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Definiens Launches Biomarker Datafication Services

TODAY | Bio-IT World News Brief | Definiens today launched a new suite of Biomarker Datafication Services for oncology clinical development programs. The package provides image analysis screening of tissue samples for exploratory screening, pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics, and companion diagnostic development.

PacBio Aims for Haplotyped Whole Genome Assemblies in Partnership with RainDance

TODAY | Bio-IT World | Months after 10X Genomics came to market with a platform for reassembling 100-kilobase DNA fragments with an Illumina sequencer, Pacific Biosciences and RainDance Technologies have teamed up on their own barcoded long read solution that they say could outperform 10X on virtually every count.

Strand LS Expands Cancer Profiling Service

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Strand Life Sciences announced an expanded StrandAdvantage pan-cancer genomic profiling service. The new version of StrandAdvantage will include a panel that examines 152 genes and pathways known to be impacted by existing targeted solid tumor therapies plus additional chemotherapeutic toxicity and resistance data.

Juno Therapeutics Partners with Editas Medicine on CRISPR-Engineered Cancer Immunotherapies

| Bio-IT World | Biotech funding must be hot indeed when an 18-month-old immunotherapy company can pledge hundreds of millions to an 18-month-old genome editing company, but there's plenty of promise combining CAR T therapy with CRISPR technology — as rivals Novartis and Intellia Therapeutics made clear when they forged their own partnership this January.

QIAGEN Launches NGS Clinical Insights Platform

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Yesterday afternoon QIAGEN announced the commercial launch of QIAGEN Clinical Insight (QCI), a bioinformatics content and software platform for clinical testing labs to interpret and report on genomic variants identified in next-generation sequencing (NGS). The first two supported applications for the bioinformatics platform are in oncology, for somatic and hereditary cancer testing. 

New CLARITY Challenge Open to Entries, to Tackle Undiagnosed Diseases

| Clinical Informatics News | Boston Children’s Hospital is launching CLARITY Undiagnosed, a $25,000 competition to identify molecular diagnoses for five families with as-yet undiagnosed conditions. The Challenge kicks off in conjunction with a documentary film tracing the journeys of the patients and—possibly—the teams. Teams have until June 11 to register

Genome in a Bottle Uncapped

| Bio-IT World | As the Genome in a Bottle Consortium and the National Institute of Standards and Technology announce the first reference DNA samples as trusted standards for genomic sequencing, the FDA weighs a regulatory role for the new reference material.

Schizophrenia Genomics Study Looks for Somatic Mosaicism in Brain Cells

| Bio-IT World | The Lieber Institute for Brain Development (LIBD) announced a 5-year, $10.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support a first-of-its-kind multi-site, interdisciplinary project to research potentially non-inherited genetic causes of schizophrenia. By identifying the root biological origins now, more precise and effective therapies can be developed later.

Celgene to Use Cypher Genomics’ Data Analytics in Drug Development

| Xconomy | Under a collaboration announced today, San Diego-based Cypher Genomics said it would use its biomarker discovery service to help New Jersey's Celgene identify key genetic variants among patients who respond well to specific drugs.

AWS upgrades highlight growing focus on cloud management

| Computerworld | Amazon Web Services is hoping better management tools will convince enterprises to move more applications to the cloud, but getting their internal management processes right is even more important than anything the vendor can offer.

Robert Gentleman on His Goals for Drug Discovery at 23andMe

| Bio-IT World | Robert Gentleman’s goal is to “bring bioinformatics and computational drug discovery to complement the really strong genetics” already at 23andMe. He spoke with Bio-IT World about open science at a for-profit venture, the challenges of drug discovery, and what’s left to find via SNP chips.

Bluebird Regulators Map Out Approval Plan For Gene Therapy

| Xconomy | One of gene therapy's major unanswered questions is just what it'll take to convince U.S. regulators to approve one of these treatments.

Can We Identify Every Kind of Cell in the Body

| MIT Technology Review | With new tools to isolate individual cells and profile their genetic signatures, researchers are undertaking a microscopic quest to find out what we're really made of.

Michael J. Fox Foundation Brings Parkinson's Data to tranSMART

| Bio-IT World | The Michael J. Fox Foundation, dedicated to driving basic research in Parkinson's disease, received a special Judges' Prize at this year's Bio-IT World Best Practices Awards for its work implementing the tranSMART platform for data sharing and analysis, including innovative programs like a patient registry and integration with studies of other neurodegenerative diseases.

Allen Institute Debuts Neuron Periodic Table

| Xconomy | With the Allen Cell Types Database, the Allen Institute for Brain Science aims to catalog and classify the types of neurons that fill the brain.

Oxford Nanopore Announces Auto Sample Prep, New Chips, Pay-As-You-Go Pricing

| Bio-IT World | Clive Brown’s Oxford Nanopore took over our Twitter feed on Thursday afternoon with news coming out of the London Calling event (#nanoporeconf). Many in attendance (and watching the Twitter feed) called the announcements “game-changing” and likened the atmosphere to Apple’s iPhone announcement in 2007. 

Mayo Clinic Embarks on Population-Scale Pharmacogenomics Study

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has announced plans to sequence genes from 10,000 patients for genetic variants that could affect their responses to a variety of medications, as part of a study that will track the long-term health outcomes of patients who undergo pharmacogenetic testing.

Genentech Brain Trust Raises $217m For New Startup To Fight Alzheimers And Parkinsons

| Forbes | Three former top researchers at Genentech, the legendary biotech that is now part of Roche Holding, have raised $217 million in venture capital to start a new company, Denali Therapeutics, focused on treating and curing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, ALS, and Parkinson's.

Citizen Science in the Unexplored Terrain of the Brain

| Bio-IT World | To understand how neural circuits give rise to complex mental phenomena, neuroscientists need detailed maps of brain cells in their natural environment. With an online game called EyeWire, one group of researchers is enlisting thousands of ordinary people to do what the best artificial intelligence cannot: turn huge numbers of electron microscope images of the retina into accurate, three-dimensional models of neurons as they appear in living tissue.

Cleversafe Joins iRODS Consortium

| Bio-IT World | Cleversafe, a private cloud platform, announced today that it has joined the iRODS Consortium, a membership-based foundation organized to sustain the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS) as free open source data management software. 
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