Creating a New Class of Vaccines

Vaccines are among the most cost-effective and successful health interventions ever developed, saving millions of lives each year. However, traditional vaccines are designed to target pathogens that live in the bloodstream. Many infectious diseases, such as herpes, chlamydia and malaria, live inside the body’s cells, leaving these serious illnesses literally beyond the reach of available technology—until now. Genocea Biosciences, an FKH client,  is working to develop the first vaccine that will trigger the body to destroy its own infected cells –something that has never before been possible, due to the volume of potential pathogen T...

Get your hands off my genes!

Recently the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that human genes cannot be patented and that any existing patents on one or more of our naturally occurring 22,000 genes will now be invalid. The case centered around Myriad Genetics patent claim on two genes associated with a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2. Myriad had patented both the diagnostic test for these genes and the genes themselves and held the market monopoly, charging on average $3,500 per test, a price that Angelina Jolie recently described in her New York Times article as “an obstacle for many women.” To use the genes/jeans analogy, original store-bought...

Four Ways to “Eureka”: How Big Data is...

Data is rapidly changing healthcare as more and more stakeholders—providers, patients, and payers—go digital. Researchers are taking advantage of the digital movement as well, exploring the role of informatics in a rapid-learning environment where data flows across the spectrum, from the bedside to the bench, and back again. To accelerate this vision, FKH has been instrumental in launching the Data Liquidity Coalition, a group dedicated to enabling a rapid learning healthcare environment for cancer and other diseases. We are also proud to be a partner and sponsor of Health Datapalooza IV, the premier national conference on liberating...