Computer Vision has already revolutionized other industries. The vision systems that Constellation builds on are much like the ones that proved effective in sending a driverless car coast-to-coast.
Partly because Constellation’s development relies on existing innovations, this potentially life-saving technology can be demonstrated to the market in less than one year.
Concerns over skin cancer have grown exponentially in recent years. Those with increased risk of skin cancer are spending billions annually on dermatologist visits and mole removal, and spending on sunscreen products and SPF clothing continues to climb. Despite the growing awareness and spending, skin cancer rates increase every year.
In 2011, revenues in the U.S. dermatology market climbed to approximately $10 billion.¹
IBISWorld cites high skin cancer rates as a driving force in the $1 billion U.S. sunscreen market.²
In terms of incidence rates, melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that 76,690 people in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2013.
According to the Pew Research Center, one in three American adults are “online diagnosers,” or have gone online to help determine if they have a medical condition.³ As technology has become more advanced, consumers want to take control over their health. Demand for at-home diagnostic tools has grown, and more and more smartphone apps are promising to alert consumers to possible signs of skin cancer. While these apps are growing in popularity, they are extremely limited in their effectiveness. Constellation is in an entirely different category, providing whole-body scanning, flagging subtle mole changes, and promising to change the future of early skin cancer detection resulting in easier treatment.
1. Source: Dermatologists in the US: Market Research Report.” IBISWorld, Dec 2011.
2. Source: Sunscreen Manufacturing in the US: Market Research Report.” IBISWorld, Nov 2012.
3. Source: Health Online 2013.” Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, January 15, 2013.
When detected early, skin cancer has a cure rate of 99%. But without early detection, survival rates for melanoma plummet. After metastasis, there is virtually no effective treatment for melanoma skin cancer.
Mole changes are the clearest indicators of possible skin cancer. These changes can be subtle and rather rapid, occurring between dermatologist visits. According to the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), the majority of melanomas are found by patients, not by physicians.
Constellation gives patients a powerful new way to perform monthly scans that monitor hundreds of moles, virtually everywhere on the body, and detect even subtle changes.
An affordable price point puts Constellation within reach of a sizeable consumer segment that will welcome a way to conduct quick, monthly scans in the privacy of their homes. Commercial segments also offer diversified revenue opportunities:
In addition, Constellation lends itself to mobile screening programs aimed at underserved, high-risk populations such as agricultural workers.
Constellation leverages existing technology in groundbreaking ways. Leading scientists from MIT and Harvard are among those lending their depth of expertise to this project.
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Mark Murcko has more than 25 years of biomedical experience; is a current or former member of more than 10 journal editorial boards, 9 Scientific Advisory Boards, and 2 Boards of Directors; and has academic appointments at MIT and Northeastern University.
Until November 2011 he was Chief Technology Officer and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Vertex Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he was responsible for the identification, validation, and incorporation of disruptive technologies across global R&D. Mark is a co-inventor of Incivek™ (telaprevir), the world’s most widely prescribed HCV protease inhibitor, as well as Agenerase™ (amprenavir) and Lexiva™ (fosamprenavir), Vertex’s two marketed drugs for HIV. He is also a co-inventor of 8 other clinical candidates in the areas of cancer, inflammation/immunology, and infectious disease and was responsible for starting many of Vertex’s programs in these and other disease areas. Prior to Vertex, Mark worked at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, where he helped discover clinical candidates against cardiovascular and ocular diseases, including inhibitors of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase for the treatment of glaucoma. One of Merck’s development candidates in this area, Trusopt™ (dorzolamide), became the first marketed drug in pharmaceutical history to result from a structure-based drug design program.
Mark is highly regarded as an innovator. He has served on the editorial boards of many scientific publications, including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Drug Discovery Today, and the Journal of Disruptive Science and Technology, was the co-organizer of the 2008 ACS National Medicinal Chemistry Symposium, and will serve as the Chair of the 2013 Gordon Research Conference in Medicinal Chemistry. He is a co-inventor on more than 40 issued patents and has co-authored more than 85 scientific articles, and has delivered more than 130 invited lectures. He received his Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Yale University.
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