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Theranostics Paves the Way for Personalised Medicine in Europe, Says Frost & Sullivan

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Theranostics is an emerging field in clinical diagnostics, focussing on developing specific analysis to predict the most suitable drug for a patient along with assessing the efficacy of the drug. It uses molecular assays to determine the optimum dose of drugs for a patient, paving the way for personalized medicine. Although significant awareness has been created about personalized medicine, its full potential is yet to be tapped. Factors such as cost and regulatory timelines are the key hurdles that need to be addressed at the moment.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Strategic Analysis of the European Markets for Theranostics, finds that theranostics plays a crucial role in every step of drug development process, primarily in the form of biomarker discovery, target selection and validation of biomarkers. The key applications of theranostics are covered in the following disease areas: cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neuro disorders.

"The emergence of personalized medicine with the help of theranostics is a milestone in the drug therapy process," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Gayathry Ramachandran. "Its targeted approach enables the prescription of only those drugs that are linked to a specific biomarker assay, thereby benefiting the physicians, patients, insurance, and regulatory agencies."

The availability of advanced technology to support research projects has resulted in novel therapeutics. As more biomarkers are discovered and their importance known, the need for specific theranostic assays is likely to increase.

However, the high cost associated with genetic testing for the identification of biomarkers poses a challenge to the success of theranostics. The uncertainty associated with the clinical utility of biomarkers discovered will negatively impact the return-on-investment (ROI).

"Theranostics is a well understood science, yet pharmaceutical companies have been late adopters," says Ramachandran. "It is rare to see large pharma and diagnostic companies branding themselves as theranostic companies."

Improved cooperation between drug and diagnostic companies will enhance the success of theranostics. The commercialization of theranostics will be possible by effective communication with the physicians to understand its penetration in the market.

"Companies focusing on theranostics with already licensed drugs can play a key role in reaching out to larger pharmaceutical companies," concludes Ramachandran. "Pharmaceutical companies should be aware of the importance of linking diagnostics to its drug development process."