Wednesday, June 13, 2007


The objective of pharmacogenomics is ultimately to target drugs specifically to those patients with a genetic make-up (genotype) such that they will have close to 100% repose with no side effects. The real long-term potential for pharmacogenomics is to stratify diseases by mechanism and develop therapies, or even preventative approaches, based on genetic risk factors. More immediately, pharmacogenomics can be used to improve the clinical development processes.

Anticipated Benefits of Pharmacogenomics:

  • More powerful Medicines

Pharmaceutical companies will be able to create drugs based on the proteins, enzymes, and RNA molecules associated with genes and diseases. This will facilitate drug discovery and allow drug makers to produce a therapy more targeted to specific diseases. This accuracy not only will maximize therapeutic effects but also decrease to nearby healthy cells.

  • Better, Safer Drugs the First Time

Instead of the standard trial-and-error method of matching patients with the right drugs, doctors will be able to analyze a patient’s genetic profile and prescribe the best available drug therapy from the beginning. Not only will this take the guesswork out of finding the right drug, it will speedup recovery time and increase safety as the likelihood of adverse reactions is eliminated.

  • More Accurate Methods of Determining Appropriate Drug dosages

Current methods of basing dosages on weight and age will be replaced with dosages based on a person’s genetics-how the body process the medicine and the time it takes to metabolize it. This will maximize the therapy’s value and decrease the likelihood of overdose.

  • Advanced screening for Disease

Knowing one’s genetic code will allow a person to make adequate lifestyle and environmental changes at an early age so as to avoid or lessen the severity of a genetic disease., Likewise, advance knowledge of particular disease susceptibility will allow careful monitoring, and treatments can be introduced at the most appropriate stage to maximize their therapy.

  • Better vaccines

Vaccines made of genetic material, either DNA or RNA; promise all the benefits of existing vaccines without all the risks. They will activate the immune system but will be unable to cause infections. They will be inexpensive, stable, easy to store and capable of being engineered to carry several strains of a pathogen at once.

  • Improvements in the Drug Discovery and Approval Process

Pharmaceutical companies will be able to discover potential therapies more easily using genome targets. Previously failed drug candidates may be received as they are matched with the niche population they serve. The drug approval process should be facilitated as trials are targeted for specific genetic population groups – providing greater degrees of success. The cost and risk of clinical trials will be reduced by targeting only those persons capable of responding to a drug.

  • Decrease in the Overall Cost of Health Care

Decreases in the number of adverse drug reactions, the number of failed drug trials, the time it takes to get a drug approved, the length of time patients are on medication, the number of medications patients must take to find an effective therapy, the effects of a disease on the body (through early detection), and an increase in the range of possible drug targets will promote a net decrease in the cost of health care.

Why Pharmaceutical companies required Bioinformatics

Modern bioinformatic teams play a critical role in creating a framework that can support the needs of information based R&D. This role is an agent who changes, identifies and evaluate new tech, gives advises on their potential and integration, trains internal staffs and also helps to present and interpret the data for users. One of the goals of Bioinformatics is to make sense of Human Genome project that means what it is and what it does and without BI it would be impossible to find the answer in the vast sea of data i.e., being generated.

The availability of the genome sequence is just the beginning. Scientist want to understand genes. Their function & the role the play in the prevention, diagnosis & treatment of disease. The ultimate goal is to identify the pattern in the information that can be used to develop more therapeatics-drug.

Scientists now trying to understand PROTEOMICS i.e., study of proteins, their functions and interaction, the rules for figuring out the relationship between protein gene sequence and protein function. Drug makers believe that proteomic understanding will lead to new therapies that will revolutionize the way the disease is diagnosed and treated. With the help of Bioinformatics, they are trying to develop more effective therapeutics - drugs that work more quickly, are safer, less toxic and have better bioavailability. So, the greatest bottleneck is the discovery of gene function. The drug discovery companies depend on Bioinformatics companies to help them filter the huge number of genes which are associated with diseases and which would be good drug targets.

Only the thing is there is a need of common language so that pieces of data can be expressed in terms of that language. Then computational tool is needed to interpret these data, i.e., Bio-informatics provides necessary tools to get knowledge from (masses of) raw information. The wealth of information is a challenge to pharma and biotech companies. The abundance of data has a great advantage—better-targeted drug treatments will be possible. The global pharmaceutical industry is worth more that $ 150 billion per year.

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