San Francisco, CA — Ed Lang, Director of Product Public Relations, gave Digital Pharma West a peek into some of the digital experimentation happening at Genentech.
Genentech has a culture of innovation. Each of their scientists has 25% of their time to work on anything except the projects they’re assigned to. And they have a vision to make marketing equally innovative with a promise of fostering deep collaboration between a patient and the people who make his or her medicine.
Here are a couple of examples of how they’re supporting education and earning participation:
At TED: A musical symphony called Infinite Variations.
1200 people (out of the 1500 who attended) lined up to have their cheeks swabbed. The next day, they came back to the booth to get their own custom 30-second piece of music based on their genome. Each piece of music was piped into a genetic symphony throughout the conference.
It turned out that the longest part of getting someone’s mouth swab turned into a piece of music was FedEx – waiting for those swabs to get back to Genetech and get turned into music.
Online: A game designed to teach kids about genetics.
This game was called Killer Muenster. It charged players with solving a mutant cheese epidemic that was taking over San Francisco.
The app made the top 10 list of best apps for kids and the top 25 new and newsworthy apps on the app store.
In the community: Taking of the stigma of lung cancer >
There’s a stigma to having lung cancer. One that impedes care.
Genentech wanted to prove it. So, they partnered with a group out of Harvard called Project Implicit that measures feelings outside of your conscious thinking.
The Lung Cancer Project was the first study of its kind to uncover hidden cancer perceptions.
The results were consistent across general public, caregivers, patients, even healthcare providers.
Genentech presented their findings at leading professional meetings, including ASCO, to try to change that bias.
You can take the test yourself:
At home: Open clinical trial
The Lung Cancer project inspired another one with 23andMe. Genentech had a lung cancer drug that they knew worked better in some people than others – they just didn’t know the details of how. So they asked people to send it their saliva from home. Spit into a cup to let Genentech and 23andMe analyze the data.
It took just four months to finalize the protocol and one month to open the study. They’re looking at the data now.
The goal of all of this is the deep collaboration vision. These small experiments are really showing the way.
Posted by: Leigh Householder