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Thermo Fisher Clarifies Its Vision for Sequencing with Release of Ion S5 Instruments

TODAY | Bio-IT World | Thermo Fisher Scientific, which owns the Ion Torrent line of next-generation sequencing instruments, announced today that two new sequencers are being added to its portfolio, with a special emphasis on targeted sequencing in areas like oncology, rare disease, and gene expression.

FDA Settles on Policy for Generic Names of Biosimilars

TODAY | BioPharma Reporter | The FDA has published long-awaited guidelines on the non-proprietary naming of biological products, but biosimilar makers say adding a random four-letter suffix could needlessly complicate the prescribing system.

Rgenix Scores Rare Multimillion Dollar Funding Round for New York Biotech Scene

| Xconomy | The startup company has raised $8 million in new capital to develop drugs based on a discovery program that searches for targets by measuring microRNA expression in cancer.

PrecisionFDA to Test Accuracy of Genomic Analysis Tools

| Bio-IT World | The FDA has contracted with DNAnexus to build an open web portal where researchers working on new genomic tests can evaluate their computational workflows, testing them on real and simulated DNA data and comparing them against industry standards.

Florida Experience with Scripps Illustrates Difficulty of Building a Biotech Cluster from the Top Down

| Los Angeles Times | Jeb Bush's presidential run has brought renewed attention to one of the headline achievements of his tenure as governor of Florida: luring a new Scripps Research Institute campus to the state.

White House Calls for Contributions to Precision Medicine Initiative

| HealthIT Analytics | White House Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil and Precision Medicine Initiative Project Manager Stephanie Devaney have issued a call for ideas to implement the national Precision Medicine Initiative, from new ways to engage patients to new APIs that make health data more accessible.

Roche Buys Kapa to Boost Sequencing Technology Offering

| BioPharma Reporter | Roche has added technology to tailor enzymes for specific applications in next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing through the acquisition of Kapa Biosystems.

Causation in Context: Brendan Frey's Vision for Deep Genomics

| Bio-IT World | The idea is beautiful: read the text of DNA and understand the workings of the body. Brendan Frey isn’t claiming it’s simple, but with advanced machine learning and expertise in cell and genome biology, Deep Genomics is chasing the vision. And it might just change everything.

Synthetic Biologists Put Artificial Life Forms to Work

| MIT Technology Review | Scripps Research Institute spinoff Synthorx, which engineers organisms with two extra artificial DNA letters, is just one of several ventures trying to find practical applications for an expanded genetic code.

Illumina, Friends Launch Helix: Digital Hub for Genetic Information

| New York Times | Helix--a new genomics analytics venture--is to launch today with $100 million in funding from Illumina, Warburg Pincus, and Sutter Hill Ventures. Illumina's Jay Flatley will serve as chairman.

Beacon Project Cracks the Door for Genomic Data Sharing

| Bio-IT World | Deep-seated concerns about privacy and security, combined with a tangled variety of data structures and perverse incentives to hoard genomic data, have hindered the ability and willingness of research groups to share DNA data with one another for more open and collaborative science. As a flagship effort of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, the Beacon Project is toying with a single, simple query that is forming the basis for more exchange of data across institutional borders.

China’s Tianhe-1A Shut Down After Tianjin Blast

| WSJ |The fallout from the massive explosion in Tianjin has reached one of China's supercomputers. The National Supercomputing Center has shut down the Tianhe-1A after the building it was housed in was damaged.

Is Google's Switch To Alphabet Good For Healthcare? Definitely Maybe

| Forbes | In the past, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have been pretty clear that they view the company's efforts in healthcare as a sideline. "Generally, health is just so heavily regulated," Brin said at a Khosla ventures fireside chat in 2014. "It's just a painful business to be in. It's [...]

Editas' $120 Million Haul Brings New Sources of Funding to Gene Editing Therapies

| Bio-IT World | CRISPR therapy company Editas has more than doubled its financing with a $120 million funding round announced this morning, led by the newly-formed investment fund bng0.

Illumina's Purchase of GenoLogics Cements Ties to LIMS Provider for Next Gen Sequencing

| FierceBiotech | Illumina has struck a deal to acquire laboratory information management system provider GenoLogics, already a partner creating dedicated LIMS for Illumina's high-throughput sequencers.

Trailblazing Cancer-Physics Project Accused of Losing Ambition

| Nature News | As the National Cancer Institute prepares to distribute its second round of five-year grants to Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers, Nature News speaks to scientists who feel a program designed to reinvigorate cancer research with fundamental physical discoveries is missing the mark.

The Tsetse Fly and the Test for Genomics in Africa

| Bio-IT World | In 2004, the International Glossina Genome Initiative set out to sequence the genome of the tsetse fly, Glossina morsitans, Africa's most unique public health threat. Though the project took over a decade to complete, its legacy is a model for building local capacity for cutting-edge science in African institutions.

FDA Leans on DNAnexus for Platform to Evaluate Bioinformatics

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Diagnostics based on next-generation sequencing have forced the FDA to bend some of its standards for proving the analytical and clinical value of new medical tests before they come to market — and a new online platform built with DNAnexus, called precisionFDA, will now formalize and refine some of the new approaches the agency has taken to deal with computational pipelines in genomics.

Illumina Announces Three New Companies for Genomics Accelerator

| Xconomy | Illumina has announced the second class of its accelerator program, with applications in infectious disease diagnostics, sequencing of urine samples, and even wine making.

Room for a New Megacompany in Rare Disease?

| FierceBiotech | Shire, the Dublin-headquartered pharma company increasingly reliant on its rare disease portfolio, is making an aggressive move to acquire the newly spun-off biotech company Baxalta.
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