It looks as if the VC team has completely taken over Navigenics. Dana Mead of KPCB and Sue Siegel of MDV will be taking over. Mari will stay on as a Board Member.
This whole thing has me wondering........if I pitch an idea to VC, will they turn me down, only to "create" the exact same company? "Oh, we don't sign NDAs"
A lot of Entrepreneurs out there are asking the same questions.....I think they are right to ask these......Despite what they say.....
It seems Navigenics is one of those VC started companies.........and it looks as if they can't pull out.
Why? Well, this seems to be their baby.....Much like Google's baby is 23andME.
Any other sane investor would have pulled out of these companies when the regulations hit. But, now it seems as if these companies are firing their webmasters, outsourcing the work and looking to save face.
What really would hit them hard is if a new round of regulations were to get in their way.....
Many of my detractors say "If these companies die, so does personalized medicine"
I often laugh when I hear this. Is personal genomics the same as personalized medicine?
The short answer is no. The long answer is No Freakin Way!
Most of these markers don't help us at all. The only thing useful here is the social milieu which they are trying to create.
23andME seems to be doing the best job of that. However, with chat rooms filled with medical misinformation, I wonder how useful these sites will become....
The Sherpa Says: Navigenics hasn't fully turned clinical yet........They will once this move is completed and we will have another 2 clinical diagnostic companies that have an undetermined clinical utility. It takes 5 years to prove utility and I think KPCB and MDV are in for the long haul.......Maybe it is the beginning of the end and these guys are just re-arranging deck chairs. Time will tell, Vamos a Ver....
Saturday, February 28, 2009
It looks as if the VC team has completely taken over Navigenics. Dana Mead of KPCB and Sue Siegel of MDV will be taking over. Mari will stay on as a Board Member.
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 10:36 AM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Mari Baker is leaving Navigenics......
I am fairly certain of that....
Unless you can be the CEO of 2 companies at once.......
"PlayFirst Expands Management Team to Address Growing Consumer Entertainment Market; Recruits Senior Industry Veterans in CEO, CFO Positions
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- PlayFirst, Inc., the award-winning entertainment company, today announced that Mari Baker, a consumer software and internet industry veteran, has been named its Chief Executive Officer. The company also announced today that Jim Wandrey has joined as Chief Financial Officer. PlayFirst, one of the leaders in casual entertainment, recruited the new leadership to address the growing market opportunity in interactive consumer entertainment."
Or maybe they're restructuring. Or maybe a major VC is pulling out???
All the best Mari. I hope your next company doesn't have a multi-million dollar open bar party for 9 days in SoHo.
HT: BC at EG
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Forbes April 2008
"Both 23andMe and DeCode, which has not received a warning letter from New York so far, argue that the lab testing laws don't apply because their products are not medical tests. "23andMe's services are not medical ... they are educational," argues 23andMe spokesman Paul Kranhold. "
"One worry is that people who order online gene tests could get misleading information. For example, 23andMe tests for some gene variants involved in mildly raising breast cancer risk, but not genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 that vastly raise breast cancer risk. Harvard Medical School's Mark Daley says if you found out that you had genes that slightly reduced the risk of cancer, but didn't check for the real cancer-causing gene like BRCA1, "you get a potentially dangerously misleading answer."
What a difference 10 months makes........
I am certian testing for limited amounts of mutations is probably just as confusing.....
BRCA Cancer Mutations (Selected)
Breast/Ovarian Cancer is one of the diseases that 23andMe analyzes. Our service includes the following information:
- Whether or not you are a carrier for Breast/Ovarian Cancer.
- Information on SNPs i4000377, i4000378, i4000379, markers that influence your carrier status for Breast/Ovarian Cancer.
- A look at how Breast/Ovarian Cancer works, and a list of counselors, links and support groups for BRCA Cancer Mutations (Selected) in your area.
Carrier for Breast?Ovarian Cancer???? What kind of language is that? One thing is for sure "Carrier for Breast/Ovarian Cancer" sounds an awful lot like genetic risk for breast cancer carrier.......otherwise known as a medical diagnosis code V84.01
The Sherpa Says: Russ, in what world is this something worthy of your support?
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 5:16 PM
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Hello Patient X,
There's a wealth of new information in your 23andMe account. Our scientists have recently added a number of new articles to our Personal Genome Service, including two that may be of special interest.
If you take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, be sure to check the new article for Statin Response, which deals with rare but serious side effects that may be influenced by genetics.
And for our members who have the data> from our v2 chip, we've added important information about BRCA1 and BRCA2 -> genes with variants having a quite rare but significant correlation to breast and ovarian cancer - in BRCA Cancer Mutations (Selected).
You can read these or any of our other recently published reports here.
And check out the expanding list of topics being added by your fellow community members here. Please join the conversation!
The 23andMe Team
So there you have it! BRCA1 testing on the V2 chip from 23andMe. I never, ever, ever thought that they would lay this stake so quickly. Yes, it is clear. 23andMe wants to report, directly to the consumer BRCA1 genetic test results! It is a variant and it is being reported.
Do they have medical malpractice coverage?
Are they covered by HIPAA?
Do the have the HHS Certificate of Confidentiality?
Rest assured, I have forwarded this information on to the California Department of Public Health as well as EGAPP. People do deserve to know results of these tests, there is no doubt about that. But people also deserve to have the legal protections afforded to all others who do genetic testing through a provider. These protections include significant regulations mandated of labs as well as ordering providers.......
I said last month that we would know which way these companies will go in 6 months. Looks like it took 23andMe only 1 month.......
The Sherpa Says: Pharmacogenomics and BRCA testing is in the realm of Clinical Medicine my friend.......so shall end your punch line of "Testing for Fun" I look forward to you taking medical responsibility for your actions. I hope you do too.......
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 5:09 AM
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I am all for the support from this administration towards Personalized Medicine, but perhaps this may be a little too heavy handed....
Betsy McCaugheyBloomberg Feb. 9
Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — Republican Senators are questioning whether President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill contains the right mix of tax breaks and cash infusions to jump-start the economy.
Tragically, no one from either party is objecting to the health provisions slipped in without discussion. These provisions reflect the handiwork of Tom Daschle, until recently the nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department.
Senators should read these provisions and vote against them because they are dangerous to your health. (Page numbers refer to H.R. 1 EH, pdf version).
The bill’s health rules will affect “every individual in the United States” (445, 454, 479). Your medical treatments will be tracked electronically by a federal system. Having electronic medical records at your fingertips, easily transferred to a hospital, is beneficial. It will help avoid duplicate tests and errors.
But the bill goes further. One new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”
Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far.
Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)
What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.
The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.
Elderly Hardest Hit
Daschle says health-care reform “will not be pain free.” Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.
Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (464).
The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board discussed in Daschle’s book. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.
In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision.
If the Obama administration’s economic stimulus bill passes the Senate in its current form, seniors in the U.S. will face similar rationing. Defenders of the system say that individuals benefit in younger years and sacrifice later.
The stimulus bill will affect every part of health care, from medical and nursing education, to how patients are treated and how much hospitals get paid. The bill allocates more funding for this bureaucracy than for the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force combined (90-92, 174-177, 181).
Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”
More Scrutiny Needed
On Friday, President Obama called it “inexcusable and irresponsible” for senators to delay passing the stimulus bill. In truth, this bill needs more scrutiny.
The health-care industry is the largest employer in the U.S. It produces almost 17 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Yet the bill treats health care the way European governments do: as a cost problem instead of a growth industry. Imagine limiting growth and innovation in the electronics or auto industry during this downturn. This stimulus is dangerous to your health and the economy.
(Betsy McCaughey is former lieutenant governor of New York and is an adjunct senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. The opinions expressed are her own.)
To contact the writer of this column: Betsy McCaughey at Betsymross@aol.com
Last Updated: February 9, 2009 00:01 EST
The Sherpa Says: This may be Change, but I doubt 70 year old patients will not object to being denied certain services because their so called "life expectancy" does not deem them worthy of preventative care.
Posted by Steve Murphy MD at 8:21 AM
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Saturday, February 7, 2009
If you have been following me at this blog for any amount of time, you know that I have been a careful watcher of these GWAS studies, and the testing companies who sprung up after them.
I have been skeptical of most of these studies unless they have had replication and fairly large Odds Ratios or Relative Risks........why? We are looking for clinical relevance and asking what can we do with this to better our patients lives........
Personalized medicine relies on several things but these 3 are absolutely needed: Prediction, Prevention and Privacy. It is rich in fields like Cancer Genetics, PGx, Preconception Genetics.
You see Personalized medicine is not just Prediction, which these DTC companies are touting, it is therapies and action......which, these tests unfortunately are lacking in.....
To put it bluntly.....based on our current knowledge of what these SNPs are and what they do,
Consumer Genomic Testing is of:
Extremely Limited Clinical Value
We saw this with 9p21.3 one of the most significant findings in this arena.
Yesterday an article was released in PLOS which I just linked to which states that case pretty effectively.
I often say, that once a discovery is made of a gene or SNP or etc.....it will require at minimum 5 years to come to clinical utility.....So how could any company sell something prior to this under the auspices of medicine???
The conclusion from the PLOS paper:
Our analyses and examples show that strong association, although very valuable for establishing etiological hypotheses, does not guarantee effective discrimination between cases and controls. The scientific community should be cautious to avoid overstating the value of association findings in terms of personalized medicine before their time.
Association is NOT causation, nor is it actionable.......
Most of this small time SNP data comes through in guess what????
Family History!!!!! (five exclamation points for Daniel)
The Sherpa Says: Family History is FREE!!!! And Soon SNP testing will be too.
Friday, February 6, 2009
I am a big fan of the race to the bottom. At least in the case of SNP scanning. We have seen Navigenics drop their price, deCode drops off the earth and 23andMe???? Well, in a discretionary move they show use the true value of SNP scans.....
I give you HotCoupons4U.....The 23andMe special, pay close attention...
From the website.....
Featured Savings & Discount Deals
Win $5000 A Week For Life (Expires 2/26/2009)
Win $25,000 Room A Day (Expires 3/6/2009)
Dicks Sporting Goods Coupon: $10 OFF (Expires 4/30/2009)
Win a Smart Fortwo Car or $14,000 Cash (Expires 10/31/2009)
Get Free Nutrish Dog Food Sample (On Going)
Honey Baked Big or Small Ham Feast (On Going)
$3 Off Disney DVD in The Store (On Going)
ToysRUs Free Shipping on Select Toys (On Going)
Victoria's Secret December $10 off Any Purchase (On Going)
Win Free iTunes Music Gift Cards (On Going)
23andme Holiday Special - Save $200 or More (On Going)
Now correct me if I am wrong, but aren't they charging 399 USD for their test......so at most 23andMe thinks that their test is worth........199 USD AT MOST!!! Oh wait, this is off their family pack.....Oh, you know the one, where Anne Wojicki says you can drug your kid with benadryl for fun....and the same one where they say collecting your child's DNA is tough with the spit kits.......
Why would they lower prices even further? Because its your genome they want....not your money!!!!!
How it works:
1. Order a kit ($399 USD) from our online store.
2. Claim your kit by the claim code, spit into the tube, and send it to the lab. (The claim code is the 12-character code on the front cover of your green Spit Kit box. )
3. CLIA-certified lab analyzes your DNA in 4-6 weeks.
4. Log in and start exploring your genome.Learn more from https://www.23andme.com/howitworks/Available discount codes for 23andme: “spit party” or "SPIT"
I would like to add:
5) Release your genome into the wild and allow 23andME to profit off your folly without HIPAA protection or a certificate of confidentiality, like the one awarded the CPMC......
The Sherpa Says: Ahh Yes, it is coming in clearer now. The cost of a SNP scan is Zero US dollars.....until we prove it has value. Add on top of that the 1000 USD Genome and we will soon see that the real commodity is the interpretation and ongoing services revolving around your genome that will matter........Just like Thomas Friedman said about the Internet.......
HT-BC at EG