Innovations in Biomarkers and Diagnostics

Thursday, November 23rd 2017

Department of Chemistry

18:00 – 21:00 (GMT)

Department of Chemistry

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The rise of personalised medicine promises tailored treatment to be delivered to the right patients at the right time. This generates parallel demand amongst scientists and clinicians alike – advancing our understanding on patients’ biomarker profiles and developing rapid and accurate diagnostic tools to enable assessment of which patients will benefit from treatment in clinical practice.

Today, there are more personalised medicines than ever before in the clinical pipeline across many disease categories. As of 2015, 1 in 5 FDA approvals were for targeted therapies. Recent years have also witnessed paradigmatic developments in science and technology and streamlining of regulatory pathways and policies, all of which stimulate biomarker discovery, diagnostics development and sustainable innovation towards personalised medicine.

Join us for an evening of talks from academia and industry on innovation in biomarkers and diagnostics, followed by a panel discussion and networking session with the speakers.





Talks and Panel discussion




Ruth March, PhD, is Senior Vice President of AstraZeneca’s Personalised Healthcare & Biomarkers (PHB) function, leading over 100 diagnostic scientists and experts globally. A member of the senior team in Innovative Medicines and Early Development, Ruth is accountable for delivering diagnostics to drug projects, and also leads AstraZeneca’s Genomics Initiative, analysing genome sequence from up to 2M patients.
She led the build of Personalised Healthcare (PHC) within AstraZeneca, ensuring 80% of clinical drug projects are following a PHC approach. She has achieved 15 diagnostic launches in partnership with diagnostic companies: linked to Iressa (EGFRm tissue and plasma), Lynparza (BRCAm blood and tissue), Tagrisso (EGFRm T790M tissue and plasma) and Zurampic (serum uric acid).
Ruth has pioneered innovation, delivering the world’s first drug label based on circulating tumour DNA (Iressa); first companion diagnostic partnership in next generation sequencing (Illumina); first FDA approval of lab-based companion diagnostic (Lynparza); first diagnostic approval based on both ctDNA and tissue testing (Tagrisso); first point of care diagnostic in gout (Zurampic) and first partnership for asthma point of care diagnostics (AgPlus).
She is a member of Definiens’ Supervisory Board and a genomics specialist with 50 scientific publications and patents.
Ruth spent ten years in immunology and genetics research
at the Universities of London and Oxford. She has over 40 publications and patents in the field of pharmacogenomics and Personalised Healthcare and serves as an expert evaluator for the European Commission.

Dr. Helen Lee is the Director of Research at the Diagnostics Development Unit at Cambridge University, where she leads the development of diagnostics for diseases such as HIV and chlamydia. She is also President and CEO of spin-out company Diagnostics for the Real World, which takes these diagnostics to market.

Vincent was educated in Paris, France, where he obtained his bachelor of mathematics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and an MSc in Theoretical Probability. After his PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computational Biology at the University of Southern California, he moved to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 2006 to study the genetics of autoimmune disorders, in particular type 1 diabetes. Following this postdoc in Cambridge, he became a Lecturer (2009), and then a Reader (2013), in Statistical Genetics at the University College London (UCL) Genetics Institute (UGI). At the UGI he leads a computational research group working at the intersection between statistics, computer science and genetics, with a focus on translational research, in particular rare disease genetics and non-invasive prenatal diagnostics based on cell-free fetal DNA.

He joined Inivata as the first employee and has been a driving force in developing the analytical process that optimizes the precision of the eTAm-Seq™ assay.

Dr. Jason Mellad (CEO) is the Chief Executive Officer at Cambridge Epigenetix. Before joining the company, he served as Business Development Manager at Horizon Discovery and also has extensive experience in the fields of technology transfer, IP management and product innovation consultancy. Jason has a BSc in Molecular Biology and Chemistry from Tulane University and was a Marshall Scholar at the University of Cambridge where he completed a PhD in Medicine.

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