A big ‘Thank You’ to all of our presenters and attendees for celebrating 10 years of precision medicine progress with us! PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley was attended by 2000 participants from 35 countries, which included over 400 speakers in 5 parallel tracks!

PMWC 2019 fostered great dialogue on genetics, genomics, immunotherapy, regulatory, reimbursement, machine learning, data access & data sharing, as well as critically important conversations around trust and transparency.

Select Quotes / Announcements from PMWC 2019 Speakers:

  • Francis deSouza (Illumina): “This morning at PMWC19 we are announcing that the FDA has given us breakthrough device designation for Illumina’s pan cancer assay. This is an important product in terms of putting a tool in the hands of oncologists that will allow them to match patients with precision oncology therapy.”
  • Harold Paz (Aetna): “For me, most important is moving towards value-based care… Thinking about genetic tests, as we are thinking about any type of diagnostic test that is performed. If there is good clinical evidence and/or a consensus statement from a nationally recognized group of clinicians, then we will cover that.”
  • Carl June (UPenn): “I’m optimistic that solid tumors will be problem solved. The time scale how long it will take, I don’t know. It’s not going to be a single bullet, but it will require multiple modalities.”
  • Brooke Byers (Kleiner Perkins): “ I’m super enthusiastic about all areas of cell therapy, of which there have been a lot of talks here at the conference. I hope all of you have gone to every one of those sessions.”
  • Vijay Pande (Andreessen Horowitz): “The future biologist will be data scientist.”
  • Atul Butte (UCSF): “What I usually tell AI startup companies, the academic medical centers, of course, will be great reference accounts. But we are lousy first customer. Talk to small community hospitals that actually get it. Write a white paper with them. Show the world what you can do, and then knock the door of an academic medical center.”
  • Randy Scott (Invitae): “If there is anything that I have learned is that [consumer] genetics is massively complex…Frankly I think people will wake up in few years and realize you need an expert if you want to understand this.”
  • Sharon Terry (Genetic Alliance): “I challenge the industry to put people at the center to be able to make the best decisions in discovery, medicine, science, intellectual property, business models.”
  • Aleksandar Rajkovic (UCSF): “UCSF is moving towards whole genome sequencing in clinical practice.”
  • Lisa Alderson (Genome Medical): “The future…where genetic testing and access to genetic services become part of mainstream clinical care…is becoming a reality today.”
  • Anil Sethi (Ciitizen): “We should be going through patients instead of around them. Patients are the most underutilized resource in healthcare. Moral of the story: Work WITH patients to make it happen folks!”
  • Kaylene Ready (Myriad Women’s Health): “Barriers to access to genetic counseling include: only 5,000 genetic counselors in the US located mostly in urban areas, longer appointments 30-60 min, huge growth in the number and depth of tests, and reimbursement challenges.”
  • Seema Verma (CMS): “We’re all about empowering patients. We love this mantra! But let’s make sure we’re co-designing alongside those patients for the best possible outcomes!”
  • Daphne Koller (Insitro):  “Data Scientists & Lab Scientists (domain experts) have to be integrated into a single team from Day 1 — we need bilingual teams — the cultural department has much more of an impact than the technical department…!”
  • Dawn Barry (LunaDNA): “I love that we’re at such a sophisticated conference and we’re talking about sharing, fairness, and transparency.”
  • Sheryl Krevsky Elkin (N-of-One): Early on we learned that we needed to be able to incorporate interpretation that accounted for the effects that different mutations indifferent genes have on each other and also the results on testing from different modalities, like FISH test, cytogenetic test, in combination with NGS test which all affect the diagnosis, prognosis, and sometimes the therapeutic indication for a specific patient.

A Few Key Learnings from the Conference:

  • Real-World Evidence (RWE) and Real-World Data (RWD) sessions:
    • Deborah Schrag (Harvard Medical School) suggested that one of the biggest challenges she sees is to track outcomes in the “real world” and use these outcomes to inform clinical-decision making, and to identify denominators in increasingly small patient subsets.
    • Mimi Huizinga (Novartis) believes that RWE will help close the efficacy and effectiveness gap in drug development.  There are three main buckets to consider: 1) Understand the impact of specific mutations its impact on outcome – need to go beyond genomics (epidemiology); 2) Estimate the value of the potential product in the market (value-based care); 3) Close the gap between efficacy in the rural world and randomized control trials
    • George Komatsoulis (ASCO) provided an overview of the ASCO RWD registry, CancerLinQ, that is EHR-agnostic, has curated 107,000 cases from 100 participating organizations.
    • Sean Scott (Qiagen) taught us that:
      • We see a fundamental shift across the industry from an instrumentation technology and secondary assay technology focus to one that really focuses on “Are we building solutions that provide meaningful insights and report clinically relevant findings that support the decision making process?”
      • We need to integrate multi-modality-based testing within the hospital systems which includes standardization, actionability, and reimbursement aspects.
      • We need multi-omics-based approaches versus the current state which is DNA-diagnostic-centric testing.
    • Marty Tenenbaum (Cancer Commons) detailed his company: Cancer Commons tracks all patients that were cases we studied to help other, new patients. This requires the proper software, databases, and networks and challenges associated with RWD are mostly of technical nature which can get expensive. In addition, it is often very challenging to describe the value incentive to the patient to share their data.
    • Raju Pillai (City of Hope National Medical Center) taught us that:
      • A substantial number of patients are not served by the current state of the art of genomic testing.
      • We need to combine current genomic testing with pathway-based analysis, based on gene expression and look at specific therapies that affect those various pathways.
      • Currently, if you send the same tissue to three different labs you get different results – there are very few standards in place besides ACMG, ASCO, and a few others and different gene panels are used to perform the testing.
    • Preston Estep (Veritas Genetics) on the value of genome screening told us: The biggest value is seen in carrier screening, pharmacogenomics, ancestry analysis, and the management of genetic health risks. But there is more and more evidence that healthy people may benefit from genome sequencing, as shown with a number of recent sequencing studies such as BabySeq (WES – ~11% have a childhood disease risk), Rego et al. (WES), MedSeq (WGS), and Human Longevity (WGS)
    • General learnings:
      • There are no standards across RWD for sample/tissue handling.
      • We need to include optimized work processes (e.g. there are lots of errors in EHR systems).
      • We need to support humans in how to enter data
      • We need to standardize protocols – economically and with regulations in place
      • We need good data before we can feed it into an AI system, before we can feed it to an algorithm.

PMWC 2020 Silicon Valley is set to take place January 21-24, 2020. The conference is returning to the Santa Clara Convention Center, but this year we are taking the whole floor.

See details and early bird pricing on our website: www.pmwcintl.com/2020sv

I hope you can join!

Interview with Calum MacRae of Harvard Medical School

Q: What patient data do we need to better understand the underlying cause of disease and how to prevent it?

A: Medicine at present is highly underdetermined and data poor. To be precise, one must be comprehensive, so medicine (with our consent) will use not only what we currently conceive of as biomedical information, but also data from across our lives.

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Headlines from PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley

A big ‘Thank You’ to all of our presenters and attendees for celebrating 10 years of precision medicine progress with us! PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley was attended by 2000 participants from 35 countries, which included over 400 speakers in 5 parallel tracks!

Read More

Interview with Ken Bloom of Ambry Genetics

Q: Tell us more about your organization/company. What patient population are you serving and which services are you specializing in?

A: Ambry Genetics is a recognized leader in high quality complex genetic testing. We seek to find the genomic cause or contributors to rare diseases, abnormal phenotypes and hereditary disorders.

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Interview with Lee Pierce of Sirius Computer Solutions

Q: What is the state of big data and analytics in healthcare, and how to best use the reams of data available?

A: More than ever, Healthcare organizations are achieving measurable value through use of their data and analytics assets. There is more raw material available than ever to create value. This raw material is the data flowing from internal systems and applications and also from devices and systems external to healthcare organizations.

Read More

Interview with Anita Nelsen of PAREXEL

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: Today’s emerging technologies are making the promise of individualized treatment a reality.

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Interview with Ilan Kirsch of Adaptive Biotechnologies

Q: The Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded recently to James Allison and Tasuku Honjo 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: For decades cancer was viewed as solely a cell-autonomous condition.

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BMS buys Celgene | Lilly buys Loxo Oncology – Does this Signal a Return to Strong Deal-Making Activities in 2019?

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s blockbuster $74B deal to buy Celgene creates an oncology powerhouse amid industrywide excitement about the rapidly evolving science and explosive growth of the sector. The agreement could signal a return to deal-making for the pharmaceutical industry in the $133B global oncology therapeutics market.

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Interview with Gini Deshpande of NuMedii

Q: What need is NuMedii addressing?

A: NuMedii, has been pioneering the use of Big Data, artificial intelligence (AI) and systems biology since 2010 to accelerate the discovery of precision therapies to address high unmet medical needs. Artificial Intelligence approaches are a natural fit to harness Big Data as they provide a framework to ‘train’ computers to recognize patterns and sift through vast amounts of new and existing genomic

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Interview with Minnie Sarwal of UCSF

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: Completion of complete sequence data from the human genome project, and the advances in proteomic, microRNA and epigenetic assays added a layer of pathway biology to the understanding of human diseases.

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Interview with Shidong Jia of Predicine

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: We will see accelerated human genome profiling for clinical Dx in 2019 and the coming years as more biomarker-based cancer drugs are gaining approval.

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Interview with Iya Khalil of GNS Healthcare

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 think that there’s a lot of speculation and uncertainty around AI, but I don’t foresee a time when we won’t need physicians.

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Interview with Ilya Michael Rachman of Immix Biopharma Inc.

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.” Besides CAR T-cell therapy what do you think next generation immunotherapies will look like to successfully combat cancer?

A: The next generation of immunotherapies will build on the insights discovered by immunologists like James Allison and Tasuku Honjo and extend them to modify the body’s response to tumors.

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Join me to Kick off PMWC Silicon Valley in the Santa Clara Convention Center, Focusing on Every Element of Precision Medicine

My team worked in collaboration with Bill Dalton, Kim Blackwell, Atul Butte / India Hook Barnard, Nancy Davidson and Sharon Terry to create a program that touches every component of precision medicine while bringing together all of its key stakeholders. Leading participating institutions including Stanford Health Care, UCSF, Duke Health, Duke University, John Hopkins University, University of Michigan and more will share their learnings and experiences and their successes and challenges, as they make precision medicine the new standard of care for all.

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Interview with Dominic Eisinger of Myriad RBM

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.” Besides CAR T-cell therapy what do you think next generation immunotherapies will look like to successfully combat cancer?

A: Next generation immunotherapies include CAR-Ts, TCRs, cancer vaccines, ADCs, bi-specific antibodies, and checkpoint inhibitors.

Read More

2018 Year in Review Milestones: Stakeholder Partnerships Carving Precision Medicine’s Future

2018 has clearly been a year when significant opportunities intersected with strong partnerships to yield advancements. In particular, the clinical advancements that were realized are a testimony to stakeholders working together to deliver on promises affecting major aspects of precision medicine. 2018 has clearly been a year when significant opportunities intersected with strong partnerships to yield advancements.

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Johns Hopkins
University Of Michigan

The Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC), in its 17th installment, will take place in the Santa Clara Convention Center (Silicon Valley) on January 21-24, 2020. 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.

See 2019 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

See 2019 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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