Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 13, 2014

Promising Cancer Collaboration Across Industry plus Events and Jobs

Amazing!! For profit companies are recognizing that it’s in their interest to share data. It only takes some careful planning to protect their assets. The extremely high cost of drug R&D has now made it clear that collaboration is necessary to be successful. We are seeing new efforts to speed up discovery by sharing data, where possible, rather than repeating expensive mistakes separately. Perhaps now the war on cancer can advance more rapidly. The success of this initiative has depended on the buy in by top executives, or almost all of them.

Those of us working in new drug development as well as other development of associated treatments for cancer welcome more collaboration to help uncover needed information about cancer and   potential   treatment solutions. Back in 2001 a CEO Roundtable on Cancer was formed to address a challenge from then President George H.W. Bush to address cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment within their families as well as within their corporate family. See

After dealing with recognized legal, privacy and technology issues in making the sharing of patient data from commercial as well as nonprofits possible, the Life Science Consortium an offshoot of the not-for profit CEO Roundtable on Cancer launched Project Data Sphere LLC . “The goal is to improve the design and efficiency of clinical trials by developing new disease models and improving the understanding of patient risk factors and how comparator arms behave,” according to Erin McCallister, Senior Editor, BioCentury in the article “Unlocking Cancer Data” in their April 14, issue. Access to this information will help researchers design improved trial protocols and move innovation faster and with possibly lower cost by cutting on the waste.

The website will provide independent researchers as well as those affiliated with companies, hospitals and institutions free access to de-identified, patient-level data from the comparator arms of Phase III cancer trials sourced by academia and industry. The website currently includes nine data sets covering 3,500 patients provided by AstraZeneca plc, Bayer AG, Celgene Corp, the Janssen Research and Development LLC unit of J&J, Pfizer Inc., Sanofi and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. An additional 25 data sets are anticipated to be added soon.

The CEO Roundtable includes chief executives from 30 companies, cancer non-profits and cancer research centers of which, unfortunately, Genentech/Roche is noticeably absent. I was disappointed that this high profile cancer company with huge profit from oncology products is not participating. See list of Roundtable members at The above-mentioned BioCentury article notes that Roche and Genentech have opted out of participation.

Upcoming Bay Area Life Science Events

  • BioCentury This Week, See new program Webcast Starting Sunday, April 13, 2014,, Available anytime starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT; Topic: “Compassionate Access — Who Decides?” Speakers: Aimee Hardy, the mother of Josh Hardy; Richard Klein, Director of FDA’s Patient Liaison program; Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, Managing Director of the Brookings Institution’s Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform and Nancy Goodman, Executive Director of Kids v Cancer
  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, April 15, 2014; Topic: “Path to developing cost effective solutions for therapeutic monoclonal antibodies;” Speaker: Amita Goel, Founder and CEO, Celltheon Corporation
  • Janssen Labs, Tuesday, April 15, 2014; Topic: “Meet with…Correlation Ventures;” Speaker: David Coats, Founder and Managing Director, Correlation Ventures
  • UCSF, Tuesday Evening, April 15, 2014; Event: “Speakers Series: Blazing the Precision Medicine Trail: Genomic Health’s Journey;” Speaker: Kim Popovits, Chairman of the Board, CEO & President. Genomic Health
  • Science Webinar, Wednesday Morning, April 16, 2014; Topic: “Visualizing Cell Signaling: Current Trends and New Technologies;” Participants: Mark Hollywood, Ph.D. Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dundalk, Ireland; C. Peter Bengtson, Ph.D. University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany; Colin Coates, Ph.D., Andor Technology, Belfast, Ireland
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, April 16, 2014; Topic: “Point of Care CD4 Testing and the BD FACSPresto;” Speaker: Scott Bornheimer, Ph.D.,BD Biosciences
  • BayBio Pub Night, Thursday Evening, April 17, 2014; Event: “BayBio Pub Night”
  • CABS Science and Technology Workshop, Friday Afternoon, April 18, 2014: Topic: “The Road to Personalized Medicine: Science, Commercialization and Clinical Application;” Speakers: Drew Watson, VP of Research, Genomic Health, Kunbin Qu, Director of Research-Bioinformatics, Genomic Health, Zhanzhi Hu, Sr. Scientist, Veracyte, Jonathan Hirsh, Founder and President, Syapse

Life Science Business Development Course: An Intensive Course June 19-20 at UC Extension in San Francisco

This course which focuses on dealmaking, collaboration and alliances includes two days of intensive classes and then two months of project time with help of resources and access to BioCentury and Thomson Reuters Recap deal databases. See details at Registration is now open.

Find all the details for this coming week’s upcoming events plus those through June 2014 in Audrey’s Picks. You can download the pdf of JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough April 13 2014 along with Audreys Picks April 13, 2014 by right clicking on the highlighted titles. This latter list includes the latest three weeks of positions.

You can always find my weekly blog and listings at or direct others who are interested there.



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    • Thank you. My intent is to provide helpful information about our industry.

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