It’s a far more complex field than genomics, studying how proteins are structured and expressed, how they change and communicate. When you tie genome sequencing to proteome sequencing, it adds billions of data points across millions of patients. That’s both good and bad.
With a fire hose of information that big, you can develop better drugs and look for better biomarkers: anything in a patient’s blood, urine or saliva—from proteins to enzymes to red-cell count—that indicates the presence of a disease. But fire hoses are hard to handle, and that’s where Big Data comes in.
The combination of massive computer power and sophisticated algorithms that can manage staggeringly complex problems—from predicting precisely where a tornado will touch down to making your Web search more efficient—is the next great wave of data processing. Companies like Roche, Illumina, Life Technologies, Pronota and Proteome Sciences are expanding their bioinformatics platforms to develop new diagnostics and new drugs based on them. Sometimes a diagnostic and a drug are developed in tandem, a model known as Dx/Rx. These new proteomic-derived agents are designed to target everything from sepsis to Alzheimer’s disease to cancer and offer the opportunity to deliver bespoke medicine, tailored to your molecular structure. It’s Savile Row biology.
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