Renowned luminaries in Personalized Medicine
Groundbreaking companies with emerging technologies
More than 1000 peers from around the globe
50 sessions in 3 parallel tracks


The Liquid Gold Rush For Biopsies

There is indeed good reason why the liquid biopsy is considered “liquid gold” and is therefore deserving all the attention it's getting. Tycho Peterson, an analyst at J.P. Morgan, estimates the global testing market to reach $20 billion by 2020, $10 billion of which is estimated for use of DNA blood tests for cancer screening alone (estimated by Cowen & Co).

The development of technologies that allow the detection of circulating tumor cells, cell free DNA, or exosomes, combined with the advancements of sequencing technologies and the identification of novel biomarkers now allow more accurate detection and possible insights into the characteristics of malignant tumors than traditional biopsies (e.g. immunohistochemistry pathology type tests and/or tumor marker immunoassays). Liquid biopsy enables the detection of circulating tumor DNA in healthy individuals that are at high risk for cancer, the monitoring of patients with active or previously diagnosed cancer for risk of recurrence, or the detection of a molecular target or marker that may be indicative of a high probability of response to a specific treatment. This dynamic field is undergoing significant growth with many new startups as well as major companies taking up the challenge of commercializing and offering liquid biopsy products and services to the market.

At the 10th Personalized Medicine World Conference (PMWC) Silicon Valley, we have four sessions dedicated to liquid biopsy: Liquid Biopsy - A Game Changer, Non-Invasive Liquid Biopsies for Cancer Patients, Commercial Applications in Liquid Biopsy, and Liquid Biopsy: The Right Tool for the Right Job. This is a great opportunity to delve into this hot and evolving field, learn first-hand the latest advances, meet the opinion leaders and companies actively developing and commercializing products in the space, and hear about successful applications that will shape the evolution of healthcare.


Frederic Pla, Ph.D., Chief Business & Product Development Officer, Genomic Health

Over the last 25 years, Frederic Pla has built and launched global businesses in medical diagnostics and devices, life sciences, and healthcare information technology, consistently delivering high growth and profitability through a blend of product innovation, strategic acquisitions, and successful turnarounds.  Read Full Bio

Thomas Krahn, Ph.D., Head of Global Biomarker Research, Bayer Pharmaceuticals

Dr. Thomas Krahn is heading the department of Global Biomarker Research within Bayer Pharma AG. The main task of this department is translational research supporting early clinical trials by identification and qualification of specific biomarkers and evaluation of new technologies. Read Full Bio

Nicholas Dracopoli, Ph.D., Vice President, Janssen R&D

Dr. Nicholas Dracopoli is Vice President, Head Oncology Biomarkers at Janssen R&D, Johnson & Johnson. In this role he is responsible for biomarker discovery, development and applications for oncology products. Previously, he was Vice President of Clinical Discovery Technologies at Bristol-Myers Squibb, and prior to that spent five years in the biotechnology industry at Sequana Therapeutics. Read Full Bio

Phil Stephens, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer Foundation Medicine

Dr. Stephens joined Foundation Medicine in March 2011, bringing more than a decade of experience in cancer genomics to the company. Dr. Stephens is a world-renowned expert in next-generation sequencing and cancer genome analysis and has authored numerous publications in Nature, Nature Genetics, Nature Medicine, Cell and other high-profile journals. Read Full Bio

Helmy Eltoukhy, Ph.D., CEO, Guardant Health

Helmy Eltoukhy, PhD, is a biotech pioneer with deep expertise in next-generation digital sequencing technologies and genetic analysis systems. He is currently the co-founder and CEO of Guardant Health, the market leader in liquid biopsies. Read Full Bio

Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., President & CEO, Epic Sciences

Dr. Prahalad currently holds the title of President and CEO of Epic Sciences, Inc. (EPIC), a venture backed cancer management company specializing in the detection and analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Read Full Bio

Mark Erlander, Ph.D., CSO, Trovagene

Mark Erlander has more than 18 years of experience directing and leading research and development for gene discovery, with a strong focus on molecular diagnostics. Since 2012, Dr. Erlander has also served as Chief Scientific Officer of Gensignia, Inc., a lung cancer diagnostics company. Read Full Bio

Victor E. Velculescu, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Director, Cancer Biology, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

Dr. Velculescu is Co-Director of Cancer Biology and Professor of Oncology and Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University Kimmel Cancer Center. His research interests are focused on genomic analyses of human cancer and using such information to understand the underlying biology of cancer and to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches. Read Full Bio

Raghu Kalluri, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman & Professor, Dept. of Cancer Biology, MD Anderson

In 2015, Kalluri’s lab at MD Anderson received widespread attention for a discovery that could lead to a blood test that detects pancreatic cancer at an early stage, before it spreads to other organs and becomes too difficult to treat. Read Full Bio

Walter Koch, Ph.D., Vice President & Head of Global Research, Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.

Dr. Koch has been in his current role of VP and Head of Global Research for Roche Molecular Systems since 2005. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, he sits on the Life Cycle and Business Development committees, and chairs the Research Portfolio Committee. Read Full Bio

Maximilian Diehn, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine

Max Diehn MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University. He has co-appointments in the Stanford Cancer Institute and Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Diehn trained at Harvard University and Stanford University and has a background in genomics and stem cell biology. Read Full Bio

Katherine Richardson, Ph.D., Vice President, Research and Development, Transgenomic, Inc.

Dr. Richardson holds an SB degree in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a PhD in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology from Iowa State University. Prior to joining Transgenomic, she worked for eight years as a scientist with OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she specialized in molecular biology research and development in the area of oncology. Read Full Bio

Matthew Hill, Ph.D., Vice President, Research & Development, Natera

Dr. Hill is an expert in genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics. While in graduate school at Stanford, Dr. Hill constructed the first genetic map of a chordate model organism which led to important insights about the nature of genome evolution. Read Full Bio

Wolfgang Daum, Chairman and CEO, Toma Biosciences

Wolfgang is an executive and serial entrepreneur in healthcare (diagnostics, medical devices, and health services). Currently he serves as Chairman and CEO of TOMA Biosciences, Inc. a fast growing genomic cancer diagnostic company. Read Full Bio

George Karlin-Neumann, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Affairs, Bio-Rad

Dr. George Karlin-Neumann is a molecular geneticist, biotechnologist and entrepreneur. He co-founded ParAllele BioScience, a successful high throughput genomics company, out of the Stanford Genome Technology Center in 2001. Read Full Bio

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