Combination diagnostics lead discussion for Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit

November 6, 2014 – 2:48 PM | By Omar Ford | No comments yet

IMG_0303So what were the major talking points coming out of Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit? It certainly wasn’t a discussion on the lack of venture capital dollars available for med-tech start-ups – a topic that used to dominate conversations a few years back. Nor was it about the Affordable Care Act.

No, the major talk at this year’s Medical Innovation Summit, which was held last week, revolved around companion diagnostics. Look for new and exciting pharmaceuticals to be married to diagnostic tests for the foreseeable future. It seems in nearly every other panel something about combination diagnostics was mentioned. One pharma company executive went so far as to say that his company doesn’t even start development of a new pharma product without thinking of how a diagnostic could work along with it.

And let’s face it, with healthcare in full migration to a results-based only model, this is going to become the new norm. In a discussion with Myriad Genetics’ President Mark Capone, he noted that “five years ago, you would have generally seen pharmaceutical companies try their best to develop a drug without a diagnostic. I think we’ve transitioned to the point where the recognition is that without a diagnostic, companies might have difficulty getting approval.”

While this could be a tremendous boon for many diagnostic companies – or create a headache when discussing royalties – I wonder if pharmaceutical companies will go on a sizeable acquisition spree for diagnostics firms in the future.


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