SAN DIEGO, Feb. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocom, the association representing the Southern California life science community, took a group of San Diego companies to Washington D.C. as part of its 2016 Precision Medicine Advocacy Fly-In. Biocom Fly-In participants had the opportunity to meet with officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as San Diego U.S. Representatives Susan Davis and Scott Peters to discuss new advances in precision medicine and the regulatory challenges faced by companies working in this space.
"Southern California has been a national and world leader in precision medicine, an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that uses individuals' genetic material to select the most effective therapies," said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom. "While advances in genetic sequencing and molecular diagnostics have led to breakthrough discoveries and treatments that have the potential to save lives, federal regulations have yet to catch up with this fast-changing scientific environment to enable the genomics advances of tomorrow."
Congressman Scott Peters of San Diego added, "I am grateful for the update from Biocom's precision medicine leaders and for the support they provide to make legislators better, smarter advocates for our life sciences, research, and innovation sectors. Together, we will continue working to make San Diego the most attractive destination for entrepreneurs and innovators to start their ventures and create high-quality jobs."
Nine participants from five life science companies participated in the fly-in, including early, mid-stage and commercial stage companies developing therapeutics and diagnostics that aim to select and deliver the best treatments for patients based on their genes. A precision medicine approach such as this has the potential to improve outcomes, spare patients from the side effects of drugs that will not work for them and ultimately reduce healthcare costs.
"We are grateful to Biocom and to the officials at FDA, CMS, NIH and Congress who generously spent time hearing our perspective and ways in which we can work together to collectively shape the regulatory, scientific, and legislative landscape to make precision medicine a reality for as many patients as possible," said Jonathan Lim, M.D., chairman and CEO of Ignyta, Inc.
Added Alex Dickinson, senior vice president of Illumina, "The Biocom fly-in involved a great compilation of San Diego companies coming together to discuss their businesses and policy concerns with the federal government. We are pleased to be part of Biocom and appreciate all their efforts in putting this important trip together. San Diego has an amazing group of companies focused on precision medicine and we are proud to be a part of this thriving, innovative community."
Biocom is one of the largest regional life science associations in the world, representing 750 member companies in Southern California. The association focuses on initiatives that position the region's life science industry competitively on the world stage, and on the development and delivery of innovative products that improve health and quality of life. For more information on Biocom or the Southern California biotechnology and medical device community, please visit the organization's Web site at http://www.biocom.org or call (858) 455-0300. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter @BIOCOMCA.