Judy O'Rourke

Judy O’Rourke

We wish we could be across the room, asking what you think about things. Plan B is the recent survey we conducted in partnership with the research department at Mizuho Securities USA, asking where you think personalized medicine is heading and why.

Those who responded say the most exciting product developments in the next year will occur in real-time PCR and digital PCR, and oncology is the disease that will benefit most from personalized medicine testing. The greatest obstacles you see are cost and insurance coverage.

The in-depth survey is a companion piece to this issue’s articles on personalized medicine with a focus on oncology diagnostics and molecular diagnostics. The Web link in the personalized medicine piece takes you to the survey.

It seems barely a week goes by without an exciting new development in these areas. This week alone (as I’m writing, in advance of publication), the simultaneous approval of Roche’s Zelboraf™, for treating BRAF V600E mutation-positive, inoperable, or metastatic melanoma, and the cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test, marks the first-ever joint FDA approval of a drug and companion diagnostic, and the first time Roche is launching one of its medicines coupled with a diagnostic test.

We saw QIAGEN partnering with Pfizer for the development of a companion molecular diagnostic test for use with an investigational Pfizer compound that is in clinical development for treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer. And, in concert with news of a $30 million gift enabling the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to establish a Center for Personalized Cancer Medicine, Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University, said, “Treatment fine-tuned to a patient’s genetic makeup is the future of cancer medicine.”

Judy O’Rourke
Editor, CLP

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