On October 14, 2011 during Foley & Lardner’s life sciences conference “Winning Strategies: How to Create, Grow and Sustain a Successful Life Sciences Company”, I hosted a panel of industry experts speaking to the challenges and opportunities in realizing the promise of personalized medicine. While much progress has been made in removing legal, technical and regulatory barriers to making personalized medicine widely available to American citizens, much work needs to be done. Our panel comprised of Ken Goldman, Suneel Ratan and Anita Chawla, Ph.D., looked at those challenges and commented on the promise of personalized medicine.

Ken Goldman, Esq., is the Global Head, Diagnostics Patents division within Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, Inc.  With over 20 years of experience in patenting life science inventions, he has the perspective to discuss the current legal challenges to patenting diagnostic tests that cover the tools of personalized medicine, and in particular, the pending U.S. Supreme Court review of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., previously reported in this blog.  He provided his perspective on the interplay between the patent-eligibility issues and issues of joint infringement for those seeking to protect inventions for these medical diagnostic methods.  As we reported, the U.S. Supreme Court will entertain oral argument on Dec. 7, 2011.  A decision is likely in the spring of 2012.

Suneel Ratan is co-founder and CEO of Care Architecture, a company developing tools and solutions to bring personalized health management technology to individuals, especially the disabled and elderly who require consistent management for chronic health issues.  With over 7 years of experience in the telehealth industry, with an emphasis on technology-related applications and interventions designed to support individuals with or at risk of developing chronic conditions modify their behavior to remain healthy, Suneel discussed the genesis of the telehealth industry and the challenges to those seeking to move from a bricks-and-mortar model to one without walls.  He discussed the current technical and regulatory challenges in the telehealth industry, including reimbursement issues, and how his model can work to bring health management to chronic care individuals.

Dr. Anita Chawla is a Managing Principle of the Analysis Group, Inc. and has extensive expertise using economic analysis to support business objectives of biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies.  Prior to joining Analysis Group, Dr. Chawla was Director of Health Economics & Outcomes Research at Genentech, Inc.  Dr. Chawla commented on the current state of reimbursement and its effect on the economics of the personalized medicine model.