Pharma companies have always had their chief medical officers (CMOs). Now, as the diagnostics industry grows, many kinds of life science companies are filling this important position as well. Sequencing tool makers, direct-to-consumer firms, bioinformatics companies—they’re all appointing CMOs.
Paul Billings was the first and only CMO at Life Technologies before they got bought out by Thermo Fisher. Now he’s filling that role at Omicia, the genome interpretation company where he manages clinical cases and the transmission of information to doctors and patients. He also handles regulatory issues and clinical trial selection. And, as eloquently demonstrated in today's show, he represents his company externally, a vital and delicate function in a rapidly changing, heavily regulated industry.
This position gives Paul a clear window into some of the most important topics and debates we’ve discussed on the program: patient consent, direct-to-consumer testing, the use of arrays vs. sequencing, and the regulation of laboratory developed tests (LDTs).