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 2,000 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.

Please join us on January 20-23 for PMWC 2019 Silicon Valley to mark the significant milestones. We are bringing 400+ stakeholders from across the entire healthcare spectrum together to debate and touch upon the different directions and developments of precision medicine, and hear first-hand from industry-leading experts how these advances and challenges will shape medicine and healthcare of the future.

It’s hard to imagine that it was just a few years ago that an individual’s gene variants, environment, and lifestyle weren’t considered in disease prevention and treatment. Remarkable advances in molecular biology during the past decade have brought precision medicine to an inflection point. Today precision medicine is the standard of care in many areas of medicine. Here are just a few examples that show how far we’ve progressed in just 10 years:

Standard of Care – 10 Years of innovation

Area of Medicine  2009  Today
Early Disease Detection and Prevention Trial-and-error testing and treatment of acutely ill infants with suspected genetic diseases while remaining hospitalized at newborn intensive care units

Hereditary Hemochromatosis is difficult to diagnose and can result in severe organ damage

Rapid whole-genome (WGS) and exome sequencing (WES) at NICUs for rapid disease diagnosis and treatments

SNP sequencing and disease management through regular blood donations

Cancer Genomics Trial-and-error chemotherapy for cancer patients Targeted immunotherapies  with checkpoint inhibitors (e.g Keytruda and Opdivo) in select patient populations

Targeted treatments in select patients with Zelboraf, Erbitux, and Tarceva

Pharmacogenomics Trial-and-error dosing and treatments leads to serious adverse reactions in HIV patients (e.g. with Abacavir)

Observed drug resistance and side effects in rare disease patients driven by genetic mutations

Genetic screening identifies best therapies for patients

Drugs such as Abemaciclib Afatinib and Avatrombopag serve as effective alternative medications for select patients with specific rare mutations

Fertility and Reproduction Amniocentesis, puts mother at  risk of miscarriage

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) limited to single cell multiplex-PCRs for monogenic diseases and fluorescent in situ hybridization for chromosomal aberrations

Non-invasive prenatal testing  via a routine maternal blood draw

Comprehensive disease diagnosis with PGD using whole genome sequencing

The new millennium has delivered targeted therapies for lung cancer, leukemia, melanoma, cystic fibrosis, HIV, and many other diseases. Up to 50% of therapies in the current drug development pipeline have the potential to be developed through precision medicine.

Precision medicine now involves players well beyond the “traditional” life science partners of:

  • Academia
  • Pharma
  • Diagnostics
  • Technology
  • Device
  • Applied Research Institutes

to also include:

  • Database Builders
  • Biobanks
  • Educators
  • Government
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Care providers
  • Patients
  • Healthy People

Precision medicine’s focus is broad– from the molecule, to the cell and tissue, to the entire patient within a sub-group, as well as to an entire population. Connecting these elements with different types of genomics, clinical, and electronic health record data, as well as multiple studies, environmental factors, various technologies, analytics, and across different centers is a mosaic that we immerse ourselves in because it holds the promise of targeted and highly effective solutions built on specific patient data, translated into knowledge for decision making.

The PMWC series has been a partner in this exciting decade of progress, reflected in the Conference’s growth in scope, attendance, and significance. 2009 marked the kick-off of the Precision Medicine World Conference series, which since has been attended by more than 13,500 multi-disciplinary participants from over 35 countries.