Precision medicine tests, associated technologies, and early derived therapeutics are increasingly being adopted into clinical practice as evidence of their effectiveness grows. At the same time, many patients do not have access to precision medicine because most public and private health insurers do not yet offer coverage for genetic or genomic services unless certain clinical criteria and evidentiary standards are met. As a result, access to this next generation of promising and increasingly impactful clinical testing is often limited.

“Together, we must holistically look at the health care system and that includes social determinants of health, total lower costs, sustaining healthy populations, through focused efforts on primary and preventive care.”

Dr. Patrick Conway, President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and presenter at PMWC 2018 Duke next month (full interview on PMWC blog)

Undeniably, we are still in the mode of demonstrating that routine genetic testing has value to the individual. Yet monitoring and rewarding success across larger populations as the healthcare industry moves deeper into risk-based reimbursements and pay-for-performance contracting is important and a must-have in order to generate the basis to keep advancing these genetic-based therapeutic approaches.

Strong evidence exists that accessibility to genetic testing should be a high priority for the industry based on demonstrated value of:

  • Next-generation sequencing for average-risk pregnancies to help accelerate the adoption and reimbursement of non-invasive prenatal testing
  • Genetic screening for all women above a certain age for gene mutations related to breast and ovarian cancer to increase life expectancy compared to traditional methods

Exciting news has taken center-stage with recent Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcements:

  • CMS is considering covering the cost of the newly, FDA-approved FoundationOne CDx NGS test – a 324 gene test – that can identify key biomarkers for certain cancers
  • CMS is covering diagnostic laboratory tests using NGS for patients with advanced cancer

….at present we seem to still be in the “evidence generation stage”!

However, there is definitely good reason to be hopeful that with CMS on board, albeit in a limited capacity, commercial payers may follow suit and start to explore more coverage options for precision medicine techniques.

As the precision medicine environment expands, developing financial models to account for the high initial costs of testing and treatment as well as dialing in the promise in savings through early detection and prevention of disease progression will be essential for creating a body of evidence to support the efficacy of precision therapies. With more data to guide payers, providers, and patients towards the most effective, lowest cost care plans, value-based care contracts around genetic testing and personalized therapies will likely become the path to controlling costs and ensuring better patient outcomes.

Cost clearly is one of the major hurdles of broad precision medicine adoption, an issue that must be addressed now, as drugs that are developed to target a person’s genetic or molecular characteristics are likely to be expensive and reimbursement for these targeted drugs are likely the biggest issue. At the same time, we need to continue the dialogue among all stakeholders as to how to capture the value and significant cost savings generated through early detection and treatment vs. later state interventions.

Improving Access to Precision Medicine requires…

  •  Encouraging the expansion of health insurance coverage of genetic and genomic testing, including diagnostic, predictive, and pre-symptomatic testing, as well as whole genome sequencing
  • Supporting the collection of evidence for the clinical utility and appropriate use of genetic and genomic tests
  • Improving access to genetic counselors and other relevant professionals, including strengthening related workforce education and training efforts to ensure availability

….and we need to do this while we are still facing some of these major challenges including:

  • How will the landscape of genetic testing be impacted or changed for the patient, payor, and molecular test provider?
  • How do we achieve a reimbursement process that is value-based versus cost-based?
  • How do we assess the value of precision medicine and molecular testing?
  • What is the economic impact of precision medicine on patients, payors, pharmaceutical industry, and providers?

Join PMWC 2018 Duke this September 24-25 to be directly involved in these critical discussions at a time where we’re setting the course for the next phase of precision medicine acceleration and implementation. We have an exciting session in store for you – the “Efforts to Accelerate Precision Medicine” that focuses on these topics, with speakers:

Patrick Conway
M.D., President & CEO,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC

Lauren Silvis
J.D., Chief of Staff
to the Commissioner, FDA

Brian Caveney
M.D., J.D., MPH,
Enterprise-wide CMO, LabCorp

Interview with Daniel Chen from IGM Biosciences

Q: Checkpoint inhibitors, particularly with PD-L1/PD-1 targeting agents, have benefited a broad range of patients with cancer. How will we improve on this?

A: It’s true that PD-L1/PD-1 inhibitors have led to durable responses in a subset of patients, and survival benefit in many of the patients treated- either as monotherapy or combination.

Read More

Call from PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley Program Committee – We Must Accelerate and Deliver on the Promise of Precision Medicine

Precision medicine advancements are real as demonstrated by the high volume of molecular, “precise” drugs on the market, which are based on extensive molecular and translational understanding of the specific drug targets.

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#AI Play in Patient Diagnosis? How Can We Prepare the Next Generation to Make Sense of Enormous Amounts of Health-related Data?

What role should artificial intelligence play in patient diagnosis? How can we best prepare the next generation to make sense of enormous amounts of health-related data? These were just a few of the questions explored at the 15th Precision Medicine World Conference held at Duke University September 24-25, 2018.

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Interview with Daniella Beller, Manager, Maccabi Research Institute Biobank

Q: What makes the Maccabi Research Institute biobank unique?

A: To explain the uniqueness of the Maccabi Biobank (named “Tipa” in Hebrew which means “drop” or “just a little”), first you must know a little about Maccabi.

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Why We Need Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) To Foster Drug Discovery

Investments in pharma R&D has substantially increased over the last decades. Yet there appears to be no clear correlation to the number of newly approved drugs. This fact is accompanied by ever-increasing healthcare costs, fueled by an aging population and the parallel rise in the chronic disease burden.

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Precision Medicine: A Decade of Improving the Standard of Care

In January, PMWC will host its 2019 Silicon Valley event, the largest Precision Medicine conference in the world with over 2,500 attendees gathering at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We are humbled and honored to have reached this stage of growth and are looking forward to continuing our work with key stakeholders and decision makers across the industry to ever strengthen this forum for exchange of critical and timely topics, to move the field of precision medicine forward and to improve the Standard of Care.

Read More

Interview with David Hong from Karius

Q: What need is Karius addressing?

A: Physicians often have difficulty pinpointing the exact pathogen that is causing disease. Conventional diagnostics like blood cultures or PCR can have poor sensitivity due to pretreatment with antibiotics, the breadth of potential pathogens present, and the requirement for invasive procedures to access deep-seated infections.

Read More

Interview with Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD from HL7

Q: What need is HL7 addressing?

A: For more than three decades, HL7 has provided the platform to enable global health data interoperability. This is more important than ever, as the cost of healthcare has increased exponentially, and the complexity of clinical evidence has grown to an almost unmanageable state.

Read More

Interview with Eden Haverfield from Invitae

Q: What need is Invitae addressing?

A: Our mission is to bring comprehensive genetic information into mainstream medical practice to improve the quality of healthcare for billions of people. Invitae is uniquely positioned to answer some of life’s most serious and complex questions with the highest quality genetics and at an affordable price.

Read More

Call by Ralph Snyderman (Duke U.) for Big Changes to Get to the Next Level of Precision Medicine

Beyond next-generation gene sequencing and developing diagnostic tools and targeted therapies, theoverall approach to clinical care has to be re-envisioned to fulfill the promise of precision medicine. Care must move from sporadic treatment of episodic disease (a reactive mode) to predicting disease and then acting to prevent and mitigate it (a proactive mode).

Read More

Interview with William Hearl From Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.

Q: What need is Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. addressing?

A: Immunomic Therapeutics’ nucleic acid vaccines have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response, including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory.

Read More

Interview with Ralph Snyderman from Duke University

Q: What are some of the critical contributions that academic institutions and medical centers are making to implement and accelerate precision medicine?

A: Over the past decade, the field of precision medicine has created technologies enabling far more personalized and effective health care delivery. Many of the most dramatic advances have come in the field of oncology but targeting care to the needs of the individual is rapidly achieving broader applications.

Read More

Interview with Catherine Reinis Lucey from UCSF

Q: What research are you or your lab focusing on and why, and what problem(s) are you trying to solve?

A: My work involves designing, implementing and studying innovations in medical education that allow our medical schools to fulfill our social contract to improve the health of our communities and reduce the suffering of our patients.

Read More

Interview with Gunnar Carlsson from Ayasdi

Q: What need is Ayasdi addressing?

A: Ayasdi is pioneering the application of artificial intelligence to value-based care by targeting two of the most complex problems in healthcare: population risk stratification and clinical variation management.

Read More

Interview with Nikole Kimes from Siolta Therapeutics

Q: What need is Siolta Therapeutics addressing?

A: Chronic diseases, including inflammatory diseases such as asthma, now represent the leading cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide.

Read More
Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 16th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 20-23, 2019. The program will traverse innovative technologies, thriving initiatives, and clinical case studies that enable the translation of precision medicine into direct improvements in health care. Conference attendees will have an opportunity to learn first-hand about the latest developments and advancements in precision medicine and cutting-edge new strategies and solutions that are changing how patients are treated.

Agenda highlights:

  • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
    • AI & Data Science Showcase
    • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
    • Clinical Dx Showcase
    • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
    • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
    • Digital Phenotyping
    • Diversity in Precision Medicine
    • Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Early Days of Life Sequencing
    • Emerging Technologies in PM
    • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
    • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
    • Gene Editing
    • Genomic Profiling Showcase
    • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
    • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
    • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
    • Microbial Profiling Showcase
    • Microbiome
    • Neoantigens
    • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
    • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
    • Pharmacogenomics
    • Point-of Care Dx Platform
    • Precision Public Health
    • Rare Disease Diagnosis
    • Resilience
    • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
    • Wellness and Aging Showcase

Agenda highlights:

    • Five tracks will showcase sessions on the latest advancements in precision medicine which include, but are not limited to:
      • AI & Data Science Showcase
      • Clinical & Research Tools Showcase
      • Clinical Dx Showcase
      • Creating Clinical Value with Liquid Biopsy ctDNA, etc.
      • Digital Health/Health and Wellness
      • Digital Phenotyping
      • Diversity in Precision Medicine
      • Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Early Days of Life Sequencing
      • Emerging Technologies in PM
      • Emerging Therapeutic Showcase
      • FDA Efforts to Accelerate PM
      • Gene Editing / CRISPR
      • Genomic Profiling Showcase
      • Immunotherapy Sessions & Showcase
      • Implementation into Health Care Delivery
      • Large Scale Bio-data Resources to Support Drug Development (PPPs)
      • Microbial Profiling Showcase
      • Microbiome
      • Neoantigens
      • Next-Gen. Workforce of PM
      • Non-Clinical Services Showcase
      • Pharmacogenomics
      • Point-of Care Dx Platform
      • Precision Public Health
      • Rare Disease Diagnosis
      • Resilience
      • Robust Clinical Decision Support Tools
      • Wellness and Aging Showcase
  • Luminary and Pioneer Awards, honoring individuals who contributed, and continue to contribute, to the field of Precision Medicine
  • 2000+ multidisciplinary attendees, from across the entire spectrum of healthcare, representing different types of companies, technologies, and medical centers with leadership roles in precision medicine
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