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Interview with Kate Gunning

Principal at BioVisability, US
Speaker at Bioforum 2012
strony wersji drukowanej: 12

Kate Gunning is focused on strategic market development and technology commercialization for the Life Sciences and Clean technology sectors. With an expansive network both in the US and internationally, she is frequently tapped for advice and guidance on the development of the Biotech and Cleantech industries in Ireland and overseas. A Dublin native and DIT alum, Kate’s career began in Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Pathology and she played a lead role with the Human Genome Project at the US Dept. of Energy Joint Genome Institute. She is a founder and co-chair of Biolink-USA and advisory board member for the San Francisco Irish Film Festival and was recently named one of the top 50 Irish executives in Silicon Valley.

According to the Personalized Medicine Coalition (PMC), this “personalized medicine” term may be defined as “tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient”. Nowadays personalized medicine is facing many challenges, form define an effective business model which provides reimbursement system to create an interface between the diagnostic and pharmaceutical industry.

We have asked Kate Gunning about the future of personalized medicine in Central Europe.

Is the personalized medicine future of treatment methods?

Yes, I believe it has to be, we are now trying to match the best treatment to individuals, based on the information we know about them and their disease. We now understand that some medicines are not suited to the broad population, we need to realign the way we treat individuals.

Treatment tailored to the patient. In your opinion is it accurate definition of personalized medicine?

Yes, I think the best definition is the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

How do you assess chances of personalized medicine in Central Europe in compare to global market of this industry?

In ways it may be easier to adopt a more personalized approach, based on the more socialized healthcare system. Adopting the new methods and ensuring efficient clinical trials will entail working with all stakeholders. For some of these reasons, Europe may be better equipped, once the reimbursement for tests is managed well.

What are the main problems of this therapy approach?  

Well, in ways you stratify the market, and therefore you reduce population size for treatments. We may no longer look to large markets, and therefore it changes the profitability for drug companies. However, better treatments matched with the right populations will be cost effective for healthcare in general.

Do you have any advices for people which want to succeed in personalized medicine?

For any company entering the market the key is understanding the stakeholders, how to navigate the landscape and effectively move through trials in a cost effective manner – upfront costs are high, so we need to share best practices, some even say crowdsourcing is the way to go!

Tomasz Sznerch
Chief editor,
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