Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Jan 22, 2005

News
Features
Stocks
Port Info
Archives
Google

Group Sites

Industry & Economy - Pharmaceuticals


`Molecular medicine next big opportunity'

M. Somasekhar

Hyderabad , Jan. 21

FOR drugs and genomic companies, `molecular medicine' could well be the next big business opportunity, the Chief Scientific Officer of Sequenom Inc., Dr Charles Cantor, has said.

The developments, post human genome mapping (year 2000) in understanding molecular level genetics, point to the big demand for a new generation of equipment, diagnostic tests and drugs.

This in turn would fuel investments and economic & business opportunities, he told Business Line here.

The recent acquisition of Amersham by GE and its changed focus to molecular medicine is just one indicator of the way things are moving.

The diagnostic industry has not changed much in the past 20 years and seems poised to grow, Dr Cantor who directs research at Sequenom Inc, one of the major genomics company based in the US and Germany, said.

Sequenom has developed DNA mass spectrometry, which can analyse thousands of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acids) sequences a day. Using this, it is becoming possible to gain insights into genes (human, animal or plant). This data in turn could be used to identify people at risk to various genetic diseases as well as cancers.

Dr Cantor, who was here to deliver the 8th CDFD distinguished lecture at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), said advances have been made into detecting thalassemia in pre-natal stage, breast and lung cancers as well as Down's syndrome.

A total of 60 new genes, which pre-dispose people to disease, have been discovered and are being pursued.

In five years time, Dr Cantor predicted the development of easy detection methods for cancer.

It would be possible to identify specific genetic markers that are responsible for causing cancer.

Analysis of samples would be possible non-invasively (which implies they would be less costly methods) and finally, such diagnostic tests would not be unpleasant for patients.

Referring to biotechnology and the excitement built around Genomics during 2000-01, the Sequenom official said, "The 2001 excitement was not understood properly. Having a genome sequence is just the beginning and not the end. Even today we are finding genes responsible for certain diseases. This is still the beginning. Information does not translate to medical care instantaneously."

Biotechnology seems to be going through four-year cycles.

"We have come through a bad phase. Early 2000 we saw too many companies going public. The fatality rate will be painful. However, things are looking up and the next decade holds lots of excitement," Dr Cantor said.

Article E-Mail :: Comment :: Syndication :: Printer Friendly Page


Stories in this Section
Directory of R&D institutions in Kerala


`Gulf Dream' rebounds with new vigour
Naturol BioEnergy set to achieve financial closure by March
MSEB looks to wind power, biomass to tackle shortage
Brazil lifts dumping duty on Indian jute bags
Mid-term review of dumping duty on Vitamin AD3
Govt urged to extend Sarfaesi Act to NBFCs
Kerala Budget on Feb 4
Agrochem industry answers Jammu call
FICCI plans to rev up manufacturing sector
`Growth of manufacturing sector key to combat unemployment'
`World Bank committed to supporting reform process'
India, Chile launch joint business forum
Tobacco industry calls for continuation of AED regime
EEPC opens out to CIS nations
India to prepare `sensitive list' for negotiations with Thailand
Nitric oxide saves life of newborn
Keltron bags orders from Navy
KRL officers say swap ratio with BPCL unfavourable
Concern over import of life-expired gas cylinders
Pvt petro outlets fare better with small network
`Molecular medicine next big opportunity'
AES Corp, CLP Power are back; bid for UP project
High-voltage distribution system in AP soon
Draft steel policy targets 110 mt output by 2020
Shifting of service tax liability: Traders unhappy
Minister not in favour of taxing industry for reviving sick firms
Luxury tax militates against Centre-States' pact: Experts
FICCI moots measures to enlarge tax base
`EOUs should be exempted from central sales tax'
FIEO flays VAT refund clause
Garment technology expo 2005 begins
Archaic laws stifle textile sector competitiveness
Post-quota regime: Yarn exporters turning to domestic production
Spinners' plea to sort out conversion charges issue
CII in pact with UK chamber for SMEs
Plea to safeguard interests of SMEs in trade accords
SISI training programme in Vijayawada
Herbal cosmetics sector to contend with new players
Gem, jewellery exports rise 38 pc
BDMA, Ramky sign pact for Pharma City lands
Leather exporters focus on finished goods
Bengal leather sector seeks more funds for upgradation
Rs 5-cr S&T incubation fund to be set up
Divest loss-making Kerala PSEs: Chamber
WTO: Making multilateralism meaningful
Cruise cos scout for Indian staff
Kerala plantation workers plan rally
Chidambaram to attend G-7 meet
Creating value in services sector — `Leadership from manufacturing holds key'
Swan song
PM to inaugurate meet on CEOs today
Corporate quiz
Consumer grievances
Should all deductions and exemptions go?
Exports under deferred payment deals to get advance licence benefits
S. Asian tsunami warning system may cost $200 m
LIC expedites settlement of claims over tsunami casualties
Contributions to The Hindu Relief Fund
`Lab networking must to monitor pesticide residues'


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line