Trending 2017: Precision Medicine

PharmaVoice 2017 Year in Preview
November/December 2016
Featuring: Dr. Chitra Lele, Sciformix Corporation

Precision medicine holds great promise for improving patient health outcomes. By identifying genetic causes of diseases, doctors can focus on disease prevention, earlier diagnosis when treatments can be more effective, and avoid giving treatments to patients that may cause adverse reactions or that will fail to work.

We are just at the beginning of the precision medicine era, but industry leaders say precision medicine will have a major impact on how doctors and patients think about disease and how patients are treated.

While the personalization and digitization in the consumer world is already a thing of history and moving towards predictive interactions, the healthcare industry is very much behind. However, through technological advances like next-generation sequencing, data commoditization, and maturation of our understanding of genomics and other ‘omics’ modalities, the pieces are coming together, says Richard Tsai, VP of Marketing, Inspire.

Dr. Chitra Lele, chief scientific officer at Sciformix, says precision medicine will solve the problem of generalization of results from clinical trials despite the inherent heterogeneity in the population and will enable development of interventions for individuals based on their specific genes, rather than the symptoms they exhibit.

Therefore, she adds, an individual patient is more likely to be prescribed a medicine that will work for him/her and will not have to unduly bear with adverse effects of treatments that may not work. This is contingent on the effectiveness of the diagnostic tests to differentiate patients who will benefit from a particular drug to those who will not. It also depends on providers proactively identifying patients who will not benefit from, or will be harmed by specific treatments, which requires drug developers to share and mine clinical data.

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