Monday, December 24, 2018

IBI Research On Industry Trends: Companion Diagnostics, Companion Biomarkers, And Liquid Biopsy To Power Precision Medicine

Individualized medicine is a new trend in medical management that has improved treatment outcomes.
Companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics are powering the aforesaid precision medicine.
As a tool associated with companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics, liquid biopsy is playing increasingly prominent roles over the traditional biopsy.
By 2022, the market for liquid biopsy and companion diagnostics are expected to grow to $17B and $6.5B, respectively.
We present an overview of this new industry trend in assisting readers to make your investment decision.
I never attempt to make money on the stock market. I buy on the assumption that they could close the market the next day and not reopen it for five years. - Warren Buffett
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Author's notes: In the spirit of the holiday, we'd like to share with all readers this research. If you wish to learn more about the specific companies that we mentioned in this article, we invite you to check out our private investment community, Integrated BioSci Investing.
As the Holiday is approaching, we’d like to share with all readers our Holiday Gift in showing our appreciation for your support. That being said, we’d like to share with you all our first Integrated BioSci Investing analysis on industry trends. As knowledge is power, we wish to empower readers with industry knowledge and novel developments. Our hope is that the market intelligence that we presented will better assist you in making your own informed investment decision. Accordingly, we’ll feature an overview of companion diagnostics, companion biomarkers, and liquid biopsy in this introductory research.

Precision Medicine

As the fundamental shift in medical management, personalized medicineentails individualized therapeutics in treating a particular disease or condition. The underlying idea is that the same drug can demonstrate distinctive responses in different patients. The unique genetic makeup from one individual versus another translates into differences in enzymatic expression and thereby confers differences in drug metabolism. By tailoring a specific medicine to a patient, the treatment outcomes are expected to be improved. That being said, we’ll assess how companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics fit into the landscape of individualized medicine.

Companion Biomarkers And Companion Diagnostics

Biomarkers are substances measured in the body which indicate the disease status. Despite that they are simply indicators of disease status, biomarkerscan give important clues to disease progression, treatment response, and prognosis. One can view of companion biomarkers as traffic lights that signal incoming traffic. As precision medicine, biomarkers offer critical information to bioscience innovators to assist them in developing companion diagnostics: these are prescribed in conjunction with a therapeutic regimen. Consequently, companion diagnostics and biomarkers lead to improved treatment outcomes while limiting toxicities. Ultimately, we believe that companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics will play increasingly prominent roles in the management of many diseases, especially cancers.

Screening And Confirmation Diagnostics

As mentioned, companion diagnostics and companion biomarkers play critical roles in individualized medicine. To provide further context, we’ll assess how these diagnostics fit into the overall disease management. In the diagnosis stage, physicians usually employed diagnostic agents, including screening as well as confirmation tests. As the initial diagnostic, a good screening test aims to broadly capture the disease prevalence. Hence, it’s very important for a screening test to have high sensitivity (i.e. the ability to detect disease).
In the next diagnostic step, a confirmation test is employed. This test necessitates high “specificity” (i.e. the ability to accurately identify a disease). Notably, screening tests often employ liquid samples such as urine, blood, or saliva. In contrast, a confirmation test preferably employs a tissue biopsy depending on the disease or condition of interest. That being said, both companion diagnostics and companion biomarkers can fit into either the screening or confirmatory test.
In our view, getting the first step in medical management (i.e. diagnosis) right is crucial to achieving good treatment outcomes. As diagnostics biomarkers and diagnostic companion provide crucial intelligence about the patient’s specific disease, they ensure that the best treatment is being utilized. Specifically, these diagnostics offer physicians the insight on which therapeutics are highly likely to deliver the best response. This minimizes the “trial and error” in the disease management and thus leads to improved efficacy while lower toxicity. By deterring unnecessary therapeutics and procedures, companion agents also reduce treatment expenses and expedite recovery

Diagnosis Via Liquid Biopsy

Traditionally, most confirmatory tests employ a tissue biopsy. Interestingly, the trend is shifting away from employing tissue biopsies as more bioscience companies are innovating what is known as a liquid biopsy. The aforesaid technology leverages on company biomarkers analysis via blood samples to improve the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. In powering many companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics, a liquid biopsy expedites the diagnosis time, lowering the costs, and improving treatment outcomes, as we mentioned.
According to Market Research Future, the global liquid biopsy market is currently valued at $3.9B. And, it is forecasted to grow at the 28% compound annual growth rate (“CAGR”) to reach $17.3B by 2022. Furthermore, the companion diagnostics segment will achieve $6.5B, growing at the 20% CAGR for the same period of analysis.

Investment Opportunities

We believe that the same evolutionary pressure applies to the market as well as it applies to natural selection. With the aforementioned new trend, prudent companies are positioning themselves to profit from this fundamental shift in industry dynamics. More clinical trials are employing companion biomarkers and companion diagnostics to improve the chances of clinical trial success. These companies are using companion diagnostics and biomarkers improve treatment outcomes while delivering revenues growth.
Taken altogether, the novel industry trend, as we elucidated, will benefit both patients and investors alike. Some key firms that are aligning their corporate strategy to harness this reward include Trovagene, RaindDance Technologies, Agena Bioscience, Admera Health, Biocept, Circulogene Theranostics, Inivata, SAGA Diagnostics, Exosome Diagnostics, and etc. We also featured several companies that are tinkering with companion diagnostics such as Progenics Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PGNX), Endocyte Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ECYT), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SPPI), and Guardant Health (NASDAQ:GH).

Potential Risks

Despite having key advantages, there are associated risks with liquid biopsy, and companion biomarker as well as diagnostics. In our opinion, tissue biopsy tends to show better diagnostic accuracy. There are certain cancers and conditions that are slow to manifest their disease status through biomarkers and thereby limits the usability of liquid biopsy. As with any novel development, it takes times to iron out various kinks. There are also unique risks associated with the specific companies that we mentioned which we encourage readers to check on in their corresponding research.

Final Remarks

In all, we strongly believe that liquid biopsy, companion diagnostics and companion biomarkers will continue to power the new trend of individualized or precision medicine. Companies that positioned themselves ahead of the curve will most likely reap the substantial profits for their shareholders. Clinical trials that utilize biomarkers and companion diagnostics will improve their chances of success. Furthermore, these new industry developments will alleviate the rising costs of healthcare and improve treatment outcomes for countless patients worldwide. As the final note, we hope that you enjoy this research and hope that you enjoy your Holiday weekend. Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!
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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.
Additional disclosure: As a medical doctor/market expert, Dr. Tran is not a registered investment advisor. Despite that we strive to provide the most accurate information, we neither guarantee the accuracy nor timeliness. Past performance does NOT guarantee future results. We reserve the right to make any investment decision for ourselves and our affiliates pertaining to any security without notification except where it is required by law. We are also NOT responsible for the action of our affiliates. The thesis that we presented may change anytime due to the changing nature of information itself. Investing in stocks and options can result in a loss of capital. The information presented should NOT be construed as recommendations to buy or sell any form of security. Our articles are best utilized as educational and informational materials to assist investors in your own due diligence process. That said, you are expected to perform your own due diligence and take responsibility for your action. You should also consult with your own financial advisor for specific guidance, as financial circumstance are individualized.