Predictive And Molecular Medicine

Various approaches, including pharmacogenomics, make up the emerging field of predictive medicine. These advances allow clinicians to predict (somewhat) the risk of disease based on genetic testing and to predict whether a particular therapy will be effective or pose a risk of adverse effects in a particular patient.

Molecular medicine is already here, but not for all patients or all diseases. Molecular diagnostics is and will become more intertwined with molecular therapeutics for prognostics, therapeutic stratification, and resuscitation of some failed compounds.

It is important to acknowledge just how cutting-edge today's biopharmaceutical research is. Much of it is frontier, not textbook, science. Moving new and experimental techniques and technologies from the R&D lab into clinical testing, research and patient care is a costly, time-consuming process, which ultimately may not even yield commercial or health benefits.

That the biotechnological innovations of the 1970s took until the 1990s to integrate is described in The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Revolution in Molecular Biology: Exploring the Interactions between Scientific, Institutional and Organizational Change. Available at http://www.cid.harvard.edu/ cidbiotech/events/henderson.htm. It's a sure bet that the biotechnological innovations of the 1990s will take time to mature and be adopted as well.

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