This webinar was recorded live in London on Thursday, 7th March 2024.


  • Jessica Owens, Co-Founder, Initiate Studios & General Partner Initiate Ventures
  • Kamraan Shariff, Corporate Development Consultant, SKS Advisory
  • James Hadfield, Senior Director (Epigenomics) Oncology Translational Medicine, AstraZeneca
  • Dario Bressan, Co-Founder, Elyx Ltd.
  • Giles Sanders, Head of Diagnostics, TTP
  • Stephane Budel, Partner, DeciBio Consulting

Hot take 1: The future of genomics in precision medicine is Sanger and long-read sequencing.

Perhaps surprisingly, a large minority voted to agree with this Hot take, probably reflecting that Sanger sequencing remains the gold standard method and could be translated into rapid sample-to-answer systems for diagnostics. Disagreement turned on lack of investment going into Sanger sequencing, FFPE and cfDNA applications practically calling for short-read technologies, but also on support for the idea that making tissue diagnostics suitable for long-read sequencing and multi-omics is a worthy but considerable challenge for the industry.

Hot take 2: The non-oncology opportunities for “liquid biopsy” to drive precision medicine in liver disease, auto-immune, and cardiovascular diseases will surpass oncology in the next 5 years.

The main disagreement here was the timeframe, with 10 years seen to be more plausible due to the drag of regulation and reimbursement. Another take was: It doesn’t have to be “either/or” – liquid biopsy technology could evolve to take in both oncology and non-oncology health needs. This Hot take saw a sizable swing towards “Agree”, with some of the audience apparently persuaded both by the case for and opportunity presented by non-oncology applications.

Hot take 3: Multi-omics is generating too much data for its own good – less data is better

This Hot take succeeded in being controversial. Disagreement here focused on the fact that rather than generating “too much” data from a typically a small number of research samples, in future we will need data from more samples, from more diverse samples and integrate this with other data sources. Progress in AI, futureproofing of samples and data generated, and clever study design will unlock biomedical insight.

Hot take 4: Innovation in Precision Medicine suffers from siloed solutions and a ‘not invented here’ syndrome

The voting suggested that many share this frustration. Counterpoints during the discussion were that the industry has started to change, sobered by the realisation that innovation needs all the collaboration it can get, and that sharing can be possible without value dilution. In the U.K. the NHS is a huge opportunity to get this right, which doesn’t mean that we will…

Hot take 5: Single-cell and spatial omics will never make it into the routine clinic

This Hot take was a story of two halves, and maybe this was also reflected in a fairly stable and even split in the votes. While current technologies weren’t built for the clinic, innovation in instrumentation can happen remarkably quickly. Single cell technologies may actually be driven by clinical scenarios where there is a difference to patient outcomes. Spatial omics will have to be de-plex’ed for the clinic.

Hot take 6: The proteomics revolution is coming, but will be led by genomics labs as a multi-omics revolution

Much of the audience agreed with this Hot take, but the panellists had a few counterpoints. The base case is that genomics labs now want to layer proteomics data on the DNA the backbone and will be driving the innovation. On the other hand, the pace of mass spec innovation has been extremely impressive and, unlike NGS at least, mass spec allows instant results read-out with excellent sensitivity, which could be valuable in the clinic.

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