Symposium addresses challenges of personalized medicine

Happy holidays from the TRANSPERS team in action!

team members in action.


Kathryn Phillips signature

Kathryn Phillips, PhD

TRANSPERS Center Director

In this issue

TRANSPERS symposium brings together scientists and payers to address challenges of personalized medicine as it moves into the sequencing era

TRANSPERS collaborators, Scientific Advisory Board members, and Evidence and Reimbursement Council members gathered from across the US and internationally for a symposium on “Benefit-Risk Tradeoffs for Whole Genome Sequencing.” The symposium continued TRANSPERS work on the key issues of coverage and reimbursement, in conjunction with our Evidence and Reimbursement Council. This Council, founded in 2007, is composed of senior executives from the seven largest private health plans in the U.S., regional plans, and thought leaders with industry, government, and Medicare perspectives.

The TRANSPERS team was joined by the UCSF community for the evening session, with introductions by UCSF Dean of School of Pharmacy Joe Guglielmo, UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies Director Claire Brindis, and Associate Director of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Bob Hiatt. TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips kicked off the sessions with an overview of our NHGRI funded study that is examining patient preferences, reimbursement, and cost-effectiveness of whole genome sequencing.

The highlight of the evening was an entertaining and informative report by Dr. Robert Green from Harvard Medical School, who presented preliminary results from the MedSeq Study which seeks to develop a process to integrate genomic sequencing into clinical medicine. TRANSPERS is working closely with the MedSeq study to leverage each group’s expertise to provide a comprehensive perspective on the adoption of genomic sequencing.

TRANSPERS collaborators speak at seven high profile meetings on reimbursement and value for personalized medicine

TRANSPERS Director Kathryn Phillips and collaborator Christine Weldon have been speaking on reimbursement and value to a wide range of audiences across the U.S.

Of particular note were two conferences where Kathryn participated with prominent industry leaders: she participated in a “fireside chat” with G. Steven Burrill, CEO at the Burrill Personalized Medicine Meeting, and she joined leading payers to discuss “Building an Evidence Base to Support Molecular Diagnostic Reimbursement” at the 10th annual Personalized Medicine Conference at Harvard Medical School.

Christine spoke at the Association of Molecular Pathology (AMP) about groundbreaking work conducted by her and TRANSPERS collaborator Julia Trosman on biomarker testing practices in NCI Comprehensive Cancer Centers.

A recent TRANSPERS publication

Phillips KA, Sakowski JA, Trosman J, Douglas MP, Liang SY, Neumann P. The Economic Value of Personalized Medicine Tests: What We Know and What We Need to Know. Genetics in Medicine, Advance Online Publication November 14, 2013. To request a copy of the article, please contact Michael Douglas, Program Manager for the TRANSPERS Center ([email protected]).

Two TRANSPERS collaborators are awarded NIH grants to examine sequencing of newborns

Robert (Bob) Nussbaum at UCSF and Robert Green at Harvard Medical School were awarded grants from the National Human Genome Research Institute to examine the hot topic of whether sequencing an infant’s DNA can improve on well-established state-run programs to screen newborns for potential life-threatening conditions. Congratulations, Bob and Robert!

Welcome to Program Manager Michael Douglas

TRANSPERS welcomes a new program manager Michael Douglas, MS. Michael comes to us from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where his career has focused on the public health field since 1999 and where he was the program coordinator for the Office of Public Health Genomics Evaluation of Genomic Applications in Practice and Prevention (EGAPP) Initiative since 2005. There, he coordinated a team of volunteer working group members who focus on developing methods to evaluate genomic tests, commissioning evidence-based reviews, and writing recommendation statements for these reviews. He has considerable experience performing systematic reviews for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and conducting medical policy reviews for Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA),

Michael worked with Kathryn Phillips while at EGAPP and thus it’s like “coming home” to be at UCSF! Welcome to Michael!

TRANSPERS welcomes a partnership with the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2014 Silicon Valley - The Arrival of Actionable Personalized Medicine

Come and engage with 1000 attendees and over 100 speakers at the Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2014 Silicon Valley, co-hosted with Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Oracle on January 27–28. The seventh annual Conference gathers disparate players from the industry, payor, regulatory, provider and research arenas. This year, there will be a new track for clinician education in addition to the traditional Track 1 (plenary sessions), Track 2 (company showcase and focused discussions), Track 3 (startup competition), and exhibition hall.

One of the Program sessions will be on the implementation of actionable personalized medicine - no small feat - in a variety of healthcare provider settings. Attendees will hear from leading institutions (e.g. Icahn Institute at Mount Sinai, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Intermountain Healthcare, and US Oncology) about how they have started to design clinical practices to make personalized medicine, when appropriate, the standard of care. Also featured will be the timely and relevant session on Best Practices for Achieving Coverage & Reimbursement, where expert speakers like Sean Tunis from CMTP, Ira Klein from Aetna and other early implementers/adopters will cover this critical subject in detail. PMWC 2014 will honor Jay Flatley of Illumina and Yuet Wai Kan, MD, UCSF.

For more information see: [Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2014][link defunct]. Call for academic rates: 650-961-8877.