Integrated Tissue Phenomics® and Big Data for Biomarker Discovery and Test Development

Biomarkers, Clinical Trials, Laboratory Technology, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical,
  • Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Histological phenotypes generally play an essential role in diagnostics, but in particular in oncology there is a growing need for selecting the right patients for the right treatments based on information derived from tissue slides. Oncology is a rapidly evolving field with many new treatment methods being discovered. To finally cope with the complexity of cancer the treatments of cancer patients is becoming increasingly more complex through the availability of those methods and their combinations. As a consequence diagnostics and the decision, which of those treatments is best for a specific patient at what stage of his or her disease, is certainly not trivial and also requires the analysis of big data.

Tissue Phenomics represents a novel technique to discover relevant patterns in tissue slides that predict drug response or other clinical outcome. This method is based on digital pathology, image analysis and data mining, and is more and more evolving into a comprehensive big data approach. The benefit of Tissue Phenomics is most obvious for oncology and more specifically – with respect to companion diagnostics – for immunotherapy especially checkpoint inhibitors. Quantified morphological structures combined with the local co-existence of certain cell types carry biological meaning. For immunotherapy the characterization of the tumor with its defense mechanisms as well as that of the state and the configuration of the immune cells turns out to be most important. Profiling the individual tumor in a quantitative manner including a big data approach leads to a meaningful response prediction.


Dr. Ralf Huss, Chief Medical Officer, Definiens AG

Dr. Ralf Huss joined Definiens in 2013 and has more than 20 years of training and experience in histopathology and cancer research.

Prior to joining Definiens, Dr. Huss served as Global Head of Histopathology and Tissue Biomarkers at Roche Diagnostics, where he was involved in identifying new tissue biomarkers to stratify cancer patients as part of a global Personalized Healthcare strategy. Dr. Huss also co-founded the biotech company APCETH. He has training and experience in immunology, transplantation biology and stem cell research, has published more than 100 papers, and has worked with the Nobel Laureates Rolf Zinkernagel and E. Donnell Thomas.

In his role as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Huss plays a key role in expanding Definiens’ image and data analysis into Tissue Diagnostics and Clinical Digital Pathology. Dr. Huss holds global academic appointments at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, USA. He is also a Professor of Systems Biology at the University College Dublin.

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Alan Jerusalmi, PhD, Global Head of Professional Services, Definiens Inc.

Alan Jerusalmi has been with Definiens since 2011 and has over 10 years image analysis experience developing sophisticated algorithms for digital pathology. Alan currently is the global head of professional services for Definiens, where he is actively involved in managing and overseeing numerous partnerships with pharma, biotech’s and medical cancer centers. While at Definiens Alan has implemented processes for the successful delivery of multiple projects in immuno-oncology as well as Neuroimmunology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and toxicology among others.

Alan has over 4 years of experience in the Pharmaceutical industry as a Research Scientist for Vertex and Roche in drug discovery and in-vivo pharmacology. He received his PhD from Trinity College Dublin in Virology and did a PostDoc at BIDMC, Harvard Medical School in Gene Therapy.

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Who Should Attend?

This webinar will be ideal for Medical, Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Diagnostics executives, VPs and Directors of therapeutic areas, and Chief Scientific, Medical and Executive Officers.

It will also be informative for lab and study directors, and medical directors.

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Definiens is the pioneering provider of Tissue Phenomics® solutions for biomarker and companion diagnostics development and commercialization. Definiens’ technology empowers smarter tissue-based diagnostics by leveraging quantitative tissue readouts and other big data sources. By enabling the development of powerful and precise assays for patient stratification and clinical trial enrollment, Definiens aims to dramatically improve patient outcomes. Definiens’ Tissue Phenomics approach was awarded the 2013 Frost and Sullivan Company of the Year Award for Global Tissue Diagnostics and Pathology Imaging. For more information, please visit:

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