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A New Initiative on Precision Medicine

| New England Journal of Medicine | Francis Collins and Harold Varmus discuss the President's Personalized Medicine Initiative.

Obama Announces $215m Precision Medicine Investment for NIH, FDA

| Bio-IT World | President Obama will outline this morning his proposed investments to improve health and treat disease through precision medicine. The president will set out a $215m plan to build infrastructure needed to accelerate discovery in precision medicine, and includes funding for NIH and the FDA. 

BGI Releases Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing Results

| Bio-IT World | BGI published the results of its non-invasive prenatal test, the NIFTY, this month in Ultrasound Obstetrics and Gynecology. The study tracked the clinical performance of the test, in nearly 147,000 pregnancies. The results showed high sensitivity and specificity and no significant difference between high-risk and low-risk pregnant women.

Humbled Myriad Caves on BRCA Patents

| Bio-IT World News Brief | The long courtroom fights are at long last coming to an end as Myriad Genetics has announced it will settle its complex web of suits and countersuits and end claims to ownership of certain genetic testing targets and methods.

Exosome Dx Aiming to Commercialize Liquid Biopsies Seeks 25M

| Xconomy | Cambridge, MA-based Exosome Diagnostics aims to raise $25 million, on top of the $27 million in Series B funding it raised last March. Exosome would use the cash to launch its first two products: a blood-based test for lung cancer, and a urine test for prostate cancer.

Google Biogen Seek Reasons for Advance of Multiple Sclerosis

| Bloomberg | Google Inc., expanding its foray into medical research, will join multiple sclerosis drugmaker Biogen Idec Inc. to study environmental and biological contributors to the debilitating disease's progression.

Claritas Announces $15m Funding Round

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Claritas Genomics announced today that it has secured $15 million in capital for its Series B round to expand its commercial operations, launch new next generation sequencing-based tests for diagnosis of pediatric genetic disorders and continue to build its network of clinical pediatric disease experts. 

Yeast as a Model for Neurodegenerative Disease?

| Xconomy | Yumanity, a well-connected drug discovery startup, plans to play the long game in drug development by using yeast models in deep phenotypic screens to study neurological diseases based on protein misfolding.

Appistry Launches CloudDx Translational from NIH Tool

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Appistry today launched Appistry CloudDx Translational, a “sister product” to the CloudDx platform launched last June, now renamed CloudDx Clinical.

Aspera's Michelle Munson Joins GenoSpace Board

| Bio-IT World News Brief | GenoSpace announced this morning that Michelle Munson, CEO of Aspera, an IBM Company, has joined its board as an independent director.

Early Data on Human Sequencing with Oxford Nanopore MinION

| Bio-IT World News Brief | A team based at the University of Toronto has published the first reported case of using the Oxford Nanopore MinION to sequence human DNA, in a study focused on three genes with known relevance to drug dosing.

Next Generation Solution for Forensic DNA Testing

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Illumina today released its MiSeq FGx instrument, a version of the company's MiSeq next generation sequencer modified for forensic DNA testing, as well as ForenSeq chemistry and software kits.

President Obama Heralds New Precision Medicine Initiative in State of the Union

| Bio-IT World | Commentators from around the science and healthcare world react to President Obama's announcement, in last night's State of the Union address, that his new budget will propose a Precision Medicine Initiative to support research into individualized therapies based on patients' unique genetic and molecular profiles.

SV Bio Relaunched as Lifecode, Maker of LDTs

| Bio-IT World | SV Bio today announced a new name, a new focus, and a new product: a next generation sequencing (NGS)-based oncology assay, the Pan Cancer Somatic Panel (PCSP).

Biotech Boom or Biotech Bubble?

| New York Times | "I have my seatbelt and crash helmet on," a biotech CEO tells The New York Times in an investigation of soaring biotechnology stocks and drug approvals in the wake of last week's J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

LifeMap Releases NGS Phenotyper

| Bio-IT World Product Brief | LifeMap Sciences has released VarElect, an application that David Warshawsky, CEO of the company, calls a next-generation sequencing phenotyper. The tool leverages LifeMap’s integrated biomedical knowledgebase and discovery platform for biomedical research, which includes GeneCards human gene database; MalaCards human disease database; and LifeMap Discovery, the database of embryonic development, stem cell research, and regenerative medicine.

Atul Butte Moves to UCSF to Head Computational Health Sciences Institute

| Bio-IT World | UC San Francisco announced this morning that it has recruited Atul Butte to lead the new Institute for Computational Health Sciences, an Institute the University says will serve at the cornerstone of its efforts to harness the power of big data for precision medicine. He's also been named executive director of clinical informatics for UC Health Sciences and Services.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Calls Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiongs Healthcare Startup Fraudulent And Dangerous

| Forbes | On the television newsmagazine "60 Minutes" and in a cover story for Forbes, Patrick Soon-Shiong, the world's richest doctor, has promised that his new company, NantHealth, can dramatically improve care for cancer patients everywhere. "I'm incredibly encouraged to say that we are on the path," Soon-Shiong told 60 Minutes' Sanjay Gupta. [...]

Genome wiz Venter partners with Roche in DNA sequencing deal

| Reuters | Genome pioneer J. Craig Venter has signed a multi-year deal to sequence and analyze tens of thousands of genomes for Roche's Genentech unit in a deal aimed at identifying new drug targets.

A New Dawn For Biotech

| Forbes | This week, much of the biotech investing world is in San Francisco for the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Old timers like me -- I've attended nearly every year since 1998 -- remember the infinitely more manageable Hambrecht & Quist conference, still quaintly known as H&Q.
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