Dr. Ehud Goldin and I attended the 2022 Precision Medicine World Conference last week. The emphasis of this meeting concerned genomics and data analytics. While many of the advances can benefit respiratory medicine, most of the attention at this meeting was focused on oncology and other therapeutic areas. However, Ehud and I see great potential in applying the findings to our respiratory disease R&D programs. In addition, we identified strategic partners who will help optimize our clinical development.
For example, companies emphasized their support of oncology trials, but some also conduct clinical trials on respiratory product candidates. They update internal patient databases daily and identify those specific patients who meet relevant clinical trial inclusion criteria. This meeting was excellent for becoming familiar with how these firms operate and which are relevant to our programs. In addition, we met with university-based research hospitals that have strong potential for becoming clinical research centers for our product candidates.
Specific to respiratory medicine, Dr. Lance Prince, Chief of Neonatology at Stanford Medicine, described his work on Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD). He stated, to my surprise, that there is no correlation between an infant’s age and the development of BPD. There are, however, genetic mutations that predispose preterm infants to BPD. This insight will help clinical trial design.
Clinical endpoints for the evaluation of new respiratory treatments include the 6-minute walk test, questionnaires, and spirometry. Chest computed tomography (CT) has been suggested as a potential patient outcome. However, it suffers from limitations such as lack of standardization. From the data shown at the meeting, we think that CT’’s ability to generate sensitive measurements at earlier stages of disease has great potential to identify effective treatments quickly and help reduce the cost of therapeutic development programs.
Several speakers indicated that investor interest has dampened due to the current economic downturn. However, these speakers also exhibited confidence and a long view of the market. Young companies need to continue to look for creative ways to secure “smart” money. Beyond technology and technical expertise, strategic partnerships can provide welcome funding.
A major reason for our focus on respiratory medicine was nicely stated by Vida Diagnostics Inc’s CEO, Dr. Susan Wood. She said that death due to heart disease, stroke and cancer has significantly decreased between 1990 and 2019, but that lung disease mortality has increased by 40% over the same period. We can’t continue to ignore this trend and the current lack of treatment. At BioSuperior, we are committed to educating the market and are confident that our technologies will address important unmet medical needs, particularly in respiratory medicine.