Molecular Med Tri-Con, to be held February 19-24, 2017, continues to be one of the largest and most well-attended conferences in Molecular Diagnostics. In 2016, Tri-Con attracted over 3,500 professionals from over 40 countries from the world of Molecular Medicine, specifically in Discovery, Genomics, Diagnostics and Information Technology.

San Francisco, still buzzing from January’s JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, is always ready to accept the next round of companies and investors into its hub of innovation.

As a long time attendee of Tri-Con, Slone Partners is an active participant, and the leading specialized executive search firm in the diagnostics space. It is our pleasure every year to meet the next generation of diagnostics leaders and organizations attending the event.

This conference has an incredible list of talks and plenary sessions covering the diagnostics space. With so many valuable topics to choose from, we are providing you our list of Must See Talks at Molecular Med Tri-Con 2017.

1. Monday, February 20th, 12:05 PM Garnering Payer Support for Genomic Profiling by Demonstrating Clinical Utility

Pranil K. Chandra, DO, FCAP, FASCP, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director, Genomic and Clinical Pathology Services, PathGroup (AMP Economic Affairs Committee, Member)

Dr. Chandra will review PathGroup’s experience with certain payers in garnering appropriate reimbursement. In addition, he will review how to demonstrate clinical utility through illustrative examples highlighting diagnostic, prognostic, and/or therapeutic utility across hematologic and solid tumor malignancies.

2. Monday, February 20th, 3:00 PM Challenges in Launching Companies in the Molecular Diagnostics Space

Trevor Hawkins, Ph.D., Entrepreneur in Residence, GE Ventures

More than just a capital partner, GE Ventures provides unrivaled access to a global network of GE expertise and resources. The organization partners and invests in the best ideas within software, healthcare, energy and advanced manufacturing. GE partners with startups to accelerate growth and commercialize innovative ideas in software & analytics, healthcare, energy and advanced manufacturing that will help drive better outcomes for its customers and society. GE combines capital, technical and commercial expertise, infrastructure, and access to its global network of business units, partners and customers, world-class training, and resources to help companies grow and scale.

3. Monday, February 20th, 3:20 PM Personalized/Precision Medicine: How Regulatory and Reimbursement Policies Are Influencing Growth and Adoption

Paul Radensky, M.D., Principal, McDermott+Consulting; Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Personalized/Precision Medicine continues to provide dramatic insights into the molecular basis of disease. The nature and pace of growth in this area raise a number of challenges for regulators and payers who operate under frameworks that were created decades before PM emerged. Recent changes in both regulatory and reimbursement policy are aimed at facilitating growth and adoption of PM. Will these approaches be effective? What additional changes are needed?

4. Tuesday, February 21, 8:05 PM Plenary Keynote Presentation & Panel Discussion: One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine

Amylynne Santiago Volker, Founder, Nicholas Volker One In A Billion Foundation
Liz Worthey, Ph.D., Faculty Investigator and Director, Software Development & Informatics, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
Kathleen Gallagher, Reporter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Co-Author, One in a Billion: The Story of Nic Volker and the Dawn of Genomic Medicine

Nic Volker had a never-before-seen disease and a mother who would stop at nothing to ensure his survival. Amylynne Santiago Volker; Kathleen Gallagher, one of two Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters who chronicled the case; and Liz Worthey, the bioinformatician who searched Nic’s exome for an answer, discuss the pioneering effort to save Nic by obtaining a diagnosis from exome sequencing. They will also tell the story of how Amylynne’s fierce advocacy during her desperately ill son’s more than three year diagnostic odyssey helped get him to the doctor who saw that Nic’s mysterious disease likely had genetic underpinnings.

5. Tuesday, February 21, 10:15 AM The FDA Review Process for Companion Diagnostic Devices

Soma Ghosh, Ph.D., Scientific Reviewer, FDA/CDRH/OIR/DMGP

Companion diagnostics have emerged as a powerful tool in personalized medicine allowing treatment decisions to be tailored for each patient. They are essential for the safe and effective use of many emerging and established therapeutic products, and promise a clearer understanding of disease development at the individual level. In light of their expanding role in clinical decision making, this talk will focus on the critical regulatory review elements that FDA considers when evaluating companion diagnostic devices. Dr. Ghosh will illustrate key points using recent approvals as examples.

6. Tuesday, February 21, 10:45 AM ARUP Laboratories’ Experience with FDA Approval of Companion Diagnostic (CDx) Tests within the Clinical Laboratory Environment

Karen A. Heichman, Ph.D., Vice President, Director, PharmaDx Program, ARUP Laboratories; Pathology, University of Utah

In December 2015, ARUP Laboratories received FDA approval for two CDx tests for Gleevec eligibility: KIT D816V Mutation Detection by PCR and PDGFRB FISH. These two tests are performed exclusively by ARUP as required under HDE regulations. ARUP established an augmented quality system integrated within the CLIA environment, which meets FDA requirements for medical devices, including a design control program. This presentation will address ARUP’s successful approach to CDx development.

7. Tuesday, February 21st, 10:55 AM The Investor’s Guide to Companion Dx: Conflicting Interests, Minimal Financial Returns, and Limited Barriers to Entry

Jonathan Groberg, MBA, Executive Director, UBS Investment Research

The hope in the clinical Dx world had been that companion Dx tests would finally solve many of the challenges that have plagued the novel molecular testing market. Instead, it has often appeared to accentuate these challenges and shone a light on the difficulties of investing in such tests: namely conflicting interests with biopharma partners, minimal returns on investment, and typically limited barriers to competitive entry. Is there a better approach?

8. Tuesday, February 21st, 2:10 PM Collaboration for Translation: Academic-Industry Partnerships to Explore Novel Opportunities in the Area of Immuno-Oncology

Joseph Dal Porto, Ph.D., Director, Pfizer Center for Therapeutic Innovation

The Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) -San Francisco is a direct partnership between Pfizer and leading academic institutions, including UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, Stanford University and others, to establish open collaborations designed to rapidly identify targets and develop therapeutic NMEs. The long-term goal is to substantially reduce the time required to translate promising bio-medical research into new medications and therapies. Most recently, CTI has joined with academic oncology and immunology researchers to understand the translatability of emerging targets in the Immuno-Oncology therapeutic arena.

9. Wednesday, February 22, 8:25 AM Plenary Session Panel: Emerging Technologies and Industry Perspectives

Christopher Mueller, Ph.D., President & CTO, Lab7 Systems
Christopher Ianelli, M.D., Ph.D., Founder & CEO, iSpecimen
Dick Rubin, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Accel Biotech LLC
Joe Ferrara, President, Boston Healthcare
Rudi Pauwels, Ph.D., Founder & CEO, Biocartis
Russell Garlick, Ph.D., CSO, SeraCare Life Sciences
Farideh Bischoff, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Development Officer, North America Menarini Silicon Biosystems

This panel session will feature a series of presentations on emerging and hot technologies in molecular medicine. Each speaker will have 7 minutes at the podium. After all speakers have presented, there will be a moderated Q&A with attendees. The presentations are not meant to be a corporate or specific product pitch. Each speaker will focus on a technology and solution framed around a motivational clinical problem and how their particular company/organization is solving it.

10. Wednesday, February 22nd, 10:50 AM Swimming with the Sharks

Back by popular demand is the “Swimming with the Sharks” competition! Companies seeking venture funding will pitch their company’s value proposition to a panel of judges and the top place winner will receive recognition as the “2017 Tri-Con Most Promising Company”

Slone Partners is proud to have brought you its top 10 Must See Talks at Molecular Tri-Con 2017. For more information on our executive search services or to schedule a meeting, please contact us. We look forward to seeing you all at Tri-Con 2017!