Friday, 13 May 2016
Epigenetics Drugs and Diagnostic Technologies Market Witnesses Rapid Research and Development of New-generation Diagnostic Technologies
The global epigenetics drugs and diagnostic technologies market has been rising at a significant pace over the past few years due to the emergence of novel drugs and more efficient, next-generation diagnostic technologies. The widespread ongoing research aimed at examining the role of epigenetics in several diseases in humans is the chief factor fueling the market. The global epigenetics drugs & diagnostic technologies market is projected to be worth US$5.7 bn by 2018 according to a recent market research report published by Transparency Market Research.
Epigenetics: A Primer
The term epigenetics refers to the transmissible changes in the expression of genes that does not involve changes to the underlying sequence of DNA molecules. In biological terms, this is a change in phenotype without a change in genotype. This affects how the genes are read by cells. Epigenetic modifications are a regular and natural phenomenon but can also be influenced by a number of factors such as age, lifestyle, environment, and disease state. At least three systems associated with gene silencing, including histone modification, DNA methylation, and non-coding RNA are presently considered to be the key reasons initiating and sustaining epigenetic changes.
Rising Prevalence of Cancer a Major Driver of Market
Research in epigenetics has significantly expanded in the past few years and, with the increased sophistication of sequencing methodologies, it has become an increasingly important part of the process of exploring new potential therapeutic treatments for cancer and several other diseases that have been linked to aberrant epigenetic modifications.
The rising prevalence of a number of cancers worldwide and the proven benefits of using aberrant levels of DNA methylation (5-mC) and hydroxymethylation (5-hmC) levels as valuable biomarkers for the disease have prompted healthcare bodies in advocating the adoption of epigenetic diagnostic technologies. This factor has also significantly propelled the market for epigenetics drugs.
Some of the most prominent FDA-approved epigenetics drugs that are currently available in the market are Dacogen (decitabine) from Eisai and Vidaza (azacitidine) by Celgene for inhibition of DMNT. The market also features Istodax (romidepsin) from Celegne and Zolinza (vorinostat) by Merck for the inhibition of HDAC and treating Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma.
EpiGentek’s New-generation Epigenetic Diagnostic Kit Promises Faster and Easier Results
EpiGentek, a New York-based biotech company specializing in epigenetic research products, has recently launched two new assay kits for ELISA-based assessment of global DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation. The new arrays, as fourth generation technologies of the company’s popular MethylFlash(TM) ELISA kit, have been further refined to enhance accuracy, speed, convenience, and sensitivity. MethylFlash(TM) has been used by researchers since 2005 for studies in epigenetics as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to mass spectrometry and other conventional methylation analysis methods.
The company has stated that the new “one-step” kits eliminate the need for multiple samples and several steps for binding antibodies in traditional ELISA kits, thereby significantly reducing the handling time by 50% as compared to the company’s previous MethylFlash(TM) kits. The new kits are also capable of detecting hydroxymethylated and methylated DNA to the precision level of picograms (10-12g).
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Over the course of time, the improved accuracy and speed of such new-generation epigenetic diagnostic technologies can help boost development of the epigenetic drugs and diagnostic technologies. This will help strengthen the capability of epigenetic results in providing evidence to clinical applications, allowing the research to be conducted for the purpose of formulating effective epigenetic drugs.