The Future of Personal Health: Where does Precision Medicine fit?
The launch of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative in 2015 was a catalyst for important developments this past year in disease diagnosis and treatment, especially cancer.
A good example is Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, which early last year announced its collaboration with Thermo Fisher to develop a first-of-its-kind next-generation sequencing panel. Someday this could lead to better understanding of cancer pathogenesis and future therapies for pediatric cancer patients.
In October, Thermo Fisher joined some of the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies in the innovative Blood Profiling Atlas pilot. This collaboration seeks to create an open database for liquid biopsy data that will one day make it easier for oncologists to access liquid biopsy information when diagnosing patients.
And in December, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which earmarks more than $6 billion in new federal funding toward healthcare; $1.8 billion of this will go toward investments in cancer research and care, including the Cancer Moonshot.
Precision medicine is an important initiative for our company. In fact, we recently sponsored a piece in a special USA Today insert, entitled “Future of Personal Health,” featuring our head of precision medicine, Corina Shtir, as well as our partners at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and OmniSeq Precision Medicine Technology. In this story, Corina Shtir shines a spotlight on the continued need for industry collaboration and investment as keys to quickly moving from research to clinical application. The also piece points out that we’re actually producing results that have clinical validity and utility right now. That’s exciting.
One of Corina’s quotes sums it all up nicely: “The measure of precision medicine progress is correlated with how many patients we’re helping now. And while it’s not nearly enough, through collaboration and ongoing investment, we’re finally making real progress.”