Feb 12, 2015

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest Says Biotech Game-Changers Meet to Promote Earlier Access to Lifesaving Medicines for Critically Ill Patients

closing-the-gap-logoGroup Is Working to Make Better Use of Big Data Analysis to Match Patients to Best Treatments in Real Time
Meeting February 18th in New York Will Coincide with the Lincoln Center Premiere of the Documentary “Surviving Terminal Cancer
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Center for Medicine in the Public Interest says a new alliance supporting accelerated access to life saving medicines, will bring together patients, physicians and pioneers in cancer research, for a meeting in New York City February 18th and the screening of a documentary about three patients fighting to use cutting-edge medicines that could keep them alive. The alliance, Closing the Gap Now (closingthegappnow.org), believes the current drug-approval process is cumbersome, takes too long and does not take advantage of modern tools to gather and analyze data. The conference brings together experts in the use of genomics, systems biology, “Big Data” and cloud computing to announce a joint effort to increase and accelerate access to new medicines under development for patients with life threatening illnesses.
“Our mission is to get patients with deadly diseases critically needed new medicines in 10 days instead of 10 years”
“Our mission is to get patients with deadly diseases critically needed new medicines in 10 days instead of 10 years,” said John Morrissey, the founder of Closing the Gap Now. “When my wife and then my daughter were diagnosed with terminal cancers, we were told nothing could help. In fact there were a number of promising mainstream medical treatments in various stages of development, but we had to fight to access them because my wife and daughter weren’t going to live long enough for official testing and approval.”
Colin Hill, the founder and CEO of GNS Healthcare a pioneer in using analytics solutions to create personalized medical interventions noted, “When big data analysis ‘turns the lights on’ to reveal which treatments will work for specific patients based on individual characteristics, everything changes. Babies are saved from premature birth. Cancer patients live longer. Chronic conditions are managed better. Quality of life improves. And billions of dollars are saved by avoiding treatments that do not work for given patients.”
Dr. Hill has joined with Stuart Kauffman, M.D., and Lee Hood, M.D., Ph.D. to create The Elizabeth Kauffman Transforming Medicine Institute or TMed, a new non-profit organization established to match people with life-threatening illnesses to the best treatments in real time. Drs. Hill, Kaufman and Hood helped revolutionize the use of genomic sequencing and big data for health. Faced with potentially fatal diseases in their own families, the trio pledged to apply their technologies to finding the most effective treatments faster than the current system of trial-and- error medicine. TMed was named to honor Kauffman’s wife Elizabeth who passed from pancreatic cancer despite her courage and their heroic efforts.
The conference will be followed immediately by the Lincoln Center premiere of Surviving Terminal Cancer, a documentary that follows three individuals as they battle the medical establishment to stay alive.
The Closing the Gap Now conference will be held at the Cornell Club of New York, 6 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017 on February 18th 2015 from 10 am to 4:00 pm.