Posts Tagged www.bio2devicegroup.org
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on May 21, 2015
Dr. Barrett Larson, physician at Stanford University School of Medicine, Co-founder of Leaf Healthcare, and director of the Stanford Anesthesia Innovation Lab (SAIL), talked about the medical device innovation process and shared stories about his experience developing new medical technology at http://www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
A recipient of numerous medical technology and innovation awards, Dr. Larson emphasized that the innovation process begins with clinical observations and problem identification. The next step is to define the clinical need, which should initially be defined in broad terms in order to maximize the number of potential solutions that can be conceived.
His company, Leaf Healthcare, is expanding the applications for wireless patient monitoring by introducing inexpensive, disposable, and easy to use wireless sensors. One of the first application areas for the technology has been to address hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (HAPUs). Pressure ulcers, commonly referred to as bedsores, are injuries to the skin that result from prolonged surface pressure. Pressure ulcers put an enormous strain on the healthcare system and upwards of $9B is spent annually treating pressure ulcers in the US. Since pressure ulcers are considered “never events”, they are not reimbursable and are a source of fines, penalties, and litigation exposure. The Leaf system has been shown to dramatically improve compliance with patient turning schedules, improve nursing efficiency, and reduce the incidence of pressure ulcers.
Dr. Larson also talked about a new device he developed that enables non-optical, magnetically-guided endotracheal intubation. The technology has won first place at the regional level (Western Anesthesia Residents’ Conference) and the national level (Society for Technology in Anesthesia). Dr. Larson also talked about other award-winning projects that he is working on in the context of the Stanford Anesthesia Innovation Lab (SAIL).
The talk was followed by Q&A.
Year 2014 is coming to a close. As I see it, it has been a year to confront the reality and get things done. Affordable Care Act became law in January, increasing the accessibility of healthcare, in the US. TIME declared Ebola as the defining issue of the 20th century. It was no more in remote regions of Africa but in the capitals and it landed in the USA. The reality is that we are living in a global world.
And then President Obama reminded us that even though some of our neighbors entered the border illegally, they have made their home here, are working hard, supporting their families and they should have NOT amnesty, but an opportunity to make it right with the law, and live here temporarily, AND pay their share of the taxes, because people can’t live in the shadows, in a global world of visibility and accountability. Long overdue immigration reform will enable many people to come out of the shadows and add to the national treasury – a win-win – what’s not to like?
The same applies to our gay neighbors. They should not have to live in the shadows. Majority of the states this year, legalized same sex marriages and US supreme court refused to hear appeals from states seeking to keep same sex marriage ban in place. Many states also legalized marijuana. But what about our veterans living in the shadows? Department of Veterans Affairs got more resources (as house passed the bill, at the end of the year, averting shutdown), and it now has to get its act together and make it right with those who defend our freedom and values.
And what about skin color? We are confronting the reality that more than 50 years after Dr. King laid out his vision for color-fair society, people are still being judged on the basis of the color of their skin and paying with their lives. This does not just happen when young men turn 22 but prejudice hits in childhood http://bit.ly/15EInJ4 and it splinters society. We can heal and move ahead, but scars made by history, and distrust can only heal when there are no new wounds, when there is real dialog, when each side gets to even briefly experience the reality that the other lives with, and have compassion. We are confronting the reality and lot of dialog is happening. Much work remains to be done but the issue can’t be ignored any longer.
And then the lowest of the low, terrorists and those plotting terror. How do we deal with them? Report on CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the post-9/11 era reveals that “CIA detainees were tortured”. When we lose sight of our values, when the boundaries between moral and immoral gets blurry, then we lose, regardless of what we were seeking to gain. This is a true moment for national soul searching. (the fact some people may be only suspected of being terrorists is whole other story).
Globally, also we are confronting realities. World’s largest democracy, India, elected controversial Mr. Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. Mr. Modi has reached out to leaders across the world and declared campaigns to clean up India. My birthplace has so much to offer to the world and if it cleans up its act, under the helm of Mr. Modi, I couldn’t be happier. Our neighbors need to clean up their act too, even as they rightfully blame the US for its insatiable appetite for drugs. Capture of “El Chapo” Guzman in Mexico was a HUGE victory that got overshadowed later by disappearance and ruthless murder of 43 Mexican college students. “#YaMeCanse12”! Abduction of 270 high school girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria #BringBackOurGirls and scores of Yazidi women bought, sold, raped, and murdered, underscores the need to define rape during conflict as a war crime and not a woman’s issue. By some estimates, more than 7 million (50% are children) are displaced by war in Syria (200,000 are killed) and 100,000+ Yazidis are displaced by ISIS. Let us continue to keep theses issues in the spotlight.
The year is ending on a rather sad note of the children who lost their lives in #PeshawarSchoolAttack in Pakistan. Here is my short poem in their memory – http://bit.ly/1wfp47D . It was heart warming to see India support its neighbor in the hour of grief as #IndiawithPakistan was a popular hashtag on twitter. And also deeply heartwarming to see Pakistan echo the sentiments when #PakistanwithIndia and sepecially #PakistanwithIndiaNoToLakhviBail became trendy topics on twitter as overwhelmingly Pakistani people reacted negatively to their government’s decision to give bail to Mumbai terror mastermind Lakhvi. May the balanced sentiments always prevail over extremism, because the reality is that we live in a global world and terror can’t be nurtured and targeted because sooner or later it would hit home. Global world also demands secularism.
As a ray of light and hope, Malala Yousafzai, courageous young lady from Pakistan, spearheading girls’ right to education and Kailash Satyarthi from india, a brave and dedicated activist for children’s rights and against child labor, shared the Nobel Prize, sending strong messages that fight to honor children’s rights will continue.
Hard as it is to confront the reality that one’s parents may not be there forever, I was very happy to spend wonderful time with my mother and my aunty (her sister). I tried to focus on giving them a break from their routines and enable them to have some fun, some unusual experiences. Isn’t it amazing that when a mother gives, she gives with her heart and soul, but when she receives from her children, she receives with a feeling of enormous debt and gratitude! Both my children are focused on their careers; Neil is working with Cisco in IT and Neesha is finishing college this coming year. Both are my pride and joy :). It has also been fun hosting my daughter’s friend from UCSD, originally from Palestine, during the holidays, and alternately being “naughty” with the girls, and playing aunty-mom to two daughters :).
This year, I also visited Japan (we were hosted by many amazing friends and you can see all details in my travel blogs), an amazingly polite and most efficient culture, with world’s most interesting toilets http://bit.ly/1sYL5qs. This year I also started travel blogs and you can see my many blogs at www.darshanavnadkarni.wordpress.com.
And finally, here are links to some of the most amazing things that I blogged about, this year.
Best movie – “Last Days in Vietnam” http://bit.ly/1qFIL28
Best play – “Truce” http://bit.ly/1trGhEG and “Andhera Hone Tak” http://bit.ly/1Aij5Rz
Best book – “The Glass Castle” http://bit.ly/1fchcIo
Best biomedical technologies — so many exciting technologies in early to mid stages of development for — treatment of ALS http://bit.ly/1AP2Yd0, for technology for early detection of cervical cancer http://bit.ly/1jalqEz, technology that aims to deliver drugs via inhalation for AFib, point of care solution to minimize prescription filling errors http://bit.ly/1jdfmgr
Wishing my readers, family & friends, and my clients and colleagues, peace and joy in the year 2015. Best wishes to my many friends in fantastic groups that I am routinely affiliated with (each of them enhance life for many, personally and/or professionally) http://www.bio2devicegroup.org, http://www.eppicglobal.org, http://www.citylights.org, http://www.thestage.org, http://www.theatreworks.org, http://www.naatak.org, http://www.enacte.org, http://www.iwings.org .
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on December 22, 2014
Tim Pelura, CEO, Surpass Preclinical CRO talked on how medical device companies can align their strategy, from preclinical to market, with a focus on the value proposition, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
We are operating under a new reality now where power has shifted to the payers and the providers, said Pelura. Medical device companies are evaluated based on safety and procedural efficacy as well as cost and value. Increasingly heightened regulatory scrutiny and tightening FDA regulations have led to increase in audits (which were up 40% in the last year) and warning letters are (which were up 24% over the last 2 years). Due to regulatory and reimbursement challenges, medical device companies are focusing their R&D efforts on improving already approved devices, rather than developing innovative new products. Meanwhile startups are finding the landscape challenging due to funding challenges and increasing costs of bringing new products to market.
Inkeeping with the reality of pressures on payers that are transmitted down, new healthcare delivery models are emerging, and therefore, patient pathways are being modified to obtain to obtain better outcomes, with less cost. Medical device companies will need to work with new business models, that solve significant problems and reduce overall costs. Companies seeking growth will need to expand their offerings to target underserved populations and lower socioeconomic classes.
In essence, it is about the value proposition offered by the new product or service, “what benefit you provide for who and how you do it uniquely well”, said Pelura. He advised, these “must-haves” in a business pitch, “describe your target buyer, the problem you are seeking to solve, and why you do it better than the alternative”.
Pelura walked the audience through the process of arriving at the value proposition. First, companies must define the problem they are seeking to solve and identify correctly the need to solve the problem. Next, they should try to go after obvious problems, rather than aspirational or “good to solve” problems. And finally, they should try to address acute or critical problems.
In defining a solution, they should try to generate many ideas and then measure the viability of customer adoption of each idea using gain/pain ratio; what the customer stands to gain versus the cost of adoption of the new solution. The best solutions are those that offer game-changing benefits, with minimal modifications to the existing process or environments, said Pelura. Go for “Disruptive Innovations, that are Non-Disruptive to Adopt”, advised Pelura. Medical device companies must visualize the entire process or patient pathway to ensure that the new solution would cause minimal disruptions, in the whole process.
While new technologies often emerge with a focus on engineering and progress to bench testing and then plan preclinical, and clinical strategies and only then consider navigating regulatory, market, and reimbursement challenges; in actuality, they should invert the process. They should begin with considering reimbursement challenges, analyze the competitive landscape, study the market opportunity, give thoughtful consideration to the regulatory challenges, then consider clinical and preclinical strategy, before embarking on prototype and bench testing. Because if the value proposition is wrong then a company can end up with a product that no one wants or needs, resulting in considerable waste of precious innovation dollars and time, said Pelura.
Speaking of Surpass, Pelura shared that preclinical Contract Research Organization, Surpass is doing things differently. While having deep expertise as a preclinical CRO in helping medical device companies with their preclinical in vivo and human cadaveric studies, Surpass also seeks to impact the system, by probing and assisting their clients with questions that go to the value proposition. Surpass assists the clients in designing the most translatable preclinical study by understanding issues of clinical end points, product’s desired features and characteristics, all the while keeping in mind who would be operating the device, studies and activities that might need to be completed to demonstrate the products, performance, safety, and efficacy, as well as data that would be required to drive reimbursement and more. This novel process ensures that any preclinical testing performed is aligned to the new product’s value proposition, hence helping save valuable healthcare innovation dollars.
The session was followed by Q&A.
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Big Data -Cloud -IoT-Software -Mobile -Entrepreneurship, Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on November 20, 2014
Recently, Karl Handelsman, Founder, Codon Capital, talked about the Lean LaunchPad Entrepreneurship program, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event. Handelsman, with Allan May (Managing Director at Life Science Angels), are instructors in the Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences program at UCSF and also will be teaching at NIH, in the future. Handelsman is the Therapeutics cohort and May is the Medical Device cohort.
It is a mistake to assume that pre-clinical programs are risky and they need to focus on easier low hanging fruit or they must take 10+ years and a billion dollars to create value, said Handelsman. We have a duty to search for the path to unlock the value of the idea as industrially relevant innovation, and there are examples of biotech startups reaching that point in 18-30 months, said Handelsman. Lean LaunchPad program teaches scientists and clinicians in startups to do a real world assessment of their idea or technology, before plunking down millions of dollars, in an idea. Entrepreneurs receive training in determining their product’s market viability, regulatory risk, potential clinical utility, and also likely financing vehicles before making big dollar investments in research, design, and manufacturing.
Entrepreneurs need good operational models that build a context of value creation, said Handelsman. Investors like value, not milestones. “Investors want to invest money and they want to hear a business case, and operational milestones don’t get you there”, stressed Handelsman.
Big things often have small beginnings and start with contributions from many small pockets. Sharing the case of a company that started with collaboration and became the behemoth, Genentech, Handelsman said, entrepreneurs need to start thinking about collaboration, not competition, and begin to look at models of collaboration that would create true value. After all, strategic alliances built the Silicon Valley and there are many diverse and creative ways of creating partnerships. Entrepreneurs need to talk with others and be really good listeners.
Successful entrepreneurs are not thoughtless risk takers, but approach problems in a disciplined way. Value creation for therapeutics begins with thoughtful consideration of who would benefit from solving a certain problem; patients, payers, insurances companies or any other entity? Once entrepreneurs can figure that out, they can go to a VC and explain the business case. Value creation, after all, is not what entrepreneurs think or believe, but an idea or concept that gets external validation from the customer. “Do not constantly worry about keeping the concept in the stealth mode, and talk to a lot of people”, advised Handelsman. VCs do not count, they are not potential customers. In the end, one could have a sexy product, but if it does not solve a pressing problem then it is not creating value. Real answers to key commercialization questions, in the case of therapeutics, lie outside the lab, and entrepreneurs need to actively engage and talk with customers, partners, regulators and so on to figure out the value of their product. Lean LaunchPad methodology therefore, helps to validate the product, before commercial strategy is considered, saving time, money, resources and in some cases, helping guide the change in the trajectory, for more meaningful outcome.
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on August 4, 2014
Rich Casey, President and CEO of Neuraltus (formerly Chairman and CEO of Scios), talked about treatment option for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a fatal neurodegenerative disorder of unknown etiology, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Typically, the age of onset of ALS is anywhere between 40 and 70 years. Life expectancy after the diagnosis is between 2 and 5 years, although in very rare cases (e.g. in case of Stephen Hawking), it could be an extremely slow progression. No effective treatments for the disease exist. Motor neurons degenerate and early symptoms include muscle weakness, specifically involving arms and legs, lack of hand grip, deep tiredness and it progresses to difficulty in swallowing, breathing, and garbled speech.
Neuraltus’s lead product, NP001 is in clinical development, targeted for the treatment of ALS. While the exact cause of the disease is unknown, there is fair amount of evidence that points to increasing levels of inflammation in the macrophages. This increased inflammatory activity results in the release of factors in the central nervous system that leads to damage of motor neurons. Macrophages are cells produced by differentiation of monocytes in the tissues. Macrophages are highly specialized in removal of dead cells or debris. Additionally, macrophages also “present” antigen that plays a crucial role in initiating an immune response. There is an increasing evidence implicating neuroinflammation with the progression of ALS.
Neuraltus’s novel, proprietary drug, NP001 regulates macrophage activation and converts the activated inflammatory macrophages from activated, neurotoxic inflammatory state to a neuroprotective state. It thus normalizes the critical cellular environment. Phase I, single dose study indicated that that there are no safety concerns and the drug is well tolerated. Further, in a Phase II safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy study, after administration of NP001, there occurred a close dependent reduction of inflammatory macrophages.
The dosing regimen is somewhat cumbersome, said Casey. First time, the patients come in the hospital and need to stay for 5 days and subsequently for 3 days. At low dose, phase II study results indicated positive trends in the ability of NP001 to slow the rate of disease progression but did not reach statistical significance. But at high dose, the drug freezes the disease in a 3rd of the patients. Additionally, the drug is found to be safe and well tolerated. This clearly looks like a very exciting potential treatment for a devastating disorder, ALS. The company is currently looking for funding. The talk was followed by Q&A.
Dr. Alan Jacobs, Founder and CEO of PerceptiMed talked about “preventing drug-related patient injury and death with advanced, cost-effective technology systems”, at www.bio2devicegroup.org event.
Medication dispensing error occurs when there is a discrepancy between a prescription and the medicine that the patient receives. It can occur in pharmacies, hospitals, or nursing homes. Such errors can occur at any stage during the long chain of events that transpire between the prescription that the pharmacy receives and the medication that the patient receives. A prescription may be read incorrectly, transcribed incorrectly, dispensed erroneously or delivered to the wrong patient.
Pharmacies dispense enormous volumes of medications. So, relatively low volumes of dispensing errors, in proportion to the medications dispensed, translate into huge numbers of erroneous medications that the patients receive, with serious consequences. For instance, do you know that each year in the US, there occur almost 345 million medication dispensing errors? These errors lead to 1.5 million patient injuries and staggering 7,000 deaths, each year. Additionally, such mistakes are very costly. These preventable medication errors cost $21 billion in wasteful healthcare spending, each year.
Medical dispensing system is a complex system. Often prescriptions are filled by technicians or others representing low skilled workforce. After the prescription is received at the pharmacy, and the patient profile is made, the pharmacist or the technician enters the prescription in the computer. The technician then goes to the stock room, counts out the number of pills and fills in the medicine container, and appropriately labels it. The pharmacist makes one last check, reviews the completed order, verifies drug name, strength, dosing directions, and then visually inspects the pills. Finally, after verification that the prescription is filled for the correct patient, the medicine is dispensed.
Prescription filling errors can occur at any stage, in the process. There are currently 10,000+ pills on the market. About 2633 pills are white and round, 718 are yellow in color. Despite the fact that following FDA ruling, every pill is marked with a special insignia, given the volume of similar looking pills, this is an error waiting to happen. Typically, in a busy pharmacy, a pharmacist may fill out 200-300 prescriptions, a day.
PreceptiMed offers a breakthrough point-of-care product, IdentRX that provides real-time identification of individual pills and checks each pill against the patient’s prescription. This solution is built upon state of the art pill identification algorithms and machine learning technology that enables the system to learn about each new pill that is introduced. There is 100% identification of each individual pill as it is dispensed into the pill bottle. The optical sensor reads 120 pills a minute. Its error detection rate is 99.9% and it requires no calibration or modification of pill or any other special packaging. This automatic, pour and go, first in class system correctly verifies all parameters, and checks for correct medication against patient information, dosage, and quantity. It flags when there is an error the first time, unlike mechanical errors that go undetected for long periods and get further compounded. Built in safe guard eliminates cross-contamination with sensitive products.
PerceptiMed has a broad IP and various other products for other uses in nursing homes and so on. This point-of-care dispensing system does not require FDA approval. Currently, almost 25% of the technician’s time is spent on making a mistake or correcting the mistake, as restocking of erroneous products is also a complicated process, further raising the possibility of errors. PerceptiMed system makes it easy to restock erroneous products, saving enormous amount of time. Additional products are in the pipeline. For instance, Scrip Clip is a simple clip with a sensor that goes on top of the pill envelope and when the patient info is entered in the system, it lights up, allowing for easy pick up from all medications waiting to be picked up. Also it makes it easy to restock the medications that are not picked up. There are other fail safe products for use in nursing homes (for instance, eMAR), to ensure right medication, at correct dosage and time is given to the patient, and the date is entered immediately, to avoid overdosing.
This was a very interesting talk that included several videos that demonstrated the products. The talk was followed by Q&A.
Upcoming Healthcare events in Bay Area
http://www.bio2devicegroup.org features top notch speakers and many events are completely free.
Healthtechnology Forum conference http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com, focused on exploring pathways to sustainable health, is on May 20 in SF. Please register for the conference as my friend, with the discount code “HTF14-FriendOfOrganizer” and send me your first & last name at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, to get $150 off the price of the ticket.
www.tiecon.org – If you are a professional in #healthIT, #digital health, #internetofthings, #cloud, #bigdata or related, I would say this is the conference, you don’t want to miss – It offers a fabulous opportunity to network with 3000+ professionals and listen to top notch speakers and panelists. You can register for #TiEcon (May 16 & 17 at Santa ClaraConvention Center) at link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw as my guest & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.
http://www.wsgr.com/news/medicaldevice/ – #WilsonSonsini, #WSGR annual medical device conference in San Francisco, June, 12.
JOBS: are posted at the link http://bit.ly/1o85CTM
Posted by Darshana V. Nadkarni, Ph.D. in Biotech - Medical Device - Life Science - Healthcare on May 6, 2014
Glioblastoma or GBM is the most aggressive brain tumor for which currently there exists no cure. Michelle Chen talked about targeted oncolytic virus therapy for these tumors. These tumors are highly malignant because the cells reproduce quickly and they are supported by a large network of blood vessels. There are approximately 25,000 new cases in Europe and US, each year. Median survival in newly diagnosed patients who receive the best treatments is less than 14 months. Most patients experience quick relapse and survival after 5 years is very dim.
Following the diagnosis, the current standard of care consists of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy with temozolomide. FDA has recently also approved Avastin for recurrent GBM. But new therapies for GBM are urgently needed. There is a lot of activity in this space but currently active drugs have lot of safety concerns.
DNX-2401 may be an elegant genetic engineered solution. DNX-2401 is an engineered virus that is capable of selectively and effectively killing a broad range of tumor cells with defects in the retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway. The virus enters cells by binding to specific types of integrins highly expressed on tumor cells and tumor endothelial cells. Once it gets in, the virus replicates rapidly and the replicating viruses in turn kill host tumor cells. Further cell killing is done by triggering of anti tumor immune response which is capable of eliciting tumor destruction.
DNX-2401 therapy has shown to improve survival in animal models. Relapse of GBM is attributed to recurrence and persistence of tumor stem cells. Is it possible that the virus kills the stem cells as well? Indeed, results indicate that brain tumor stem cells are also susceptible to being killed by DNX-2401, said Chen. Additionally, Delta 24 RGD + temozolomide seem to provide enhanced therapeutic benefit in combination therapy.
Early safety profile of DNX-2401 looks very good and early indication suggests it to be very efficacious and capable of selectively and effectively killing a broad range of tumor cells. Expectations are that DNX-2401 will demonstrate therapeutic effects in a wide variety of cancers. Currently DNX-2401 is delivered by direct injection into the tumor bed, guided by the MRI through the cranium or through surgical resection, into the walls of the resection cavity to kill residual tumor cells.
Chen went into more detailed explanation of the mechanism of action, and her talk was followed by Q&A.
Other information and events below.
Jobs: There is a huge uptick in JOBS. Check out new jobs posted for May at http://bit.ly/1o85CTM .
TiEcon: If you are a professional in #healthIT, #digital health, #internetofthings, #cloud, #bigdata or related, I would say this is the conference, you don’t want to miss – It gives fabulous opportunity to network with 4000+ professionals. Check out great agenda, top notch speakers & panelists at www.tiecon.org. Register for #TiEcon (May 16 & 17 at Santa Clara Convention Center) at link http://tinyurl.com/kr2hkcw as my guest & enter promo code tievalue to get $100 discount.
Healthtechnology conference & Code-a-thon http://www.healthtechnologyforum.com, focused on exploring pathways to sustainable health, is on May 20 in SF. Please register for the conference as my friend, with the discount code “HTF14-FriendOfOrganizer” and send me your first & last name at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com, to get $150 off the price of the ticket. There are $20K+ in prizes at the code-a-thon.
Dr. Sarvajna Dwivedi, founder of Pearl Therapeutics will talk on Tuesday, May 6. Notice venue change & pre-register at http://www.eppicglobal.org . Pearl Therapeutics was acquired by Astra Zeneca last year, for $1.15 B and was a winner of TiEcon’s TiE50 awards, two years in a row. It will likely be sold out event, so please pre-register.
http://www.bio2devicegroup.org meets every Tuesday in Sunnyvale, CA. Morning meetings are free, wealk-ins welcome. Dr. Alan Jacobs, Founder & CEO, PerceptiMed will talk on “Preventing Drug-Related Patient Injury and Death With Advanced, Cost-Effective Technology Systems“.
Feel free to send me an email for any of these events at wd_darshana at hotmail dot com and you can follow my updates on Twitter @DarshanaN.