With media organizations broadcasting lurid images of the Liberian military's violent effort to enforce a quarantine in an effort to corral Ebola in the slums in Monrovia, the frenzy of attention continued to concentrate a spotlight on the sudden rush to get early-stage experimental treatments or vaccines to West Africa.
The British government has unveiled a major funding boost for its 100,000 Genomes Project, with a further $506 million (£300 million) set to be spent over the next four years. Illumina is responsible for more than half of the cash, with the U.S. sequencing giant due to invest $273 million in England.
International debate is brewing over whether to give experimental vaccines to people in regions of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa in an effort to thwart the spread of the deadly virus.
While the world already has a pair of cholera vaccines that have been proven safe and effective, it lacks a low-cost option that can stay effective without cold storage in impoverished areas where the disease hits hardest. And with a new partnership, that's exactly what Merck's Indian joint venture is looking to change.
As rates of drug-resistant tuberculosis rise across the globe, GlaxoSmithKline is partnering with Switzerland's BioVersys and France's University of Lille to develop a preclinical candidate against the airborne disease.
Thanks to a Series B round from Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, U.K. biotech Kymab has some new vaccine research plans.
Cambridge, U.K.'s Kymab touts its drug development platform as an ideal way to spotlight new antibodies, and some bright minds would seem to agree, as the Wellcome Trust and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have teamed up on a $40 million round for the biotech.
The combination of genomics and bioinformatics expertise now needed for target validation has led drugmakers to look outside their walls for skills, with Pfizer teaming with the Broad Institute on such a project. Now GlaxoSmithKline has set up its own initiative and called for its Big Pharma peers to get involved.
Translating all the information from the genomics revolution into verifiable drug targets has proven to be no easy task. Now, in an effort to bend the curve toward R&D success, GlaxoSmithKline is teaming up with external experts, putting up money and brainpower to launch a collaborative research effort.
The U.K.'s Wellcome Trust is putting up about $4.1 million to fund a collaboration between CRO Selcia and Edinburgh University, under which the two will develop new treatments for sleeping sickness.