Weekly Features

Collaborative Cancer Cloud expands to drive medicines to patients faster

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) of Boston and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) in Toronto have joined the Collaborative Cancer Cloud, a partnership formed in August 2015 by the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) of Portland, Oregon, and Intel. By allowing research institutions to securely share genomic, imaging and clinical data on a precision medical analytics platform, the Collaborative Cancer Cloud is positioning itself to make rapid strides in cancer research and lifesaving therapies.

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Revisiting industry partnerships with the Department of Veterans Affairs

Monday, April 4, 2016

Contract research organizations (CROs) should consider partnering with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) when conducting clinical trials, according to an attendee at the recent Clinical Trial Collaborations conference in Boston, Massachusetts. “The atmosphere is right for increasing the number of industry-VA collaborations,” said Dawn McKenna, executive director of the Bedford VA Research Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts. McKenna spent years working in the pharmaceutical research and development industry as well as government and nonprofit areas before taking the helm in Bedford last year.   

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The ongoing CRA shortage: Competency versus experience

Monday, March 28, 2016

Ongoing concerns about a global shortage of clinical research associates (CRAs) were rekindled last week at the Clinical Trial Collaborations conference in Boston, Massachusetts, prompting debate about the reasons for and solutions to the problem—and particularly about a two-year experience requirement described by many as arbitrary.

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Illinois psychiatrist sentenced for accepting pharma kickbacks

Monday, March 28, 2016

An Illinois-based psychiatrist, Michael J. Reinstein, M.D., has been sentenced to nine months in federal prison. In total, Reinstein took nearly $600,000 in consulting fees, vacation trips and other kickbacks in return for prescribing various forms of the antipsychotic drug clozapine to mentally ill patients in Chicago-area nursing homes and hospitals. At one point, Reinstein was the largest prescriber of the drug to Medicare recipients in the U.S.

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Smartphone app revolutionizes clinical trial consent and data sharing

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sage Bionetworks, a Seattle-based nonprofit, has released the first six months of data from a new iPhone app that captures the everyday experiences of more than 9,500 study participants. The app, called mPower (Mobile Parkinson’s Observatory for Worldwide, Evidence-based Research), manages and simplifies the research study, from patient recruitment through the enrollment and consent process. It also enables researchers to collect extensive data from patients with and without Parkinson’s disease. Data from the study can be used to assess the ability of mobile apps to improve the paradigm for clinical studies.

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