This week’s chart is pulled from the same analysis we did last week.  Last week we introduced the concept of a biomarker quadrant showing Hot, Common, Emerging, and Under-performing biomarkers by usage since first introduced.  This week we want to simplify things  in our Chart of the Week.  This chart represents the distribution of biomarkers by quadrant:


I want to focus on the Emerging biomarkers because of the interesting feature produced by the biomarker activity in this quadrant.  I teased it last week.


Because this is a logarithmic scale the defined lines pointed to by the red arrows represent biomarkers used clinically by only 1, 2, or 3 companies.  The line at the bottom (representing only 1 company using a particular biomarker) consists of 378 biomarkers.  Of these 378 biomarkers, 188 are used by the top 25 pharma companies.  That’s almost 50%.  This might not be a big surprise because of the resources available to big pharma, but it does support some of the claims we presented last week:

  1. There is commercial value to developing novel biomarkers
  2. There is a need for viable companion diagnostics

Market Supports R&D Investment in Biomarker Discovery

In general, the two claims made last week can be summarized by saying that there is clear motiviation to invest in biomarker R&D, especially at large pharma.  We believe this primarily driven by the massive race for quality companion diagnostics with an eye towards personalized medicine.

Not Novelty for the Sake of Novelty

While the biomarkers in the Emerging section by definition represent novel biomarkers we don’t believe that novelty is driving the investment in biomarker discovery.  This is more indicative of the complex nature of companion diagnostics and personalized medicine.

We believe there are many more insights in this chart, so stay tuned for more.