Utah-led Precision Medicine Project Highlighted at White House

(Washington D.C.) - On the eve of a visit by Vice President Joe Biden to the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah to discuss the national "moonshot" initiative with cancer experts, University of Utah experts headed to the White House to help shape the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Today at the Precision Medicine Initiative summit, the White House highlighted a University of Utah-led initiative to help people with rare and untreatable diseases.

Spearheaded by a U computer scientist whose son has a rare disease, the Patient Empowered Precision Medicine Alliance (PEPMA) joins researchers from the University of Utah College of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, School of Computing and University of Utah spin-out biotech company Recursion Pharmaceuticals with researchers from Boston's Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Pairnomix LLC. The project will lay the groundwork for a pipeline that rapidly matches patients with the right drugs for their condition, at a relatively low cost.

Launched in January 2015, the White House Precision Medicine Initiative is ushering in a new area of medicine that promises to deliver the right treatment to the right person at the right time. The need is particularly pressing for patients struggling with intractable diseases that have no treatment or cure.

"The power of precision medicine is not simply to apply topline technologies to previously unsolvable medical problems, but to create the most cost-effective solutions for our patient populations who disproportionately need health care resources," says Dean Li, M.D., Ph.D., associate dean for research at University of Utah Health Sciences, and co-founder and chief scientific officer for Recursion.

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The right treatment to the right patient at the right time

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