Dear members of the EEPHARM
Despite continuous breakthroughs and advances in molecular technologies, clinical genomic and pharmacogenomic applications still remain challenging, mostly due to insufficient information and education of health professionals and the lack of implementation of pharmacogenomic and genomic analyses in medical prescription reimbursement.
Personalized medicine, although still in its infancy, is an emerging scientific field that promises to deliver radical changes to healthcare. It aims to better elucidate prediction, susceptibility, prevention, diagnosis and prognosis of disease and ultimately, it aims to more effective therapeutic approach, through understanding the individual characteristics of each patient.
The developing process of personalized medicine starts with basic research into a disease. It then evolves in the direction of developing tools that may segregate patients into groups that correspond to targeted therapies. Such targeted therapies are developed and tested in clinical trials and if these tests are successful, the treatments may be submitted to regulatory authorities, such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA), for review and approval, in order to be used on patients.
New technologies in genomics offer a wealth of possibilities, both to identification of new pharmacological targets and the development of new drugs. Moreover, genomic research has succeeded great improvements in understanding the mechanisms of gene-gene and gene-disease interactions, evolving genomic research to a tool that can reduce both the cost of drug development and production and the cost of treatment of a disease.
Numerous examples of pharmaceuticals that have already emerged the market, in which the dosage depends on the genetic information (the genetic profile of the patients) or whose efficacy and effectiveness is determined by inherited genetic patient attributes or of their disease (targeted therapies). A few examples include warfarin, Glivec® (Imatinib, November 2001), Zelboraf® (Vemurafenib, February 2012), Xalkori® (Crizotinib, June 2012) or Kalydeco ™ (Ivacaftor, July 2012) etc.
The Hellenic Society of Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Diagnosis and Therapy (EEPHARM) was founded in 2015 aiming to cover the gap and is the national representative of Greece at the European Society of Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Therapy (ESPT).
EEPHARM primary purpose is to exchange views and enrich the knowledge of its members and to inform all health professionals of new methodologies that will bring us closer to personalized treatment.
Moreover, EPHFARM looks forward to actively support research, to contribute to the advancement of science in the field of personalized therapy.
We are still at the beginning. What is needed now is a long-term structured approach to these innovative processes in order to bring targeted, personalized treatments in daily clinical practice.
Dr. Drakoulis Nikolaos