Pharmacogenomics is the study of inherited variations in human genes that affect an individual’s reaction to a particular drug. It co-integrates genetic science with pharmaceutical science. Hence, it is the science of individualizing a drug based on an individual’s genetic makeup. Pharmacogenomics is also linked to personalized medicine, as environmental conditions, genetic variations, and changing lifestyle greatly influence the type and severity of diseases as well as therapeutic responses that vary from person to person.
In pharmacogenomics, various genetic tests are performed to determine or assist in targeted drug therapies as well as treatment procedures to be adopted to minimize side effects and improve results. The genetic tests performed in pharmacogenomics also help to determine an individual’s susceptibility to certain diseases. Presently, pharmacogenomics is being considered to bring a new change in medicine and health care as it promises to offer better, safer, and affordable health care.
Major factors driving the market are increasing prevalence of several infectious and non-infectious diseases, rising usage in drug discovery processes, increasing demand for personalized drugs, and growing awareness about benefits associated with pharmacogenomics. Diseases require effective treatment therapeutics, which must be more reliable and safe at the same time. Pharmacogenomics can help achieve both. Hence, increasing awareness about its benefits is likely to drive demand across regions.
Application of pharmacogenomics would greatly help physicians in the treatment of a particular segment of population by studying their responses to specific drugs. Moreover, the knowledge of effectiveness of a drug in a patient would make a drug more reliable, and limit the number of drugs to be withdrawn from the market due to different adverse reactions in few patients to whom they were administered. Several pharmacogenomics tests have been developed and some are under development. This represents tangible deliverables of the numerous genomic studies to correlate genetic variation with variable drug response.
Certain drugs such as warfarin, thiopurines, clopidogrel, irinotecan, abacavir, carbamazepine, and phenytoin are used for pharmacogenomics tests. These tests are performed for diseases such as excessive clotting disorder, autoimmune/childhood leukemia, cardiovascular, cancer, HIV, epilepsy, and psychiatric and related diseases. Pharmacogenomics is also facing challenges such as predicting the association between a genetic marker and a phenotypic drug response, where other variables are also playing their role in drug response. However, recent technological advancements will overcome the challenges in future.
North America holds the leading position in the pharmacogenomics market, followed by Europe. Growth of the market in these regions is attributed to increasing usage of pharmacogenomics in the development of more potent as well as personalized medicines, which have significant demand in these regions. High awareness among physicians and drug developers about the benefits, such as increased reliability and reduced side effects, is likely to boost the growth of the market in these regions.
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Asia Pacific is the most lucrative market. Key factor responsible for the rapid growth of this market in the region is increasing demand for better, safer, and cost effective therapeutics for several infectious and non-infectious diseases prevalent in this region. Other factors include increasing health care awareness, improving health care investments, rising number of R&D centers, and demand for personalized drugs.
Major players operating in the pharmacogenomics market are Affymetrix, Inc., AstraZeneca plc, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Bayer AG, Merck & Co., Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Johnson & Johnson, Merck KGaA, Myriad Genetics, Inc., and Pathway Genomics Corporation.
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