18 Nov Interview with Bob Terbrueggen of DxTerity
Bob Terbrueggen has 20 years of experience in the development of genomic tests and technologies. He started out his career at Clinical Micro Sensors (CMS), where as Director of R&D he oversaw the development of the world’s first bio-electronic DNA detection platform, the e-Sensor. Bob then became Director of Research at Motorola Life Sciences following Motorola’s acquisition of CMS on 2000 for $300 million. Read his full bio.
Interview with Bob Terbrueggen of DxTerity
Q: Once sequencing has been validated as a clinical solution via trusted workflows, and coinciding with the technological developments driving costs lower, we can expect accelerated human genome profiling for clinical Dx. How soon, do you think, will we see accelerated growth and what can we expect?
A: I do not believe that DNA profiling is limited by the cost of the sequencing anymore, it is really a question of data management and interpretation. In particular, what are the specific use cases/clinical utility that justify the testing. Value in clinical applications is driven by the investment in validity against a particular use case.
Q1a: Tell us more about your organization/company. What patient population are you serving and which services are you specializing in?
A: DxTerity is bringing precision medicine to immune-mediated disease with a focus on home monitoring of patients with autoimmune diseases like Multiple Sclerosis and lupus.
Q1b: What makes your healthcare/company service unique?
A: DxTerity is the leader in Home RNA monitoring powered by our DxCollect® Blood RNA kit. We are ISO13485 certified for FDA compliant test development and we operate a CLIA licensed, CAP accredited molecular lab. A major focus of the company is developing companion and complementary diagnostic tests with our Pharma customers.
Q1c: What is your role at and what excites you about your work?
A: I am the founder and CEO. I have been in the genomics field for 20+ years, and it is exciting to finally see genomic testing being used in medical care.
Q: How will genome profiling change the standard-of-care in the near and/or far future?
A: It is already becoming a standard for oncology and prenatal, but we envision a future where RNA monitoring is combined with wearables and artificial intelligence to manage patients remotely from their home providing more proactive care and responsive therapies to individual patients.
Q: What are some of the main challenges we need to overcome to see widespread adoption of whole genome profiling across the clinic? How can the community come together to advance its adoption?
A: Access to larger well defined clinical cohorts allows better prediction and subpopulation identification. You see the advances this has enabled in Oncology. Bringing the price down to allow chronic disease sufferers allows better precision for all. More work is needed to demonstrate the clinical value of sequencing and specific examples of the providing medical value to healthy individuals.
Q: Why should we sequence the entire population, including the healthy ones?
A: Sequencing of the entire population will allow for discovery of more causal linkages and provide key evidence for clinical applications beyond major diseases like cancer. Understanding what is “normal” is critical to identifying the abnormal.
Q: When thinking about the field you are working in, what are some recent breakthroughs that are propelling the field forward and how will they impact healthcare?
A: A major advance in home monitoring of immune-mediated disease is the use of modular genomics to monitor therapy response. New data support the future use of genomic monitoring to quickly determine if a patient is responding to their treatment and the ability to spot changes in disease activity before clinical symptoms manifest.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the PMWC audience?
A: DxTerity is driven by the desire to provide patients with access to convenient, affordable genomic tests which deliver actionable insight to physicians and researchers.