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 Andrew Carroll of Google AI

Q: Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have sent vast waves across healthcare, even fueling an active discussion of whether AI doctors will eventually replace human physicians in the future. Do you believe that human physicians will be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?

A: I believe that applying AI technologies in healthcare will make physicians more valuable, and will make their careers more enjoyable and sustainable.

Read More

Interview with L. Staton Noel III of Panaceutics

Q: What need is Panaceutics addressing?

A: One of the key barriers to making precision/personalized wellness and healthcare products is the contradictory goal of manufacturing individualized products on a large scale. Meeting demand for personalized products can be expensive and logistically challenging.

Read More

Interview with Joe Zhang of Burning Rock Dx

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend?

A: The milestones in my mind include the first FDA clearance of Next Gen Sequencing instrument, MiSeqDx in 2013, this opened a new door for clinical utilization of parallel gene alteration detection in clinical setting.

Read More

Why are Scientists So Upset About The First CRISPR Babies?

The use of new technologies can provide breakthrough benefits for both patients and providers. However, with increased sharing comes increased risks to the security and privacy of patient data. Currently data is being accumulated across many organizations and initiatives but is often either siloed or simply not accessible. Researchers suggest that patient education tactics can help quell security concerns during patient data sharing.

Read More

Interview with Kara Davis of Stanford

Q: The Nobel Price in Medicine was awarded recently to James Allison and Tasuku for their work on unleashing the body’s immune system to attack cancer, a breakthrough that has led to an entirely new class of drugs and brought lasting remissions to many patients who had run out of options. The Nobel committee hailed their accomplishments as establishing “an entirely new principle for cancer therapy.” What is your first-hand experience the impact that those new drugs had on patients?

A: These immune checkpoint inhibitors have been an incredible demonstration of the ability of the immune system to control and in some cases.

Read More

Interview with Shannon J. McCall of Duke University

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend?

A: After several years of the promise of precision medicine and abundant clinical trial work, the recent FDA approval of solid-tumor-agnostic therapies dependent on molecular biomarkers has catapulted genomic/precision medicine into the standard-of-care for late stage cancer.

Read More

Interview with Tao Chen of Paragon Genomics, Inc.

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: For whole genome sequencing to be a reliable clinical tool, it will largely depend on the cost of sequencing the genome and our ability to interpret the data.

Read More

Call for Action: The Time is Now for Patient Data Interoperability

The use of new technologies can provide breakthrough benefits for both patients and providers. However, with increased sharing comes increased risks to the security and privacy of patient data. Currently data is being accumulated across many organizations and initiatives but is often either siloed or simply not accessible. Researchers suggest that patient education tactics can help quell security concerns during patient data sharing.

Read More

Interview with Andrew Magis of Arivale

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. How soon, do you think, will we see what kind of accelerated growth?

A: I think the acceleration has already begun. Large sequencing projects such as NHLBI Trans-omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) and NIH All of Us are sequencing 150,000 and 1 million individuals, respectively.

Read More

Interview with Emily Leproust of Twist Bioscience

Q: NGS is enhancing patient care through improved diagnostic sensitivity and more precise therapeutic targeting. Prominent examples include cystic fibrosis and cancer. What other clinical areas NGS will most likely to change the standard-of-care in the near future?

A: Preventative medicine – using genetic data to identify traits that have the potential to cause harm in the future.

Read More

Interview with Michael Phelps of UCLA

Q: You invented the PET scanner that changed the lives of millions of patients with cancer, brain and heart diseases. What are the potential benefits to patients of combining PET with radio-ablation technologies?

A: PET provides imaging assays of the biology of disease in many diseases today.

Read More

Interview with Daniela Ushizima of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab

Q: Artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have sent vast waves across healthcare, even fueling an active discussion of whether AI doctors will eventually replace human physicians in the future. Do you believe that human physicians will be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future? What are your thoughts?

A: I really hope that human physicians will not be replaced by machines in the foreseeable future.

Read More

Interview with Amy Compton-Phillips of Providence St. Joseph Health

Q: Genomic medicine is entering more hospitals and bringing with it non-invasive technology that can be used to better target and treat diseases. What are some key milestones that contributed to this trend? What technological advancements are driving this change?

A: Genomic medicine is poised to move quickly from the research realm into integration with healthcare delivery, but there is always a time lapse between technology advances and what we do with those advances.

Read More

Interview with James Taylor of Precision NanoSystems

Q: There are various new, emerging technologies that bring us closer towards a cure for life-threatening disorders such as cancer, HIV, or Huntington’s disease. Prominent examples include the popular gene editing tool CRISPR or new and improved cell and gene therapies. By when can we expect these new technologies being part of routine clinical care?

A: Patients are already receiving treatment using novel gene and cell therapies.

Read More

Interview with Julie Eggington of Center for Genomic Interpretation

Q: Together with Robert Burton you founded the Center for Genomic Interpretation (CGI), a non-profit organization. Can you tell us more about CGI and the mission behind it?

A: CGI’s mission is to drive quality in clinical genetics and genomics. CGI works primarily with laboratories, health insurance payers, clinicians, and patients/consumers.

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
Get Updates
Sign up for occasional updates on upcoming conferences, news, and other information.
We respect your privacy and will never share your email with anyone.
Something went wrong, please verify your input.
Thank you for signing up!

Don't Miss Important Precision Medicine Updates

PMWC is the most comprehensive precision medicine conference. To receive the lastest news and updates from the field, subscribe to the newsletter here.

You have Successfully Subscribed!