Session Synopsis: Technology and cost revolutions enable large-scale genomics that now has the potential for accelerated and improved drug discovery and development supported by human genetics. Validated large-scale human genetics applications in drug development include indication discovery, target discovery, and pharmacogenetics-based biomarkers.
Session Chair Profile
M.D., Senior Director, Head of Translational Genetics, Regeneron Genetics Center
Frederick Dewey received his AB in Chemistry and Physics from Harvard University, and MD, with concentration in cardiovascular and pulmonary sciences, from Stanford University. He received clinical training in internal medicine and cardiovascular medicine, and research training in human genetics at Stanford Hospital and Clinics. He joined the Regeneron Genetics Center, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, in 2014 and is currently Senior Director and Head of the Translational Genetics group, which uses large scale sequencing to identify and validate therapeutic targets.
Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Alternative Discovery & Development, GlaxoSmithKline
Dr. Lon Cardon joined GlaxoSmithKline in 2008, initially as Head of Genetics and now as current position as Head of Alternative Discovery and Development, a pan-therapeutic division focused on non-traditional approaches for drug discovery and development. The unit takes on new diseases for GSK, such as ophthalmology and rare diseases, new modalities including gene therapy, stem cells and oligonucleotides, and bespoke academic and biotechnology partnership models. Prior to joining GSK, Lon was a senior academic in the UK and USA, as Professor of Bioinformatics at the University of Oxford until 2006 and then as Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He received his PhD training from the Institute for Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado and conducted his postdoctoral research in the Department of Mathematics at Stanford University. He has received a number of scientific awards, including election to the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences in 2005. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications and 15 books and chapters.
From Genes to Drug Targets
Progress in genomics has created an historic opportunity for drug discovery: where a decade ago there were only a small number of genetically validated drug targets, there are now thousands of disease-associated genes. The pharmaceutical industry is thus rapidly returning to genomics. I will discuss progress in translating the latest findings into targets for new therapies.
M.D., Director of Clinical Genomics, Geisinger Medical Center
Dr. Mike Murray is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Genetics and he joined Geisinger Health System as the director of clinical genomics after serving on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and as the clinical chief of genetics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for nine years. Mike was born and raised in Philadelphia PA. He earned his medical degree at Penn State Hershey, and went on to do additional training at Cleveland Clinic, University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard Medical School. At Geisinger he is leading the GenomeFIRST return of results program for the over 125,000 patient participants who undergo Genomic Sequencing as part of the MyCode Community Health Initiative. This project builds on the collaboration between Geisinger and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, but is funded outside of that research collaboration through internal Geisinger support, external grants, and generous donations. The GenomeFIRST return of results program expects to deliver important risk information based on genetic sequence back to between 2-4% of MyCode participants in its initial phase.
GenomeFIRST and Risk-Based Healthcare
The sequencing of over 90,000 adults for drug discovery research at Geisinger has provided the opportunity to then use this genomic data to identify and manage disease risk within the healthcare system. The return of genomic results program is delivering results to participants of the MyCode initiative with a focus on cardiovascular and cancer risk. This work is modeling some of the potential approaches to care that could result from larger population screening such as the “All of Us” Precision Medicine Initiative.