Identifying potential therapeutic drug targets and validating their suitability is a complex process involving numerous experimental platforms, including DNA sequence analysis. Since its introduction in 2005 next-generation sequencing (NGS) has fundamentally altered genomics research. Large knowledge-gaining experiments are in progress that were financially unjustifiable or even impossible five years ago. These include metagenomics to compare different disease states or patient variablility, genome sequencing of model and pathogenic species or ELT compound library screening techniques.
NGS is now successfully utilised by biopharmaceutical companies from the earliest stages of drug discovery to provide detailed genomic data and clinical applications are now emerging. These range from investigating the molecular basis of drug resistance and planning antimicrobial regimens, to vaccine development and disease diagnostics. In the rapidly growing field of personalised medicine, eight percent of medicines now have a biomarker or stratified element as compared to just a few percent five years ago.
As sequencing costs continue to fall, the future will see even faster identification of responders and non-responders, benefiting patients, prescribers and payors.
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