Brexit: What Does It Mean for Life Sciences?

Approximately two weeks ago, citizens of the UK voted to leave the EU, so-called “Brexit,” by a vote of 53.4 percent to 46.6 percent. If you are like me, you are fascinated by the outcome of the Brexit vote. I have consumed news stories, podcasts, and social media all reporting on the implications of this vote – financial meltdown, voter regret, political fallout, concerns about overly strong currencies, cheap trips to England, the dissolution of the UK, and intergenerational family rifts…I have been reading it all. What has been a smaller part of the story, however, is what the Brexit means for the life sciences industry....

Cancer and “Cost”:  The Real Story May11

Cancer and “Cost”: The Real Story

CancerCare, a national non-profit organization that provides free psychosocial support, education and financial assistance to anyone affected by cancer, has released its landmark 2016 Patient Access and Engagement Report. The report is based on surveys that ‘touched’ more than 3,000 patients with wide diversity of ethnicity, income, education, geography, age, insurance, cancer type and treatment stage—in other words, you could find someone like yourself amongst them…or a family member….or a neighbor. People just like us. There are some encouraging findings in the report that perhaps reflect the ongoing cultural shift towards...

Powering Our Progress Against Cancer Feb02

Powering Our Progress Against Cancer

The following opinion article was published online first in The Hill’s Congress Blog. Marcia A. Kean is a co-convener of the Turning the Tide Against Cancer initiative, along with Edward Abrahams, President of the Personalized Medicine Coalition and Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), CEO of the American Association for Cancer Research. For more information on the Turning the Tide Against Cancer initiative, visit http://turningthetideagainstcancer.org/ “Let’s make America the country that cures cancer once and for all.”  This statement resonated through the Capitol building during President Obama’s final State of the Union...

Building the Trust Infrastructure for Synthetic Bi...

Jurassic World. Orphan Black. Splice. Helix. Synthetic biology is the inspiration behind these and many other popular science fiction movies and television series, and it seems that the public cannot get enough of them. While these stories provide entertainment with their extreme scenarios, more importantly, they are also raising critical issues around the moral and ethical implications of modifying and/or creating life. And as we get closer to dropping the “fiction” from “science fiction”, everyone needs to be a part of this conversation. Genome engineering technologies have advanced to the point that we are creating synthetic...

‘Power to the People’ Gets Real in Research

In a recent blog at the NY Times, Steve Lohr observes that “Traditionally, patient information has been tapped for research in large pooled databases” but that is changing due to “Institutional practice, individual attitudes and new technology…” leading to new opportunities in research. He quotes Dr. Stephen Friend of Sage Bionetworks: “The patient, doctor and researcher – each is a different kind of expert.” Mr. Lohr and Dr. Friend are right on target. We are seeing exactly these trends play out in real-time in www.iConquerMS.org – an initiative funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute  – designed...

A National Agenda On Personalized Medicine

Last week’s State of the Union address included an important announcement: the Obama administration intends to re-focus its efforts to accelerate innovation in “precision” or personalized medicine. Last week, the White House gave more detail about what that focus would look like – the official press release includes information on a $215 billion investment that includes: $130 million to NIH for development of a voluntary national research cohort of a million or more volunteers to propel our understanding of health and disease and set the foundation for a new way of doing research through engaged participants and open,...

A New Journey To The Center

Most people remember Jules Verne’s best-selling science fiction novel, and the films it inspired, about a journey to the center of the earth filled with “natural hazards.” As a society, we have embarked on an equally thrilling and far more science-based journey in which we seek to place the patient at the center of healthcare and our health care system. Personalized medicine can be seen as the perfect ‘vehicle’ to that patient-focused core of care, fueled by the specificity of molecular diagnostics and targeted therapeutics. So, on the 10th anniversary of the Personalized Medicine Conference, and the 13th...

We All Have a Role to Play in Turning the Tide Aga...

In recent years, the pace of scientific discovery and medical progress has transformed our approach to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. Today, new targeted therapies are being used to pinpoint specific cell mutations and pathways leading to cancer’s progression and to stop tumor growth with fewer side effects. And, innovative approaches to harness our body’s own defenses have led to the development of new cancer vaccines and immunotherapies that attack the disease. With nearly 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States, there is no doubt that we have made great strides in our fight against...

The Evolving Role of Social Media and Healthcare

Social media and healthcare are two separate, yet rapidly evolving and highly influential industries. While each looks completely unique at the surface, from a 10,000 foot view they face some of the same hurdles, including: utilizing big data, privacy, behavior change and effectively reaching audiences with disparate levels of access to services. A recent Twitter chat, presented by HIMSS Future Care, focused on the evolving roles of social media and healthcare, as well as how they can effectively be combined and leverage new trends and technologies to tackle ever present problems like cost containment, unmet needs and value-based...

Networks, Cities, and Data: The Future of Better H...

If you’re not convinced the future of healthcare has arrived, just wait a few days:  it should be coming to a mobile device or a big box store near you soon: Quantified-self software by which you can monitor every bodily function and have the data integrated into your medical record. Low-cost Genomic profiling to identify your disease risks. Biomarker-directed personalized drugs that are optimally efficacious for your particular molecular sub-group of disease. Self-help health maintenance tools to integrate all that bodily function monitoring and your genomics profile with the right drugs and food/exercise choices to slow or prevent...