Predictive Biomedicine -- Informatics tools and strategies driving decisions

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Dear subscriber,

After much debate, we have decided that this will be the last issue of Predictive Biomedicine. It has been an enjoyable 12 months for me reporting on the companies and individuals that are pioneering new methods of data analysis, biomarker discovery, workflows and drug validation – all critical aspects of the drug discovery pipeline. Many of these stories have also appeared in Bio-IT World magazine and in my regular column, The Russell Transcript, and those general themes will carry on in those venues.

Among the stories and interviews over the past year that particularly stand out for me were:

• Pfizer’s BBC Brings Fresh Perspective to Targets
• Merck’s Eric Schadt on the Power of Integrative Genomics
• Novartis Savors Early Modeling Success
• Remodeling the FDA

However, if you thought you’d seen the last of me, think again! While we are sorry to say goodbye to Predictive Biomedicine, I am delighted to announce that we will be an introducing an exciting new title next month: Pharma Services News. Let me give you a quick preview as to why we have chosen this theme and why I hope you’ll give it a chance.

If you’re reading this, then I don’t need to tell you about the increasing reliance on external services for pharmaceutical firms. According to some estimates, the global share of biotechnology services spending is as high as $50 billion. From IT, cloud computing and software-as-a-service to ‘omics technologies, medicinal chemistry and toxicology screenings, service providers and contract research organizations have become an essential part of the drug discovery food chain.

To be sure, my colleagues and I have covered many of these stories in the course of writing for Bio-IT World and other outlets – outsourcing preclinical screening in India, gene mapping in Canada, medicinal chemistry in Seattle, in silico modeling in Boston, DNA sequencing in Germany, the list goes on and on. The continued expansion of and reliance upon such service providers is surely inevitable as pharma seeks to both contain costs and improve efficiency.

In that light, we thought it was high time to introduce a vehicle dedicated to exploring these operations in more depth and examine just how they are improving the efficiency and success of the drug discovery pipeline. Who are the leading service providers? What does the pharma industry need in terms of research support in 2010? How is pharma’s reliance on outsourcing working out?

My hope for Pharma Services News is to assist industry users in identifying, locating and implementing pharma services across all phases of drug discovery – gene mapping and sequencing; protein structure determination; target identification and validation; molecular simulations; high-throughput screening, and lead optimization; network biology; and the full repertoire of pre-clinical evaluation technologies. We may venture into some areas of clinical services as well, although that area is covered extensively and authoritatively in our sister publication, eCliniqua. 

Pharma Services News will debut on September 24, 2009, and appear every two weeks. As a subscriber to Predictive Biomedicine, we will send our new title to you in the hope and expectation that you will continue to enjoy our insights into the industry. If you prefer not to receive, we will make it easy for you to unsubscribe and thank you for your indulgence.

We will say much more about the scope and direction and areas of interest of Pharma Services News in our first issue next month, and I hope you’ll join us.


John Russell



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Next-Generation Sequencing: Solving the Genome


Insight Pharma Reports
Next-Generation Sequencing: Solving the Genome
Author: Ken Rubenstein, PhD

The race to the “$1,000 genome” is well underway, and the number of entrants is surprisingly large, as are the ingenuity and inventiveness that have been brought to race. 
Next-Generation Sequencing: Solving the Genome provides a detailed overview of the technologies involved in next-generation sequencing, starting with the four systems currently on the market and continuing with those now in development.



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NEW! Life Science Webcasts from Bio-IT World and Cambridge Healthtech Media Group
Life Science Webcasts
Chris Dagdigian Talks Trends
At the Bio-IT World Conference & Expo, Chris Dagdigian talked about the old news, breaking news, and future of bio-IT. Get his perspective on what's overhyped and what's worth the buzz. View the webcast.

The Future of Personal Genomics
An expert panel candidly discussed the future of personal genomics and what that means for both companies and consumers at the Bio-IT World Expo. Clifford Reid (Complete Genomics), Philip Reilly (3rd Rock Ventures), Dietrich Stephan (Navigenics), Robert Green (Boston University), John Halamka (Harvard Medical School), and Jorge Conde (Knome), give their unique perspectives on how this emerging industry could change medicine. View the webcast.

Boguski's Resounding Health
Mark Boguski is launching a new direct-to-consumer Internet search firm called Resounding Health and he tells Bio-IT World Editor, Kevin Davies, all about it. His goal is to create value-adding process networks to provide the most cost-effective management of chronic diseases in the near future. View the webcast.

Open Source Models for Personalized Medicine
Through the company he founded, CollabRx, Jay Tenenbaum aims to leverage the extraordinary untapped expertise and resources across the industry to empower individual patient health care through personalized research. View the webcast.


View the Predictive Biomedicine newsletter archives here.

Cambridge Healthtech InstitutePublished by Cambridge Healthtech Media Group, division of CHI, Copyright © 2009; 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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