10 Predictions for Precision Medicine in 2017

December 20th, 2016

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When a new year arrives many of us make lists about giving up this or starting that, but at Diaceutics we write a list about what we think will happen in the world of precision medicine (PM) and targeted therapies. In an ever-changing diagnostic landscape there are plenty to choose from but here are our top ten predictions.


  1. Patient empowerment and patient centric approaches
    It’s easy to forget that the most important element of PM is the patient and yet they are often sidelined. Diaceutics has long advocated putting the patient first but we hope to see a shift in this area in 2017. We might see a new patient activist group (supported by TedMed or a technology group) that is focused on better patient education for testing and treatment in PM. Right now, patients are unhappy about being the ignored stakeholder in complex targeted therapy rollouts like anti-PD-1 therapy, so a move towards patient centricity is overdue.
  1. Big data
    Big data analytics of healthcare outcomes, electronic health records and, with that, patient data privacy will definitely be on the agenda for 2017 and beyond. We predict that patient advocacy groups will join the voices calling for data privacy protection.
  1. Wearables
    Wearable technology is becoming standard lifestyle kit but we’ll see its impact in healthcare, too. We expect greater integration of predictive wearables into key diagnostic treatment pathways with the rise of strong, well-funded wearable and tracking technology companies such as Livongo.
  1. Targeted therapies for AML
    There will be much discussion around the launch of new acute myeloid leukemia (AML) therapies. After a 20 to 30 year wait, patients will finally have a number of new treatment options.
  1. POC Dx for infectious diseases
    We expect a rise in rapid testing and point of care diagnostics for the screening of infectious diseases and the monitoring of chronic diseases, as medical research teams up with the communication and technology world.
  1. Continued use of LDTs
    Pharma will have to manage laboratory developed tests (LDTs) alongside IVD kits in the face of the FDA’s likely postponement (or in reality, the binning) of the LDT draft guidance. This will trigger different types of laboratory partnering agreements in 2017.
  1. Immunotherapy
    Mutational load testing in immunotherapy for cancer will secure a prominent place alongside established cancer treatments as approvals of, for example, PD-1 therapies, continue to rise.
  1. Liquid biopsies
    There is increasing evidence of more laboratory adoption of liquid biopsies, in which a non-invasive blood test is used to detect cancer cells.
  1. Dx Futures Index
    An analysis of the major contribution that diagnostics make to pharma share value will trigger the publication of a ‘pharma readiness for Dx’ investment futures index.
  1. A sudden departure
    Finally, we predict that a major diagnostic company will exit a companion Dx-pharma collaboration due to lack of royalties from enabled therapy sales.

With so much happening on the horizon this could be a big year for diagnostics. Diaceutics has already made detailed analyses of the 2016 space in its new Pharma Readiness for Dx Index which also includes forecasts not just for 2017 but the next few years to come. For more information and detailed predictions listen to our webinar: Which pharma companies are Dx ready for precision medicine in 2017? Benchmarking, financial risks and predictions.


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