Scientists from the Broad Institute are unveiling new genomic findings from thousands of schizophrenia patients that could lead to new molecular targets. And, thanks to the philanthropist Ted Stanley, they'll have $650 million to help find out.
When Illumina unveiled its HiSeq X Ten in January, the alignment between its capabilities and the needs of England's 100K Genome Project were clear. The project aims to sequence 100,000 genomes by 2017 for around $160 million, figures that only look achievable using the massive output and relatively low costs of the HiSeq X Ten. This week the tie-up became official.
While Apple, Google and Samsung are all trying to persuade people to use their mobile technology to create personal health hubs, Illumina plans to take the concept further still. The genomic giant is working to turn smartphones into "molecular stethoscopes" that could change how patients interact with the healthcare and research ecosystems.
In the months since Google unveiled its cloud-based genomics platform, the only public sign of the project's evolution has been the frequent updates to its underlying code on GitHub. That changed this week when Google Genomics signed up a customer: Autism Speaks.
Having seen off Roche's 454 Life Sciences and established a big lead over its remaining rivals, Illumina now faces a new challenger for the DNA sequencing market.
The rise of omics data in R&D has increased the overlap between biotech and Silicon Valley-style tech startups, with Flatiron Health's recent $130 million round making it a standout example. This week, SolveBio took its first steps on the path established by Flatiron by raising cash from the co-founder of Paypal other other leading tech investors.
When Illumina unveiled its $1,000 genome machine, there were a few doubts about how many organizations had a big enough sequencing pipeline to justify buying the equipment. Now a purchase by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute has taken Illumina's order book up to 104 machines, almost double its original forecast.
Having seen the cost of exome sequencing tumble in recent years, the U.S. National Institutes of Health has decided now is the time to jump-start its genomic medicine program. The upshot is more clinical research programs will soon have access to exome sequencing capabilities and NIH support with management of the resulting data.
PGC set up the bioinformatics center to complement its existing next-generation sequencing work.
British government funding groups are looking for startups that will sustain the resurgence in the country's economy. And that means more money for bioinformatics businesses, with the Technology Strategy Board accepting applications for new funding from next month.