WHCMAA Webinar: Molecular Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine


Wharton Healthcare Alumni Management Association

Lunchtime Webinar Series

Molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine - is this field of medicine delivering tools that are clinically useful?  What are the issues from a policy, investment, and operational perspective that need to be resolved in order for these technologies to become more part of mainstream medicine?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010
12:00-1:00pm EDT

Featured presenters include:

Steven Teutsch, MD.
Dr. Teutsch helps formulate policy on a number of the issues facing genetic medicine.  He is a nationally known expert in this field.  He is currently Chief Science Officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and worked previously at Merck & Co. and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He has worked with the Federal government for a number of years on helping to formulate evidence-based clinical recommendations and policy issues.   His most relevant experiences related to molecular diagnostics and personalized medicine include:

Chair Secretary of HHS Advisory Council on Health Genetics and Society (SACGHS).   SACGHS was established to:  provide a forum for expert discussion and deliberation and the formulation of advice and recommendations on the range of complex and sensitive issues raised by the technological developments in human genetics and genomics; assist HHS and other federal agencies in exploring these issues and; make recommendations to the Secretary of HHS on how to address these issues.  These issues have included: genetic discrimination, coverage and reimbursement, direct to consumer marketing, pharmacogenomics, patents and licensing practices, and genetic education and training.

Former member, Evaluation of Genomic Applications Practice and Prevention [EGAPP].  EGAPP was launched by the CDC back in 2004 to establish and evaluate a systematic, evidence based process for assessing genetic tests and other applications of genomic technology in transition from research to clinical practice. 

Ron Lennox, Phd, MBA
Dr. Lennox is a Partner, with CHL Partners a Venture Capital Firm involved in investing in the healthcare sector.  Ron holds a PhD in cellular biology from Oxford University and an MBA from Wharton.  CHL was an early investor in Genomic Health, which is commercializing the OncotypeDx assay for women with breast cancer and; also in GenOhm Sciences which had the first FDA approved rapid test for MRSA.  CHL currently has three molecular diagnostic companies in its portfolio:  OpGen, PrimeraDx, and Celula. 

Klaus Schafer, MD, MPH
Dr. Schafer is President and CEO of TessArae LLC, a private early stage company, involved in developing targeted genetic sequencing molecular diagnostic  tests  used in detecting and identifying  infectious disease and  inherited disease genetic mutation testing. TessArae was created around intellectual property  developed within a  Department of Defense initiative  to detect novel biothreat agents including genetically engineered varieties.  TessArae has developed  several novel and very highly multiplexed diagnostic tests for simultaneously detecting hundreds of viruses and bacteria using microarray technology.  TessArae has also developed tests for identifying rare inherited genetic mutations, Noonan Syndrome, and a cancer microarray to find predisposing genetic mutations linked to breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers.  The Company operates in several very controversial areas of interest and oversight by the FDA and; is currently engaged with the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Office of Invitro Devices, the Center for Food Safety and Nutrition, and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

Considering the prior year issues with SARS and H5N1; followed by this past year’s issues with H1N1 influenza and; the ability of these types of viruses to mutate inpatients presenting with upper respiratory tract infections (that are commonly both viral and bacterial in nature), technologies of this type should be very useful for clinicians. 

Dr. Schafer is a retired Brigadier General of the United States Air Force and former Asst. Surgeon General of the US Air Force.  He has also served as the Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Chemical and Biological Defense.

Jeff Voigt, MPH, MBA
Jeff owns Medical Device Consultants of Ridgewood, a firm dedicated to solving reimbursement issues for medical technology companies.  He interfaces regularly with health policy people, payers (including Medicare and private payers), investors, and companies in addressing coding, coverage, and payment for medical technologies.  He is a graduate of the Wharton Healthcare program.

Topics to be covered include:  The challenges/issues being faced from a policy, investment, and operational perspective that require resolution in order for molecular diagnostic technologies to become part of mainstream medicine.

Fee and Registration: Participation is free toWharton Healthcare Alumni Dues Paying Members Only.  Others can access the webinar by paying a nominal $10 fee (click below). In order to waive this fee, one can also join the Wharton Healthcare Alumni Club (an option also listed below). Joining the Wharton Healthcare club entitles a member to free access of other Wharton Healthcare programs/activities during the year. The toll-free dial in number and webinar link will be emailed to all registrants after registration closes at 5:00pm EDT on Tuesday, June 22, 2010. 

Questions: Jeff Voigt at medddevconsultant@aol.com

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