In the afternoon sessions of Day 2 of the Precision Medicine World Conference (PMWC) 2018, the Track 2 Liquid Biopsy Showcase continued with a series of talks. The first was given by George Karlin-Neumann, PhD, Director of Scientific Affairs, Digital Biology Center, Bio-Rad Laborartories. At Bio-Rad, Dr. Karlin-Neumann is helping to drive the research and clinical adoption of droplet digital PCR through collaborations and internal research programs, especially in cancer liquid biopsy. He noted that the benefits of droplet digital PCR include absolute quantitation, high precision and sensitivity, high throughput, and removal of PCR efficiency bias. A second talk was delivered by Andre Marziali, PhD, President & CEO, Boreal Genomics; and Professor, University of British Columbia. Dr. Marziali and the R&D team at Boreal hold 19 issued patents on methods for high-accuracy next-generation sequencing library preparation technologies to reduce the cost of liquid biopsy assays. Dr. Marziali highlighted Boreal’s OnTarget Circulating Tumor DNA (ctDNA) Analysis technology. The customer can select pre-configured or custom panels of up to 100 mutations; submit plasma, FFPE and fresh-frozen tissue, or DNA samples; and receive a report with mutations quantified at ≥0.01% abundance. The OnTarget™ services are for research-use only, not for diagnostic use. The next presentation was delivered by Atul Sharan, President & CEO of CellMax Life. Sharan is a trained engineer who was previously President & CEO at AutoESL, and Founder, President, & CEO at Clear Shape Technologies. Sharan founded CellMax Life after his wife had been cleared of breast cancer in a mammogram and then, just weeks later, was diagnosed with breast cancer via additional testing.
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