Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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Page 42 of 51 March/April 2019 Clinical OMICs 41 BraunS / Getty Images I n 2013, much of the world was introduced to the burgeon- ing field of precision medicine when world-famous actress, Angelina Jolie, announced she had undergone a double mastectomy to reduce her chances of getting breast cancer. With that announcement, things like BRCA genes, muta- tions, and proteins were thrust onto the public stage. Suddenly, precision medicine and predictive treatments weren't only being discussed in journals or at highly-tech- nical conferences, but on morning news shows and around water coolers. The notion that there was a way to possibly predict who's at risk for developing certain types of cancers was a bold and novel idea for most who are unfamiliar with the field. Simple single-gene and single-mutation models were the proverbial low hanging fruit, and were an initial onboard- ing to a new era of medicine. But ultimately, these have not been adequate as a predictive tool on a larger scale. We've made many technological advances, and have learned much through clinical studies and trials, yet we still seem focused on these remedial markers. Advancing wide- spread innovation in precision and predictive medicine, particularly in the fields of oncology and immuno-oncol- ogy, requires us to revisit this with an innovative approach. The Restrictive Cost of Drug Development Ultimately, what everyone wants is to deliver the right treat- ment to the right patient at the right time. This starts with drug development and ultimately with successful clinical trials. Yet, the cost of bringing a drug to market is ridicu- lously prohibitive, and selecting patients for clinical trials has become a major bottleneck. According to research from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, the cost of developing an approved drug exceeds $2.5 billion. Much of this cost is incurred during clinical trials. If the sheer logistics of conducting a clinical trial doesn't give you chills, the cost surely will. Simply finding the right patients for the trial incurs huge expense, and what happens when a patient ends up being excluded or isn't able to participate at the last minute? Replacing that patient incurs an even higher cost as a result of these delays. Drug development is also getting more expensive as clin- By David Messina, Ph.D. We Have the Tools to Advance Precision Medicine, Why Aren't We Using Them? (continued on next page) AlisaRut / iStock / Getty Images

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