France to invest €670 million euros for Genomics and Personalized Medicine

Government of France Announce plans to invest €670 million euros or ($760.8 million) for Genomics and Personalized Medicine which will see it establish 12 genome sequencing centers and two national centers for genomic expertise and data analysis. The program would initially focus on cancer, diabetes and rare diseases but after 2020 would expand to include common diseases.

This investment by France follows the release on Wednesday of a report by medical experts examining the possibility of France widening access to genetic medicine within 10 years. A key objective in the report for the first 10 years of the programme is to prepare for the integration of genomic medicine into the normal course of patient care in the country, which means sequencing about 235,000 genomes per year by 2020.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said Investment in the five year initiative will also come from industry. He also expected Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are interested in the growing genomic medicine sector

Several European countries have already begun to integrate genomic medicine into their health systems and there are large scale genomic initiatives in the UK, US and China. China has even recently announced a Precision Medicine Cloud

 

 

A new strain of virus named after Washington University

A new strain of virus has been identified by the medical school and named the “WU” virus after Washington University.

The virus, a type known as a polyomavirus, is closely related to two others, JC and BK, which attack the nervous system of HIV patients and cause kidney transplants to fail, respectively.

The virus has been reported in such geographically disparate countries as the United States, Australia, Germany and Korea, according to Gardner.

In fact, the first samples of the then-unknown WU virus came from the University of Queensland in Australia.

The samples were sent to the University because the school has ViroChip, a sophisticated pan-viral DNA microarray. This tool allows scientists to quickly screen viral samples and compare their structure to more than 22,000 known viruses. It was instrumental in distinguishing SARS from known viruses during the 2003 outbreak

David Wang, a University professor who leads the research team, states that the WU virus has unique properties unlike either of the others and he questions if it even is a human pathogen.

The scientific article is published at PLOS Identification of a Novel Polyomavirus from Patients with Acute Respiratory Tract Infections

Gene Logic sells in genomics division

It hardly a week I have wrote about acquisition and mergers , it seems the rain is noit going to stop any time soon, the latest one , to give away the home plate is Genelogic agreeing to sell its genomics division to India HQ Ocimum Biosolutions subject to the authorization of the transaction at a special meeting of shareholders of Gene Logic.

This is a transforming event of significant strategic proportion,” said Charles L. Dimmler, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gene Logic.

Genelogic bought its preclinical division from TherImmune, a Gaithersburg company, in April 2003 for $51 million which was sold to Bridge Pharmaceuticals for $15 Million,

Gene Logic Inc said it agreed to sell its Genomics assets to Ocimum Biosolutions Ltd for $10 million in cash. Under the terms of the Ocimum sale agreement, Gene Logic retains full rights in perpetuity to utilize the existing information data bases of its former Genomics business as key elements in building its emerging drug repositioning and development business. Furthermore, the Company will retain specified assets related to molecular diagnostics and will continue to explore strategic alternatives for these assets

The sale is part of the Genelogic new strategy to focus on to build drug repositioning and development business which was decided last year.

Ocium will assume certain liabilities associated with the Genomics assets and business and will pay Gene Logic $7 million at closing and $3 million payable in a promissory note due 18 months from closing.

The purchase includes Gene Logic’s Knowledge Products business including the The BioExpress® System a continually growing genomic database of gene expression data and associated clinical information from over 18,000 human and animal tissues and cell line samples. ToxExpress® a toxicogenomics reference database.

Ocimum will continue to operate the business out of the current state-of-the-art laboratory facility of Gene Logic in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Transplant Patients Could Live Free of Anti-Rejection Drugs

Scientists from the Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a pattern of gene expression shared by a small group of patients who beat the odds and remained healthy for years without medication, after undergoing Organ transplant.

The findings made by Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD, a pediatric nephrologist at Packard Children’s is a major advantage in organ transplantation treatment. Transplant recipients who share the same pattern of genes but are still on conventional medication may be able to reduce or eliminate their lifelong dependence on immunosuppressive drugs. The study may also help physicians determine how best to induce acceptance, or tolerance, of donor organs in all transplant patients, regardless of their gene expression profiles.

Although the anti-rejection medications, known as immunosuppressants, tamp down the immune system enough to permit lifesaving organ transplants, their benefits come at a price. They also quash the bodys natural response to dangerous invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, and to rogue cancer cells. Transplant physicians prescribing immunosuppressants to their patients walk a fine line between avoiding organ rejection and increasing the risk of infection and cancer

The researchers used microarray, or gene chip, technology to compare gene expression patterns in blood samples from 16 healthy volunteers with those from three groups of adult kidney transplant recipients from the United States, Canada and France

Microsoft life science

Well every one is writing about google and its foray into biology and life science, so what is going on with Other companies .

Microsoft started its BioIT alliance During 2006 and guss what Bill Gates said during the launch “Advances in our understanding of the human genome promise to revolutionize medicine and open the door to therapies that are tailored to individuals”,  means they have bigger plans. just like google entered 23andME

Founding members of the alliance include Accelrys Software, Affymetrix, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems and The Scripps Research Institute, among more than a dozen other life sciences and IT companies.

and the last month Microsoft has released Microsoft Computational Biology Web Tools as open-source some code for analysis of antiviral immunity

Hmm interestingly I found the project details hosted in Codeplex the open source project hosting the details are on at MSCompBio

And then there is Stochastic Pi-Machine the programming language to model and simulate biological systems- a research funded as part of the European Science Initiative

And then there is the webpage at Microsoft research for bioinformatics

But my favourite is this

Towards 2020 Science microsoft

to define and produce a new vision and roadmap of the evolution, challenges and potential of computer science and computing in scientific research in the next fifteen years.

and this beautiful image from the microsft website

Google Health -health information storage

interestingly I found this image from an earlier post of Bertalan at scienceroll

The story according to the blog Google Blogoscoped, Google’s nascent Google Health product, codenamed “Weaver”, will offer consumers the opportunity to create a central repository for their health records, including medications, history, test results and allergies. The blog has a number of screenshots of the program in development.

Well google certainly has more up its sleeve, doubt it, chek the google labs page,

Passionate about these topics? You should work at Google. among others listed is interest in genetic algorithms

Pharmacogenomics has started

IT been a long time since my last post, So I thought of catching up with other blogger before going to do anything myslef. So here is what got my attention from Alla Katsnelson blog on the scientist magazine  that  USFDA approved updated labeling for the widely used blood-thinning drug, Coumadin, to explain that people’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to the drug.

so whats going to be good for common man, the next time (not very soon) you are going to be under treatment of a controversial drug you might get to know how your genetics makeup can affect the treatment, thats going to be a good relief especially cancer patients and those who undergo HRT

while Frost&Sullivan reports in its latest industry update that  genomics platforms that are too inefficient and expensive for ultra-high throughput comprehensive genome-wide analysis are hindering the realization of personal genomics.

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