When it comes to medications, there is no single truth. Specific treatments help some patients and the same treatment can be ineffective for others. Likewise, a drug may be tolerated without problems by one patient and yet have adverse effects on another.
In general, medical decisions are based on population data in regards to patient’s response to treatments and guidelines. This practice ends up being inefficient at the end because it means that, on occasions, treatments are prescribed with the inadequate dose, either too much or too little, or the most effective treatment is not prescribed for a given patient.
The knowledge that patients are heterogeneous demands a paradigm shift in health care towards personalization of treatments. The combined analysis of the medical history, individual circumstances, and the physiological and molecular data of each person, should allow the medical professional to develop prevention plans and treatments specific to each patient. Traditional trial-and-error medicine is giving way to precision or personalized medicine.
However, this is not a field that is fully resolved today. The challenges facing biotechnology and personalized medicine include:
- adoption in clinical practice
- regulation and financing of health systems
- integrated approach to disease understanding (combination of available information on genetic, epigenetics, …)
The principles of precision medicine have been applied for more than 10 years in diseases such as cancer. Professionals use very advanced diagnostic tests to identify the biological characteristics of the disease that can determine the response a patient may have to each potential treatment.
Data from these diagnostic tests, along with other relevant information from the patients’ medical records, have begun to be collected and analyzed by information systems that use state-of-the-art computer models to establish cause & effect relationships that help advance the clinical care of diseases and patients.
There is still a long way to go. In this process, it is essential that the concepts of personalized medicine are understood by both citizens and healthcare professionals, that infrastructures and processes to manage information are provided, and the available data is shared by the scientific community.
Biohope and Precision Medicine
Biohope is aware of the medical need to advance in the field of chronic inflammatory diseases and of the need to have tools that allow the personalization of treatments to the specificity of each patient.
Biohope is a R&D company dedicated to the development of unique precision medicine In Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) tools to personalize current and future treatments in the field of chronic inflammatory conditions, to improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
For patients with renal transplant, Biohope has developed a product, the Immunobiogram®, that help physicians to individualize the immunosuppressive therapy to improve clinical outcomes and reduce the side effects of the treatments. The physicians can benefit from the information provided by the Immunobiogram® by helping them to select the adequate immunosuppressive treatment for each patient. The use of the Immunobiogram® by healthcare providers would help them to reduce the risk of graft failure and adverse events, thereby generating savings.
In this field of kidney transplantation, the principles and all possible tools related to precision medicine are much needed. Although some advances have considerably improved the success rate of transplants and improved the quality of life for patients with end-stage renal disease, still high rates of graft rejection are occurring today.
To counter graft rejection, patients are treated with immunosuppressive drugs on a long-term basis, which is generally associated with a variety of adverse events. Current decisions of immunosuppressant (IS) selection and dosing are done empirically and do not follow a personalized approach. This sub-optimal treatment practice may result in either under-immunosuppression that leads to graft rejections or over- immunosuppression that exposes the patient to a host of opportunistic infections while increasing the risk of cancer and tumor.
With the IMMUNOBIOGRAM® for kidney transplantation ready for commercialization, the next step for Biohope is to adapt and validate the technology for other indications in the field of autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory conditions.