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Report Predicts Impact on Industry of Evolving Pharmacogenetics Technologies

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WALTHAM, Mass.--Pharmacogenetics technology will have huge consequences for drug discovery and development efforts, according to a new market analysis report by Decision Resources, a healthcare research and consulting firm here. The inception of pharmacogenetics--a term the report interchanges with pharmacogenomics--is an outgrowth of the inversion of the drug-discovery paradigm brought about by genomics, the consulting firm reported. Molecular characterization of genes used to stratify patient populations and design diagnostics and therapeutics has led to the emergence of pharmacogenetics, the report said.

Pharmacogenetics is defined by Decision Resources as the study of the linkage between patients' genotypes and their ability to metabolize a foreign compound. Pharmacogenetics facilitates the stratification of patients suffering from a given disease by the genetic lesions involved in the molecular disease process, it explained. The discipline seeks to divide up a patient population base into its true components, each defined by a single genetic lesion and each able to be therapeutically targeted differentially.

Genomics and pharmaceutical companies are racing to develop technologies that will help researchers determine exactly how different individuals or subpopulations will respond to drugs, the report said. Companies such as DiaDexus and Millennium Predictive Medicine were created exploit this opportunity, the report pointed out.

It predicted pharmacogenetics will have significant consequences for drug development by making it easier for pharmaceutical companies to demonstrate drug efficacy and thereby reduce time to market; by enabling drug developers to predict adverse responses to certain drugs and reduce the costs of therapeutic failures; and by allowing drugs that have failed clinical trials because of efficacy or toxicity problems to be rescued.

The full report, "Personalized Medicine: The Impact of Pharmacogenetics on Drug Development," includes a valuation of the genomics and pharmacogenetics markets. For further information, contact Decision Resources at (781) 487-3737.

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