GGC Participating in Personalized Medicine Awareness Day Event


What has been called a revolution of health care from “trial-and-error, one-size-fits-all” medicine to the use of gene-based therapies that target specific
characteristics in an individual or disease is the topic of Personalized Medicine Awareness Day for health care professionals on Tuesday, November
13 from 5-8 p.m. at the Hyatt Hotel in Greenville. World renown molecular biologist Leroy Hood, MD, PhD, who helped develop the automated gene sequencer
and is now a leading advocate for personalized medicine will give a short presentation, followed by discussion of a panel of experts. Hood has called
the increasing use of gene-based therapies a “revolution” that will bring down the cost of health care in 10 years and overhaul the current business
models of health care.

“Personalized Medicine Awareness Day events are being hosted across the country because the field is advancing so fast, many health care professionals
do not know all the developing uses of gene-based information,” said Wayne Roper, president of the South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization
(SCBIO), a sponsor of the event. Personalized Medicine Awareness Day is part of SCBIO’s “What Next?” annual conference in November. The event will
bring together health professionals and researchers to discuss the significantly emerging development of clinical genomics and “precision medicine.”
Along with SCBIO, Personalized Medicine Day is sponsored by Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Gibbs Cancer Center, Greenwood Genetic Center, Iverson
Genetics, Lilly USA, and Pfizer.

“Gibbs Cancer Center is committed to embracing this rapidly advancing aspect of medicine,” said James Bearden, MD, vice president of research for Spartanburg
Regional Healthcare System and managing physician of Gibbs Cancer Center. “Already, new genomic tests continued to be created at a rapid pace as scientists
learn more about the genomic and molecular structures of disease and therapeutic responses. Personalized medicine will enable us to provide better
diagnoses, safer prescription practices and more effective clinical care.”

The Greenwood Genetic Center has been making progress for over 38 years in increasing the knowledge of the role of genetics and environment in causing
birth defects and intellectual disabilities. “We have also been providing educational opportunities such as the mobile science laboratory and school
programs to raise the awareness of the advances in medical genetics,” said Steve Skinner, MD, senior clinical geneticist and director. Gene-based
Prescriptions “Genetic-based prescriptions are reducing adverse reactions, improving outcomes and often lowering costs from the current ‘trial-and-error’
approaches,” said Dean Sproles, CEO of Iverson Genetics.

The Personalized Medicine Coalition, a worldwide education and advocacy organization, released
these facts:

  • 34 percent of radiation chemotherapy would not be necessary if women with breast cancer receive a genetic test prior to treatment
  • 17,000 strokes could be prevented each year with a genetic test to correctly dose the blood thinner warfarin
  • 10 percent of marketed drugs inform or recommend genetic testing for optimal treatment
  • 33 pharmacogenomic biomarkers are included on FDA-approved drug labels
  • 72 gene based therapies are now approved, compared to 13 in 2006

The Greenville Hospital System and its Institute for Translational Oncology (ITOR) has been focusing on advancing patient care through personalized medicine and translational research that can lead to groundbreaking treatments. “That focus is clearly evidenced by our commitment and desire to bring molecular medicine to the clinic through innovative initiatives such as the Lab21 Clinical Genomics Center at ITOR-GHS,” said Sam Konduros, ITOR business development director.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Day will include a reception with light hors d’oeuvres, a presentation by Dr. Hood and a panel discussion featuring experts from the Medical University of South Carolina, Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute, Iverson Genetics, the Greenwood Genetic Center and the Institute of for Transitional Oncology Research of the Greenville Hospital System on how clinical genomics is changing the standards of care. The Greenwood Genetic Center’s Gene Machine, a 41-foot custom bus equipped as a state-of-the-art genetics laboratory will also be available for tours and demonstrations.

Registration for Personalized Medicine Day is available at The cost is $12 for non-SCBIO members and $8 for members. Registration is also available for SCBIO’s “What Next?” conference, an event that will bring leaders in biotech and healthcare to the state to drive discussions on growing South Carolina’s life sciences economy.

The South Carolina Biotechnology Industry Organization (SCBIO) is a statewide member-driven organization that advances life science business and innovation through collaboration, advocacy, workforce development and support. South Carolina life sciences businesses and industries grew 45 percent more jobs and added another 23 percent more businesses for nearly 15,000 total employment between 2001 and 2010, according to a 2012 Battelle Institute and Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) report. The average annual South Carolina wage in life sciences is $55,233. One sector, Medical Devices and Equipment, employs 4,226 across 76 companies.SCBIO represents a broad array of bio businesses that are innovating: pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical devices, medical equipment, agricultural bio and biofuels. SCBIO has offices in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston. For more information, visit

Meet Reggie Roper

Meet Reggie Roper

Reggie has been part of the GGC family for over 18 years. He has short stature, webbing of his hands, pulmonary stenosis, seizures and hydrocephalus along with developmental delay. He carried an initial diagnosis of cardiofaciocutaneous (CFC) syndrome; however, as genetic testing advanced, GGC made the diagnosis of Noon...

In The News