NEW YORK, July 30 /PRNewswire/ --The growth of personalized medicine, which aims to better target treatments to patients through the use of information about an individual's genes, proteins and environment to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, is expected to increase the number of alliances between diagnostic and pharmaceutical companies, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) report entitled Diagnostics 2009: Moving towards personalized medicine.
"We expect alliances with the pharmaceutical industry to increase in the next two-to-five years, but this will be driven by factors including the pricing of diagnostics, the extent of reimbursement coverage, and the burden of any clinical validation work required for market access," said Gerald McDougall, principal, health sciences practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The report highlights the prominence of personalized medicine in current merger and acquisition (M&A) and licensing deal activity in the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) sector. In 2008, personalized medicine motivated three of the 10 largest M&A deals and four of the licensing deals by the 10 largest IVD companies.
According to the report, a number of factors are expected to drive the continued development of personalized medicine and why diagnostics will become more important, including:
Although the effort to better personalize treatments is not new, significant further progress is needed because current patient response rates to medicines can be very low - varying from 20 percent to 75 percent depending on the drug. Pressure from healthcare payers is putting more emphasis on the availability of a companion biomarker test when deciding on a drug's reimbursement, says PricewaterhouseCoopers. Companion diagnostics are diagnostic tests designed to guide the prescribing of a specific drug by assessing a patient's risk of adverse events or likelihood of therapeutic effectiveness when taking this drug.
"Increasingly, pharmaceutical companies will not move a drug candidate to the clinical development stage without a clear biomarker development program," added McDougall. "These companies understand the contribution of biomarkers and diagnostics in improving the design and probability of success of clinical trials. These factors will combine to accelerate the development of new diagnostics for personalized medicine. Together we anticipate that alliances and collaboration will be inevitable as the market need expands."
A full copy of the report is available at www.pwc.com/diagnosticsandpersonalizedRx.
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Note to editors:
1. Biomarker: Any biological information, which may be used as an indicator for a particular condition. A biomarker could be, for example, the concentration of a particular protein in someone's blood or the occurrence of a particular variant of a gene.
2. In vitro diagnostics: Diagnostic devices to perform tests outside the body, for example in a test tube. By contrast, in vivo diagnostics perform tests inside the living body, as for example in medical imaging. In vivo diagnostics industries are not reviewed in this report.
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