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Smaller Potential of the Personal

Personalized medicine of the "the right drug for the right patient at the right time" ethos may help patients, but Forbes' Henry Miller writes that it might not be right for drug companies.

"[W]hen drugs are ultimately approved based on the use of biomarkers, the description of the medication’s approved uses on the label might be narrower, or more restrictive, thereby reducing the size of the patient population for whom the drug is intended — and the revenue potential," he says.

Additionally, Miller writes that regulatory burden may become difficult to shoulder, as drugmakers will need more focused clinical trials to show efficacy and larger studies to prove safety.

That in combination with the time and resources needed to uncover biomarkers and develop them into a diagnostic test or clinical algorithm to accompany the drug "could impose huge development costs that might never be recovered by the manufacturers."

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.