Session Abstract – PMWC 2022 Silicon Valley

Track 5, June 29


As targeted therapies have opened up precision medicine approaches to cancer treatment, oncologists and patients are increasingly moving to liquid biopsy as a front-line diagnostic approach to detection of actionable mutations to enable faster treatment decisions. Mutation detection in ctDNA has been shown to highly correlate to tissue biopsy for making treatment decisions, faster results and has the additional advantage of simplified specimen collection. Liquid biopsy represents an emerging paradigm shift in oncology practice and this session will discuss its promise and challenges from the Pharma, biotech and medical affairs perspectives.

 Session Chair Profile

Oncology Market Development - Companion Diagnostics, Agilent Technologies

Biography
Rebecca Brandes is a member of the Companion Diagnostics (CDx) Division specializing in Oncology Market Development at Agilent. This team is charged with the objective to help with the education and consultation on advanced genomic technologies for use in CDx including expertise in genomic technologies, clinical laboratory workflows, current testing methodologies and paradigms and genetics and oncology. Joining Agilent in 2014 with 18 years of expertise gained from leadership roles, her background includes CLIA-CAP lab operations, developing and submitting products for regulation, developing integrated workflows for routine testing and business development for companion diagnostics with an emphasis on Oncology. She holds degrees from High Point University in Biology, Biochemistry and Anthropology and a master's in Molecular Genetics from Wake Forest University. Prior to joining QIAGEN, Asuragen, Affymetrix, Stanford’s StartX not-for-profit accelerator and Agilent to lead their marketing organizations, Rebecca spent several years running a high-throughput, CAP/CLIA clinical molecular oncology laboratory.


 Session Chair Profile

Ph.D., Professor and Director, Institute for Precision Medicine, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC

Biography
Dr. Adrian Lee is the Pittsburgh Foundation Chair and Director of the Institute for Precision Medicine (IPM), a joint effort by UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh to move biomedical research into personalized well-being and clinical care. He is also Professor of Pharmacology & Chemical Biology and Human Genetics at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. Dr. Lee received B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in England, and came to San Antonio, Texas for his postdoctoral studies. He was subsequently recruited to Baylor College of Medicine and to the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. The goal of Dr. Lee’s research laboratory is to translate basic cell and molecular research findings into the understanding and treatment of breast cancer. Dr Lee has published over 180 peer reviewed research articles. His laboratory is supported by funding from the NIH, Department of Defense, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and other sources.


 Speaker Profile

Associate Vice President, NGS-Based Diagnostics Global Product Management, Agilent Technologies

Biography
Blandine heads the NGS-based, cancer diagnostics product and service strategy across the continuum of biopharma partnerships, CLIA-based tests and distributed kits. She brings two decades of experience as an executive in Life Science and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), developing innovative strategies, new products, and leading business organizations. Prior to Joining Agilent, Blandine founded and grew Bio2Market, a consulting firm focused on supporting companies at the intersection of Machine Learning and Life Sciences with go-to-market strategies and commercial execution plans for drug discovery, diagnostic or digital health companies. Before founding Bio2Market, during her time at Guardant Health, Blandine led a cross-functional team to expand the use of their next-generation sequencing test in cancer drug development clinical trials, with over 50 biopharma companies. Following, as VP of Business Development at Freenome, she implemented their business strategy to accelerate a multi-analyte platform powered by machine learning for a cancer, early-detection test.


 Speaker Profile

Ph.D., President, PMC

Biography
Edward Abrahams, Ph.D., is the President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition, an education and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Representing innovators, scientists, patients, providers and payers, PMC promotes the understanding and adoption of personalized medicine concepts, services and products for the benefit of patients and the health system. It has grown from its original 18 founding members to more than 220 today. Previously, Dr. Abrahams was the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Association, where he spearheaded the successful effort that led to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s investment of $200 million to commercialize biotechnology in the state. Earlier, he had been Assistant Vice President for Federal Relations at the University of Pennsylvania and held a senior administrative position at Brown University. Dr. Abrahams worked for seven years for the U.S. Congress, including as a legislative assistant to Senator Lloyd Bentsen and as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee.