Despite predictions that pharma profits based on personalized medicine are still many years away, big pharmaceutical companies could reap large, near-term revenues by pairing new diagnostic tools with existing, commercially available drugs.

So says Scientia Advisors partner Amit Agarwal, who maintains that this new type of ‘life cycle management’ for drugs could also improve patient care and reduce national health costs.

Writing in the current Pharmaceutical Executive, Agarwal points out that most large pharmaceutical companies focus only on the costly, long-term development of biomarkers with the goal of bringing new, targeted therapies to market—and overlook the possibility that new diagnostics could increase revenues for their existing drugs and provide better patient outcomes. He suggests that big pharma would do well to emulate smaller companies that currently market diagnostics as part of their process in pharmaceutical sales.

‘Class leaders have the potential to gain great value by linking an already approved therapeutic to a diagnostic test,’ Agarwal says. ‘Our research shows that drugs with differentiated benefits, generics, or drugs that are late-to-market can also generate considerable financial returns.’

Pairing diagnostics with therapies allows companies to enhance their relationships with prescribing physicians by providing tools that can foster more effective treatment, Agarwal says. The diagnostic tools help doctors detect disease earlier, diagnose and differentiate patients likely to respond to particular therapeutics, minimize trial-and-error and adverse side effects, and monitor treatment.

Release Date: January 13, 2009
Source: Scientia Advisors