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"Personalized Medicine" Advances, Challenges, to Be Explored at Feb. 8 Colloquium

Friday, Jan. 22, 2010

SANTA CLARA, Calif. January 22, 2010— Personalized medicine is a revolutionary approach to treating illness in humans that uses a patient’s unique genetic profile to select proper medication and treatment strategies.  Currently, clinics world-wide are experimenting with versions of personalized medicine to help treat ailments from obesity to cancer.

Technologies for Personalized Medicine is an upcoming colloquium at Santa Clara University that will provide cutting-edge analysis and discussion of the impact of the state of the art in new genomic technologies. 

Taking place February 8 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the Nobili Hall Dining Room at Santa Clara University, the colloquium will feature business and academic leaders discussing how biotech and pharmaceutical companies are creating new strategies to bring products to market, and how policy and regulatory challenges are affecting advances in the field.

Stakeholders agree that the success of this promising approach is achievable only if physicians, patients, and the pharmaceutical industry have confidence in the accuracy and reliability of genetic testing.  But as regulators and medical professionals figure out how to regulate the science and get good techniques to market, a host of contentious issues arise.

For instance, how can we ensure that reliable information is used for health benefits rather than discrimination?  How can we ensure that genetic tests that accurately predict a patient’s response will be made widely available? The resolution of these policy and legislative issues will have immense effects on pharmaceutical product development as well as patient care.

The FDA is actively working toward more stringent oversight of the personalized-medicine techniques that are used to analyze precisely what is going on in the patient’s system, particularly those that that directly inform physicians on drug choices. What are the pros and cons of this new regulatory burden, and how ought companies to plan for and take advantage of these changes?

Speakers at the even include four personalized-medicine experts who are highly knowledgeable about the science and the commercialization of new personalized-medicine technologies:

Janet Warrington, moderator, formerly vice president of research and development at Affymetrix, a Santa Clara, Calif., genetic-analysis company.

Sue Siegel, former president of Affymetrix, will discuss business development visions for personalized medicine, and how it is being commercialized for consumers today.

Mya Thomae, founder and chief executive of MyRAQA Regulatory Consultancy, will present on current FDA oversight of clinical testing.

David Hess, assistant professor of biology at Santa Clara University, will discuss how genomic technologies have evolved over the past 10 years and how they contribute to our understanding of disease.

Forum participants —including regulatory experts, pharmacologists, R&D executives, and social scientists — are expected to touch on a range of issues important to personalized medicine: business practices; research and development; and regulatory frameworks. 

The colloquium is organized by Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society. More information can be found at

About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its 8,846 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus masters and law degrees, and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. masters universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see

Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | 408-554-5121 |

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