Multiplex Assays in Translational Medicine: Technologies, Applications, and Future Directions
Author: Olivia Scaros, PharmD
The development and growth of assay technologies has pushed translational medicine into a category unto itself. In a broad perspective on this field, this new report:
- Defines translational medicine by giving some historical background as well as providing personal definitions from experts in the field
- Discusses the evolution of assay technologies
- Reviews currently available assay technologies that apply directly to translational medicine
- Describes and evaluates current applications of these technologies
- Provides case studies of clinicians currently using this technology in their research
- Discusses future directions of assay technologies for translational medicine
- Gives input from the FDA on translation medicine and assay technologies
- Provides interviews from experts in the field of both translational medicine and specific assay technologies
- Profiles premier companies active in the field
Assay technologies have been evolving since scientists first discovered they could measure glucose, insulin, and several hormones in the blood to help them diagnose disease. Early instruments such as the Ames Reflectance Meter, used for detecting glucose levels, have morphed into such sophisticated systems as flow cytometers. The Human Genome Project provided the basics for researchers to launch into the field of human genomics and they needed the tools to accomplish this. DNA microarrays allowed for massively parallel gene expression analyses. Scientists soon discovered that while the genomewide assays were extremely valuable, there were genes of interest that they had difficulty measuring when they got hundreds of data points from a microarray. Low- to mid-density assays have allowed scientists to pinpoint the genetic code for a variety of uses, from genetic heredity studies to drug metabolism and patient stratification.
Multiplex Assays in Translational Medicine: Technologies, Applications, and Future Directions provides a full discussion of the current state and future directions for assay technologies used in translational medicine. In translational medicine, information flows in multiple directions—as the common phrase "bench to bedside and back" describes. Information taken from the clinical level can be used to refine techniques used at the "bench", and the whole process begins again. Data collected from assays will assist researchers all through drug discovery, the phases of clinical development, and in obtaining drug approval by the Food and Drug Administration. This information can also be used to help with the selection and development of next-generation compounds.
Today, pharmaceutical companies are faced with many hurdles to get a discovered compound through drug development and finally to market. This report provides a thorough discussion of the roles multiplex assay technologies play in pursuing that goal.
About the Author
Olivia Scaros graduated from the University of Illinois in 1988 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. She has been employed by various pharmaceutical firms, including Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Bayer, and Pfizer, both as an employee and a consultant. For the past 16 years, Dr. Scaros’ main focus has been medical writing, including biotechnical reports, study reports, clinical protocols, articles, and other projects for the pharmaceutical industry.