The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) has named Pauline Bianchi, a veteran nurse and pharmaceutical industry expert, its vice president of research and development.
Two of her roles will be overseeing the PFF Care Center Network and PFF Therapeutics Network, key elements of the organization’s strategy to improve care and accelerate pulmonary fibrosis (PF) research.
She also plans to start an interstitial lung disease (ILD) nursing network to provide training and share knowledge of best practices in ILD with the nursing community nationwide.
“Pauline’s experience as both a nurse and executive in the pulmonary fibrosis area will allow us to enhance training and communications with our Care Center Network partners and with nurses across the country,” William T. Schmidt, the president and chief executive officer of the PFF, said in a press release.
“Pauline’s deep understanding of the patient, healthcare provider and industry perspectives make her a unique and valuable asset to our team,” Schmidt added.
In her previous position at Veracyte, Bianchi collaborated with the PFF on a patient survey about the barriers to a timely diagnosis.
Their work was presented at the biennial PFF Summit and published in the BMC Pulmonary Journal in January of 2018. The title was “Barriers to timely diagnosis of interstitial lung disease in the real world: the INTENSITY survey.”
While at Veracyte, Bianchi worked on the development of the Envisia Genomic Classifier. The diagnostic tool for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) improves doctors’ ability to differentiate IPF from other ILDs and is less invasive than a surgical lung biopsy.
Before joining Veracyte, Bianchi was involved in the development of Esbriet (pirfenidone, marketed by Genentech), one of two landmark IPF therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2014.
“I have worked with the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation for several years,” Bianchi said. It is “a highly effective and dedicated organization that provides patients with important resources that are realistic and provide hope. There is a tremendous increase in the research of pulmonary fibrosis, and I am eager to help facilitate improved therapies and diagnostic tools.”
Bianchi’s plans are aligned with the goals and objectives of the PFF’s Strategic Plan for 2020, published in 2017.
The PFF has laid down four main visions for 2020: 1) to decrease time to diagnosis to less than six months and continuously improve and reassess evidence-based care guidelines; 2) to ensure that the level of development in PF therapeutics and diagnostics is sustained or improved; 3) to ensure that the PF community has reasonable access to high-quality care, research, and information; and 4) to execute a development program that on average grows revenue by 15 percent per year.
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