Session Abstract – PMWC 2017 Silicon Valley

Session Synopsis: Liquid biopsies have the potential to bring precision medicine into the care of cancer patients for whom access to tissue is challenging. However, detecting tumor-specific DNA variants in blood samples presents challenges to the analytical validity and operational efficiency of these tests. This session will explore how leaders in the field are addressing these challenges to bring liquid biopsy to clinicians and their patients.

Session Chair Profile

Ph.D., Chief Business & Product Development Officer, Genomic Health

Over the last 25 years, Frederic Pla has built and launched global businesses in medical diagnostics and devices, life sciences, and healthcare information technology, consistently delivering high growth and profitability through a blend of product innovation, strategic acquisitions, and successful turnarounds. Before joining Genomic Health, Frederic was the Vice President, Corporate Business Development, for Life Technologies, until its acquisition by Thermo Fisher. Frederic led many of the company’s internal and external growth initiatives, adding nearly $2.5 billion in yearly revenue through 30 acquisitions across areas such as diagnostics, food safety and animal health, bioinformatics and life sciences tools. Prior to joining Life Technologies, Fred held global managerial positions of increasing responsibilities at GE Healthcare, where he contributed to the formation and growth of GE’s $2.4 billion Healthcare IT business. Fred started his career in R&D, first at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Senior Director, Molecular Biology & Sequencing, Foundation Medicine

Geoff is currently leading the lab responsible for the research, development and optimization of clinically validated, targeted next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing assays to enable comprehensive genomic profiling of conventional formalin fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues and liquid biopsy samples from patients with cancer. Prior to joining Foundation, Geoff worked for Pacific Biosciences developing a single-molecule DNA sequencing system. Geoff received a BA degree from Cornell University in Cell Biology and a Ph.D. at Stanford University in Microbiology and Immunology where he researched the regulation of translation initiation by the Hepatitis C Virus IRES.

Speaker Profile

Ph.D., Chief Business Officer, Biodesix

Dr. Beresford is Chief Business Officer. His expertise includes leading groups that provide products and services to oncology-focused pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies for identifying and commercializing companion diagnostics. Prior to joining Biodesix, Dr. Beresford held a number of senior management positions at Ventana Medical Systems and Roche Diagnostics (after the acquisition of Ventana by Roche in early 2008) including Vice President, General Manager of Translational Diagnostics. He received a Ph.D. in Immunology from the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences at Tufts University School of Medicine and was an Instructor and Junior Investigator at the Center for Blood Research at Harvard Medical School.


Discovering, Developing, Validating and Commercializing Liquid Biopsy Tests in Oncology
A combination of strong development, validation, pharmacoeconomics, and physician usage addressing unmet clinical needs drives strong payer adoption of solutions across the liquid biopsy field. This comprehensive approach is important for improving outcomes and quality of life for patients diagnosed with cancer. We will discuss the benefits of protein mass spectrometry, effective test development, and the use of effective testing algorithms in real-world clinical applications.

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