Last week featured the biggest circus in biotech: the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference (JPM 2015), during which some 5,000 people descend on San Francisco to attend the meeting, while thousands more flock to the Union Square area just to be nearby. Biotech and healthcare companies large and small present their business plans and stats, providing a useful gauge of where the field is heading just as the year kicks off.
In previous years, many of the companies we know best have showcased their technology offerings. This year, the big difference we noticed was that even the usual tech companies are moving into the clinic. It was hard to spot a life science company that wasn’t announcing some assay or tool that can make a difference for diagnostic labs.
We find the trend particularly exciting as our commercial launch nears for the new QIAGEN Clinical Decision Support platform, powered by Ingenuity. With these companies making it easier and easier for clinical labs to generate Genomic-based information, it will be even more important to streamline and automate the analysis workflows. Our new platform was built to accelerate variant interpretation and to generate useful reports for clinically relevant variants, so we think it will pair nicely with current clinical lab protocols and with many of the new tools announced at JP Morgan.
Of course, there’s still plenty of interest in the research market, where QIAGEN’s Ingenuity web applications have been used for years to analyze variants, pathways, and more in biological data. (We’re incredibly proud that our users have now cited these tools in more than 12,000 publications.) The DNA sequencing and gene expression stalwarts reported strong numbers, indicating that these tools are still going strong with the genomics community. If our customers’ track record of impressive results is any guide, we can expect to see even more scientific breakthroughs and stellar papers in the year to come.