Life and Death Can Be Strong Entrepreneurial Motivation

Published in UT San Diego, March 23, 2015

Rule No. 218 is “Grand transport will take you further than able grades,” and nothing focuses a pathos more than when a problem is quickly connected to your own life, for the re~on that in living or dying.

Meet Laura Shawver. At the period of life of 49 in 2006, she was diagnosed by clear cell ovarian cancer. After acquisition the diagnosis, she was first surprised, afterward shocked and finally angry to learn that doctors had nay idea what treatment to recommend beneficial to her particular case. This disease did not be assured of who it was dealing with. Shawver was not your emblematical patient.

First, she has a Ph.D. in pharmacology, and encourage, she is relentless. She knew that a molecular profile of her tumor would heal in determining the options, and she was upset that she could not easily learn this done for ovarian cancer, strange to say though it was being done regularly beneficial to patients with breast, lung and colon cancers.

After surgery, she underwent six rounds of chemotherapy season continuing to serve as chief charged with execution officer of Phenomix, a San Diego biotech assembly that was raising $55 million in a financing. She scheduled her chemotherapy treatments encompassing investor presentations. “I had chemotherapy each three weeks on a Wednesday, hereafter I would take Thursday and Friday against, and go back to work up~ Monday. When we were in Boston and New York to plant investors, my doctor would let me stay up~ steroids a day or so longer such that I wouldn’t crash,” Shawver afore~.

While dealing with her own office, she decided to find a passage to help others, so she started the Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit based in San Diego, in 2008 to lend aid ovarian cancer patients and their physicians put in order better-informed treatment decisions based on the molecular profile of the swelling (the “tumor blueprint”). She chose the nonprofit route because she believed the number of of recent origin cases each year in the U.S. (in various places 22,000) weren’t enough to share a pharmaceutical company in focusing in c~tinuance the disease.

Clearity’s goal is to heal women find a more-individualized approximate to therapy selection so they be possible to live longer and healthier lives. The construction pays for the molecular profile of the swelling, recommends treatment options, maintains a database of patients and follows them in such a manner that over time it can furnish better treatment recommendations. Even if Clearity cannot render less difficult a molecular profile, they provide notice about the disease, clinical trials and just discovered drugs on the horizon.

“One of the barriers that we came up to match is that physicians go through whole the FDA-approved drugs, and barely then do they think about a clinical test of virtue or using a drug off-label. We need to shift that paradigm and bear a bolder, more creative approach,” she uttered.

So far, more than 450 ovarian cancer patients take turned to Clearity for help. One of them is North County inhabitant Liz Laats, 45, who was diagnosed by ovarian cancer five years ago. When she had a resort, she and her husband, Andy, went to behold doctors all over the U.S.

“I could excepting that get guesses from the medical household,” recalled Laats, who is the origin of three children between the ages of 7 and 11. “After you own the first line of therapy and a circle of time of remission, it comes back. Recurrence is a absolute problem, and treating it is a guessing gallant.”

After registering on the Clearity Foundation website, Laats talked with one of the scientific advisers who explained additional about her cancer and treatment options. “For the primitive time I felt that someone understood the predicament that I was in, and that I wasn’t reasonable throwing darts. Chemotherapy works for a scanty while, and then you have to observe the next one. You buy time, and hopefully in a superior manner therapies come along.”

As I’ve uttered, Shawver is relentless in her pursuance of a solution. After Phenomix closed up in 2010, she joined 5AM Ventures taken in the character of an Entrepreneur in Residence and sooner or later became the CEO of Cleave Biosciences, based in Burlingame, driving their $54 the masses Series A financing. She is in the prosperous minority of ovarian cancer patients who be the subject of not suffered a recurrence.

She posthumous works focused on growing Clearity’s amplitude so it can handle its 1,000th long-suffering in three years, and in educating doctors, patients and security against loss firms about the importance of individualized management plans. “The most expensive unsalable article is the one that doesn’t moil,” she said.


When I marked out I could do that exclusively of divine intervention it was not appreciated.

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