Predictive Biomedicine -- Informatics tools and strategies driving decisions 

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We invite your comments and feedback for this edition of Predictive Biomedicine.
John Russell
Executive Editor

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Pfizer's BBC and David Cox Bring Fresh Perspective to Targets 
caBIG: Fostering Better Connections with Open Source Software 
Modeling & Simulation Still Need a Push
Short News & Analysis

Research Strategy
Pfizer's BBC Brings Fresh Perspective to Targets

By John Russell

Start with a person who should be sick but isn’t.  Use DNA variation to hunt for broken genes that are keeping this person well. Set up a vigorous hypothesis generation and killing machine to mercilessly and quickly winnow through the options (no favored children allowed). Find and make drugs informed by the rare surviving hypothesis and race them through POC.

To a considerable extent, this is what Pfizer’s year-old Biotherapeutics and Bioinnovation Center is trying do with its Target Generation Unit led by distinguished human geneticist David Cox, some of whose accomplishments include co-founding Perlegen (see, Taking Data Storage to Infinity and Beyond), co-director of Stanford University Genome Center, and election to the Institute of Medicine (NAS). The BBC is based in San Francisco and much of the TGU is located at the BBC Research Technology Center (RTC), Cambridge, MA.

If drug finding still seems largely to be searching for needles in a haystack, Cox is trying to pick haystacks in which the right needles should glow and be inherently less prone to adverse events and he is using a genetics magnifying glass to find them. More...


Clinical Trials
caBIG: Fostering Better Connections with Open Source Software.

By Deborah Borfitz

The free, open source clinical trials software tools of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) have been downloadable, in a single bundle, from the website of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Biomedical Informatics and Information Technology since early last year. With November’s release of the caBIG Clinical Trials Suite (version 1.1), individual components also have newfound speed and simplicity of use. More...


Top Story Last Issue
Modeling & Simulation Still Need a Push

To a considerable extent, the acceptance of modeling and simulation (M&S) approaches (beyond traditional PD/PK) inside biopharma remains stuck at a low level and something is needed to get it unstuck—especially among senior management. More...


Short News & Analysis

(Click for Full Briefs)

FDA Drugs Approved in 2008
The Wall Street Journal reports FDA approved more new drugs – 24 - in 2008 than in any of the prior three years..

First Catalog of Tissue-Specific Disease Gene Expression
Researchers used high performance computing to derive the first catalog of tissue-specific gene expression changes, according to a recent report - A large-scale analysis of tissue-specific pathology and gene expression of human disease genes and complexes – published online in PNAS..

Major Step Forward in Assessing Protein Interactomes
In a series of four papers published in this month's issue of the journal Nature Methods, investigators in Dana-Farber's Center for Cancer Systems Biology (CCSB) start to answer key questions about protein interactome assembly and use. One conclusion is the human interactome contains about 130,000 interactions..

Ariadne Plug-in for Illumina Genome Studio
Ariadne now provides advanced integration and interpretation capabilities for data generated by Illumina’s iScan and BeadArray Reader platforms..

Genedata Strengthens HCS Offering
This week Genedata announced release of High Content Analyzer, the latest addition to its Genedata Screener enterprise..
Ingenuity Debuts IPA 7
Pathway tool provider Ingenuity Systems this week released IPA 7 with contextual data analysis..

Now for Something Different
Blind trust in modeling can be problematic, as described in a piece in the New York Times last week..

GeneGo, Bayer, Renew Agreement
Bayer Schering renewed its MetaCore licenses for another three years..

(Click for Full Briefs)



The Association for Laboratory Automation (ALA) presents LabAutomation2009, January 24-28, in Palm Springs, CA. 

Immunogenicity for Biotechnology - January 26-27,2009

Health 3.0: Next Online Generation - January 26-28,2009 

Meeting the Challenges of Global Clinical Supply Chain Management,
 January 27th, 2009 

The BIO IT Coalition -
January 28, 2009 

Electronic Laboratory Notebooks - 28th - 29th, January 2009, Copthorne Tara Hotel, London, United Kingdom

TEPR+ 2009 - Feb 1-5, 2009 | Palm Springs, CA

You May Not Know What You Don't Know About Managing Your Trials, February 5th, 2009 

ABRF- 2009/Application and Optimization of Existing and Emerging Biotechnologies -  February 7-10, 2009

The World Health Care Congress 2nd Annual Leadership Summit on Consumer Connectivity & Web Empowerment | February 23 – 24, 2009-
Carlsbad, CA 

16th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference -
February 25-27, 2009 

Electronic Data in Clinical Trials  March 11-12, 2009 – 
Miami, FL 

BIO IT Coalition's 8th annual Conference -
April 22, 2009 

Bio-IT World Conference & Expo – April 27-29, 2009  

Barnett Educational 

Cambridge Healthtech Events

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High-Performance Computing in Life Science & Education, underwritten by SGI and Intel 

The varied collection of Bio-IT World articles and insights assembled in this BriefingON examine key trends in HPC infrastructure and how researchers are putting their best computational resources to use. Provided here are stories and lessons around the effective use of high performance computing in life science. Download the BriefingON.    


10 Secrets to Recession-Proof Your Business
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Learn how to behave “like a fox” and use a recession as a means to pounce on emerging trends.
Download This Complimentary Paper.

Visit HP’s Extreme Storage Knowledge Center 
To find informative, complimentary case studies, white papers, videos, product information and more. You will learn about:  the challenges of unstructured storage and how to manage both cost-effectively and efficiently; case studies of data storage challenges that translate across pharmaceutical and biotech companies today; systems that manage vast amounts of data with simple deployment, unified management, and extreme scalability at an exceptionally low price; viable solutions for life sciences data management and growing storage demands. You may also take our virtual product tour and see the storage unit from inside out. 

To have your white paper featured here, contact Lynn Cloonan for more information.


NEW! Life Science Webcasts from Bio-IT World and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group

Life Science Webcasts

Bio-IT World Expo
Video Highlights

Personalized Genetics: Advancements and Driving Change
Linda Avey, co-founder of 23andMe, delivers her keynote at the 2008 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, April 30, 2008.
View the webcast.

The Future of Personal Genomics
A distinguished panel of personal genomics experts discuss the future of personal genomics at the 2008 Bio-IT World Conference & Expo in Boston, April 30, 2008.  They include Dietrich Stephan (co-founder, Navigenics); George Church (Harvard Medical School); Jeff Drazen (editor-in-chief, New England Journal Medicine); Fred Ledley (Bentley College); John Halamka (CIO, Harvard Medical School); and Linda Avey (23andMe). Bio-IT World Editor-in-Chief Kevin Davies moderates the discussion.
View the webcast.


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Cambridge Healthtech InstitutePublished by Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, division of CHI, Copyright © 2008; All rights reserved. Predictive Biomedicine may not be reproduced, electronically or in print, by any means, mechanical or electronic, in whole or in part, without written permission of Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, 250 First Ave., Suite 300, Needham, MA, 02494. 
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