Precision Medicine Trends Shaping the Industry

The precision medicine industry combines molecular biology with systems biology to find ways to prevent and treat diseases. It allows doctors to select treatments based on a genetic understanding of a patient’s disease along with variations in environment and lifestyle to treat them individually. It utilizes big data technology to enable more precise and customized treatment using large data sets to find correlations. This minimizes the effects of an overly broad treatment approach that could have unintended side effects and saves doctors on treatment costs. It is essential for finding treatments for neurological diseases, which are expected to increase with life expectancy and population growth. It is also important to help understand and better treat cancer individually. Here are ten trends in the precision medicine industry to look for:

1. Oncology Will Retain the Highest Market Share

Precision medicine will likely continue to focus on finding different oncological disease treatments. It is used to treat oncological illnesses 30% more often than the next highest application of precision medicine. Europe and the U.S. are the major centers where oncological applications of precision medicine are occurring, and research is being performed. The support from state funding is expected to accelerate the precision medicine market’s growth in the treatment of oncological diseases.

2. Non-Oncology Therapeutic Research Will Increase

As genomic research has increased, there are signals that the focus of precision medicine may shift beyond just oncology and toward non-oncology areas. According to Diaceutics Group, two-thirds of phase three pipelines are focused on non-oncology areas. This provides strong motivation for precision medicine researchers to find applications outside of oncology areas. Examples of areas where such applications may be found are infectious diseases, central nervous system diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which have strong genetic correlations, have been posited as possible candidates for further research in the precision medicine industry.

3. The U.S. Will Continue to Lead the Precision Medicine Market

Despite setbacks in medical research due to an increased emphasis on COVID-19, the U.S. is still the leader in the precision medicine industry, a trend that will continue in the coming years. In 2015, the U.S. created the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), which aims to bring the concept of precision medicine into mainstream medicine to create customized treatment options. The PMI has teamed up with the Department of Veteran Affairs and the FDA to build research and data capacity and policies to increase the use of precision medicine in treating diseases. This puts the U.S. in a leading position in the precision medicine industry, and the U.S. may pilot treatments that could be adopted worldwide.

4. The Market for Precision Medicine Will Remain Competitive

Currently, the market for precision medicine is neither perfectly competitive, with many major firms competing, nor is it monopolistic, dominated by one or a few major companies. Several major companies, such as Pfizer and Novartis, and mid-size and smaller companies, are entering the market and introducing new technologies. This is good for disseminating advances in precision medicine as a competitive environment is more likely to yield lower-cost solutions without regulatory intervention.

5. Financial and Time Costs Will be Further Reduced

Scientific and Technological advances regarding the study of genes have decreased the costs and time associated with implementing precision medicine practices. In the past few years, the prices of tests are shifting the landscape away from research applications to clinical applications. This has allowed the medical community to gather a larger sample of data that will help accelerate precision medicine research. Companies that work with big data, such as IBM, are gaining more information on how genetic and chronic diseases function. This will help find further applications of precision medicine in the clinical field.

Compiling more genomic data integrated with traditional data will quicken the pace of machine learning in precision medicine. The medical community can expect genomic data available to increase in the coming years, leading to further dissemination of precision medicine practices worldwide.

6. Precision Medicine Will Change the Public’s View on Healthcare Data

Precision medicine and, more broadly, digital healthcare options are increasing data availability and access, which has led to changes in public opinion. Evidence shows that the public is becoming more receptive to personalized health and lifestyle data, signaled by the popularity of fitness tracking devices and watches. People want more of a say in the healthcare decision-making process, and the advances in the precision medicine field are allowing consumers the chance to give their input. The growing emphasis on consumer-based practices combined with precision medicine advances is providing increased transparency and more clarity about the costs of care of treatment. This contrasts with the previously utilized one-size-fits-all approach.

7. More Automated Support for Providers

Tools that enhance decision-making regarding precision medicine will help clinical practitioners decide what tests are necessary and how to apply genetic data to the results. Precision medicine will also prevent denial and delays for healthcare consumers. This will also influence the type of tests ordered in the next five years. Increases in large panel tests can be expected over the next five years to look at a region of the gene instead of current tests that only look at a narrow range of genes.

8. Better Choice of Antibiotics

Doctors make educated guesses about which antibiotic to prescribe when a patient is sick, which can be life-threatening in certain situations like sepsis. Instead of waiting days to test for bacteria in a lab while the patient starts their antibiotic regimen, using precision medicine, doctors can take blood samples and sequence the bacteria to pinpoint which one is making them sick. This would save time and will become more common in the coming years.

9. Growth of Pharmacogenomics as a Research Focus

Weighing factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and medical history, doctors can prescribe medications targeted to treat the patient with the least side effects. Currently, doctors must make inferences when it comes to switching medications and adjusting the dosage. Pharmacogenomics, the research of the response of genes to drugs, is growing and will expand with the growth of precision medicine. Thousands of patients in the U.S. are participating in pharmacogenomic trials, which will hopefully give doctors the ability to observe how quickly the body breaks down drugs and how likely certain side effects can be present.

10. Better Diagnoses

In oncology, precision medicine is used to test whether breast cancer patients have receptors for estrogen or progesterone. Precision medicine research is currently working on a blood test to find cancer anywhere in the body by sequencing blood and locating tumor DNA. Doctors will also better understand whether the patient is responding to treatment or just in remission. The medical community can expect more precision medicine drugs to be approved by the FDA, which will be able to identify the presence of cancer based on genetic changes.

Precision Medicine Industry Stats and Growth Projections

Here are ten statistics to know about precision medicine and future trends:

  1. 50 % of providers select more clinically appropriate tests than the one first ordered if they receive genetic decision support before ordering the tests. This demonstrates the positive effect of precision medicine on selecting appropriate tests.
  2. Reactions to side effects caused by inaccurate medicine account for about 30% of acute hospital admissions annually. Increasing access to precision medicine applications will likely decrease the number of hospital admissions caused by side effects from traditional practices.
  3. Investment in precision medicine from leading pharmaceutical companies will experience a 1/3 increase in the next five years. This demonstrates the biggest pharmaceutical companies’ commitment to acceleration in precision medicine research.
  4. 66% of phase 3 pipelines are focused on non-oncology areas of medicine. This demonstrates how applications of precision medicine are diversifying away from oncology treatment.
  5. 1 out of 5 people who receive genetic counseling decide not to pursue a treatment regimen. With increased access to digestible information, consumers will have more independence over their healthcare.
  6. Thirty million people with type 2 diabetes get the same diagnosis and treatment. The growth of precision medicine is providing the opportunity to provide individualized treatment and will re-calibrate current treatment practices.
  7. One million people contribute to the advancement of precision medicine through the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) in the U.S. This points to the U.S. maintaining its leadership position in the personalized medicine.
  8. Genomic sequencing, commonly used in precision medicine therapies, can cost over $5,000. Advances in research will lead to lower costs for genomic sequencing allowing for wider access to precision medicine techniques.
  9. 35% of FDA-approved drugs for cancer were precision medicines. This demonstrates the growth of precision medicines to treat cancer; however, research is rapidly expanding in non-oncological fields.
  10. The global precision medicine market will reach a value of $2.4 trillion. The global centers for precision medicine research are currently in North America and Western Europe. As costs fall, applications will spread to Asia.