R&D Trends

Report: Vast swathes of human biology untouched by drug discovery programs

Monday, December 5, 2016

Scientists have created a map of all 1,578 licensed drugs and their mechanisms of action—as a means of identifying ‘uncharted waters’ in the search for future treatments. Their analysis of drugs licensed through the FDA reveals that 667 separate proteins in the human body have had drugs developed against them—just an estimated 3.5% of the 20,000 human proteins.

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Illumina launches iHope Program for pediatric undiagnosed genetic diseases

Friday, December 2, 2016

Illumina has announced the iHope program, a philanthropic initiative aimed at identifying the genetic causes of undiagnosed rare diseases in children. With initial program partners Foundation for the Children of the CaliforniasRare Genomics Institute and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco, selected patients in financial need will receive clinical whole-genome sequencing performed by the Illumina Clinical Services Laboratory. Through whole-genome sequencing—the process of determining the order of all the DNA in a person’s body—Illumina and the iHope program partners strive to end years-long diagnostic odysseys of unnecessary and inconclusive testing for these children and their families.

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IBM, Pfizer use Watson to accelerate immuno-oncology research

Friday, December 2, 2016

IBM Watson Health and Pfizer have announced a collaboration that will utilize IBM Watson for Drug Discovery to help accelerate Pfizer’s research in immuno-oncology, an approach to cancer treatment that uses the body’s immune system to help fight cancer. Pfizer is one of the first organizations worldwide to deploy Watson for Drug Discovery, and the first to customize the cloud-based cognitive tool—tapping in to Watson’s machine learning, natural language processing, and other cognitive reasoning technologies to support the identification of new drug targets, combination therapies for study, and patient selection strategies in immuno-oncology.

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VA, Prostate Cancer Foundation partner to expand clinical research

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced an important and substantial partnership with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to prevent, screen and promote research to speed the development of treatments and cures for prostate cancer among Veterans. Announcement of the partnership was made during Launch Pad: Pathways to Cancer InnoVAtion, a joint VA/PCF summit that brings together world-class oncology experts, corporate and nonprofit partners to discuss research, big data, technology and clinical solutions to advance screening, diagnostics and care coordination for cancer and to promote the implementation of best practices across the VA healthcare system. 

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BenevolentAI, Janssen partner on artificial intelligence

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

BenevolentAI, a British artificial intelligence (AI) company, has announced significant progress in one of its key ambitions: to improve and innovate the drug development process using AI technology and provide the best medicines to the right patients. BenevolentAI has signed an exclusive license for a series of novel clinical stage drug candidates with Janssen, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. The agreement was facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London.

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