Personalized Medicine Education and Advocacy

Thought leadership in personalized medicine

Informed Perspectives: A Preview of the Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics Track at the 2016 BIO International Convention

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by Christopher Wells, PMC Communications Director


Christopher Wells

The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has a long history of delivering impactful educational sessions about personalized medicine, and PMC is pleased to collaborate with BIO again this year to put together a Personalized Medicine & Diagnostics Track at the BIO International Convention.

Touching on a variety of topics that include clinical care, investment and public policy reform, the three-day program promises to deliver informed perspectives on the field’s current direction:

Tuesday, June 7

Titled “30 Years of Genomics — Bridging the Past With the Future,” the opening session details how the plummeting cost of genomic sequencing is making it possible for an increasing number of health care providers to begin delivering personalized care. We no longer ask whether we can afford to sequence human genomes at scale. Instead, we have begun to examine how we will analyze incredible quantities of genomic data and what that will mean for patients.

A panel of representatives from BioNano Genomics, Domain Associates and Edico Genome will join David Barker, Ph.D., former Chief Scientific Officer of Illumina, to examine these questions during the session, which takes place from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 8

Some believe widespread genomic sequencing will mean better preventive care for patients. Following introductory remarks from PMC President Edward Abrahams, Ph.D., the second day of the track will begin with an exploration of that idea during a session titled “Lifespan or Healthspan: Is it Time for a Paradigm Shift? An Interview with William N. Hait, Global Head, R & D, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.” Keith Yamamoto, Ph.D., who is the current Vice Chancellor for Science Policy and Strategy and the Vice Dean for Research in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), will lead the discussion with Dr. Hait from 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

But as PMC Executive Vice President Amy M. Miller, Ph.D., argues, the improved treatment and better preventive care to be discussed during that session can only be realized if public policies support personalized medicine. After lunch, she will lead a discussion with an industry expert and former Congressional staffers from both sides of the aisle regarding how recent legislative proposals may pave the way for the field. The session, called “Building Personalized Medicine Policy: The 21st Century Cures and Healthier Americans Legislative Proposals,” will take place from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

If successful, the kinds of public policies PMC champions will open the door to a future in which preventive care and improved treatment help lower systemic costs. Informed by that possibility, experts from JAWBONE, Johnson & Johnson, Simpatica Medicine and Sutter Health will then take another look at preventive care with a more concentrated focus on its systemic impact during a session titled “Personalized Health as a Potential Enabler of Personalized Medicine,” which will take place from 2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Finally, informed by an understanding that industry stakeholders are invested in a personalized health care system, a panel of innovation experts from Oberland Capital, Roche, Helix, Renwick Capital, Parthenon-EY and GE Ventures will analyze which products and services in development may hold the greatest promise for advancing that kind of future during a session titled “Strategic Investment in Precision Medicine: Where to Put Your ‘Omics Dollars, NOW,” which will take place from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

The second day of the track will conclude with a cocktail reception co-organized with the leaders of the Digital Health Track.

Thursday, June 9

In recognition of the synergies between personalized medicine and digital health, the track’s final day will open with an important examination of the similarities between how evidence supporting both fields is evaluated. The session, titled “What Goes Around Comes Around: Applying Lessons Learned from Personalized Medicine on Evidence and Payer Coverage Requirements to Digital Health,” will take place from 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. It will draw on the perspectives of leaders from Evidation Health, GE Ventures, Quorum Consulting and UCSF to highlight the paths forward for both fields.

Wherever those paths may lead, there is widespread agreement that traversing them will require collaboration. In recognition of that opportunity, the track’s final session, titled “Companion Diagnostics: The Evolving Need for Progressive Partnerships Between Pharma and Diagnostics Companies,” will explore the value proposition for partnerships from both the pharmaceutical and diagnostic company perspectives. Senior leaders from Biodesix, Gritstone Oncology, Health Advances and Janssen Diagnostics will all take part in the discussion, which will run from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

As the personalized medicine community continues to navigate toward a paradigm shift in health care, PMC looks forward to discussing these and many other topics in San Francisco.

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