The Personalized Medicine Coalition last month released their fourth annual report describing the state of the industry for personalized medicine. While it is primarily an overview piece that is written for policy makers in government and reimbursement-related roles, it is certainly worth reading for anyone interested in the subject, and does include a bit of data that describes both the need for personalized medicine and technical advancements.
Some key takeaways:
- One size still does not fit all when it comes to drug treatments. Over a third of patients in depression, arthritis, asthma, and diabetes will not respond to the first treatment they are given, and 75% of cancer patients will not respond to one or more of the drugs they are given.
- NGS and other high-throughput analytical capabilities are pushing rapid growth in biomarker panels, especially for cancer. Cancer is a highly heterogeneous diseases, so multiplexing gives far greater resolution in diagnostic and prognostic applications.
- Personalized medicine reduces costs. The report cites a 3,600 patient Mayo Clinic study in which hospitalization rates for heart patients were reduced by 30% when genetic information was available to doctors deciding in therapeutic approaches.
- Sequencing advances are being made at rates that far outpace Moore's Law. Illumina is leading a massive advance in sequencing technology that is making it ever cheaper to sequence an entire genome. For more on this I highly recommend this recent Forbes article written by Matt Herper profiling Illumina and its CEO, Jay Flatley.
The report also includes a nice table that lists selected targeted therapies and the biomarkers with which they are associated, with a brief description of the companion diagnostic indication for each biomarker.