Personalized Medicine

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The Greater Phoenix Economic Council is hosting a summit on the future of the personalized medicine industry in Arizona. GPEC President and CEO Barry Broome; Richard Mallery, Founder and Chairman of the International Genomics Consortium; and ASU Professor Anna Barker director of the university’s Transformative Healthcare Networks initiative talk about Arizona’s growth opportunities in personalized medicine.

Ted Simons: Good evening, and welcome to "Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. An indictment in the Fiesta Bowl scandal. Natalie Wisneski, the Fiesta Bowl's former chief operating officer, was indicted by a Federal grand jury. She's charged with filing false financial records and soliciting campaign contributions from bowl employee and reimbursing those employee was Fiesta Bowl money. In previous statements Wisneski has denied any wrongdoing. Tomorrow the greater Phoenix economic council will host a summit on personalized medicine. Another attempt to help push Arizona to the forefront of the health care and bioscience industries. Joining me to discuss all this is Barry Broome, president and CEO of GPEC, Anna Barker, director of ASU's Transformative Health Networks and co-director of ASU's complex adaptive systems initiative. And Richard Mallery, founder and chairman of the international genomics consortium. Good to have you all here. Thank you for joining us.

Barry Broome: Thank you.

Anna Barker: It's a pleasure

Richard Mallery: Thank you.

Ted Simons: Anna, I want to start with you. Before we get to the summit, it's on personalized medicine. What exactly is personalized medicine? Define that for us.

Anna Barker: It's not easy to define, but I'll give it a shot. The idea of personalized medicine is it's 21st century medicine, targeted medicine that's based on understanding a patient's molecular profile. And that means that we would understand a lot about the targets for that specific patient in terms of new interventions like diagnostics and preventives. So it's very targeted medicine specifically for the individual.

Ted Simons: Transformative?

Anna Barker: Absolutely.

Ted Simons: And I keep hearing the phrase "bench to bedside." What does that mean?

Anna Barker: It means you take an advance from the laboratory and develop 90 a way you can get it more quickly into patients but you learn from the patients actually and it's kind of a cycle that we don't have now in medicine where you learn from the patient, it comes back into the bench or to the laboratory and you make a better product that way.

Ted Simons: Ok, So with that parameter set, the summit -what's the goal?

Barry Broome: Well, it's twofold. One, to establish the fact that as we talk about where we're going to change our economic future in the health care industry in Arizona is the largest most successful industry in the state, and we actually gained 18,000 jobs while we lost 300,000 jobs as a state. So it's an industry that's risen against the downward tide of recession and housing starts. Secondly, it's designed to bring national leaders in from around the country to interface with our local leaders to help us learn best practices. And so there's a lot of great models out there, some of the models we'll be looking at tomorrow are in markets like Houston, and east valley that really talks about the kind of strong heavy hitting levers that we have to go after as a market. And to change our position and reach this potential promise.

Ted Simons: What are you looking for from this summit from tomorrow?

Richard Mallery: We need to begin to appreciate to make Arizona competitive we have to be the best in the world at something. God put a lot of copper in Arizona, we're obviously trying to figure out how to be smarter about mining copper. But we have a health care works here, people like to come here. And with this initiative in Genomics we have create add way to attract the best and the brightest people, but also some of the companies that are leaving Illinois and California because of the problems those states are having, and they're coming here because they see us as an ideal place to do their research, do their manufacturing, and to in effect benefit from the leadership that we have right now in genomics.

Ted Simons: Do you agree this is an ideal place for those things, and if so, why?

Anna Barker: Yes, I do. I'm here, and I came here for just that reason. I think Arizona actually is almost uniquely positioned in this field, because you have many of the prerequisites actually, dick has mentioned Genomics and have you some of the best Genomics centers in the country here. You also have two outstanding organizations in Arizona state University and the University of Arizona that have positioned the state well in terms of discovery and innovation, and I think you have a willingness here and a culture to actually put the solution for personalized medicine together end-to-end. And that's going to be critical, all the way from the bench and understanding a patient's genome to delivering a new product and doing the trials for that, all here.

Ted Simons: How do you get the message across, that firms in Illinois and California, and to start-ups here that want to get things going, what's the marketing message? What's the word?

Barry Broome: I think you got to narrow the marketing message. One of the things Dick said that I think is important, we have to set -- you can't be world class in 10 things, and there's a couple of spaces we have a chance to be world class at. One of the things you have to talk about Noble prize winners at Arizona State University, the emergence of Dennis Cortez from Mayo, Patrick from California and UCLA with the -- we have some achievements that are going on here that are being championed by select leaders like Dr. Dan Van Hoff who Dick Mallery brought in. And so a marketing message has to be legitimate, it has to be quantifiable and measure, it has to be distinctive and it has to be opportunistic. So there will be two things going on. This is an industry that's about unique leaders and we're going to speak and talk about our unique leaders tomorrow and communicate that globally, and two, it's also about trends. Our state economic trend, we are outpacing the national average in growth and health care jobs three-to-one. That's an incredible growth spectrum. During this recession we've had M.D. Anderson make a major investment here. The Mayo Clinic down the road is probably going to have its largest presence in the valley. There's another world class institution. Mayo Clinic in Arizona state University medical school, U of A's world class, Creighton coming in with St. Joe's, so not only these messages going out around these leaders and these institutions, but they're also going to be differentiating messages, like the impact we're making on neuroscience.

Ted Simons: I noticed one of the goals of the summit is to educate policymakers about health care and bioscience. First of all, what do they need to know, and secondly they don't -- how come they don't already know this?

Richard Mallery: Most of them do. That's why we've had great support from the public sector. Everything has been sort of perfect synchrony. We've had a great governor, and Jan Brewer has been terrific. We've had great mayors and moving on to Gordon, and now Greg Stanton will be terrific. The board of supervisors, Pima county, Coconino, this state has got its act together on the public sector side, particularly because of the three universities working together. We know how to collaborate in this state. Second, we've done a wonderful job with foundations here. Flinn foundation really has made -- taken the lead and has created this bioscience road map which we have used to educate the legislature and the city councils and the boards of supervisors for the last 10 years. And that is the work of the memorial institute. We've studied ed San Diego, Bethesda, and we really have brought here the best practices from around the country. So we had a head start on educating not only the legislators, but also the community to this rare opportunity. We're undergoing a medical revolution right now. And Arizona is at the forefront of it, and we want to stay there.

Ted Simons: The public-private collaboration, the idea Dick was talking about, first of all, are we seeing it moving forward like we should, A, and B, what are the challenges in dealing with that particular dynamic?

Anna Barker: I wish it were a more robust story. But I think it's probably more robust than Arizona than most places. Actually, if you think about where we are in this whole field of personalized medicine, the Universities cannot commercialize technology. It's going to have to -- it has to get transferred into small companies and/or into large companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and the very interesting change that's occurred in medicine and will continue to occur over the next 25 to 50 years is that it's going to be about information. Information is going to be king, and those people who know how to manage information in patients are going to actually lead in this century. And not any one sector can do that. The massive amount of information, for example, coming out of a project that Fran advice Collins and I started at the NiH, is now overwhelming us. We have so much information coming out. So I think this collaborative relationship between the -- in this case the Universities and companies and foundations and philanthropy all are going to be necessary to actually move this information into patients in new ways, and the one thing I will say that I think is going to be a barrier is the number of people we have educated in the U.S. to analyze the data. So one of our challenges is actually that, and I would say that probably our state, Arizona, my adopted state now, has probably more of those people trained, little known, than almost any other state in the country. Ready to go to work on the data.

Richard Mallery: Let me give you an example of why everything is working together, but then mention our biggest weakness. You want the weakness first?

Ted Simons: Sure, why not.

Richard Mallery: We don't have the venture capital money to do the start-ups here. Some of our best ideas are now in southern California. So let's remember that. Biofunding is very important. But in terms of what we do have, thanks to the foundations, thanks to the Maricopa County, thanks to the school districts, we have a bioscience high school just a few blocks from where we're sitting. And we have -- we didn't have anything before. So we had a chance to do it right. We didn't have to fight somebody who wanted to do the way it's been done for the last 50 years. We got a chance to do it right, and we're doing it right. So that we are -- the new school of medicine here from U of A, that's going to focus on personalized medicine, which requires a collaboration of medicine, the college of pharmacy, college of engineering, the college of nursing, it's a collaboration. We do not have silos. We break down the walls. And that's what's making us so powerful, because this is a revolution going on. Baby boomers want to live longer, and we're going to help them do that here in Arizona.

Ted Simons: OK, so real quickly --

Anna Barker: One of the other issues that's going to drive this collaboration is that it's information. I keep coming back to that. It's information flow. Your genome is digital information, so you are going to have to collaborate. If you own a little piece of your information, that's why the cloud becomes so important, and information sharing becomes so important. So this idea of precompetitive collaboration is going to be critical in the future to share the information.

Ted Simons: So wrap it up now. Tomorrow, if I go to this summit, anyone who goes to the summit, what do you want us to take from it?

Barry Broome: I think first off take notice of the achievements. I think one of the things we don't do a good enough job in Arizona, and I want to thank Dick Mallery's leadership on this and others, Virginia piper along with Flinn, take notice of the achievements we have, but as Dick is saying, we have to be world class at something. I think we have to be world class at at least three to five things, and this is definitely one of them. And it's one of the ones that's materialized. While we take pride in that, we need to measure ourselves against the very best. In addition to venture capital we're 27th in the United States, in basic research for science. And to become 10th in the United States we have to have a 300% increase in that commitment. So some of these things are going to take venture capital. Some of these things are going to take greater commitments in science. That's all within the context after footprint and a direction that's already being admired by people around the United States and the world. We should take pride in that and elevate that, but also recommit ourselves to excellence. And that's going to be a commitment, we haven't made in 40 or 50 years, not only in our community, but maybe in the United States. I think this is a lost art in the United States to set that kind of standard and I think we can do that here in greater Phoenix.

Ted Simons: All right.

Barry Broome: I think we've done it.

Ted Simons: All right. Well, we'll find out. We certainly appreciate the conversation and good luck tomorrow at the summit. Thank you all for joining us. We appreciate it.

Barry Broome:President and CEO,GPEC; Richard Mallery: Founder and Chairman,International Genomics Consortium; Anna Barker: Director of The University's Transformative Healthcare Networks Initiative

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