Finding Genomes with ‘Knockout’ Genes Leads to Development of New Therapeutic Drugs, along with Clinical Laboratory Tests for these Biomarkers

Drugs based on knockout genes are expected to trigger the need for companion diagnostic tests that will be performed by pathologists and medical laboratory scientists

Pharmaceutical companies and other research programs are developing a new opportunity to use information from human genome sequencing to create a new class of therapeutic drugs. These drugs target “knockout genes” and those same genes are expected to be used as diagnostic biomarkers for clinical laboratory testing as a new field of companion diagnostics emerges.

In simplest terms, large-scale DNA sequencing of the human genome is enabling researchers to identify individuals with “knockout” genes and then develop therapeutic drugs based on that knowledge.

The first commercial success story from this partnership of geneticists and the pharmaceutical industry is expected to be a new class of drugs that lowers cholesterol. These drugs may reach pharmacy shelves this year, reported an October 24 Nature article. (more…)