Archive for March, 2012



Drug Development Gets Even More Personal, Precise and Tailored

March 27th, 2012
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As we’ve discussed, Eric Topol’s “How to Change Medicine” provides valuable insights on how tailoring treatments in the clinic could boost health care effectiveness and lower costs. But we at Popper and Company would like to see industry take an additional step by using the techniques Dr. Topol recommends for patient care to develop drugs more efficiently.
 
The technology Topol recommends to stratify patients could also streamline drug development. In fact, the FDA is suggesting that faster approvals of antibiotics could result from smaller clinical trials that test antibiotics targeted against drug-resistant bacteria.
 
We now know enough about molecular biology that we can apply genomics/proteomics/metabolomics to drug development (DNA screening, identifying and validating surrogate markers, or characterizing tumors by genetic makeup). However, tailored treatments can run into challenges, including  heterogeneity in tumor cells as recently described in the New England Journal of Medicine, that resist even targeted biological treatments.
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Welcoming Head of Digital Health Strategy Paul Sonnier as Newest Team Member

March 13th, 2012
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I’m delighted to announce that Paul Sonnier, formerly a strategic advisor to Popper and Company, has joined our core team as Head of Digital Health Strategy.
 
Our core team provides diversity and expertise to resolve problems and create strategies in the health arena for our life science clients. Paul, who has recently been described as a catalyst in the wireless and mobile health field, brings his familiarity, insights and experience to our existing team of experts whose operational backgrounds span clinical, technology, marketing and finance in a variety of capacities in the diagnostics, medical device and pharmaceutical industries.
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Eric Topol’s 9 Steps Toward Better Health Care—We Add a 10th

March 8th, 2012
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There appear to be a growing number of revolutions in health care and the life sciences industry. Whether you’re considering the genomics revolution, the information revolution, or the empowered patient revolution, a strong need to “fix” our health care system – to address the various inefficiencies that cause costs to increase and that put quality of care at risk – seems to be at the root of these movements.
 
Dr. Eric Topol, a cardiologist and scientist at the Scripps Research Institute, recently published a short article on “How to Change Medicine.” The article, which is excerpted from Dr. Topol’s book, The Creative Destruction of Medicine, provides nine key steps to changing health care delivery: from changing focus from populations to individual patients, to using genomic data to help “fit” treatments for each patient, to redesigning the way doctors are reimbursed.
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In the Battle of Doctor’s Orders Versus Patient Power, the Patient is Winning

March 5th, 2012
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Today, patients are no longer patients in the traditional sense; they are consumers who are demanding to know more about their own bodies and health conditions. Advances in digital technology and information on the Internet are helping to meet this demand. Some professionals, like Dr. Eric Topol, suggest that “patient power” is not only inevitable, but could be essential to fixing the health care delivery system in the United States – and we at Popper and Company tend to agree.
 
Hugo Campos is one individual who underscores this newfound power. Mr. Campos has a defibrillator implanted in his chest that automatically alerts his doctor if he experiences sudden cardiac arrest. As a recent MEDCITY News article illustrates, Mr. Campos is creating controversy in the medical device and health care industries by requesting to see the raw data from his defibrillator.
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