It’s been my privilege to be part of the Crescendo Bioscience team since 2008 when I joined as the company’s first physician/rheumatologist and the third employee. Over the years, I’ve had a number of roles, and I currently serve as Vice President, Medical Affairs. Part of my everyday work involves answering questions from healthcare providers and patients about their results, whether it’s why a score isn’t correlating with how a patient feels or the impact of a new medication. This consultative service is an important part of what we offer to the community beyond just providing Vectra test results
Additionally, I work with our employees to ensure they are up-to-speed on the latest research, work with the medical team on publications and attend important medical meetings. This past fall I attended an annual meeting of health care providers who treat patients with rheumatic disease.
It was an incredibly exciting meeting for Crescendo Bioscience this year because it’s where we first unveiled our adjusted Vectra test report. We sponsored an Innovation Theater Meeting, where rheumatology thought leaders spoke about the science behind how age, gender, and adiposity, or obesity, can impact the Vectra disease activity score.
Obesity itself is an inflammatory disorder, which can impact CRP and ESR test results rates. For rheumatologists relying on those tests to assess RA disease activity, it is difficult to separate out whether elevated levels are due to a patient’s RA or their obesity or both. As part of the Innovation Theater, Dr. Leonard Calabrese, of the Cleveland Clinic, presented the science behind the adjusted Vectra score, which assesses disease activity in a way that accounts for age, gender and adiposity as measured by leptin levels. Dr. Grace Wright, of New York University, then presented some of her own RA patient cases illustrating how the adjusted scores could impact overall disease activity assessment
Another exciting part of the meeting was having one of our posters on the science behind the adjusted score selected for inclusion in a poster tour conducted by Professor Jon Giles of Columbia University. Dr. Giles, who is an expert on adiposity and inflammation, led a group of 25 – 30 attendees on a tour of the posters he felt were of greatest interest. His stop at our poster included an interview with Jerry Lansbury, our Chief Scientific Officer, who was one of the authors of the study.
Dr. Kerri Ford, who blogged about EULAR earlier this year, was at the meeting to present a study on the effect of age and BMI on Vectra scores. Researched in collaboration with a patient data group that analyzes data from autoimmune patients across the country, this study further demonstrated the impact of obesity on lab tests.
We also presented a meta-analysis of the six existing studies on the ability of Vectra to predict x-ray outcomes, or radiographic progression, in patients, and a study on the use of Vectra to predict flare in children with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA).
In all, we had six presentations, in addition to being part of several presentations by pharmaceutical companies that used the Vectra test in their clinical research. All of these studies are important in further validating the utility of Vectra.
One of the hot topics at the conference was this year’s Great Debate, which focused on switching to biosimilars, with pro and con arguments presented by two leading rheumatologists. It is a very important question and relevant to many in the field as we work to get the best care to patients while managing rising costs.
Along with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual Congress, which will take place in June this year, the American annual meeting of rheumatologists is one of the most important meetings on rheumatic disease and incredibly interesting for those of us in the field. You can check out our press releases around the Vectra data presented at this link.