Application of Biomarkers by the Pharmaceutical Companies

Almost all major pharmaceutical companies are using biomarkers, at least in preclinical drug development. Many of these have in house biomarker programs, whereas others use services of many biotechnology companies involved in supporting biomarker drug discovery and development. These companies generally pursue biomarkers in relation to pathway analysis and in conjunction with hypothesis-driven, deductive, knowledge-based target discovery. However, work on biomarkers presents a scientific opportunity to rediscover biology by better understanding individual diseases and their associated pathways. Currently biochemical assays and imaging are used by most of the companies but the use of metabolomic markers is expected to increase in the future as a part of the increasing use of “omic” technologies. Expression profiling is also increasing in importance. Although technologies for biomarkers have been adopted widely, the maximum utility of these has not been achieved as yet. Biomarker-based drug development some of the major pharmaceutical companies is shown in Table 4.2.

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