Initiatives for Precision Medicine that Contribute Solutions to Social Issues in the Healthcare Field
Improving patient quality of life while reducing healthcare costs has become a major social issue
Treatments for cancer mainly consist of surgical treatment, anticancer medicine treatment, and radiation therapy. Among these, the benefits and side effects of anticancer medicine therapy vary greatly depending on the patient. Some medicines are costly and have risk of side effects, but still are not delivering the desired response rate. If the physiological characteristics of patients at the molecular level, such as genes and proteins, can be determined, and patients can be accurately grouped by these characteristics, the treatment, medication prescribed, and prevention can be made more accurate and efficient, thereby dramatically improving quality of life for patients.
Supporting drug discovery as well as accurate and efficient cancer diagnosis utilizing technology developed for photographic film
Pharmaceutical companies are developing molecularly targeted drugs for precision medicine. The medicines are expected to be more effective and have fewer side effects because they attack only specific cancer cells. Konica Minolta has material and image processing technologies which it originally developed in photographic film.
By using fluorescent nanoimaging technology based on these technologies, certain proteins and cellular tissues can be made to emit bright light. The number and position of these proteins and cell area can then be determined through automatic analysis, thereby making accurate and efficient cancer diagnosis a reality.
Pharmaceutical companies and medical institutions already have great expectations for this new technique, welcoming it as a revolutionary technology that can be broadly applied in areas such as medicine development, clinical trials, and pathology diagnosis. In addition to these innovative technologies developed in-house, Konica Minolta has also obtained expertise through corporate acquisitions. It is now in the process of integrating its own technologies with world-class genetic analysis technology from Ambry Genetics Corporation, along with biomarker* search technology and techniques for numerical analysis of complicated biological information from Invicro LLC.
Moreover, pharmaceutical companies are working to shorten the R&D time for molecularly targeted medicines and cancer therapy medicines. There is a new movement to reduce the cost and time required for clinical trials by clearly identifying subjects for which certain medicines will be effective. Shortening of R&D time is expected to lower the price of new medicines and help control healthcare expenses.
* Indicators of body condition such as genes and proteins contained in blood, urine, etc.
Konica Minolta's Vision for Precision Medicine