Tuesday, January 8, 2013    |    
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THIS WEEK IN BIO-IT WORLD 

Illumina, Life Technologies Forge Rival Partnerships to Implement Clinical Genomics Networks
Bio-IT World | The two giants of next-generation sequencing technology, Illumina and Life Technologies, have announced rival initiatives with leading medical institutions in Boston to further the integration of their technology into the clinical genomics arena. Life is investing in Claritas Genomics with Boston Children's Hospital, while Illumina announced the founding members of the GeneInsight-Illumina Network. Read More 

Genepeeks’ Sperm Bank Acquisition Heralds Genome Screening of ‘Virtual Progeny’
Bio-IT World | It all began five years ago when Anne Morriss, an economic development consultant, and her partner decided to use a sperm bank to conceive a child. They studiously reviewed the profiles of hundreds of potential donors, but genetics was an afterthought. “We chose a wonderful donor,” says Morriss, “but he was a carrier for a rare Mendelian disorder called MCADD.” Unbeknownst to Morris, she was a carrier too. Read More 

The Wonderful Wizard of AZT: Predicting the Clinical Success of New Drugs
Bio-IT World | The pharmaceutical industry could use a fortuneteller. According to a March 2010 issue of Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, drug companies spend on average $1.8 billion dollars to bring a new therapy to market, and that number is estimated to increase in the coming years. This staggering figure is due in part to the lack of predictive algorithms. Read More 

Illumina to Acquire Prenatal Genetic Testing Company Verinata
Bio-IT World | Illumina announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Verinata Health for consideration of $350 million plus up to $100 million in milestone payments through 2015. Upon completion of the acquisition, Illumina will have access to Verinata’s verifi prenatal test, the broadest non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) available today for high-risk pregnancies, and to what Illumina says is the most comprehensive intellectual property portfolio in the non-invasive prenatal test industry. Read More 

Biosimilars: Not So Similar to FDA Generic Drug Approvals
Bio-IT World | Guest Commentary | If you’re a generic drug manufacturer looking to commercialize a generic biologic product, or biosimilar, in the U.S. market, you’re in a tough spot.  As the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries prepare for a range of key biologics U.S. patents to expire (including Amgen’s Neupogen in 2013, Biogen Idec’s Avonex in 2013 and Genentech’s Herceptin in 2014), the jury is still out on how the FDA will regulate the commercialization of biosimilars. Read More 

ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS

Transitioning from Big Data to Data Science
Wall Street Journal Blogs | Data scientists need to have a hybrid set of IT skills, says one big data professional. In a shift from big data (focus on the data) to data science (focus on the science), data-science-oriented disciplines like information-based medicine aim to leverage all sources of data to develop new scientific methods of inquiry. Read More 

University of Pittsburgh Launches Institute of Personalized Medicine
Pittsburgh Business Times | The University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health Services is launching a new Institute of Personalized Medicine to use genetics, genomics and related information from other disciplines to advance evidence-based medicine, practices and procedures that have been proven effective. Read More 

Tech Market Predictions for 2013 and Beyond
eWeek | 2013 will look better, but the tech market will fully rebound in 2014, a report from Forrester predicts. Cloud computing will continue to grow, along with mobility and smart computing. Read More 

Biogen Applies for FDA Approval of Hemophilia Med
News Brief | Biogen Idec has submitted a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the marketing approval of a treatment for hemophilia B. Read More 

Wellcome Trust Launches Investment Group
Bloomberg | The Wellcome Trust has started an investment arm with 200 million pounds ($326 million) of initial capital for biotech. Syncona Partners will support new businesses in the medical-device, therapeutics, diagnostics and information-technology industries. Read More 

Diet and DNA: More on Epigenetics and the Genome
Discover Magazine | Researchers were able to turn off the agouti gene in mice--responsible for making most carrier mice overweight and prone to diabetes and cancer--with maternal diet. Read More 

Pricing Orphan Drugs
Forbes | NPS Pharmaceuticals is pricing Gattex, its drug for short bowel syndrome, at $295,000 per patient per year. How did they arrive at that number? Read More 

Cloud Storage for Enterprise IT
Computerworld | Gartner says that cloud storage is a viable alternative to traditional options, but not all providers can meet the needs of enterprise IT. Read More 

FDA Approves Record Number of Drugs
Bloomberg | FDA closed a record year this week; US drug approvals in 2012 reached their highest level in 15 years. The Food and Drug Administration cleared 39 novel medicines last year. Read More 

Predictions of Medicine's Future
Wall Street Journal | At the intersection of medicine and technology, six innovations are poised to transform medicine: growing a heart, DNA sequencing in the clinic, matching tumors to drugs, smartphone health care, gene therapy, and more. Read More 

Omicia Names New CEO, Prepares Genome Interpretation Platform Launch
Fort Mills Times | Omicia (a 2012 Bio-IT World Best Practices awards winner) has appointed Mike Aicher as CEO. Read More