Best Breakthroughs: Top Medical Innovations for 2016

December 21, 2015

Pharmaceutical Executive

Volume 35, Issue 12

Cleveland Clinic’s Top Medical Innovations for 2016.

The Cleveland Clinic’s 2016 Medical Innovation Summit caps its yearly
event with a Late Show-style Top 10 list bolstering “Amazing Science.”
Organizers drew on 75 Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists to select the top drugs, medical devices, and public health initiatives they feel are poised to deliver huge potential impact in the coming year. Here are some of the highlights. 

 

VACCINES TO PREVENT PUBLIC HEALTH EPIDEMICS

TOP 10 RANKING: #1

The need: Ebola and meningococcal B have reminded us in recent years that the threat of global scale infectious disease outbreaks remains a grave concern. The World Health Organization declared a public health emer- gency of international concern as 10,000 people died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. And while Ebola travelers make headlines and travel advisories, meningococcal B has hit close to home with outbreaks in confined settings, including four on US college campuses from 2013 to 2015.

The fix: Researchers are springing into action, showing new levels of sophistication. The FDA has approved two vaccines against meningococcal B in recent years. In Ebola, clinical trials have been fast-tracked. A vaccine that may prove effective emerged in 12 months, and is expected to be available in 2016.

 

GENOMIC-DIRECTED CLINICAL TRIALS

TOP 10 RANKING: #2  

The need: The randomized controlled trial, the gold standard of clinical research, has ruled the industry for 50-plus years. But patients often suffer long waits only to access trials that might not be suited to their specific variation of disease.

The fix: Genomic testing can help identify the molecular profile of a patient’s tumor or illness to better match them to clinical trials, while also increasing their chance of benefiting. Patients with rare and/or late-stage disease can be steered more efficiently towards a potentially life-saving therapy. 

 

CANCER SCREENING VIA PROTEIN BIOMARKER ANALYSIS

TOP 10 RANKING: #6

The need: Poor sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value limit the diagnostic value of some tests, like those for prostate cancer that measure changes in the concentration of a single protein in a biologic fluid.

The fix: A new platform that detects changes in the structure of certain blood proteins can diagnose many types of cancer with high accuracy. In contrast to genetic testing that indicates a patient’s risk of developing cancer, the new test gives real-time information on the presence of cancer. 

 

FRICTIONLESS REMOTE MONITORING

TOP 10 RANKING: #9

The need: Monitoring a biomarker like glucose for diabetics involves a lot of needles and pokes. Lessening such burdensome activities could go a long way in helping patients who are already suffering, as well as provide valuable data to the study of their diseases.

The fix: New methods like skin patches that measure biomarkers in sweat are one way researchers hope to reduce this burden and gain valuable insights at a distance. Such patches could be used to diagnose pregnancy, hypertension, or hydration with minimal friction or effort from the patient. 

 

Casey McDonald is Pharm Exec's Senior Editor. He can be reached at cmcdonald@advanstar.com