Genetic Medicine Finally Hitting Its Stride

Genetic analysis is reshaping how we treat cancer, lupus, osteoporosis and other diseases.

The hoopla surrounding the mapping of the human genome 10 years ago is starting to pay off. Although many critics are calling it a big disappointment, citing a paucity of new drugs and treatments, the fact is, they were never very realistic in expecting quick advances. It usually takes about 15 years to get a new drug through development and on the market, and many diseases are proving to be much more complex and challenging. Nevertheless, the map has already become a boon to research, providing a solid foundation for significant breakthroughs in the not-too-distant future.

The next five to 10 years will see huge gains as researchers start to reap real benefits from genetic analysis. Before long, for example, the Food & Drug Administration will approve a promising drug for lupus, Benlysta, from Human Genome Sciences. Amgen’s Prolia, for osteoporosis, got an OK in June.

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Martha Lynn Craver
Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter