Who We Are

The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

Precision Medicine

Commentary: Celgene CEO Mark Alles on ‘Getting Patients Access to Precision Medicines Is Crucial’

Mark Alles

Summit, NJ, August 7, 2017The following commentary by Celgene Corporation Chief Executive Officer Mark Alles was published on August 3 on CNBC:

A decade ago, receiving a medicine designed for your specific genetic makeup or modifying your own immune cells to fight cancer may have seemed like something out of a science fiction novel. But today, “precision” medicines — tailored therapeutics based on a patient’s distinct genetic characteristics — are turning fiction into fact for many patients.

Since every person is unique, not only do precision medicines have the potential to bring highly effective therapies and high-value care to patients, they can also lower the overall cost of treating many of the most serious diseases. Continue reading

Meet Rutgers’ RADICAL Supercomputing Guru; Shantenu Jha Says Computing Is Making The ‘Impossible Possible’ and ‘The Barely Possible Routine’


Dr. Shantenu Jha

New Brunswick, NJ, September 23, 2016 Shantenu Jha, Ph.D. is a RADICAL man.  The Rutgers professor wants to enhance personalized medicine, global health, science and engineering through high-performance computing.

Dr. Jha and his RADICAL (Rutgers Advanced Distributed Cyberinfrastructure and Applications Laboratory) team operate at the crossroads of computing and science, and their work has benefited research in the molecular sciences, polar sciences and high-energy physics.

Dr. Jha’s expertise earned him a summer invitation to The White House, where he attended a workshop organized by its Office of Science and Technology Policy. Continue reading

President Obama Writes on Precision Medicine as ‘Medicine’s Next Step’

Obama smiling flagBoston, MA, July 8, 2016 — President Barack Obama wrote the following opinion piece in The Boston Globe on July 7:

Health care is always personal. As science and technology have advanced, it’s become possible to make it personalized as well, giving us the tools to better understand, prevent, and treat everyone’s individual health needs.

We wouldn’t buy a pair of glasses that doesn’t match our eyesight, and though plenty of people break their arms, everyone gets fitted for their own cast.  Our health care should be customized for us. Continue reading

NIH Awards $55 Million to Build Million-Person ‘Precision Medicine’ Study; Launch Expected In 2017

Precision Medicine 4Bethesda, MD, July 8, 2016 — The National Institutes of Health today announced $55 million in awards in fiscal year 2016 to build the foundational partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the Cohort Program of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI).

The PMI Cohort Program is a landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million or more U.S. participants to improve our ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetics.

The awards will support a Data and Research Support Center, Participant Technologies Center and a network of Healthcare Provider Organizations (HPO). An award to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, to build the biobank, another essential component, was announced earlier this year. All awards are for five years, pending progress reviews and availability of funds. Continue reading

FDA Chief Aims to Recruit 100 Million Americans for Precision Medicine Research

Precision Medicine 4Washington, DC, June 8, 2016 ― Meghana Keshavan reports on STAT News that Uncle Sam wants you to turn over your health records.  And Dr. Robert Califf, the cardiologist who now runs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is determined to make that happen.

The Obama administration has set a goal of recruiting 1 million volunteers to hand over their genetic and health data, as part of the $215 million Precision Medicine Initiative.

Dr. Califf thinks that’s far too modest an ambition. “Let’s think in terms of 10, 20, or 100 million,” he said in an interview with STAT here at a global biotech convention.

And that’s not his only goal: Califf is also calling on life sciences companies to share information about the genetic data they collect and analyze in the quest to develop new treatments. Continue reading

STAT: Precision Medicine Helped Eric Dishman Beat Cancer. Now He’s Leading Obama’s Initiative

Photography by Portland Oregon Photographer Craig MItchelldyer www.craigmitchelldyer.com 503.513.0550

Eric Dishman

Washington, DC, April 13, 2016 ― Sheila Kaplan reports on STAT that Eric Dishman is a guy who doesn’t mind pulling up his shirt, loosening his pants, and giving himself an ultrasound in front of hundreds of people.

Dishman did it for a 2013 TED talk to demonstrate the usefulness of modern health technology — by showing that his new kidney was doing okay.  It isn’t what you’d expect from a guy who’s about to take on a big role for the Obama administration.

But for Dishman, the INTEL health advocate named Monday to lead a key part of the president’s Precision Medicine Initiative, it’s all part of his mission: using his first-hand experience with doctors and hospitals to convince people that the future of medicine can be very different from what it has been. Continue reading

The Hill and PhRMA Host Policy Discussion on Personalized Medicine

Precision Medicine 8Washington, DC, October 25, 2015 The Hill reports that in an era of personalization—where music apps filter songs based on listener preferences and online ads populated based on user search history — healthcare is the next frontier.

Scientific advances are transforming healthcare and ushering in a new era of personalized – or precision — medicine.  This approach makes it possible to account for each patient’s genetics, health history and lifestyle as researchers develop and doctors prescribe individualized treatments.

Such data-driven medicine has far-reaching policy implications, from regulations to delivery systems. Continue reading

Study: Personalized Medicine Is Gaining Traction, But Faces Multiple Challenges

Boston, MA, May 21, 2015 ― While development of personalized medicines has grown since the human genome was first sequenced in 2001, biopharmaceutical sponsors face a number of hurdles that are impeding more rapid market uptake, according to a recently completed study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

Fourteen years after the human genome was initially sequenced, paving the way for development of personalized medicine, 13 percent of drugs marketed in the United States today post pharmacogenomic information on the label, Tufts CSDD reported.

However, developers continue to encounter challenges relating to basic science, regulatory and reimbursement policies, and, equally critical, clinical adoption, Tufts CSDD added. Continue reading

U.S. Introduces New DNA Standard for Ensuring Accuracy of Genetic Tests

Washington, DC, May 15, 2015 ― Robert Pear reports in The New York Times that the federal government has opened the door to a new era of genetic medicine by introducing a standard way to ensure the accuracy of DNA tests used to tailor treatments for individual patients.

Scientists have identified hundreds of genetic mutations that appear to increase the risk of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and cystic fibrosis. But laboratories often report different results when they analyze genes obtained from samples of the same blood or tissue, because of variations in their testing equipment and methods. Continue reading

NIH Forms Team to Chart Course for President’s ‘Precision Medicine’ Initiative

Washington, DC, April 1, 2015 ― The National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Monday announced the creation of a team of experts in precision medicine and large clinical research studies will seek public input from the large and diverse stakeholder community interested in the development of the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative and articulate the vision for building the national participant group for the Initiative.

They will help define what can be learned from a study of this scale and scope, what issues will need to be addressed and considered as part of the study design, and what success would look like five and 10 years out.  Continue reading