Discussion Board

Topic: metabolomics

From: Jerry Ryan
Location: Boston
Date: 12/21/2009

I am reading Mariposa (enjoying it a lot - thanks!)
Yesterday, I received the following email from a friend - it seems eerily like a plot for a new conspiracy. I though you might find it interesting.
Merry Christmas!

"Guys --

Only a handful of companies very important to the future of healthcare in the US and abroad specialize in the research and development of technologies and products for the field of personalized medicine (medicine that is specific to a particular patient, rather than traditional, one-size-fits-all, medicine).

The market for personalized medicine in the United States is already $232 billion, and it is projected to grow 11 percent annually, reaching $452 billion by 2015.

This growth is predicated upon (1) advances in genomics (the branch of genetics that studies organisms in terms of their genomes (their full DNA sequences)), proteomics (the branch of molecular biology that studies the set of proteins expressed by the genome of an organism), and metabolomics (the study of the range of metabolites present in a person's body at normal times, and when suffering from specific diseases), (2) completion of the human genome map, and (3) development of "targeted" diagnostics, companion diagnostics, and therapeutics.

Real and long-term meaningful healthcare reform will be based upon a switch to personalized medicine, away from sickness care, and toward wellness care: care that is (1) personalized, (2) participatory, (3) preventive, and (4) predictive. Personalized medicine will improve (1) access, (2) quality, (3) cost, and (4) safety of care.

Available personalized medicine tests, for example, enable caregivers to (1) identify an individual's susceptibility to, or current presence of, disease, (2) predict how that individual will respond to a particular drug, (3) eliminate unnecessary tests or therapies, (4) reduce the incidence of adverse reactions to drugs or tests, (5) increase the efficacy of treatments, and, ultimately, of course, (6) improve healthcare outcomes, while producing lower: pain, suffering, loss of comfort, freedom, and/or mobility, loss of work-based and home-based productivity, and financial costs.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Industries Group has just written a 52-page thoughtful report on the potential of, and barriers to, personalized medicine that I believe is very much worth at least scanning. It is entitled The Science of Personalized Medicine: Translating the Promise into Practice, and it can be downloaded at http://www.pwc.com/personalizedmedicine.

The report predicts that molecular diagnostics will be one of the big winners, more than doubling from $3 billion to $7 billion, with a substantial market share. Who would have thought just a decade or two ago that such would be the case.

I close with a key paragraph from the report:

The 20th century was marked by extraordinary advances in technology that would have seemed beyond the imagination at the start of the century. When the Wright Brothers took flight off the sands of Kitty Hawk in 1903, few could imagine that in the space of less than 70 years a man would set foot on the moon. Similarly, we believe the 21st century will give rise to advances in genomic and proteomic science that cannot yet be envisioned, and will yield results on a similarly grand scale.



John A. Norris, JD, MBA
Chairman and CEO
Norris Capital, Inc.
531 West Washington Street
Hanson, MA 02341
O: 781-447-3732; C: 617-680-3127

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