June 15, 2015 (Vol. 35, No. 12)
By Simplifying Omics-Ready Instrumentation, Waters Means to Enable Personalized Medicine
LC-MS is moving from the research lab to the clinical lab, along with the biomarkers it helps identify. To make this transition, however, the instruments must become user-friendly for clinical lab workers.
“The traditional technology used in clinical labs—immunoassays for example—can’t look effectively at panels of biomarkers that are emerging from the world of proteomics, lipidomics, and genomics. LC-MS does that effectively in research labs, but is too complex today for clinical labs,” says Rohit Khanna, Ph.D., vice president, worldwide marketing, Waters Corporation.
“Investments need to be made in the area of accessibility to make LC-MS more user-friendly. The goal is, for example, to insert a vial of blood and get an answer. Doing that requires technological advancements.”
Industry Shift Signals Opportunity
As the industry becomes more varied, with pharmaceutical approaches being joined by health science or personalized medicine approaches, Waters’ technology, Dr. Khanna insists, will be critical to evolving and newly emerging market segments.
Historically, Waters has developed instrumentation to advance therapeutic discovery, development, and manufacturing for small molecules and biomolecules. “Our focus has since shifted to one that balances therapeutics and diagnostics,” Dr. Khanna informs. “Our technological arena—LC-MS, and the sample prep, analytics, chemistries, and consumables to support it—has a lot of room for growth.”
LC-MS will be particularly important for personalized medicine, Dr. Khanna tells GEN. That technology holds value for prevention and screening efforts, as future diagnostic tests will rely on LC-MS to test for panels of biomarkers or blood serum or plasma.
“The next 30 years will continue the shift from a traditional pharmaceutical, therapeutic-based approach to a personalized, pharmacogenomics approach in which physicians can quickly identify the best therapeutics for individual patients,” Dr. Khanna predicts.
Capabilities Also Grow
Relationships Are Pivotal
Location: 35 Maple Street, Milford, MA 01757
Phone: (508) 478-2000
Principal: Douglas A. Berthiaume, Chairman, President, and CEO
Number of Employees: 6,000+
Focus: Waters focuses on LC instruments, columns, chemistries, and consumables; MS systems; and thermal analysis and rheometry instruments. These complementary technologies support discovery, operations, and regulatory compliance.