In partnership with A*Star Central, Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, Biotech Connection Singapore is going to bring you the exciting panel discussion event on August 19th, 2015.
Tremendous progress has been made in the search for reliable biomarkers that could facilitate early detection of diseases and treatment selection. This has also attracted the interests of companies towards companion diagnostics to help evaluate the efficacy of therapies. Despite the myriad of biomarkers that holds promises for ‘personalized medicine’, very few have been successfully implemented in clinical practice. Issues such as patient heterogeneity, biomarker specificity, and regulation have provided roadblocks to biomarker development. Ultimately, organised efforts by interdisciplinary and cross-institutional teams will spur the advancement of novel biomarkers.
Please join us as BCS brings you an exciting dialogue with our expert panel to exchange perspectives on the clinical and commercialisation challenges in translating biomarkers from lab to market.
This article is reproduced courtesy of Biotechin.Asia.
Biotech Connection Singapore organized a Panel Discussion – “Roadblocks to Biomarker Discovery” on 19th August 2015 from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm at Creation Theatrette, Biopolis in partnership with ETPL, A*STAR.
The Panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Sidney Yee, CEO of DxD Hub who is also the Senior Vice President of ETPL’s Investments & Spinoff Management Division. The Panellists consisted of esteemed members of the public such as Prof. Dominique PV de Kleijn, Prof. Patrick Tan, Mr. Joseph Lee.
Prof. Dominique PV de Kleijn is the Research Professor of Surgery, NUS and the Preclinical director of cardiovascular Research Institute at NUHS. His talk was on “Liquid biopsies in cardiovascular disease” and focussed on the clinical needs perspective. He addressed the issue about how do we go from biomarker to actually using it in the clinic to help patients.
He stressed on the fact that Cardiovascular disease is no longer a western problem, it has become omnipresent and there is an urgent necessity to diagnose these conditions using biomarkers. These conditions costs billions worldwide and liquid biopsies can provide information on diagnosis and prognosis of a CVD event. He spoke about how the biomarker you have should be better than the existing ones in the market and needs to be adjusted for risk factors. A lot of research publications come out but they are not better than the existing biomarkers in the market. He said they might look good in the publication, but may not be worth following up in later stage.
Prof. Patrick Tan is a Professor at DUKE-NUS Medical School, Senior Group Leader at GIS and Senior Principal Investigator at CSI and he spoke about how to validate a biomarker to match upto clinical standards. He spoke about precision medicine and mentioned how with the current technological capabilities we can look at all the transcripts, DNA and advise treatment precisely for each individual. It is about matching the right patient to the right drug/treament and could lead to improved clinical outcomes and decrease in treatment toxicities. This branch of medicine is intimately tied to the use of biomarkers.
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) has set various requirements for the validation of a biomarker assay for clinical use which includes Accuracy, sensitivity and specificity; precision, Quality metrics and reportable range, lower limit of detection etc. Even after publishing a paper about a possible biomarker, he said it is not right to expect a company to approach you, as it has to undergo many more levels of testing and validation as mentioned above. The process from discovering a biomarker to licensing it for use, is a big one. He gave an example of how a Gastrointestinal cancer panel is being developed as a part of the POLARIS project which can help detect mutations that are clinically relevant to GI cancers.
The third panelist, Mr. Joseph Lee is the Commercialization Director of AIT Biotech and director of AIT ventures. He spoke about the things that people with commercial interest will look at in a diagnostic product. Each biomarker has a different development pathway based on their intended use. In order to commericalize it, one needs to know the target markets, customer base and the existing competition. One needs to have a clear idea of the value proposition, features, benefits and intended use of the biomarker. While developing the product, it is necessary to maintain close communication with the drug development partner and actively manage the project, while anticipating contingencies. During each stage, the documentation procedures only increase and he stressed that start-ups tend to under-estimate the importance of documentation, the cost and resources required for manufacturing and scale up and the external environment.
The talk was followed by a fruitful panel discussion and a networking session.
6:30 pm – 7:00 pm: Registration, arrival of speakers
7:00 pm – 7:10 pm: Introduction to BCS and Partners
7:10 pm – 8:30 pm: Speaker Introduction and Panel Discussion
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm: Networking reception
Dr. Sidney Yee
CEO of DxD Hub
Senior Vice President, ETPL’s Investments & Spinoff Management division
Prof. Patrick TAN
Senior Group Leader, Genome Institute of Singapore
Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
Prof. Dominique PV de Kleijn
Research Professor of Surgery, NUS
Preclinical Director Cardiovascular Research Institute, NUHS
Mr Joseph Lee
Commercialisation Director, AITbiotech Pte Ltd
Director, AITventures Pte Ltd
Dr. Sidney Yee
Dr Sidney Yee is currently CEO of DxD Hub, in charge of the overall operations. Double-hatting as the Senior Vice President of ETPL’s Investments & Spinoff Management division, Sidney comes with over 20 years of experience in a career that spans across research, investments, operations, management and entrepreneurship development. A serial entrepreneur, Sidney has been actively involved in technology innovations translation and start-ups development. She is a member of SPRING Singapore’s Network of MedTech Advisors, as well as a member on the Creativity and Innovation Consultative Panel of Malaysia Productivity Corporation. Sidney has invested and started technology companies in her personal capacity as well as in her capacity with Bio*1Capital, and continues to advise some of these companies in the medical device space. She is currently a non-executive board member of INEX Innovations Exchange Pte Ltd, FENIX Pte Ltd, and Mediven Sdn Bhd. Sidney is a trained chemist and held several research positions at the A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. She was also a research scholar at The Scripps Research Institute, where some of her dengue work was patented and licensed.
Prof. Patrick TAN
Dr. Patrick Tan holds a joint appointment as Professor at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Associate Director of Genomic Medicine at the Genome Institute of Singapore. He is also a Senior Principal Investigator at the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, National University of Singapore. He received his B.A. (summa cum laude) from Harvard University and MD PhD degree from Stanford University, where he received the Charles Yanofsky prize for Most Outstanding Graduate Thesis in Physics, Biology or Chemistry. Other honors include the President’s Scholarship, Loke Cheng Kim foundation scholarship, Young Scientist Award (A-STAR), Singapore Youth Award (twice), Singhealth Investigator Excellence Award, Han-Mo Koo Memorial Lectureship (Van Andel Research Institute, USA), Swee Liew Wadsworth Lectureship (NUS), and the Chen New Investigator Award from the Human Genome Organization (HUGO). He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and a member of the Bioethics Advisory Committee (BAC), a national body that provides advice to the Singapore government on ethical issues related to biomedical research. He co-leads the biliary tract cancer project of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC)
Prof. Dominique PV de Kleijn
Professor de Kleijn is since June 2012 Professor of Surgery at NUS/NUHS and preclinical director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute (CVRI). He is co-chair of Experimental Cardiology at UMC Utrecht the Netherlands since 2010. There he has build up the translational research in Exp Cardiology since 1997 coordinating cardiovascular research from basal science, animal myocardial infarction studies (mouse and pig) towards clinical biobanking studies. He extended this to Surgery NUS/CVRI NUHCS Singapore and has set up mouse and pig models for myocardial infarction and heart failure in Singapore. Also mirror biobanking between the Netherlands and Singapore is now established and is used, among others, for plasma vesicle biomarker studies. Next to this, he is CTO of a UMC Utrecht spin-off biomarker company Cavadis BV and member of the Scientific Committee of the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands as well as Initiator and founder SOciety for Clinical Research and Translation of Extracellular Vesicles Singapore ”SOCRATES” He supervised 16 PhD students and is invited speaker at major (ESC, AHA) and smaller meetings in Europe, Asia and USA.
Mr Joseph Lee
Joseph is currently managing AITventures (a spin-off from AITbiotech) and also Commercialisation Director in AITbiotech providing commercialisation and consulting services to technology transfer office & SME, reviewing & assessing medtech/diagnostics start-up as well as investment opportunities, M&A and fund raising activities. With more than 18 years in the healthcare and biomedical arena, Joseph was involved in various leadership roles and responsibilities in sales, marketing, business and market development as well as experience in assisting healthcare and biotech start-ups. Before joining AITbiotech, Joseph was in Global MNC and start-up companies. He was Global Marketing Director with a Singapore-based molecular diagnostics start-up Vela Diagnostics; heading Abbott’s newly-acquired Ibis BioSciences’ market development and commercial activities across APAC and was COO in Biobot Surgical’s (a local start-up) initial push into product development and commercialization. Prior to that, he worked for 10 years in Roche Diagnostics in various leadership roles in their Applied Science, Molecular Diagnostics, Industrial Business, Diabetes Care division and his last role was the APAC Lead for their next-generation sequencing and microarray business. He started with Research Biolabs as a product specialist doing sales & marketing for Singapore and Malaysia. He also spent 2 years in Singapore Airlines as a Station Manager handling Changi Terminal 2’s airport operations and customer services. Mr. Lee received a B.S.(Honours) in Biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, and has M.B.A. from University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.