Science and Law
28th April 2016

Understanding Genomic Science Will be Necessary to Prevail in Toxic Tort and Pharmaceutical Litigation

A quiet revolution is happening and genomic science is leading the charge. In-house counsel, trial attorneys, scientists, economists and law professors have recently recognized the broad applications of genomics in a wide variety of legal challenges. These thought leaders now accept that the state-of-the-science is mature enough to be a critical factor in developing a sound strategy for winning.

Understanding Genomic Science Will be Necessary to   Prevail in Toxic Tort and Pharmaceutical Litigation

Silicone wristbands are being sold as personal exposure monitors to measure the so-called exposome – i.e., every chemical a person is exposed to over the course of a lifetime. Advances in genomic science are transforming our understanding of lung cancer, differentiating lung cancers in asbestos-exposed patients from lung cancer in asbestos unexposed patients. Genomic information is heavily influencing the types of warnings being made for pharmaceutical products.

A quiet revolution is happening and genomic science is leading the charge. In-house counsel, trial attorneys, scientists, economists and law professors have recently recognized the broad applications of genomics in a wide variety of legal challenges. These thought leaders now accept that the state-of-the-science is mature enough to be a critical factor in developing a sound strategy for winning.

In an effort to understand these compelling and emerging factors, ISS partnered with Gnarus Advisors and the LSP Group to sponsor an inter-disciplinary conference hosted by the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at Arizona State University in April 2016. The conference was titled:

How Emerging Science Intersects with Business, Law and Regulation To Create Risks and Opportunities

At this unique event, we enlisted engaging speakers from a variety of disciplines, including:

  • Len Van Zyl, Ph.D.: Chief Scientific Officer at ArrayXPress. Dr. Van Zyl spoke about his work consulting for legal counsel on cases involving benzene, asbestos, radiation and other exposures. The goal of his work is to sequence tumors and other tissues so that relevant scientific knowledge can be developed that will play a significant role in understanding causation. Advances are being made at a dramatic rate and the evidence is relevant and reliable.

 

  • Gary Marchant, JD, Ph.D.: A visionary leader in the intersection of science and the law. Dr. Marchant applies a multi-disciplinary approach to handling the complex legal challenges of today. As a scientist and professor of law professor at Arizona State University, Dr. Marchant has been studying the impact of genetic information on regulation, litigation and the practice of medicine for over a decade. Dr. Marchant spoke on his views as to how genomics will affect future issues and strategic alternatives in a rapidly changing world.

 

  • Kirk Hartley, JD: The prime mover behind the conference, Mr. Hartley spoke about the state of the art in applying genomics in complex tort litigation and insurance issues. He emphasized that the time is now for industry, legal community and scientists to pay careful attention to the existing and emerging information and recognize the impact genomics can have on day-to-day decisions that have substantial impact on outcomes.

 

  • David H. Schwartz, Ph.D.: I spoke about my experience as a “scientific detective,” interpreting and communicating the relevance of scientific information to executives, risk managers and lawyers. The evidence is clear that the science has evolved exponentially and with each new discovery new opportunities emerge. Monitoring and understanding the new data and scientific publications is critical to harnessing these opportunities for handling large scale disputes and taking full advantage of exciting business opportunities. The science is modified and matures on a week by week basis and as a result, an organized system for monitoring and disseminating this information is vital to a sound business or legal strategy.

 

  • Fred Kipperman: Mr. Kipperman heads up global development for Praedicat, a science-based analytics company spun out of RAND and Risk Management Solutions. He oversees strategic partnerships and client service, including knowledge transfer. Praedicat’s findings and tools offer profound, actionable insights in science and law for persons managing opportunities and risks.

ISS was delighted to participate in such an innovative and cutting edge conference. We are actively engaged in thinking of venues to hold the conference next year and are eager to come up with topics that are equally engaging and inspiring.

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