Posts Tagged ‘PMC’

Shaping the Future of Personalized Medicine with TEDMED

March 22, 2013

I had the opportunity recently to participate in a TEDMED Great Challenges panel discussion entitled, “Shaping the Future of Personalized Medicine.” My fellow panelists and Challenge Teammates included representatives from 23andMe, Foundation Medicine, Illumina, and InformedDNA.

As we discussed the challenges, opportunities and benefits of personalized medicine, three themes emerged.

First, personalized medicine, at its root, is about empowering patients to participate in their own healthcare. Trends in popular culture are meshing with advances in technology to allow consumers access to their health information and the ability to make informed decisions, and our culture is changing in that many now demand to be an involved party in their healthcare.

Amber Trivedi of InformedDNA noted that the power of personalized medicine lies not only in treatment, but prevention. As a genetic counselor, the most common questions asked by her patients are:  “What does my genetic information mean to me, and what will it mean to my children?” The best scenario for personalized medicine in action will come when patients are able to see not only the implications of their genetic dispositions, but also are motivated and empowered to use that information in preventative care.

Second, as Michael Pellini, the CEO of Foundation Medicine said, data has to be “accurate and actionable” to have value. However, we cannot discount the potential future benefits of the data discoveries that are underway today. We must find a balance between supporting ongoing data discovery and analysis, while also pushing for data that are actionable now.

Third, traditional healthcare models need to continue to shift to aid in the advancement of personalized medicine. Research cannot continue to solely focus on large population studies; payers need to develop innovative approaches to improve reimbursement policies; and healthcare professionals need training and resources to enable the adoption of personalized medicine in the clinical world.

Finally, when asked what we found to be the most invigorating about personalized medicine, my fellow panelists were quick to share the advances they see on the horizon, including an explosion in targeted therapies aided by new technologies; the shift of cancer to a chronic disease; revolutionizing the treatment of infectious disease through the application of lessons learned from personalized medicine advances in cancer; and deeper data mining enabled by technology currently used in other fields.

Regardless of our individual areas of focus within the world of personalized medicine, this Challenge Team is energized and optimistic about the future of medicine.

Follow the Great Challenges conversation, and submit your questions or comments on Twitter using #GreatChallenges, or at TEDMED.

PMC’s Suggestions to PCORI’s Methodology Committee

September 14, 2012

The September 14, 2012 (11:59 PM ET) deadline for submitting public comment on the Draft Methodology Report recently published by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute’s (PCORI) Methodology Committee quickly approaches.

We encourage you all to submit comment as the revised version will be considered for adoption by the PCORI Board of Governors at its November 2012 public meeting in Boston, Mass.

PCORI was designed to do something new and very different – to define how practical, feasible, and useful patient-centered research is to be conducted and the legislation authorizing it directed the methodology committee to address the role of molecular and genetic variation in comparative effectiveness research. With this bold goal outlined, the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) issued its comments to Dr. Joe Selby and Dr. Sherine Gabriel, the Executive Director and Chair of PCORI on September 13, 2012. You can find a copy of that letter here.

Citing our prior work with the Lewin Group, PMC stressed the importance of PCORI moving beyond conventional CER analysis, noting that “comparative effectiveness research (CER) studies to date have rarely accommodated the collection and reporting of genomic, behavioral, environmental, and other individual patient differences.”

To ensure that the tenets of personalized medicine outlined in the authorizing legislation are upheld, PMC reiterated our call for creation of a PCORI Advisory Panel on Personalized Medicine and Innovation and for establishment of standards for updating studies and analyses based on changes in the science or evidence base. We also are making recommendations to address:

  1. Heterogeneity of Treatment Effectiveness Standards: Recommend that either a separate section on standards for biomarkers and genetic variables be added to the report or an additional section on heterogeneity of treatment effectiveness be developed to guide the use of biomarker data in patient-centered outcomes research.
  2. Diagnostic Test Study Standards: Develop a new paradigm for collecting and analyzing evidence by recommending variations in new clinical trial design, using patient registries to identify respondents, analyzing archived biospecimens, and implementing retrospective analysis of laboratory data.
  3. Stakeholder Engagement: Release a table outlining the categories of specific comments received in all future comment submission periods with an explanation of how PCORI addressed the comments as a way to re-emphasize the importance of stakeholder engagement.

Approaching One-Year Anniversary at FDA, Stephen Spielberg Highlights Agency’s Progress in Personalized Medicine

August 20, 2012

In his address to the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC) Policy Committee at our most recent meeting, Stephen Spielberg, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Commissioner for Medical Products and Tobacco at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced that the Agency will develop a catalog of personalized medicine-related activities. The catalog, as Dr. Spielberg described, will provide a full accounting of the activities at the agency, including all regulatory divisions and regulatory science.

While reflecting on his 11-month tenure at the agency, Dr. Spielberg also noted that the largest area for advancing personalized medicine was through communication among stakeholders and FDA Centers.  He noted that “PMC is so important because we need dialogue; no one has a lock on complete information.”

The attendees of the policy meeting were pleased to hear that already, less than a year into Dr. Spielberg’s appointment at the agency, he was working to encourage collaboration and communication across divisions.  Dr. Spielberg was previously Director of the Center for Personalized Medicine and Therapeutic Innovation at Children’s Mercy Hospital, one of the founding members of the PMC and so has experience in bringing groups together to advance personalized medicine.

Dr. Spielberg outlined his optimism for personalized medicine at the FDA, noting that one third of the new drug approvals currently in review are for targeted or orphan indications.  He said that by year’s end, we could expect guidance documents on companion diagnostics and co-development, as well as the previously mentioned catalog.

These guidance documents and a FDA catalog may prove to be additional stepping stones to a broader understanding of the impact of personalized medicine on scientific research and clinical medicine.  At PMC, we will continue to work with FDA to promote broader engagement across the ecosystem of stakeholders and greater transparency around research and drug development.  We look forward to the issuance of these materials later this year and will engage a public discourse about them.


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