Laura Hercher, Genetic Counselor, Sarah Lawrence College
Nathan Pearson, Genomicist
0:00 Stem cell therapy for rare skin disease
7:01 Sea change for DTC testing
20:03 Bacteria’s role in cancer
It didn’t take long to come up with our lead story for November’s month in review show. Looking at the pictures of the boy in Germany playing soccer after successful treatment of his rare skin disease is just the kind of images we had in mind when we first heard of stem cell therapies.
The bulk of our discussion moves on to the incredible bullish drive of direct to consumer testing this year, sparked by a decrease in sequencing costs and a favorable political climate. However, this month FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, showed his cards on the topic of DTC testing as well as LDTs in general, surprising many of us.
Laura says the FDA announcement reflects a “sea change” in that the FDA plans to regulate not “test by test, but the testers.”
Nathan cautions that this policy will encourage companies who already have their FDA clearance based on some sound diagnostic tests to then “down the line put out a test that is much more speculative, based on shakier science.” He says this will privilege the bigger companies who are already established in the space over small innovative companies.
It’s November’s genomic headlines with Nathan and Laura.