BioNJ Webinar Focuses on the Future of Personalized Medicine

Industry Leaders Highlight the Role of Diagnostics in Enhancing the Value and Improving Outcomes for Therapeutics, Making Personalized Medicine a Reality

TRENTON, NJ (May 5, 2010)—The growing interrelationship between diagnostics and therapeutics to deliver improvements in patient outcomes, reduce overall healthcare costs and increase the productivity of drug discovery was addressed by leaders in diagnostics and personalized medicine in a webinar hosted at BioNJ, the voice of the biotechnology industry in New Jersey.

The webinar, entitled “2011 and Beyond: Opportunities, Barriers and Efforts to Bridge the Gap between Diagnostics and Therapeutics,” was organized by the BioNJ Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine Committee and sponsored by GE Healthcare. Participants from major global pharmaceutical companies, diversified global diagnostics companies, small to mid-sized specialty diagnostics companies, government and academic institutions participated in the event. This unique event was organized as a live video webcast featuring presenters from GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, bioMérieux and PCAsso Diagnostics LLC. Samir Tari, MD, Founder, PCAsso Diagnostics LLC served as moderator.

“It will be fascinating to witness the evolution of diagnostics from a lower value, high volume business into one of the key drivers of value, specificity and improved patient outcomes,” said Dr. Samir Tari. ‘Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies will integrate diagnostics into their product development plans from the beginning, and this is benefiting them in terms of reducing development costs and accelerating product development,” he added. “Best of all, patients will receive highly targeted therapies, and their doctors will have a higher degree of certainty than ever before that their patients are receiving the right treatment.”

Presentations focused on the current and future challenges facing diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies as personalized medicine becomes more of a reality for patients suffering from a myriad of diseases including cancer, neurological diseases, metabolic disease and cardiovascular disease. Steve Carchedi, Chief Marketing Officer for GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics, provided webinar participants with a look at how diagnostics have evolved from being commodity products to becoming an integral part of treatment decisions and managing cost in healthcare—a top national priority as US leaders struggle to come to grips with how to improve healthcare delivery while reducing overall costs. Abhijit “Ron” Mazumder, Product Development Leader, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson discussed the importance of personalized medicine as an integral part of drug development. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are integrating clinical biomarkers into their development programs as they strive to find ways to accelerate drug development timelines and provide more targeted therapies to patients in need. John F. Beeler, Director, Theranostics and Business Development, bioMérieux shared his experience on the challenges of commercializing companion diagnostics. The fastest growing segment of the diagnostics industry is in low volume, high complexity testing, while the industry historically was focused on high volume, batch-based processing of low complexity assays. The new model poses major economic, regulatory and resourcing challenges for companies that want to succeed in the emerging personalized medicine marketplace.

“New Jersey is in many ways the central laboratory in the ongoing evolution of healthcare, as personalized medicine becomes a reality for biotechnology companies and patients in need,” said Debbie Hart, President of BioNJ. “Our combination of top-tier global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics companies, combined with an equally impressive group of small to mid-stage specialty companies creates the perfect ecosystem in which this evolution can occur.”

The BioNJ Diagnostics Committee is planning additional events focusing on personalized medicine, and will be announcing details for future events on the BioNJ web site. For more information about this most recent webinar, including access to the recorded event, please visit BioNJ Events on the web site.

About the BioNJ Diagnostics Committee

The BioNJ Diagnostics Committee is focused on supporting the growth and development of diagnostics and personalized medicine in the State of New Jersey. Current committee members include Steve Carchedi, Chief Marketing Officer for GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics (Co-Chair), Pascal Yvon, PharmD, MBA, President, Biosciences Expansion, LLC, (Co-Chair), David Avitabile, President, JFK Communications, Inc., Samir Tari, President and CEO, PCAsso Diagnostics, LLC, Matt Kuruc, President, ProFACT Proteomics, Roomi Nusrat MD, Aesclepius Sciences, and David Sholehvar MD, Vice President, Clinical Innovations, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics. New members are welcome and those interested in joining the committee should contact Kathleen Otto at BioNJ. To learn more about the BioNJ Diagnostics and Personalized Medicine Committee, please visit the BioNJ web site.

About BioNJ

With over 300 member companies, BioNJ is singularly focused on the growth and prosperity of New Jersey’s biotechnology cluster.  Founded in 1994 by New Jersey industry CEOs, BioNJ serves as the voice of biotechnology companies located in New Jersey, seeks to advance their economic growth and development and works to encourage new and established companies from around the world to locate to New Jersey. BioNJ represents companies engaged in biopharmaceutical, biomedical, bioagricultural and bioremedial endeavors.  To learn more about BioNJ, please visit www.BioNJ.org.