Harnessing the power of collaboration in cancer research | Must-attend webinar alert: Register now for webinar on value assessment | Study: Protein linked to Alzheimer's may be triggered by infections
May 26, 2016
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Survey shows differing attitudes about reproducibility
More than 70% of scientists responding to a survey said they have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, more than 50% had tried and failed to reproduce their own study results, and fewer than 20% said another scientist had contacted them about an inability to reproduce their experiments. The online survey of 1,576 researchers also showed disagreement over the importance of reproducibility.
Nature (free content) (5/25) 
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News from FasterCures
Harnessing the power of collaboration in cancer research
Harnessing the Power of Collaboration is a new series analyzing hot topics, trends and new initiatives in the biomedical R&D ecosystem. Using FasterCures' Consortia-pedia Catalogue as an information base, this series will explore how collaborations have been working to change the nature of biomedical research. In this debut post, find out how consortia can accelerate the current pace of cancer research for ambitious national initiatives. Read more.
Must-attend webinar alert: Register now for webinar on value assessment
Get smart on value frameworks in a one-stop shopping webinar. Join FasterCures on Wednesday, June 1, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern for the definitive tutorial on existing value tools and frameworks, an exploration of the critical need for patients' perspectives on value to be addressed, and an update on how payers currently use frameworks in a value-based environment and where that landscape is headed. Speakers include Kate Goodrich of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Marc Boutin of the National Health Council, Josh Seidman of Avalere and Margaret Anderson of FasterCures (moderator). Register now.
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Science and Technology
Study: Protein linked to Alzheimer's may be triggered by infections
A protein linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease could be the leftovers from the brain's fighting of infections, causing the plaque associated with Alzheimer's, according to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine. So far, tests have shown this to be the case in yeast, roundworms, fruit flies and mice.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (5/25) 
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Experimental devices could allow in situ cancer cell analysis
An endoscope and a 3D imaging device, both based on multiphoton excited fluorescence microscopy, may accelerate diagnosis and treatment selection and reduce costs, the tools' inventors say. The endoscope is equipped with specially designed optical fibers and light controls, and could allow cell-scale examinations during surgery. The 3D imaging device is a handheld microscope that captures 3D images and includes tracking mechanisms that compensate for patient movement.
United Press International (5/25) 
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Genetic testing helps researchers estimate 22q syndrome incidence
A recent event at ZooMontana brought together people affected by 22q deletion syndrome, also called DiGeorge syndrome, a genetic condition that can weaken the immune system and cause developmental delays and psychological problems, says genetic counselor Jaclyn Foster, who helped organize the event. More people with the syndrome are receiving accurate diagnoses thanks to advances in genetic testing, and geneticists are getting a better idea of the incidence rate, typically pegged at 1 in 4,000, although that figure may be low because the condition is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, Foster said.
Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.) (5/23) 
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Gene testing uncovers causes for children's developmental delays
Genetic testing identified a possible genetic condition in 70% of children with previously undiagnosed developmental delays and led to the discovery of 11 disease-linked genes, according to a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Treatable targets were uncovered in 40% of cases, said senior researcher Clara van Karnebeek, a pediatrician and biochemical geneticist. Testing the children's genes improved clinical practice and potentially improved outcomes in the children's health, van Karnebeek said.
HealthDay News (5/25) 
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Finance and Economics
Documentary project raises $3.8M for pediatric cancer research, care
Photographer and blogger Brandon Stanton has raised $3.8 million in just three weeks from more than 100,000 people for pediatric cancer research and care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Stanton is documenting the faces and stories of pediatric cancer patients, their families and their health care providers for his Humans of New York project. "I think that people contributed because they felt like a real part of something," said Nina Pickett, Sloan Kettering's pediatric administrator, who put Stanton in contact with the families.
STAT (5/25) 
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Mass Innovation Labs builds flex space for small biotech startups
Mass Innovation Labs is adding space for smaller companies as well as bench space for up to 24 researchers, according to the incubator's CEO Amrit Chaudhuri. "There will be top-tier scientists from different companies working side by side. We're building in the utmost modularity because it's important to succeed fast or fail fast," Chaudhuri said.
The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (5/24) 
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Selecta Biosciences files for IPO
Biotech firm Selecta Biosciences has filed papers for an initial public offering and plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol SELB. Selecta has developed biodegradable polymer nanoparticles that are used to help engineer patient immune systems.
Xconomy (5/24) 
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Policy and Regulation
PMI data security framework recognizes patients as "foundational stakeholders"
HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco announced the release of the final Data Security Policy Principles and Framework for the Precision Medicine Initiative. The 10-page document aims to protect "participants' data and resources in an appropriate and ethical manner that can be tailored to meet organization-specific requirements," the authors write. The framework emphasizes participants as "the foundational stakeholders of all research activities."
Bio-IT World (5/25) 
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BIO report shows low clinical development success rate
An analysis from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization involving over 7,400 drug programs found that only 9.6% of drugs that entered clinical trials eventually obtained FDA approval. The report showed that the success rate for rare disease drugs was 25%, and cancer treatments have the lowest success rate at 5.1%. The FDA approves 85% of drugs submitted for approval, and it takes 1.6 years on average to gain approval after submission, according to the report.
American City Business Journals/Boston (5/25) 
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FasterCures is an action tank that works across sectors and diseases to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the medical research enterprise. FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, is nonpartisan and independent of interest groups.
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