PhRMA

New membership rules by PhRMA governing R&D spending come as the industry tries to change its image as profiteers of sickness and disease. 

In an analysis of 10 drug companies, pharma consulting firm Diaceutics found that very few of them are prepared to break away from the traditional drug development model and launch personalized medicine products in the next decade.

John Castellani, CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said that while the industry's commitment to using genomic strategies to advance targeted therapies is growing, the road ahead is fraught with scientific, regulatory, and reimbursement challenges.

A Supreme Court decision against drug developers in Sorrell v. IMS Health could potentially hamper how pharmacy benefit managers can use physician prescription data to drive adoption of pharmacogenomically guided products.

Industry observers have noted that the move from the outspoken Billy Tauzin, also known as the "Swamp Fox," to an insider business lobbyist-type like Castellani represents a shift in PhRMA's advocacy style. Where that leaves PhRMA's support for personalized medicine, a pet cause of Tauzin's, is hard to determine in the post-healthcare-reform climate in Washington.

Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.