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How Are Investments in Genomics Driving Research Projects?

Pramod Kumar
By Pramod Kumar
Published: Tuesday, 29 September 2020
Updated: Tuesday, 29 September 2020 12:46
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How Are Investments in Genomics Driving Research Projects?
How Are Investments in Genomics Driving Research Projects?

According to a study conducted by P&S Intelligence, the global genomics market is expected to generate a revenue of $68.0 billion by 2030, increasing from $18.2 billion in 2019, progressing at a 12.7% CAGR during the forecast period (2020–2030).

Research and development (R&D) activities are an important part of the healthcare industry, as it is through such activities that cures and treatments for diseases that were previously incurable are found. The focus on developing personalized medicine for patients has risen considerably these days. It has been found that people respond to a particular treatment for a particular disease in different ways. Therefore, there is a need for going past the natural course of things and adopting solutions such as personalized medicine to provide patients with highly effective treatment.

This is a major reason due to which the global genomics market generated revenue of $18.2 billion in 2019. The market is further expected to reach a value of $68.0 billion by 2030, exhibiting a CAGR of 12.7% during2020–2030, as stated by a P&S Intelligence report.

What Is Genomics?

The human body is made up of millions of strands of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The term genome is used for referring to the entire DNA content in one cell of the body, and the study of an organism’s genome is called genomics. Researchers working in the field focus on determining complete DNA sequences and performing genetic mapping, in order to understand diseases. While a lot more still needs to be done in the field of genomics, the current genomic understanding has had a significant impact on the healthcare industry, for instance, when it comes to treating cancer and offering information regarding a patient’s likely response to treatment.

Technologies Used for Conducting Research in Genomics Field

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR): This technique is utilized for amplifying DNA sequences, wherein short DNA sequences, known as primers, are used for selecting the portion of the genome that is to be amplified. The temperature of the sample is repeatedly lowered and raised, for helping a DNA replication enzyme in copying the target DNA sequence. PCR has the ability to produce a billion copies of the target sequence in a matter of hours.
  • Sequencing: The DNA sequencing technique is utilized for determining the exact sequence of the bases in a molecule of DNA. The base sequence of the DNA carries the information needed by a cell for assembling ribonucleic acid (RNA) and protein molecules. This information is necessary for scientists who investigate the functions of genes. This technology has now become a lot less expensive than before, which is why its adoption is expected to increase significantly in the field of genomics in the years to come.
  • Microarray: Still in the developmental phase, this technology is used for studying the expression of a number of genes at once. During this process, thousands of gene sequences are placed on a glass slide, known as gene chip, in known locations, after which a sample containing the RNA or DNA is placed in contact with the gene chip. The complementary base pairing between the gene sequences and the sample on the chip produces light, which is measured for identifying the genes that are expressed in the sample.

Applications

The key applications of genomics are agriculture and animal research, diagnostics, precision medicine, and drug discovery & development. Genomics is widely being utilized for diagnostic applications since there are a number of genetic diseases and other disorders that are still incurable. Research studies regarding several genetic disorders and diseases have been growing in numbers for the past few years. In addition to this, next-generation sequencing is of great help in diagnostic facilities, as it aids in advancing disease management and detection.

Role of Investments in Growth of Regional Industries

A number of key companies offering products for genomics research operate in North America, which is why the number of genomics-related studies is the highest in the region. A number of projects in the region are being funded by government and private organizations, which is further a key reason for the advancements in the genomics domain. Moreover, the National Human Genome Research Institute’s genomic medicine programs aim at identifying obstacles in the implementation of genomics in clinical care, and the organization is working on developing solutions and practices for its widespread usage.

Other than North America, extensive research in the field of genomics is also being carried out in Asia-Pacific, majorly in Japan, China, and India. This has been made possible by the rising funding from public and private organizations. China, especially, is contributing substantially to the advancements in the regional genomics domain. For example, the government of China launched the precision medicine initiative in 2016, with an investment of approximately $9 billion, to boost the country’s research in genomics over the next 15 years.

In conclusion, genomics can be of substantial help when it comes to finding appropriate treatments for various genetic diseases, which is why governments of several countries are investing increasingly in the field. In addition to this, the surging requirement for personalized treatment is also resulting in increasing research in genomics.

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How Are Investments in Genomics Driving Research Projects?
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