In the United States, there are approximately 30 million individuals (~10%) living with a rare disease with no known modality. This isn’t slowing down either with around 7,000 different types of rare diseases found each day. The unfortunate truth is that our current medical system is not designed to help these patients effectively due to the model being a “one-size-fits-all” approach to drug development and prescription. Compounding that with most drugs taking 8-12 years to go from concept to clinical trials to FDA approval, we’re a decade behind providing a more tailored approach to drug discovery.
When patients have an adverse reaction to a drug, it can often be linked back to this non-tailored prescription model. This is especially critical with rare diseases as we are effectively shooting in the dark when it comes to prescribing “cures” to rare diseases. With little to no knowledge of the patient from a genetic level, doctors lack the visibility into knowing whether a drug will work apart from reviewing the patient’s phenotypic data. Likewise, many drug developments are still conducted in this manner as well. Drug developers may have a certain idea around what type of drug they are trying to create but with certain types of drugs, such as biologics, it is often unknown what the actual genetic makeup of the drug is.
The lack of creating more precise medications for individuals, especially ones with rare diseases, is both costly and concerning. In the United States, 1.9 million patients are hospitalized each year for side effects of properly prescribed drugs. This excludes individuals with rare diseases. For individuals with a rare disease, having therapeutic modalities is even more critical given the already unstable state of the patient.
Enter the world of Pharmacogenomics. Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This is a field that has gained popularity in recent years due to the decline of the cost of genome sequencing. It’s role in precision medicine is becoming increasingly more critical throughout drug development as it helps optimize drugs for individual patients. Throughout clinical trials, pharmaceutical companies can closely monitor the impact of a drug on a patient based on both the patient’s genetic structure as well as the drug genetic structure (when applicable). We see this as both an insurance policy to the pharmaceutical company, a massive cost savings throughout clinical trials due to reduced trial & error, and a huge improvement to patient outcomes due to proper drug responses.
With patient outcome being a major role in this, there are now companies all over the world being created to handle just this problem. Both in clinical trials and mass market, understanding how patients are responding to drugs is useful throughout the drug creation process, drug prescription, and insurance modeling.
At The Sequencing Center, we’re working on a few solutions that are designed to solve these problems. The first is that we’re a vertically integrated sequencing solution that provides our customers with next generation sequencing, bioinformatics, and data management & analytics all under one roof. This provides a complete view on the biological makeup of both the patient and the drug. The next is our unique subscription based sequencing services, which allows clinical trial practitioners and researchers to sequence hundreds of samples a month for an incredibly affordable rate. Lastly, we’re creating the ability to send genetic data for each patient to patient outcome mapping software to help optimize drug development that is data driven from how patients actually respond.
It’s the start of a precision medicine world; one where genetics takes the lead as the foundation for a human that drugs are built for instead of what we have today which is mass market drugs not tailored for anyone. Our mission is to enable researchers to unlock the pharmacogenomics potential through a scalable and affordable solution that can effectively map the proper drug strain and type to a patients specific genetic makeup. We believe this is the way we’re going to reduce the number of hospitalized patients each year due to drug side effects and help accelerate drug discovery for individuals with rare diseases.
If you’re interested in how we can help enable pharmacogenomics
at your organization, get in touch with us!