New York Pharma Forum Symposium Explores Genomic Revolution

Officers Elected at Annual Meeting

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- New York Pharma Forum (NYPF) held its 22nd Annual General Assembly and annual meeting in New York on December 2nd.

Speaking on “The Genomics Revolution: Cancer and Beyond,” were:

  • Dr. Steven Averbuch: Vice President, Early Global Clinical Research Oncology, Head of Pharmacodiagnostics, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company
  • Dr. Thomas Lynch, Jr.: Director of Yale Cancer Center; Physician-in-Chief, Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital; Richard and Jonathan Sackler Professor of Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Joseph McCracken: Global Head of Business Development & Licensing, Roche Pharma Partnering
  • Dr. Daniel Salazar: Vice President, Translational Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology, Daiichi Sanyko Pharma Development
  • Mr. Mark Mynhier [Panel facilitator]: Principal, Healthcare Industries- Advisory Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The panel spoke about a health care revolution in its early stages, identifying predictive biomarkers that can help select the right drug for the right patient and possibly lead to development of diagnostics. The speakers agreed that personalized medicine is expanding well beyond its current limited use, mostly in oncology, to other fields of medicine, including cardiovascular, CNS, neurologic and immunologic therapies.

They concluded that, while much work and daunting challenges still remain to bring targeted medicine out of the lab and into practice by providers, there has been enormous progress in recent years in embracing personalized medicine using biomarkers and companion diagnostics to improve products and patient health. This is partly due to a dramatic drop in costs for genomic sequencing and better use of the information in making treatment decisions.

The speakers mentioned the development of innovative partnerships between drug developers, diagnostics developers and bioinformatics companies to pursue simultaneous development of companion diagnostics and targeted therapies. Challenges they discussed included vastly different business models in the diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries that make these partnerships difficult in practice. Much optimism was expressed that future medical practice will routinely use personalized medicine, with drugs selected to treat patients most likely to benefit.

NYPF also held its annual meeting on Dec. 2nd to elect board members and officers. Dr. Thomas Heffner, Executive Director, Worldwide Business Development, Pfizer Inc., was elected President. Other officers elected were:

  • Vice President: Ms. Catherine Sazdanoff, Vice President, Business Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International
  • Secretary: Mr. Allen Downs, Senior Executive Director, Licensing and Business Development, Purdue Pharma L.P.
  • Treasurer: Mr. Koki Ohashi, President, Kissei America.

About New York Pharma Forum

New York Pharma Forum Inc. is a non-profit organization intended to encourage dialogue among U.S., Japanese and other international biopharmaceutical executives and business and financial professionals on global issues of common interest. Members gain access to critical information on business, policy and technology issues important to the future of the global healthcare industry. For more information, go to

Note to editors: photos are available upon request for use with this release.


New York Pharma Forum Inc.
Lucy Siegel, 212-583-1043
[email protected]

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INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Biotechnology  Oncology  Pharmaceutical