Personalized Medicine to Receive Impetus From Development of Biochip Technology
News Jan 14, 2006
As biochip technology makes the transition from 'bench to bedside' in the clinical trial processes, improved patient therapies will result.
Pharmacogenomics has fundamentally altered the dynamics of the diagnostics market by ushering in the concept of personalised medicine.
Genomic technology promises to promote individualised treatment by uncovering how genetic inheritance triggers varied drug responses in people.
Phenotypic diagnosis may gain some good rewards with regard to biochip technology applications, as morphological features will be used to determine the disease prognosis, as in the case of a tumour.
Identifying relevant disease specific markers holds the key to using these biochips in real-time diagnostics.
Killer disease applications like cancer and Alzheimer's will provide the major impetus to implanting this chip technology within clinics.
"With the recent FDA guidelines on pharmacogenomics and the steady growth potential anticipated in the biochips markets, companies can boost their revenues and market shares, if they focus on developing disease specific biomarkers with genomics/proteomics technology," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Charanya Ramachandran.
However, while the emergence of personalized medicine has positively influenced the growth of array technologies in clinical diagnostics, the key obstacle lies in obtaining consistent and statistically relevant readouts.
This is creating a need for easy to use systems equipped with robust infrastructure that are capable of providing consistent results in the clinical research phase.
"Standardisation of array platforms bolstered with robust bioinformatics infrastructure and the ability to prove clinical utility with reliable readouts can give a superior edge to these high enabling technologies," said Charanya Ramachandran.
Multi-parameter testing and miniaturisation of chip technology are also set to help physicians focus on higher-level decision making and drive uptake of chip technology in clinical research.
Biochips offer the ability to identify and prioritise drug targets through the parallel corroboration of a multitude of gene expressions. Moreover, even as feature sizes shrink, the capacity to provide expanded information content is growing.
"There is very little that has changed over the past two decades to convert solid science to a more functional business commodity in the realm of clinical diagnostics," says Ms. Ramachandran.
"Therefore, companies need to work with government funding bodies and regulatory bodies to make biochips more affordable and ensure their successful commercialisation."
"While launching a drug compound with the regulatory body, a parallel endeavour in the accompanying therapies for the specific disease will nurture the growing trend of theranostics, which is the new mantra for better quality of life," she adds.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.
Researchers published today a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world's most widely-cultivated crop. This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.