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Personalised medicine has been hailed as a game changer for the global pharma industry, bringing an end to the one-size-fits-all approach to medicine and introducing a new wave of customised treatments tailored to the needs of individual patients. We examine what needs to change as drugmakers transition from large batches to small and customised supplies.

We also explore the financial challenges of CAR-T cell therapies. Will nations around the world be able to afford the price tag attached to one of the industry’s most advanced – and expensive – therapies? Plus, we take a look at a new platform that uses AI to optimise drug combination therapy.

Finally, we find out more about the importance of the microbiome in personalised medicine. Could a better understanding of this community of bacteria, viruses and microorganisms supplant genetics as the primary target for precision medicine? All this plus the latest market and innovation insights from GlobalData.

In this issue

Manufacturing personalised meds: what needs to change?
Personalised medicine offers the promise of customised treatments for individual patients and groups. But, in order to deliver these benefits, the pharma industry and supply chain will have to embrace dramatic changes in manufacturing methods. Abi Millar finds out more.
Read the article here.

Selling cells: the economics of CAR-T therapy
As a new class of CAR-T cell therapies moves through clinical trials and the first of these innovative treatments enters the market, the therapy is causing almost as much consternation as excitement in the healthcare sphere. While CAR-T looks set to transform the treatment of cancer, what does the future hold for one of the industry’s most advanced – and expensive – treatments? Sally Turner finds out.
Read the article here.

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Using AI to personalise drug combination therapy
Doctors routinely employ a combination therapy strategy for cancer patients, but figuring out which drugs to use is a challenge. Researchers at the National University of Singapore have developed an artificial intelligence platform called QPOP to streamline this process. Abi Millar finds out more about how the platform could personalise combination therapy.
Read the article here.

Is the microbiome as important for precision medicine as genetics?
The field of personalised medicine has been dominated by genetics, not surprising given our unique DNA footprints. However, studies have begun to point to the microbiome – the community of bacteria, viruses and microorganisms that inhabit the human body – as critical for functioning and metabolism, and therefore a perfect target. Could understanding the microbiome supplant genetics? Sally Turner finds out.
Read the article here.

Next issue preview

Little over a decade ago, the US FDA approved Merck’s Gardasil, the first preventive human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine. Since then, vaccination programmes have been rolled out worldwide and now, the UK is planning to extend the HPV vaccination to boys from 2019. We take a look at a decade of progress to track the major developments of HPV vaccines.

We also explore how the genes of patients who suffer from a hereditary form of Alzheimer’s disease could provide a deeper understanding of the disorder, find out how a unique brain ‘fingerprint’ developed by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute could help doctors predict the effectiveness of treatments, and examine new research that has found that lipoprotein lipase enhancers help statins reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Plus, we take a look at the decision making process of mega pharmacies after the largest independent manager of pharmacy benefits in the US dropped several drugs once considered to be untouchable, and investigate whether a lack of female participants is affecting heart disease trial results.