Bill Bonello and Clynt Taylor Examine the Future of Precision Medicine and How to Provide Better Access to More Patients

05/12/21

Bill Bonello, president of NeoGenomics Informatics, and Clynt Taylor, president of Trapelo Health, discuss challenges in precision medicine and how evidence-based technologies can help deliver more appropriate, value-based care to more patients.
 

As a subtext to the discussion is the recent acquisition of Trapelo Health, creator of clinical decision-making platform Trapelo, by NeoGenomics Informatics, provider of bioinformatics services. This acquisition is aimed at improving access to precision medicine testing and treatment.

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When asked about the challenges of implementing precision medicine in a clinical setting, Bonello cites a lack of testing for biomarkers that are currently indicated in guidelines or the latest literature. He gives the example of non-small cell lung cancer in which many patients are candidates for immune checkpoint inhibitors. Bonello says, “However, an immunotherapy isn't always the most appropriate course for a patient. We know that up to 35% of patients with non-small cell lung cancer have actionable genetic mutations and up to 55% of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer have clinically relevant mutations. Nevertheless, less than 25% of non-small cell lung cancer patients receive testing for all four of the most common biomarkers, which are EGFR, ALK, RS1 and BRAF, and just 7% of patients receive testing for all seven genes that are included in clinical guidelines.”

 

Why aren’t patients receiving appropriate testing? Bonello explains that 80% of treatment occurs in the community and most community oncologists are seeing a very broad range of cancers, making it next to impossible to keep up with the most current science and even the guidelines. “It's just a tremendous amount of information for those physicians to have to keep up with,” he says.

 

Taylor agrees with these challenges and notes that Trapelo solves them by curating all the most current published clinical information that supports the appropriate use of testing and treatments and delivers decision support to physicians at the point of care.

 

Bonello adds that the acquisition of Trapelo Health by NeoGenomics will accelerate access for patients. He says, “We are trying to make clinical decision support for both diagnostic test selection as well as therapies broadly available to oncologists and pathologists across the country, again, with a particular focus on those physicians practicing in the community. Our first step is going to be to incorporate the Trapelo solution into our own online ordering solutions, so that physicians who order directly from NeoGenomics will have the benefit of that guidance.”

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So, what do Bonello and Taylor think the future of precision medicine looks like as tools like Trapelo become more widely available? Taylor envisions a future in which doctors in communities all over the country can start with Trapelo to find out if testing is required, where it should be performed, how the results should inform treatment according to the latest evidence, and what trials may be available to patients.

 

Bonello underscores the need to make the solution ubiquitous by incorporating it into the provider workflow. He says they would like to work on a suite of solutions that will make it as easy as possible for a provider to access the Trapelo solution as part of their ordering process; make it as easy as possible for a payer to participate in the process; and make it as easy as possible for a laboratory to participate, in terms of the way that it receives orders from Trapelo and the way that it's able to deliver results back to Trapelo.

 

This conversation highlights the possibilities of precision medicine and the need for broad-scale patient access. We hope you'll tune in to the full episode above.

Download transcripts of episodes here (pdf).

 

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About Our Guest
William Bonello

President, Informatic Division of NeoGenomics 
 

Mr. Bonello serves as Chief Strategy and Corporate Development Officer at NeoGenomics where he helped formulate the company’s growth strategy. Bill also recently served as Director of Investor Relations. Prior to joining NeoGenomics, Bill worked as a healthcare equity analyst covering diagnostic services and product stocks at Craig-Hallum and at a variety of firms and was also Senior Vice President for Investor Relations at LabCorp. Mr. Bonello received his B.A. degree from Carleton College and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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