Clinical use of biomarkers growing fast in oncology, cardiology

Nearly 90% of all candidate drugs fail in clinical trials. That's just the nature of clinical development. Lots of failures due to issues involving toxicity and absorption. But wouldn't it be nice to know early on if a clinical trial will fail, before too much time and money are sunk into it? This is where a few handy biomarkers would make a difference. And that's why biomarker applications in clinical development are gaining momentum, according to Peter Mansell, writing in PharmaTimes. Citing a study by market researcher Global Industry Analysts, Mansell writes that while biomarker discovery still takes up the biggest chunk of the market, clinical applications are rising fast.

GIA lists oncology and cardiology as areas of clinical growth of biomarkers. For cancer, "one area in which the attrition rate in drug development is particularly high," Mansell writes, biomarkers could help all the way along the line--from early detection to disease analysis to delivering therapies. Cardiology biomarkers are expected to grow quickly, as they can do everything from predict heart failure to assess the risks of stroke and other cardiovascular events.

Right now, according to GIA, North America represents the largest market for biomarkers. Fastest-growing, though, are the Asia-Pacific countries. And, one bit of good news for those in the biomarker business. It appears to be recession-proof. The market "continued to surge ahead at double-digit growth rate even during the recession period," the analysts said, according to PharmaTimes.

- read the article in PharmaTimes