We are currently in a time of genomics medicine where progress in science, medical practices, and the understanding of human biology are converging with data science, most importantly with AI. This trend enables the treatment and cure of human diseases at an unprecedented rate.
But What Exactly Is Genomics?
The word ‘genome’ refers to the complete genetic information of an organism. Genomics is the study of the structure, function, and inheritance of the genome. In humans, the genome is made up of DNA. Interestingly, 99.9% of every person’s genome is the same as everyone else’s. However, that 0.1% difference equates to around three million differences. Some of these differences determine our physical features, while others influence our susceptibility to developing different diseases.
One of the most important breakthroughs in genomics was the Human Genome Project, which launched in 1990. It was an international genomics research program, with the aim to map all human genes. The main purpose of this was to find the genetic roots of diseases and help develop treatments. The project, which was active for 13 years, resulted in establishing a complete genetic blueprint. Since then, it has become a resource that is used for a broad range of biomedical studies.
The next milestone was the development of the next-generation sequencing technology, which enables researchers to “read” a person’s whole genome relatively quickly and cheaply.
So Why Is All This Important?
Because this technology is instrumental in identifying inherited disorders, characterizing the mutations that drive cancer progression, and treating and even preventing disease.
Benefits Of Genomics
By uncovering the genetic makeup of patients, scientists can create a specialized healthcare plan in accordance with each patient’s individual genetic composition, instead of applying a one-size-fits-all approach.
While the advancements in genomics are still in the beginning, there are already various ways it is being used in healthcare.
- Noninvasive prenatal testing: Offers a peek into the genetic health and well-being of a child
- Treating and diagnosing cancer: Helps in gaining insights into a patient’s particular cancer and enables more targeted treatment options
- Pharmacogenomic: A way to predetermine whether a patient would respond to a certain drug before prescribing it
- Speed of diagnosis: Sequencing technology shortens the time from the start of symptoms (of a genetic disease) to diagnosis from months and years to just a couple of days
Market Size And Opportunities
The global genomics market size was $23.11 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow to $94.65 billion in 2028. Inside the sector, the most significant growth is expected in the prenatal genetic screening programs. It is also predicted that in the next decade every newborn’s genome would be sequenced and stored in the electronic medical record.
There is still a need to clear out any regulatory issues and to discover and apply the best practices on how to benefit from these technologies. However, according to experts, the next 20 years will be a transitional phase, where genomics becomes a routine part of clinical practices.
Genomics Companies To Keep An Eye On:
Dutch uniQure is aiming to advance medicine through delivering curative gene therapies
With expertise in gene editing technology, Paris-based Cellectis’s mission is to target and eradicate cancer cells.
British Genomics plc uses large-scale genetic information to develop innovative precision healthcare tools, and to bring new understanding to drug discovery.
SeqOne Genomics, based in Montpellier, improves patient outcome by making improved genomic analysis accessible to all.
American Natera provides personalized genetic testing in relation to oncology, women’s health, and organ health.
We Are Here For You
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