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In an apparent response to concerns raised by the personalized medicine
community, the Senate Finance Committee has written a letter to the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) asking the agency to
make changes to its proposed rule for establishing a new Medicare
payment system for clinical laboratory services under the Protecting
Access to Medicare Act (PAMA).
» Senate Finance Committee letter to CMS (PDF)
FDA Oncology Chief: Increased Pace in Drug Approvals Reflects Personalized Medicine's Progress
In response to claims that an increased pace of cancer drug approvals at FDA has undermined safety protocols, the director of FDA's Office of Hematology and Oncology Products, Richard Pazdur, M.D., attributed the change in large part to advances in personalized medicine. More than 1 in 4 novel new drugs approved by FDA in 2015 were personalized medicines.
» The New York Times
» 2015 Progress Report: Personalized Medicine at FDA
Obama, Biden Announce 'Moonshot' Initiative to 'End Cancer as We Know It'
During his State of the Union Address, President Obama announced a new effort to cure cancer. In a blog posted shortly after the announcement, Biden said the initiative will seek to increase the resources dedicated to fighting cancer and break down silos that prevent the sharing of data in order to accelerate progress in genomics, immunotherapy and combination treatment regimens. The goal, he said, is to "end cancer as we know it."
» Medium (a blog post by Joe Biden)
Hoping to enable early detection of all kinds of cancer, Illumina has announced the formation of Grail. Named after its ambitious undertaking to develop what some consider to be the "holy grail" of oncology, Illumina CEO Jay Flatley said the company's goal is to have its liquid biopsy test ready by 2019. Grail has selected José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., who serves as the president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), to head its scientific advisory board.
» The New York Times
Thermo Fisher Scientific Acquires Affymetrix, Strengthening Position in Genetic Analysis Market
In a move that is expected to significantly strengthen its position in the genetic analysis market, Thermo Fisher Scientific has announced a deal to acquire Affymetrix for a sum of $1.3 billion.
» The Wall Street Journal (subscription content)
Genome Canada Appoints Marc LePage as President and CEO
Tapping one of the organization's earliest champions, Genome Canada has selected Marc LePage as its new president and CEO. Lorne Hepworth, chair of the board, said LePage's dynamic background makes him an ideal leader.
» Genome Canada press release
Los Angeles Times
Drug Firms Collaborate on Trials in Cancer MoonShot 2020
Wall Street Journal
New Treatments for Multiple Myeloma