Year: 2018-19

Company: BioMarin

Liaison(s): Sanjay Chandriani, Nathan Martin, Jan Iles

BioMarin is a mid-sized biotech company that develops therapies for rare genetic diseases. The company was founded in 1997 and has an international presence, with a headquarters in San Rafael, California. BioMarin currently has seven approved products, with several other assets at various stages of clinical development.

Like many companies across biotech and pharma, BioMarin is actively maintaining an awareness of industry trends and emerging technologies. Amongst those current trends is digital health, which encompasses the emerging field of digital biomarkers.

This Team Master’s Project was centered on investigating the digital biomarker landscape within the context of drug development. Digital biomarkers are measures captured remotely and frequently from mobile sensor and device technologies (sensors, wearables, apps, smartphones) that are being explored as alternatives or complements to traditional measures of disease performed episodically in clinic (physician assessments, patient reported outcomes, traditional biomarkers, etc.). Potential benefits like a better understanding of the patient experience, improved clinical trial operations (cheaper, faster, decentralized, higher success rates, etc.), accurate internal decision making, and a greater knowledge of disease states are driving the interest in the space across biotech and pharma.

The students combined secondary research, attendance at two conferences, and interviews with KOLs to generate comprehensive deliverables tailored to BioMarin’s specific interests. The materials provided will play a key role in BioMarin’s assessment of the digital health space and potential future strategy of incorporating and leveraging these mobile sensor and device technologies into their drug development process.