The integration of molecular diagnostics with therapeutics. Implications for drug development and pathology practice.
It is widely anticipated that during the next 5 years the molecular diagnostic industry will continue to grow at double-digit pace to meet increasing demand for personalized medicine. A wide variety of drugs in late preclinical and early clinical development are being targeted to disease-specific gene and protein defects that will require coapproval of diagnostic and therapeutic products by regulatory agencies. An increasingly educated public will demand more information about their predisposition for serious diseases and how these potential illnesses can be detected in an early stage when they can be arrested or cured with new therapies custom-designed for their individual clinical status. To respond to this demand, major pharmaceutical companies will partner with diagnostics companies or develop their own in-house capabilities that will permit efficient production of more effective and less toxic integrated personalized medicine drug and test products. For clinical laboratories and pathologists, this integration of diagnostics and therapeutics represents a major new opportunity to emerge as leaders of the new medicine, guiding the selection, dosage, route of administration, and multidrug combinations and producing increased efficacy and reduced toxicity of pharmaceutical products.
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