Speaker Profile

M.D., Vice President, Data Strategy and Product Development, Foundation Medicine

Dr. Singal and his team are responsible for the design, development, and launch of numerous software platforms that support molecular oncology research and clinical practice. He is additionally responsible for enabling use of real world data linked with genomic data for research and development, and for developing the SmartTrials program, a suite of products and services helping cancer patients with rare genomic findings receive novel targeted therapies through clinical trials. Dr. Singal earned a B.S., Summa Cum Laude, in computer engineering from Columbia University and an M.D. with Honors from the joint Harvard Medical School-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, Dr. Singal developed several natural language processing (NLP)-based applications to improve care delivery and research at Massachusetts General Hospital. He continues to practice medicine as an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is on faculty at Harvard Medical School where he co-directs a course for medical students, residents, and fellows on health technology and innovation.


Clinical Dx Showcase: The Future of Clinical Trials in Precision Oncology: A Patient-Centric, Data-Driven Approach
In many instances, oncology clinical trials may offer the best or only therapeutic option for patients with rare genomic findings. However, conducting these clinical trials is challenging. Patient populations are small, distributed, and predominantly in community settings where trial access remains limited by awareness and site availability. These challenges increase costs of drug development and approval, but more importantly delay widespread patient access to potentially beneficial therapies.

Foundation Medicine has built a “SmartTrials Engine” – technology infrastructure and variant-level matching algorithms – which power its SmartTrials Program – a suite of solutions enabling patient access to these rare-target clinical trials. Its flagship program, Precision Enrollment, matches patients with rare genomic findings to relevant trials in real-time. Once matched, a medical oncologist reaches out directly to providers treating these patients, providing information and support for enrolling in clinical trials targeting that specific rare finding, and offers access to enrollment options, including access to a network of on-demand “just-in-time” sites. This program has enabled patients to enroll in newly opened sites in only 7 days.

The SmartTrials program exemplifies how big data can change the approach to Precision Medicine in Oncology – shortening development times for new therapies by increasing patient access to clinical trials.

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