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Novartis Savors Early Modeling Success 
Pfizer Shares ECG Data With Rochester Drug Safety Initiative 
Merck Execs See "Sage" as Key Ingredient for Disease Biology 
Short News & Analysis 

In Depth
Novartis Savors Early Modeling Success

By John Russell

Modeling and Simulation (M&S) has a complex history in the life sciences. Big pharma and small biotechs alike have struggled with finding the right recipe. Like a good wine, having the right general ingredients--management buy-in, modeling talent, sufficient resources, suitable problems--is necessary but not enough for success. A certain amount of vintner's experiment and bottle aging has to occur and more than a few companies have gulped some awful tasting stuff along the way.

Pretty clearly there won't be a single best recipe, but Novartis has been demonstrating it has found one that works and works quite well. A bit more than three years ago, Donald Stanski (r), M.D., during his recruitment process convinced Novartis that Modeling and Simulation would never reach its potential embedded in the biostatistics department. It needed to be its own department; organized in close alignment with Novartis' drug development therapeutic franchises; enjoy the right reporting structure; and have enough resources and time to prove itself.

Modeling scientists would sell themselves to the drug development project teams and sink or swim, based on results, deliverables, and value, argued Stanski.

Of course, it's more complicated than that. Many key personnel were already in place such as Gabriel Helmlinger, Ph.D., director and global head, M&S-Biology. And senior management was ready to buy in. Trevor Mundel (r), M.D., Ph.D., then head of Translational Medicine, is now global head of drug development at Novartis.  He's a physician scientist who did graduate work in the applied mathematics of dynamical systems. More.


Clinical Trials
Pfizer Shares Critical ECG Data With Rochester Drug Safety Initiative

By Deb Bortifz

Pfizer is the first and to date the only major pharmaceutical company to publicly share anonymous data from one of its drug safety trials, including data about the drug that was being evaluated. Trial sponsors have been inclined to share data only on the placebo, baseline, and control arm portions of their studies. More.


Top Story Last Issue
Merck Execs See "Sage" as Key Ingredient for Disease Biology

By Kevin Davies

SAN FRANCISCO -- Merck scientists and executives Stephen Friend and Eric Schadt unveiled their plans for Sage, an open-access platform for sharing and disseminating complex data representing disease biology, in a major announcement at CHI's Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference. More.


Short News & Analysis

(Click Here for Full Briefs)

ISCB Honors Webb Miller and Trey Ideker
Miller won the Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award for 2009, and Ideker won the 2009 Overton Prize..

Genomatix Wins European Patent
Genomatix Software was issued a European patent (No. EP 1 800 232 B1) for the “Identification and assignment of functionally corresponding regulatory sequences for orthologous loci in eukaryotic genomes..

BGM Signs CRADA with National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
Under the agreement, the parties will jointly conduct a series of biomarker discovery studies..

Harvard Researchers Create First Synthetic Ribosome
The first man-made ribosome was announced to an assembly of Harvard alumni in a symposium..

Synthetic Gene Circuit Allows Precise Dosing of Gene Expression 
M.D. Anderson researchers have crafted a gene circuit that permits precise tuning of a gene’s expression in a cell..

Genedata Completes Tox DB for Consortium Project
Genedata announced the successful completion of the InnoMed PredTox Non-Clinical Safety Project organized around a series of animal studies using compounds terminated in drug development.. 
Hamner, Entelos to Co-Develop DILI PhysioLab
The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences and Entelos announced a partnership to create a computer model of liver function..

GeneGo Licenses DrugMatrix Data
GeneGo will use Entelos' DrugMatrix gene expression data to further develop Functional Descriptor predictive toxicology models..

PeptideAtlas is Now Searchable by Google
The Ruedi Aebersold Lab at the Institute for Systems Biology have made their PeptideAtlas database searchable via Google..
Rosetta Debuts Copy Number Variation Management
Syllego version 3.5 also offers scientists the ability to co-analyze gene expression (GE), CNV and genotyping data through enhanced..

(Click Here for Full Briefs)


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Bio-IT World Conference & ExpoApril 27-29, 2009  

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Check out the latest video launch of the annual Bio-IT World Conference & Expo. Since its debut in 2002, the Expo has established itself as the premier event showcasing the myriad applications of IT and informatics to biomedical research and the drug discovery enterprise. Learn how the Expo is the perfect place to share ideas and innovations through networking, education, and recognition. The next show is April 27-29, 2009 in Boston! 

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

Life Science Webcasts
Modeling Caloric Restriction
Using their causal network modeling (CNM) platform, Renee Kenney and her team at Genstruct helped Sirtris Pharmaceuticals model how two of their SIRT1 compounds worked and show that one compound in particular is much more potent at mimicking caloric restriction than resveratrol, an active ingredient in red wine. 
View the webcast. 

Paul Bleicher, Looking Back at Phase Forward
After founding Phase Forward more than a decade ago and serving as Chairman until late last year, Paul Bleicher has had a prime perch from which to observe and drive change in the e-clinical industry. In this exclusive Life Sciences TV Webcast to mark his decision to step down as Chairman last last year, Bleicher looks back with Bio-IT World Editor Kevin Davies on a decade of achievement and hints at his next venture in the health care arena.
 View the webcast.

Exploring Next-Generation Sequencing
Bio-IT World Editor-in-Chief Kevin Davies interviews BGI’s Laurie Goodman on the sequencing of the first Asian genome. 
View the webcast.


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