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Improving Combination Therapy with Navid Alipour

George Grombacher December 9, 2022

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Improving Combination Therapy with Navid Alipour

LifeBlood: We talked about improving combination therapy, detecting cancer quickly and efficiently, and removing any roadblocks to proactive medical care, with Navid Alipour, Founder and CEO of AI Med Global.

Listen to learn about the future of personalized care!

You can learn more about Navid at AIMedGlobal.com, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To give the gift of CureMatch, enter CureMatchPodcast at checkout. 

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Navid Alipour

Episode Transcript

eorge grombacher 0:00
Hey what’s up? This is George G. And the time is right. welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Naveen Alipore. And Avi, are you ready to do this?

Unknown Speaker 0:22
I am George. Thanks for having me.

george grombacher 0:24
excited to have you on let’s go. Nabil is the founder and CEO of AI med global. They’re an organization focused on using AI to improve healthcare and save lives. He tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work and why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
Absolutely, we’d be happy to so I always started, I joke that my wife and I are the black sheep of the family and that everyone’s a doctor. My father is a retired cardiologists. Both my brothers are doctors, her dad, her stepdad, or sister, we went to the dark side of the law and business, as they say. But healthcare has always been, you know, what I’ve been most passionate about. And what we do at AI met global which is comprised of two companies we started, cure, match and cure metrics. This essentially helped detect cancer earlier and better. It is specifically in our Woman’s Health suite of breast cancer. And we also detect heart disease from that same mammogram, so no extra radiation, no pain, no discomfort, that’s nothing additional. So we could talk about that because heart disease is called the silent killer amongst women where 65% of sadly die on that first heart attack, completely asymptomatic. They had no idea that heart disease, and then cure match, we co founded that with an amazing lady by the name of Dr. Rozelle Kurzrock. That’s kurz Roc k, for your listeners, if they Google her, they’ll find a ton of content. It’s truly a world renowned one of the top oncologists in the world. And what we do a cure match. It’s for all patients that have cancer, not just women. And it’s any cancer, not just breast cancer. And if a doctor wants to recommend a three drug combination, there’s literally over four and a half million combinations. So it’s beyond human cognition to process that. So that’s where our AI comes in. And based on the patient’s specific molecular profile, their cancer that we got from a next generation sequencing panel, we don’t do that part, other companies do that. But as our input, and based on our database that we’re always curating with our clinical team will match and produce our report for the doctor and the patient is to say, here’s the recommended combinations that would be specific to this person’s cancer. So true precision medicine.

george grombacher 2:47
Nice. How’d you find yourself immersed in the world of cancer treatment prevention? Detection?

Unknown Speaker 2:55
Yeah, you know, there’s definitely a bit of serendipity in in how this all happened. And initially, we might say, we might, my business partner plays bar labor. And I would started a small LLC at the time analytics ventures to invest our own capital. Every now and then we did raise a dedicated fund afterwards. But before we raise the dedicated fund, we had, we were investing in existing software companies, mostly here in San Diego. And we got approached like a cold email that our info at address, which is you know, most of those emails are just spam and vendor E, right. But luckily, we saw this one it was some scientists out of UCSD, which you may or may not know, is truly one of the one of the epicenters one of the birthplaces of artificial intelligence. And these guys were rocket scientists had literally done work for NASA. And they reached out to us no business plan, no business model, they said, Hey, we’re these, you know, machine learning experts. Anywhere you could apply AI to make a prediction or recommendation or forecasts or detect anomalies that don’t belong. There is an opportunity to increase efficiencies, and you know, recruits revenue, decrease costs and in the business sense, and we said, Well, look, we’re in San Diego, it’s a healthcare town. How can we apply AI to prolong lives and save lives? And interest of time? That’s where we came up with idea of cure metrics. So we literally co founded cure metrics with the scientists. And then about a year and a half after that my my business partner got cancer. And because of that, we met Dr. Kurzrock. I’m happy to say he’s cancer free because a combination therapies. But if you never got cancer cure match would never exist. And so that’s where, you know truly make lemonade out of lemons. Right? We met her. We saw the amazing work she was doing. You said Dr. Cruz rock. This is amazing. But you know, you’re just one person how can we scale this to impact more lives? And that was the genesis secure match.

george grombacher 5:00
That’s, that is incredible, right there, just serendipity, it really kind of comes together.

Unknown Speaker 5:07
It really isn’t, you know, there’s a saying, I forgot who it was, it was a older VC, who said everyone gets lucky in life, it just better to get lucky early. And I think we did, there was a certain amount of luck and timing that comes into play. But you also have to be prepared to take advantage of that opportunity to see the opportunity, or passes you by.

george grombacher 5:35
So with I’m going to mix the two companies up I think with with cure metrics, you have the opportunity to do one mammogram and deduct detect breast cancer and heart disease. How did that how did you come to recognize that?

Unknown Speaker 5:50
So we know it was it was crazy. In really, we did not plan on it at all, when we started the company, it was just to detect breast cancer. And again, we’re 100% Digital, we’re software right on both company arms. And so our software goes on any machine that the radiologists the imaging center has, it could be a gene machine, a whole logic machine, you name it. And so our focus was let’s let’s develop the software that’s best in the world to detect breast cancer. Now, in any mammogram, with, with the human eye, you can see some lines like look like little worms, that’s calcification building up in the arteries. We all have this happen as we get older men and women all over our bodies, frankly. But blood flows faster through the heart. So it takes longer to build up in in the heart. In the breast tissue in the arteries and capillaries blood doesn’t flow as fast. So it builds up earlier. So it’s truly the earliest detection of heart disease. In with with women with the reason it’s the silent killer, is because they don’t have the same symptoms as men have and are often discounted by the healthcare system. So they might just be they might be fatigued. And the doctor you know, doesn’t pick that up as a sign of potential heart disease. Whereas men we tend to have chest pain, shortness of breath, you go to the doctor, they tell you eat better exercise, and they put you on statins, hopefully, you know surgeries needed, they catch it early enough, do the EKG, the stress test all that just getting on a statin reduces the risk of a cardiac event by 50 to 60%. So if if a woman is 40 years old, goes in for her first mammogram because this is built into our healthcare system, right that by a certain age, you know, go go in for a mammogram every so often right? At a certain cadence. So she’s she might not be a triathlete, but she’s in good shape. exercises, each reasonably well doesn’t know that she has heart disease in the family. And they can detect calcification early on. Well, now she gets sent to the cardiologist, she gets an EKG, she gets a stress test, she knows that this is a condition so that she can now be proactive about and get on the medication that’s necessary. And now, she has potentially eliminated or delayed a cardiac event the hardest, right? Instead of, you know, at 52 or 49, or 55, having a heart attack and now you’re behind the eight ball for the rest of your life assuming you survive that events. And so that’s why when we saw these calcifications, one of our investors and advisors is a very well known cardiologist by the name of Dr. Matthew Budoff. And in you know, he got pretty excited about this another cardiologist Dr. Dennis Robbie, in Newport Beach is one of our investors, he said, Hey, this is there’s definitely something here. And so with these cardiologists that had invested in the company and our word visors, we develop this new product line is specific for heart disease detection from the same mammogram again. And that’s where, you know, not to take anything away from breast cancer, but, you know, detecting heart disease earlier. is is it’s truly I think, where will make the biggest impact.

george grombacher 9:15
And that is that is incredible. So, and always try to remove friction, right? So if I’m already going in for a scheduled procedure, like mammogram, in this example, I can get the benefit with the same the same scan for for cancer with with the other with with with cure match, how are you trying to make that easier to deliver as well?

Unknown Speaker 9:42
That’s a great question. And I’m glad you asked that, George. So you know, as Wayne Gretzky always had to skate to where the puck is going to be, right. So with cure match, we’re doing a lot of that, right where that it’s a decision support tool. So whereas cure metrics is a die agnostic. So for cure metrics, we have to go through FDA get FDA clearance in which we got one, and we were slated to get the rest, hopefully knock on wood soon here with cure match, its decision support. And it’s, it’s so it doesn’t need FDA clearance. It’s ultimately up to the oncologist to determine what care to provide for their patient because they have the other information that, you know, are they obese, how old are they? Do they smoke all that information in on top of having a cure match report, and then they could decide what treatment and what care to provide for that patient. But right now, it’s paid for out of pockets, it’s there’s no CPT code for it. So the patient has to pay out of pocket or the labs that do the next generation sequencing, bake it into their costs, or the concierge medicine practices, you know, bake it into their costs. So it’s a bit of a build it in they will come. But this is just around the corner. You know, even the most conservative doctors and individuals are now saying that combination therapies are the future. And again, that’s where we come in. And, you know, there’s a saying, and I didn’t invent this, but you know, AI is not going to replace the doctor, the doctor using AI will replace the doctor that is not

george grombacher 11:16
which which makes no sense in the world talked about how there’s millions and millions of different combinations that would not be knowable. So even if I was doing medicine for 40 years, and I’ve got this wealth of experience, there’s still no way that my brain could compute the same way that the AI does.

Unknown Speaker 11:33
Exactly. I mean, I think you got it. You hit the nail on the head there. And I mean, Dr. Chris Rock was at MD Anderson, she was at Moores Cancer Center at world renowned Cancer Institute’s you know, and you know, with that, you know, they’re sitting in these what’s called tumor boards. So every Wednesday, the oncologists get together around a table and discuss the cases of the patients. And she looks around and people are doctors, including herself are literally Googling, you know, what different combinations there might be. And you just can’t do that. And so that was kind of a lightbulb moment that there’s got to be something better than this. And, you know, an analogy that I came up with, that she liked was, it’s kind of like we’ve built Excel for oncologists, right? Excel didn’t replace your CPA or my CPA, if anything, there’s more CPA. So just, it’s a tool to empower them to process more data faster and more efficiently with less human error.

george grombacher 12:28
I love it. So what does what do you and AI med global need more of? Is it awareness? Is it funding?

Unknown Speaker 12:38
All of the above, it’s a I mean, we’re, of course, you know, screaming from the mountaintops what we do so people are aware. So doctors are aware, patients are aware, and they can ask an advocate for themselves. And increasingly, I think it I think is a good thing that patients are advocating for themselves more, getting second opinions or even third opinions, especially one’s a life altering, threatening disease, right. And I know your podcast focuses, of course, a lot on wellness and longevity, and, and, of course, eating better and exercising and taking the right vitamins and probiotics. And that’s all important and getting good sleep and, and whatnot. But you can do all of that, and still have cancer, right, unfortunately. And so that’s where having technologies that can then help detect that cancer earlier, help get the best treatment as early as possible. The patient’s not not, oh, let’s try this first. It’s kind of a standard of care. And if it doesn’t work, we’ll come to that, you know, try your technology. No, let’s do this first thing. And, and I think that’s where we’re going, where, you know, I don’t want to call it malpractice. But it’s going to get to the point where even insurance companies are going to say, we’re not going to pay for these treatments, unless you’ve done next generation sequencing, which, to the layperson, I say it’s like the 23 and me of that patient specific cancer. Now, just to focus on that for a second. This is really important because as your cancer doctor Chris Rock, being Canadian, by birth always says is like a snowflake. no two snowflakes ever, ever, ever looked the same? So why should one lung cancer patient get the same treatment as the next one, the next one, the next one, right? And so now we have the technology where these labs, some of them are big public companies like gardened or Foundation Medicine which Roche owns that are other ones are private or small ones. And they’ll using an Illumina machine at Thermo Fisher machine, they’ll sequence the cancer biopsy that’s sent to them, and they’ll produce their reports that 3031 page PDF, that’s again, like the 23andme of that patient’s specific cancer. So I think that’s where we’re going is that insurance companies, the payers are going to say, we’re not going to pay for these drugs unless you’ve On NGS on the patient, next generation sequencing, and it can show you why you’re asking to pay for these drugs and why it’s right for this patient. So again, skate to where the puck is going to be, I think that is the future. And as it is, over over 40%, of drugs administered to cancer patients are already awfully off label and, you know, being combination of other drugs. And that percentage is only going up, it’s not going to go down. And that’s a good thing for all of us. God forbid, we got cancer, our loved ones got cancer.

george grombacher 15:40
Yeah. It’s also a good thing, probably, that you can make a beneficial case to insurance companies that this is something that is good for them, rather than taking away from them or making their lives harder.

Unknown Speaker 15:53
Oh, I mean, at the end of the day, I hate to say it, but you got to follow the money. And the pharma companies and the payers are the deepest pockets and healthcare. And so if you could help them take care of their covered lives, better while reducing wasteful spending, then you just hit two birds with one stone with insurance companies. And on the pharma side. In fact, we have a clinical trial intelligence platform and care match where we could help select which patients or how to set up the clinical trial, where they’ll have a higher efficacy and a higher better response rate. And so we’ll we can help, in short, gets oncology drugs to market faster, which yes, the pharma company is going to make money faster. But that means there’s patients that gram benefit earlier, as well. And so that’s what we really come at what we do at AI med global with our cure metrics and cure match arm with a sense of urgency, because if we can move one day faster, that’s someone’s life, we’re going to impact.

george grombacher 16:55
Make sense? I love it. On the VT, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you? And how can they engage with AI met global cure, match and cure metrics?

Unknown Speaker 17:06
So I know thank you for having me again, George. And we’re very easy to find AI med global.com, which you go to the website, you’ll it’ll drive you to cure match or metrics, or you could look up cure metrics cure match separately. We’re on LinkedIn, we’re on Twitter, as I’m myself, and so if anyone wants to reach out to learn more, please do so. And I’ll also share that on a secure match. We have a program that we’re going to launch during the holidays that it’s already live, and we’re going to promote it more called the gift of cure match, where someone could purchase a cure match report for a loved one, or a relative or friend that has cancer. And so we have a discount to that we can share with your listeners if they just put in the promo code cure match podcast.

george grombacher 17:58
Got it. Perfect. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, show Naveed your appreciation and shared today show the friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to AI med global.com. And learn more about what we’ve been talking about today. If you do know somebody who’s fighting cancer, tell us again where they go and what the code is.

Unknown Speaker 18:21
If you go to a cure match in there’s a gift of cure match campaign, and you’ll see that and there’s a promo code you could put in cure match podcast for that discount.

george grombacher 18:36
Perfect. Excellent. I will list those in the notes of the show as well. Thanks again, David.

Unknown Speaker 18:42
Thank you, George.

george grombacher 18:43
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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