a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Connecting Hearts, Bodies, and Networks to Cure Cancer

Amy Abernethy, Christina Lopes, and Jorge Conde

Posted January 26, 2019

Veterinary oncology can inform human oncology, and vice versa — providing a better model for looking at drug performance, interrelationships, and more. Especially when you add in data (there’s no “doggy HIPAA!”) and networks to get a “living laboratory at scale”.

Or so argues Amy Abernethy (Chief Medical and Chief Scientific Officer at Flatiron Health and advisor to One Health), who was recently named the new Principal Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, pending ethics clearance; and Christina Lopes, CEO and co-founder of One Health; in conversation with a16z bio general partner Jorge Conde. Dogs — as a species, as pets, as companions, as family members — evolved alongside humans, so are actually more similar to us… not just genetically and in terms of the biologic pathways that may cause cancer, but also in exposure to similar environmental factors as well.

But what does this all mean when it comes to thinking about real-world evidence in science, human clinical trials, and more broadly, building a bio company? How can product designers — of all kinds — backwards-architect their product roadmap for data network effects? And how can bio founders keep both a big-picture roadmap in mind while also focusing on specific milestones, and while working across unconnected disciplines as well? We cover all this and more in this special episode of the a16z Podcast, recorded during the recent J.P.M. healthcare conference in San Francisco.