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Better Biological Relevancy in Drug Discovery over the Next Five Years – Chapter 4

February 27, 2016

Advances in personalized / precision medicine approaches will continue. The first wave of personalized medicine has leveraged advancements in genomics to utilize a patient’s genetic information to support earlier diagnosis, therapeutic decision-making and development of patient-specific treatments. While there are some high profile successes of this approach, personalized medicine is not yet in widespread use. The promise of personalized medicine is acting as an engine of innovation in drug discovery and is driving more synergy between drug discovery research and the clinic. I expect that successful personalized treatments will result from integration of genomic and high content cell-based approaches from both research and the clinic that utilize a combination of an individual’s genotype and phenotype.

There has been a number of astounding success stories recently in engaging the body’s immune system to treat cancer and immuno-oncology has emerged as one of the most exciting developments in cancer in a long time. These breakthrough therapies have the potential not only to revolutionize the way cancer is controlled and treated, but potentially cured. There are an unprecedented number of collaborations and deals among pharma, biotech, and technology companies combining efforts toward successful therapies. I expect there will be a number of successes resulting from these over the coming years that will lead to genuine cures for many forms of cancer within the next 10 to 15 years.

In summary, I expect that a growing pipeline of new drugs will be discovered and developed over the coming years by better understanding the biology of disease through the effective application of high content cell-based and multiplex bead-based technologies to get this information earlier in the drug discovery process. Combining results from high content technologies with other “omic” technologies will provide a more complete holistic view and understanding of the biology of disease. As an industry, to get to a new age of drug discovery and development, it will require innovative and adaptable collaborations among companies, research organizations, and academic partners who can all contribute and share in the success of bringing new treatments to the world to truly improve healthcare outcomes.

R. Terry Dunlay
President and CEO, IntelliCyt Corporation

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