Closing the Gap Now (CTGN) was formed with the goal of taking an in-depth look at the methods, processes and technologies that help close the gap for critically ill patients to receive promising new medical treatments that serve to deliver these individuals with life-saving treatments. CTGN’s exact mission is to reduce this crucial timeline from 10 years to 10 days!

By utilizing an Open Access and Open Source approach, CTGN’s approach will be instrumental in saving and improving the lives of those who urgently need advanced medical care and vital treatments.  This approach will also help make biomedical research more patient-driven, precise, efficient, and cost effective. Through studying and learning about real-world experiences of patients with life-threatening illnesses, we can gain more information from one person than we can from dozens of prolonged clinical trials.

CTGN’s Open Access/Open Source methodology offers patients open access to medicines that have demonstrated early treatment benefits through studies, thus providing these individuals with Open Source Access and the ability to share their data and real-time experiences via Big Data Analysis, systems biology, and crowdsourcing technologies.

February’s Closing the Gap Now Conference is designed to unite organizations, professionals and other individuals who are leading the movement to help deliver new and exciting treatment breakthroughs with the time-sensitive speed required to combat fatal disease processes.  In doing so, patients are matched to promising medical treatments in real time. CTGN considers this to be the best and most effective quality treatment approach as opposed to costly, unrepresented and lengthy clinical trials.

For a brief review of the February 18, 2015 CTGN Conference Schedule, please see the following:

When February 18, 2015
WHO SHOULD ATTEND? Researchers, physicians, caregivers, healthcare providers, and anyone concerned with fostering faster access to innovative treatments for cancer and other deadly illnesses.
WHERE? Fall Creek Room
The Cornell Club of New York
6 East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017
February 18, 2015, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
10 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Introduction and Welcome: The Case for Closing the Gap Now

  • John Morrissey, Chairman, The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
The Case For Open Access: Safer, Better Medicines That Save Lives In Less Time

Today when a patient is prescribed a so-called new cancer treatment, it is often times a test product that left the laboratory up to 10 years prior. That delay, coupled with the years and expense of laboratory testing results in driving up the costs of new therapies, while at the same time denying and delaying crucial and life-saving patient treatments. This session will focus on two case studies, the first of which briefly takes participants through the decade-long approval process for Abraxane used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, and the TeloVac Trial of a vaccine administration for the same disease. The Open Access/Open Source approach will then be compared to the aforementioned processes, highlighting the crucial advantages of better medicines delivered in less time.

11:00 a.m. -11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

Working Together To Close the Gap

  • Moderator: Robert Goldberg, PhD Co-founder & Vice President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
  • Andrea Califano, MD Columbia University Department of Systems Biology
  • John Holland, Senior Vice President for Research & Business Development at AMC Health
  • Nicholas Schork, PhD, Director Human Biology, J.Craig Venter Institute

The number of advocacy groups, scientists, companies and patients accelerating access to new therapies has been increasing exponentially in recent years. Closing the Gap Now is actively establishing a virtual Steering Committee to help shape and implement its programs. The CTGN Steering Committee’s primary charge will be to promote awareness of therapeutic advances and to unite innovators who will collaboratively help deliver meaningful changes within the Clinical Trial enterprise.

12:30 p.m. -1:30 p.m.


Enjoy lunch along with a Q & A session with Robert Hariri, Lee Hood moderated by James Pinkerton, Fox News Channel Analyst on “The Prospects for Accelerating Innovation”

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Using Big Data To Match People To Medicines

  • Stuart Kauffman, PhD, MD, Institute for Systems Biology; Chair, Transforming Medicine: Elizabeth Kauffman Institute (TMed)
  • Colin Hill, CEO and Co-Founder, GNS Healthcare; Co-Founder, TMed
  • Lee Hood, PhD, President, Institute for Systems Biology; Co-Founder, T-Med
  • Sui Huang, PhD, Director Sui Huang Lab, Institute for Systems Biology

The first Closing the Gap Conference, which was held in November 2014, included a discussion of Transforming Medicine: The Elizabeth Kauffman Institute (TMed). TMed supports an exciting and new initiative that utilizes Big Data and systems biology to quickly match patients experiencing life-threatening illnesses to the best-suited, medically therapeutic interventions available to them.

This session previews TMed’s goals and technologies. It will also include a discussion of how TMed can work with various stakeholders to close the gap between patients’ disease processes, effective treatments, and their delivery timelines.

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Wrap-Up: How Can We Increase Sharing of Real World Experience
Discussion: Lead by Fard Johnmar, Founder and president of Enspektos

    A recent article by Eric Topol notes that “innovative digital technologies, cloud computing and machine learning” will reduce the cost and time of sharing data needed to stay healthy and treat disease. In particular consumers will use their smartphones and other devices to create their own medical data, bypassing traditional methods in terms of speed, affordability and accuracy.

    What can we do now and in the immediate future to harness this power in order to close the gap and move from trial and error care to precision medicine? What projects or activities should we take on that use real world experiences of patients to achieve this vision?

7:30 p.m.

Lincoln Center premiere of documentary film, “Surviving Terminal Cancer.”

Three eminent scientists who experienced brain cancer and who discovered their own treatments produced this amazing documentary in the U.K.

The Closing the Gap Now Conference is being supported by a grant from The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.