"The promise of personalised medicines — tailored to a person's genes — have been "overhyped", particularly for developing countries, according to the UK's national science academy.
Healthcare based on 'pharmacogenetics' is likely to be decades away, especially in developing countries, due to gaps in scientific knowledge and a shortage of researchers equipped to study the link between genes and disease, says a report published by the Royal Society yesterday."
Nature An individual approach
"Wolfgang Sadee, director of the pharmacogenomics programme at Ohio State University in Columbus, adds that it will be five years until drug companies fully embrace the field. "If we train people now," he says, "in five years they will be in the right position to help out."
The earlier approach of pharmacogenetics, which targets a single gene, has already scored some successes. Herceptin (trastuzumab), for example, treats breast cancer by targeting a single receptor on tumour cells that is overabundant in women who inherit a specific gene mutation. And the analysis of individual genes that affect drug metabolism has helped to improve efficacy.
With its emphasis on multiple genes and their expression patterns, pharmacogenomics extends the reach of its predecessor."redux [02.12.03]
BioMedNet Improving drug response with pharmacogenomics
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""The need to incorporate the teaching of pharmacogenomics into the medical curriculum is quite urgent," said Gurwitz, who this academic year has launched such a course at Tel-Aviv University, which he hopes will stimulate other medical schools to follow. "Pharmacogenomics must be incorporated within a few years ... into the general MD curriculum," he said.
The consequence of not doing so, he says, could be that any therapeutic benefits of the Human Genome Project will be severely delayed. The next generation of doctors will not have an adequate understanding of the interplay between genetics and drug metabolism, he warns."redux [01.07.03]
Journal of the American Medical Association John Quackenbush Talks About the Clinical Promise of Genetic Microarrays
"Much like the giant Homer Simpson Pez dispenser in his office, John Quackenbush, PhD, dispenses tasty tidbits when he opens his mouth."
" I think if you review the microarray literature, everybody in the early days was saying, oh, we're going to find out what all the pathways are. And now I think everyone is realizing that what comes out of the arrays are associations. It's the whole link, the disjunction between correlation and causality. I may discover that mass murderers drink more milk than anybody else but that doesn't mean drinking milk makes you a mass murderer."redux [12.17.02]
Forbes Genomics Revolution Actually Happens
"Investors may have stopped watching, but drug companies are finally beginning to wrench tangible benefits from the human genome. Two years after a boom fed by hype, a revolution finally is starting to take hold not in how drugs are invented, but in how they are tested.
Merck (nyse: MRK - news - people ), the world's third-largest drug company, is using gene expression arrays, also known as DNA chips, to keep clinical duds from reaching expensive animal or human trials. Separately, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (nasdaq: MLNM - news - people ) used similar chips in its late-stage clinical studies of its cancer drug, Velcade. Millennium's work is a big step toward so-called personalized medicine, in which treatment would be tailored toward individual patients based on genetic makeup."redux [10.07.02]
The Scientist In Style, but... Out of Reach
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"Pharmacogenomics holds the promise of delivering safer, better designer drugs--and profits--to pharmaceutical manufacturers. But the technology also poses a challenge to the industry's current, highly successful business model that relies on one-size-fits-all blockbuster drugs.
For small biotech companies and large drug manufacturers alike, pharmacogenomics remains only one component of genome-based research and consumes only a small part of the $30 billion (US) in annual pharmaceutical research and development funding, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "It's an area where we are seeing movement, but it's not there yet," says Gillian Woollett, associate vice president for biologics and biotechnology at PhRMA."redux [09.10.02]
Bio-IT World The New, New Pharmacogenomics
"Collins is unimpressed by the hubbub that has shaken the industry lately. "In some quarters there was a misunderstanding, or naivete, about how having the sequence was going to solve everything. And there were some business models built solely upon the notion of quick profits, particularly selling subscription databases."
He dismisses talk about a foundering industry. "I think that every pharmaceutical company is still expecting that genomics will be the platform upon which they will build the next generation of drugs," says Collins. Others echo Collins' perspective. "We will change the treatment of cancer," says Variagenics' Adams. And there is no hint of doubt in his voice."redux [08.08.01]
Stanford Medical Informatics Preprint Archive Challenges for Biomedical Informatics and Pharmacogenomics
"Pharmacogenomics requires the integration and analysis of genomic, molecular, cellular, and clinical data, and thus offers a remarkable set of challenges to biomedical informatics. These include infrastructural challenges such as the creation of data models and data bases for storing this data, the integration of these data with external databases, the extraction of information from natural language text, and the protection of databases with sensitive information. There are also scientific challenge in creating tools to support gene expression analysis, three-dimensional structural analysis, and comparative genomic analysis. In this review, we summarize the current uses of informatics within pharmacogenomics, and show how the technical challenges that remain for biomedical informatics are typical of those that will be confronted in the post-genomic era."
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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