Plenge Lab
Date posted: January 6, 2019 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Drug Discovery Embedded Genomics Human Genetics

[I am an employee of Celgene. All views expressed here are my own.]

At the 2018 Annual Atlas Ventures Retreat (AVR), I participated in a panel on Digital Health (along with David Schenkhein, John Reed, Scott Brun). The panel discussion was led by Michael Ringel, who also provide an excellent introduction to Digital Health (his slides here). While there are many aspects to digital health, we focused on the application to drug discovery and development.  In this blog, the main point I want to emphasize is that I believe that the digital health tipping point will occur when products that benefit patients (e.g., therapeutics) facilitate the integration of digital health initiatives that currently reside in silos.

What is digital health in relation to drug discovery & development? There are many different definitions with many different components, and this, in essence, is part of the challenge (see Figure below). In early discovery biology, digital health represents various data types (e.g., human genetics, ‘omics data, cell models) and analytical methods (e.g., simple regression, machine learning, artificial intelligence).  In late discovery biology, digital health includes sophisticated analytical methods for in silico drug design and organoid models to recapitulate the human system for pre-clinical testing.…

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Date posted: July 11, 2015 | Author: | No Comments »

Categories: Drug Discovery Embedded Genomics Human Genetics Immunogenomics

If you could pick three innovations that would revolutionize drug discovery in the next 10-20 years, what would they be?

I found myself thinking about this question during a recent family vacation to Italy. I was visiting the Galileo Museum, marveling at the state of knowledge during the 1400-1600’s. The debate over planetary orbits seem so obvious now, but the disagreement between church and science led to Galileo’s imprisonment in 1633.

So what is it today that will seem so obvious to our children and grandchildren…and generations beyond? Let me offer a few ideas related to drug discovery, and hope that others will add their own. I am not sure if my ideas are grounded in reality, but that is part of the fun of the game. In addition, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

To start, let me remind readers of this blog that I believe that the three major challenges to efficient drug discovery are picking the right targets, developing the right biomarkers to enable proof-of-concept (POC) studies, and testing therapeutic hypotheses in humans as quickly and safely as possible. Thus, the future needs to address these three challenges.


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