PharmID Chief Product and Medication Officer Barb Marquardt was frustrated. In more than 15 years as a pharmacy manager at Seattle Children’s Hospital, she understood the pressure placed on pharmacists to verify how medications are manufactured, stored and prepared.
Her husband, Brian Marquardt, had founded a company that provided powerful verification tools to pharmaceutical manufacturers that helped prevent tampering and human error. She wanted the same tools in her pharmacy, but Brian told her they were too expensive and sophisticated.
Brian, though, was eventually able to reduce the cost and complexity, and created the first molecular verification of medication for use in pharmacies. Brian then co-founded PharmID in 2017. The company’s first product, WasteWitness, provides health care systems a tool to detect drug diversion — the transfer of drugs from the individual for whom they were prescribed to another person for illicit use.
WasteWitness uses laser technology to analyze the chemical fingerprint and concentration of a medication. The system can ascertain a drug’s identity and concentration without the need for health care workers to touch and potentially contaminate or break down molecules in a sample or send samples to a lab.
PharmID now has clients across the United States, including the renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
UW Medicine and VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle
As a radiologist, Dr. Beth Ripley knows the challenges of interpreting medical imaging procedures such as X-rays and ultrasounds. As an educator and engineer, Dmitry Levin is familiar with the challenges of teaching physicians how to avoid procedural pitfalls. Ripley, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 3D Printing Network, and Levin, associate director at the University of Washington Center for Cardiovascular Innovation, joined forces in a multi-institute, multidiscipline partnership to realize the potential of 3D printing to significantly contribute to patient-specific treatments. So far, they’ve created exact physical replicas, such as a life-sized model of a patient’s heart, for more than 250 patients, decreasing procedural times, helping caregivers anticipate complications and improving outcomes.
Adaptive Biotechnologies, Seattle
Adaptive Biotechnologies has partnered with Microsoft Corp. to map the immune system, with Genentech to create personalized cellular therapies in cancer and with Amgen for hematology research. The company focuses on three specific areas: life sciences research, clinical diagnostics and drug discovery. Adaptive has two commercial products — one that monitors residual disease in most blood cancers that is used by more than 400 oncologists and more than 130 institutions, and another that helps researchers identify diseases and drugs to treat them. The company notes that an estimated 4.6 million patients across the world are either newly diagnosed or live with lymphoid malignancies, a subset of blood cancers.