Posts Tagged molecular diagnostics

Digital Health Panel Preview – EPPICon 2015

EPPIC annual conference is on March, 28 and early bird pricing will end on Monday, March 16.  Here is a sneak peek at one of the panels.  

Technology is impacting health in interesting ways and many exciting innovations in digital health are expected to change how diseases are tracked, reduce inefficiency in healthcare delivery, reduce costs, improve access to healthcare, increase quality, save resources, and make medicine more personalized.  Digital health panel at EPPICon 2015 has diverse and interesting lineup of speakers.

wpid-20150304_162558.jpgDr. David Persing, EVP, CMO, and CTO at Cepheid, had made an early resolve to have a positive impact on the world.  Guided by intellectual curiosity, while doing his pre-med, he discovered “the power of diagnostics”.  The company’s mission at Cepheid is to use the power of molecular diagnostics such that it would enable medical providers to identify and treat diseases early, increasing opportunities to improve patients’ survival and quality of life. Their cloud based platform, “The Digital Miasma” for monitoring of emerging infections earlier, is just launched and is in the implementation phase.

wpid-20150304_163547.jpgPanelist Deborah Profit is Director of Corporate Projects – Global Clinical & Business Operations for Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development and Commercialization.   OPC, is headquartered in Tokyo and is known for popular sports drink Pocari Sweat and energy drink Oronamin C.  OPC also developed Abilify, an approved drug treatment for certain mental illnesses, and as of 2013, annual sales of Abilify were over $8 billion a year, making it the highest grossing drug worldwide.  You would wonder what has that to do with digital health, until you consider the fact that patient non-compliance is one of the biggest challenges in many illnesses but specifically in mental illnesses.  Otsuka has recently made a deal with Proteus Digital Health for tracking medical adherence.  Proteus system includes sensor-enabled pills that embed intelligence into the pills so that their ingestion can be precisely tracked.  Personally, I am totally against drugs for mental illnesses, many of which do not work as expected; placebo effects are not well identified, clinical studies are often sponsored by drug companies and the list of side effects is daunting and being a psychologist, having seen side effects and heard them being discussed by my colleagues, I have developed absolute disgust for drugs for mental disorders.

Proteus “ingestible sensor” technology however, holds enormous promise for various indications, specifically for treatment and management of chronic conditions.  Otsuka plans to make use of Proteus Digital Health’s feedback system in its clinical R&D, presumably for its oncology products.

The next panelist, Dr. Marsha Rose Gillentine is Director of Biotechnology/ Chemical Group at Sterne Kessler Goldstein Fox, LLP and has intimate knowledge and understanding of patent litigation strategy in small molecules, ploymorphs, chemical synthesis, pharmaceutical formulations, methods of treatment, drug delivery devices, animal models, vaccines, polymers and more.  Her experience encompasses working with clients to implement lifecycle management strategies, specifically at it relates to personalized medicine patent portfolios.

Members of the Paris Medical Faculty (1904) An...

Members of the Paris Medical Faculty (1904) André Chantemesse (1851–1919) Georges Pouchet (1833–1894) Paul Poirier (1853–1907) Georges Dieulafoy (1839–1911) Georges Maurice Debove (1845–1920) Paul Brouardel (1837–1906) Samuel Pozzi (1846–1918) Paul Jules Tillaux (1834–1904) Georges Hayem (1841–1933) Victor Cornil (1837–1908) Paul Berger (1845–1908) Jean Casimir Félix Guyon (1831–1920) Pierre-Emile Launois (1856–1914) Adolphe Pinard (1844–1934) Pierre-Constant Budin (1846–1907) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jared Heyman is founder and CEO of CrowdMed, a brilliant innovative site that takes connected health to a whole new plane.  Often individuals afflicted with rare or neglected diseases, go from doctor to doctor, from pillar to post, just to accurate diagnosis and then they face whole set of new challenges for treatment.  CrowdMed is seeking to solve most challenging medical cases, worldwide, with speed and accuracy online, by harnessing the collective wisdom of the crowd.

The Digital Health Panel at EPPICon 2015, will be an exciting panel.  Agenda for the entire day looks very interesting and there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to network and mingle with like-minded professionals.  The conference is on Saturday, March 28th at Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, CA.  Early bird pricing has been extended till March, 16.  Please register for the event at the link or from .

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“Solving the Challenges of DNA Sequencing for Molecular Diagnostics” talk by Stefan Roever, CEO, Genia Technologies

Stefan Roever ( began his talk (at by affirming that in the future, without a doubt, molecular diagnostics will be dominated by DNA sequencing. Sequencing will be everything, said Roever. Using the blood test analogy, where when RBC count is needed, the physician might likely order a comprehensive profile, similarly in future, complete sequencing might be ordered. The high cost however, remains a big challenge. At the current cost of $50K to $100K for a sequencing instrument, the Molecular Diagnostics (MDx) industry cannot scale to support the vision of personalized medicine by complete gene sequencing. Without scale, there is little standardization as the existing companies use many different platforms. The existing DNA sequencers utilize a complex workflow and rely on complicated optics or amplification, which does not lend themselves to clinical utility.

Genia uses standard semiconductor technology that can enable massively parallel, single molecule DNA sequencing, that is highly accurate. Genia’s key proprietary innovations around the nanopore allow single molecules of single stranded DNA, to move through the pore slowly, so the sequence can be measured accurately. This single molecule, electrical, real-time analysis can be done without the need for complicated optics, labels, amplification, or fluidics. There are therefore, no amplification errors and it is better for rare event detection, like infectious disease. Genia’s technology also offers the ability to re-read. Genia’s key proprietary innovations, its automated bilayer pore setup, allows for scalability and ease of use. Also Genia’s IC achieves 30fA noise preference so the sensor itself is truly transformative and allows very small electrical signals (~0.2 pA current levels) to be seen high above the noise floor. This is a key challenge that many other nanopore companies are currently struggling with. The data shows that with highly accurate analog electronics and clever data analysis techniques, single base discrimination is possible, and adequate SNR can be reached to perform DNA sequencing. Genia’s mission is to “unify Moore’s Law with biotechnology to make genetic information universally available”, said Roever. By developing a true integrated circuit on standard semiconductor process technology, Genia is hoping that it will revolutionize the world of DNA sequencing.

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