Our increasing knowledge of the complex nature of molecular interactions has enabled us to not only understand physiological and pathological processes better but also to identify biological markers that define a particular state or condition—so-called biomarkers.
Molecular biomarkers are now used across many disciplines and can be any molecule, part of a molecule, or even a particular configuration that is both detectable and measurable, and the level or appearance of which is indicative of a particular biological state.
Biomarkers are useful tools in the diagnosis of disease or the identification of a predisposition. However, basing a clinical decision on a single biomarker can lead to a significant number of false positives. It is therefore more reliable and robust to use a panel of biomarkers that act as a fingerprint of the disease and its status.
Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) has experience in this area, and in this article we look specifically at the development of clinically relevant autoantibody-based diagnostic biomarker panels.
It is estimated that the biomarker market will be worth over $20 billion by 2014, driven by increasing demand from both the drug discovery and the clinical service sectors. Within the clinical sector, biomarkers impact multiple application areas, including diagnostics, prognostics, and companion diagnostics/personalized medicine.