Thursday, December 20, 2007

Science's 'Breakthrough of the Year': Human genetic variation

Further steps towards personalized treatment and incidentally also unblocking the stall in new drug development will in my view be facilitated and mediated largely by the rapidly advancing possibilities in personal genomics. Science recognizes the importance of us not all being alike and indeed significant hurdles hinder the market entry of promising drugs, simply because they only work in some and not all but such is the fate of many advanced treatments since they now grow vastly more targeted and thus have a not only a higher potential for positive patient outcomes but also for negative outcomes and without personal genomics it simply will be next to impossible to bring the next (well maybe a few steps more removed) generations of drugs to market. Fortunately where there is a market there is someone willing to sell. Among others 23andme offering basic scans for 1000$. Of course there are different offerings and competition and quality will grow at the same time that prices will erode. Ten years hence this will be far from uncommon i suppose, at least among people committed to their health.

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