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New biomarkers are remapping the world of cancer studies

In recent years we’ve seen biomarkers like ctDNA change the course of cancer studies, offering a shortcut to the market while offering a much clearer picture of what patient subgroups are likely to benefit from the slew of experimental therapies in the clinic. What new biomarkers are being hatched today? And what impact will they have in a field that has already seen development timelines shift dramatically?

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Eric Rubin

Eric Rubin

SVP, Early-stage Oncology Development, Merck Research Laboratories

Dr. Rubin has focused on cancer drug development for over 25 years, initially as a faculty member at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, then as a senior leader of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, where he served as the Director of the Investigational Therapeutics Division of that institution. His research efforts focused on mechanisms of resistance to DNA topoisomerase-targeting drugs and his laboratory cloned TOPORS, a novel topoisomerase I- and p53-interacting tumor suppressor gene. In 2008 he was recruited to Merck to lead the clinical oncology development team. Under his leadership, the clinical oncology group underwent a transformational change in an effort to realize the potential of cancer immunotherapy. He led the initial development of the anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab, which was the first anti-PD-1 therapy approved in the U.S., and in the identification of the significant activity of this breakthrough therapeutic across several cancer types. In 2014 Dr. Rubin was asked to head up Oncology Early Development for Merck, and in this role he oversees development of a promising and expansive early pipeline, as well as translational oncology research activities.

Dr. Rubin has authored over 100 original, peer-reviewed publications and book chapters related to oncology translational research, clinical trials, and drug development. He has served frequently as a member of National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society study sections, as well as on program committees for the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He is a co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the Biomarkers Consortium, Foundation of the National Institute of Health, a member of the Science Policy and Governmental Affairs Committee for AACR, and was a member of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative/Blue Ribbon Panel Working Group on Expanding Clinical Trials.

Anne-Marie Martin

Anne-Marie Martin

SVP & Global Head, Experimental Medicine Unit, Oncology R&D, GSK

Anne-Marie Martin is the SVP and Global Head of the Experimental Medicine Unit in Oncology R&D at GlaxoSmithKline. In this role, Annie leads a global team responsible for the precision medicine strategy to deliver all translational research, clinical biomarkers and diagnostic development into pipeline opportunities. In close collaboration with the development organization, Annie plays a vital role in utilizing a personalized medicine approach to expedite the development of innovative therapeutics for treating various oncologic and hematologic indications.

Prior to joining GSK, Annie was the SVP, Global Head of Precision Medicine at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for the development, implementation and execution of the Precision Medicine Strategy supporting all clinical development, registration and commercialization. While at Novartis, Annie shared in the successful delivery of 10 NDA/sNDAs across the pipeline and she led the development and successful approval of companion diagnostics in support of 6 clinical assets including midostaurin for Flt3 mutated AML, the first BRAF NGS assay for tafinlar and mekinist in NSCLC, ceritinib for ALK mutated NSCLC, capmatinib for MET mutated NSCLC, alpelisib for PIK3CA mutated breast cancer and BCR-ABL monitoring of major molecular response for Tasigna in CML.

Annie has over 20 years of experience in the health care sector. After graduating with a PhD in Immunology and Molecular Biology from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University) she continued with her postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. During her time at the University of Pennsylvania, Annie received funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the Leiomyosarcoma Foundation, Fibro-ossificans Progressiva Foundation and the NIH through a SPORE grant. In 2001, Annie assumed the role of Director of Molecular Diagnostics and Immunohistochemistry at Pennsylvania Hospital/UPHS whilst maintaining an adjunct faculty position in the Departments of Haematology and Oncology and Orthopaedic Surgery at UPENN.

In 2005 Annie joined GlaxoSmithKline. While at GSK, she assumed increasing responsibility culminating in the role of Global Head, Precision Medicine and Diagnostics and the Head of Molecular MedicineFrom 2014-2015 Annie led the transition and integration of her team’s work to Novartis. At the completion of the integration she assumed the role of VP, Head of Biomarker Research and Diagnostic Development, Adaptimmune LLC.

Annie currently serves on the Cullinan Board and she is a member of the board of the Personalized Medicine Coalition and of the Executive Committees governing the Blood Profiling Atlas in Cancer (BLOODPAC) Consortium and the FNIH PACT initiative. Annie has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Phil Febbo

Phil Febbo

Chief Medical Officer, Illumina

Phil Febbo, MD was appointed as Chief Medical Officer in March 2018. In this role, he is responsible for developing and executing the Company’s medical strategy to drive genomic testing into healthcare practice. Dr. Febbo has a successful track record of translational research, clinical excellence, and for embedding molecular insights into clinical care.

Immediately before joining Illumina, Dr. Febbo served as CMO of Genomic Health. Prior to his five years at Genomic Health, Dr. Febbo was a Professor of Medicine and Urology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where his laboratory focused on using genomics to understand the biology and clinical behavior of prostate cancer, and his clinical practice focused on genitourinary oncology.

Before joining the faculty of UCSF as an associate professor in 2010, Dr. Febbo worked at Duke University Medical Center’s Institute of Genome Sciences and Policy. He completed hi sinternal medicine residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and his fellowship i noncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After which he was an Attending Physician in the Genitourinary Oncology Center at Dana-Farber, Instructor at Harvard Medical School, and a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Todd Golub's laboratory at Dana-Farber, as well as theWhitehead Institute Center for Genomic Research of MIT (now the Broad Institute). Throughout his career, Dr. Febbo has served as a primary investigator for the Translational Research Program of The Alliance, an NCI-supported cooperative group, where his work focused on incorporating biomarkers into large clinical trials.

Dr. Febbo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Dartmouth College and an M.D.from UCSF.

Priti Hegde

Priti Hegde

Chief Scientific Officer, Foundation Medicine

Priti Hegde, Ph.D., joined Foundation Medicine as the Chief Scientific Officer in August 2019. Dr. Hegde oversees clinical product development, cancer genomics, and early-stage research, as well as regulatory and quality assurance, to accelerate advancement of the Company’s leading comprehensive genomic profiling portfolio. She is passionate about innovation in cancer research and translating innovations to precision medicine tools to advance care for patients.

Dr. Hegde has spent nearly two decades in the biopharmaceutical industry, with a proven track record in drug development, registration, and commercialization of therapeutics with companion diagnostics in cancer immunotherapy.

Prior to joining Foundation Medicine, Dr. Hegde spent 12 years at Genentech, a member of Roche Group, where she held roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, Dr. Hegde served as senior director and principal scientist in oncology biomarker development at Genentech, during which she established and led the biomarker group accountable for translational science strategies in cancer immunotherapy. Dr. Hegde was instrumental in the approvals for atezolizumab in both the United States and European Union, as well as its forthcoming diagnostic filings.

Before joining Genentech, Dr. Hegde was the manager of disease and biomarker transcriptomics at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Hegde completed her post-doctoral fellow at The Institute for Genomic Research and holds a Ph.D. in Biochemical Pharmacology from SUNY Buffalo, as well as a B. Pharmacy from Mumbai University, India.

Darren Hodgson

Darren Hodgson

Executive Director Translational Medicine Strategy, Oncology R&D AstraZeneca

Darren is Executive Director, Translational Medicine Strategy, Oncology, AstraZeneca having previously had positions in global medicine development, academia, biotechnology, and diagnostics. Darren has over 15 years’ experience as lead or core member of multi-functional global product teams and has been responsible for strategy, internal and external assay development, clinical deployment, and regulatory representation for biomarkers used as for clinical studies in all stages of drug development. Darren currently heads up an initiative to deploy circulating tumor DNA measures to identify patients with early cancers in need of treatment options and accelerate development programs. Darren was previously the translational lead for Lynparza, AstraZeneca’s first in class PARP inhibitor, and is author of numerous reviews, original patents and papers.

Nicole DeFeudis

Nicole DeFeudis

Editor, Endpoints News
Ken Nesmith
Presenting speaker

Ken Nesmith

Chief Business Officer, Lunit Oncology