With news of life sciences research coming from around the world, it’s necessary to have our net spread far and wide to capture what’s most important and to convey these learnings. But we also know it’s important to stay on track of developments happening in our own waters whether they be near our offices in Maryland, Florida, New Mexico or Ontario.
Fortunately, we sometimes have opportunities to gather information about the life sciences industry both from afar and from our neighbors in one fell swoop. For example, from June 27 to 30, we’re attending the 2011 BIO International Conference in Washington, DC where thousands of life science leaders and professionals will gather from throughout the world.
While there, we’ll be networking with the global bioscience community, but we have a select eye on a panel on the 28th hosted by our Florida neighbors. We’re excited to note that this session—which is part of the personalized medicine and diagnostics track—includes colleagues of ours from M2Gen (represented with a key speaker) as well as Banyan Biomarkers, a company we helped to form. Both of these companies mark their successful rise in part to our shared belief in the importance of good clinical material for discovery and validation.
This session is also exciting for us in that it highlights how diagnostics and personalized medicine are moving beyond the realm of cancer. Dr. Streeter of Banyan and Dr. Dalton of M2Gen are set to discuss: “Addressing the Major Medical Challenges of Today with Personalized Medicine: Cancer, Diabetes and Brain Injury.” These discussions, involving both acute and chronic diseases, are certain to pack the room merely by the importance and sheer momentum of this trend.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this ray of biomedical science sunlight is poised to illuminate healthcare in many corners of the world. Please keep following these posts and have your notepads ready…along with perhaps a pair of sunglasses and a splash of sun block!
What sessions of #BIO2011 are on your radar? Interested in meeting up with us there? Please share your thoughts below.
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In business life as in the movies, change can come unexpectedly and throw us for a loop. An individual career – as well as entire industries – can move in unpredictable ways. Some days are ordinary, and on other days we arrive home, as does Mr. Popper in the new movie Mr. Popper’s Penguins, to find a giant box of birds!
As it is for driven businessman Mr. Popper, so it can also be for life science companies. And so, as a life sciences consulting firm named Popper and Company, we just couldn’t resist a light-hearted post relating what we do to the movie (we know, it’s a stretch).
Mr. Popper is a business guy who doesn’t know anything about penguins when a box of these birds unexpectedly enters his life. Now, if the movie’s Mr. Popper had a Mrs. Popper like our own, he wouldn’t have had a problem at all. To demonstrate the point: When I mentioned the movie as a potential topic for our blog, the first thing Caroline did was google “penguin genomes.” Of course she did.
Take a look at the Wired Science article Caroline found (“Penguins Evolving Faster Than Thought”). The article states that “penguins are evolving on a molecular scale two to six times faster than standard calculations indicated.” Think of it, at some point, penguins are going to demand quality healthcare like the rest of us. Who’s going to insure all of these penguins? Are medical schools equipped to train the next generation of physicians who will need to cross specialize in human and penguin care? And the treadmill stress test may have to be completely rethought – both in terms of administration and reimbursement.
Fortunately, Caroline and the rest of us here at Popper and Company think ahead. We constantly monitor the changes and trends – the evolution – of the life science industry. Take, for example, our 10-year interest in personalized health care – a field we were tracking long before the topic became a buzz word. Then there’s the emergence of eHealth into mHealth and the current impact of an increasingly empowered consumer in healthcare who can hold medical decision making in the palm of his (or her) hand via a smartphone. We’ve been watching all of this closely and the life science trends haven’t taken us by surprise.
Okay, you say, so what would happen if a box of birds did happen to land on Popper and Company’s doorstep…or in other words, what if something totally unexpected happened? We quickly dive into emerging health related topics to help prepare for the next “big thing,” even if it turns out to be the health needs of penguins. As a creative, flexible and adaptable life science consultancy, we’re ready to be at the forefront of where the life science industry’s changes are occurring.
Welcome to summer everyone! We hope you had fun with this post and that you have some time to get away, maybe even to see this movie in a cool air-conditioned theatre. And, we hope you’ll let us know your thoughts about bird evolution, if you’re so inclined! Stay cool!
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In the earlier days of the Internet, the consumer of medical or health-related information was a lone traveler, wandering through dark alleys of information often with little more than intuition and guesswork to guide the way. Who knew what type of foul play lurked in those unregulated shadows?
Interestingly, it isn’t watchdog regulation that’s lighting the path for the lost consumer of medical information today; it’s exciting partnerships around transparent technologies and practices that are seizing the market. For example, we recently participated in the 3rd Annual Personalized Medicine Partnerships Conference, which was designed to shed light on issues of paramount importance to the future of personalized medicine, including partnerships, clinical utility/validation, and the commercial realities of personalized medicine in the global healthcare marketplace. More to come from that conference in future posts…
Here, I want to highlight the recent collaboration of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and CollabRX in using online app technology for collecting targeted information as an example of the emerging trend of interesting partnerships in this space.
There are inherent complexities within and different molecular pathways for each cancer type. New therapies are being developed and physicians continue to build their armamentarium of drugs to provide cancer patients with the most effective treatment. In many instances, due to the biology of the tumor, stage of disease, location, and lymph node infiltration, it is not a single treatment given over a lengthy period of time, but a combination of drugs that is the patient’s best option. Much of the time so-called cocktails may only be substantiated in a small group of patients sharing a similar molecular subtype. Sharing knowledge—treatment and outcomes—from these small but significant patient cohorts will help to create patterns of targeted therapy in cancer care that can then be extrapolated and used in patients with similar molecular attributes, regardless of locations or provider. This information is becoming available on the web as an open-source, real-time community benefiting physicians and scientists but also (and most importantly) allowing the patient to access information relevant to his or her diagnosis and to be part of the decision-making process.
These new organizations and online tools are inevitable since patients are becoming better informed about the implications of their unique genetic predisposition. They understand that drug protocols are highly specialized and that there are rarely broad fixes in medical treatment. This rise in genetic consciousness brings on a greater demand for personalized medical information that can guide changes in lifestyle, and with these changes there’s the assumption—if not the need—to partner with companies who can provide unbiased consumer information based on targeted advances in the field. The new CollabRX-ASCO collaboration is just one example of targeted information for patient-consumer assessment, but other companies such as 23andme, Navigenics, and deCODEme are also offering tools to empower patients and medical consumers.
Companies are seeing the collaborative doors opening and they’re confident that the path to success is one walked with physician, consumer, and institutions alike. Some level of regulation will always be necessary, but the practical transparency of intelligent partnerships allows information technology to evolve towards its goal of providing accessible, validated and most importantly, actionable information. These partnerships are a huge step in this direction, and they’re bound to continue to grow.
Do you agree? Please comment and let us know your thoughts on the emerging trend of consumer empowerment and new technology partnerships. Your thoughts are always greatly appreciated.
Tags: american society of clinical oncology, annual personalized medicine partnerships conference, cancer, collabrx, medical consumers, partnerships
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