insights through the launch of its online, self-service portal. Press release 

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