Anna Barker, Co-Director, Complex Adaptive Systems Center, ASUBio and Contact Info
Listen (7:54) Have we been overly reductionist in the study of disease?
Listen (6:32) Applying new knowledge about complex adaptive systems to biomarker development
Listen (7:09) The National Biomarker Development Alliance
Listen (3:05) What do you think of the 'Snyderome' model?
Listen (5:44) Confident that FDA will regulate LDTs
One of the new geographic hotspots for the world of diagnostics is Southern Arizona. And one of the leading lights there is Anna Barker, who has been bringing folks together to think about biomarkers for a long time. As the former deputy director of the NCI, she assembled many different groups including the Nanotechnology Alliance for Cancer and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGC). She's now at Arizona State University where she has established the Complex Adaptive Center to bring about a new paradigm in looking at the biology of disease.
Beginning with some philosophy of biology, Anna takes us into her latest thinking on complex systems.
"We have start thinking of a disease like cancer as a system," she says. "As you perturb one part of it, you perturb all of it."
Anna is someone who likes to go back to the basics not only in the study of biology, but also in the business side of diagnostics. In today's interview, Anna introduces the National Biomarker Development Alliance (NBDA) with the purpose of bringing a higher level of standardization to every phase of biomarker development. She argues that there are several decision points, whether it's to validate an assay, or take it into commercial development. Right now, she says, the diagnostics community does not agree on the current standards for these decision points, or modules, and this is a problem. The aim of the Alliance is to bring the community together to agree on higher standards. The NBDA has just launched their website and is publishing their standards in an effort to better educate those developing diagnostics.
"We believe this approach will really enable us to develop biomarkers more predictably all the way through regulatory approval."
And what are Anna's thoughts on regulation? She says outright that the FDA is going to regulate LDTs.
Ms. Barker's vast experience and deep commitment to better science and better industry standards shine a light for anyone involved in translating biomarkers to the clinic.
Podcast brought to you by: Myraqa Clinical Research: The CRO for Point of Care and PMA Diagnostics.
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