Defining the scope and nature of human biological variation allows the targeting of medical treatments towards those most likely to benefit from it. Such treatments may include drugs or cell therapies customised to a patient's history, genes and immunology. In essence, the phenomenon of each human being unique creates immense opportunities for personalised medicine.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (pharma.frost.com), Personalised Medicine in Europe, finds that the European personalised medicine market is currently growing at double digit growth rates, which is significant especially as it comes from an already high base. This growth rate is poised to increase as more European governments promote personalised healthcare, aiding its mainstream implementation.
"The most important benefit of personalised medicine is that it improves the design, power and predictability of a clinical trial, which will then further aid in getting better outcomes in lesser time," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Rasika Ramachandran. "Personalised medicine helps reduce subject recruiting time in clinical trials, improves drug response, and minimises adverse reactions.
It also reduces misdiagnoses. Personalised medicine enables faster diagnosis when applied as a companion diagnostic test along with a drug, thereby also aiding in developing better differentiated drug products.
The role of physicians is very critical in the promotion of companion diagnostic tests. These tests restrict a physician from prescribing a drug of his choice.
"Often, they doubt the ability of a companion test to prescribe the drug compared to their knowledge and experience," explains Ramachandran. "Therefore, removing this stigma and encouraging a new generation of physicians with a positive attitude towards theranostics will help to overcome this challenge."
The technical efficacy of theranostics, coupled with the lowering of associated research and development (R&D) costs, will be key drivers in sustaining growth momentum in the market. However, pharmaceutical companies and diagnostic firms need to collaborate more closely with physicians during the theranostic development process, so that when the test is on the market, the endorsement of fellow physicians will aid in its greater adoption.
Promisingly, a number of public-private partnerships and high levels of technological advancements, which support the discovery and development of new biomarkers will also spur market prospects.
A key challenge remains reimbursement. This issue prevents physicians from prescribing companion diagnostic tests, as they are mostly out-of-pocket or only partly reimbursed.
"Unless reimbursement issues are sorted out or these tests become affordable enough for full out of pocket payment, the companion diagnostic companies face a dead stand off," cautions Ramachandran. "European governments are taking initiatives to solve these issues, which acts as a positive sign for personalised medicine companies."
If you are interested in more information about this study, please send an email with your contact details to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella[.]frost.com.
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