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Interviewer: Dr. Michael Menden, thank you for recording this interview with us today on artificial intelligence and precision medicine.
The concept of precision medicine was introduced almost two decades ago,
to address the need of more tailored treatment options based on patients molecular profile,
lifestyle and environmental factors.
Since the introduction of this concept,
how much has changed in the traditional drug discovery process,
and how much has much this impacted the pharmaceutical industry?
Dr. Menden: Thank you very much for the question.
We have to acknowledge drug development is slow,
and precision medicine has been able to accelerate drug approval.
Therefore, it's a very viable concept,
a very important concept for pharmaceutical companies to implement.
Nowadays, when you develop a new drug from the beginning,
you're always on the hunt for biomarkers and how to stratify your patients later on.
Companion diagnostics are often developed with a drug at the same time from the very beginning.
This concept of precision medicine to stratify your patient or respondent,
or non-respondent, based on molecular characterization has been pioneered by oncology.
Just, let me give you a few examples of trastuzumab.
For example, there is a drug developed by Rush,
which is targeting HER-2 amplification in breast cancer.
They made it to the market in 11 years after discovery of this oncogenic event,
and roughly 20 percent of all breast cancer patients have a HER-2 amplification,
so there's a high need to actually target this.
Another example is BRAF V600E mutations in melanoma and skin cancer,
and those are abundant in approximately 60 percent of all skin cancer patients.